Commentaries are provided to either 1) clarify an article or an issue contained within that article or 2) to editorialize on topics of concern to the profession.

Article Contribution: Articles are always welcome for either the ChiroZine or the Clinician's Review. We are always looking for educational material that may contribute insight into chiropractic and the theoretical and research findings.

Science, Chiropractic, and the Future: Connectivity

The theoretical basis for chiropractic is often linked to a linear wiring system schema (spinal nerves) that is somehow influenced by osseous mechanisms called 'subluxations.' Further definition encompasses other factors to include the "subluxation complex." The subluxation and its complex has been the primary motivation for chiropractic care since its foundation over one hundred years ago and continues through various paradigms included in A Vertebral Subluxation Hypothesis Tree.

The question for chiropractic today is whether the theory is enough to sustain it through the next century; whether there may be more to the chiropractic idea than previously considered; that today's research is uncovering findings of a nonlinear nervous system that chiropractors' identified and called "innate" as a manifestation of universal intelligence or "innate intelligence."

Did chiropractic have the right idea? Perhaps, if one considers that science wasn't ready to inquire beyond the linear nervous system at the time. Today, A New Kind of Science is emerging that inquires into mind/body relationships that could not be understood in the past; that nonlinear intelligence may be innately linked to brain connectivity patterns is only recently being examined because of new technology.

Chiropractic, as part of neuroscience, "is all about making connections," "the connections between genes, circuits, and behaviors or diseases - and the surprising plasticity of the adult brain - " reveal the deeper mechanisms of the brain (behavior/diagnosis) that formerly could only be identified as innate function. Today, lower back pain can be traced to the brain as a physical cause for changes in the brain; something previously not possible; or that emotional components exist that are not yet understood as nonlinear function of the nervous system.

But instead of talking about frequency of nerve conduction, blockages or stenosis, or any number of variables to explain a linear interference, today's neuroscientist talks about "patterns" of change in nonlinear systems. It has required, and still requires, changes in theoretical review. The chiropractor, too, must consider the implications of these changes in neuroscience; for it, too, must consider its theory as a reflection of improved knowledge and understanding; its theory, too, may need to change with the findings of neuroscience.

Virgil J. Seutter, D.C.
1308 Hwy 62-65 N.
Harrison, AR 72601
Editor, ChiroZine

28 Nov 2002

More: articles by seutter

behavior patterns of the nervous system as disease or symptom complexes (mechanisms of nonlinear function of the brain)

Neuroscience, science generally, labels disease as a form of behavior pattern identified as symptom complexes. Speculation might suggest that another way to look at diagnosis is nothing more or less than identifying the brains behavior response to a pathogen or any disruption to its environment as a nervous system response. If this is the case, the chiropractic claim to be excused from diagnosis is inexcusable; moreso because it claims to treat the nervous system and yet rejects the behavioral patterns the nervous system projects. It is a knowledge gap that cannot be permitted if chiropractic is to accept responsibility for treatment of human ills.

Brain Study of Back Pain ANN ARBOR, MI – Patients with lower back pain that can't be traced to a specific physical cause may have abnormal pain-processing pathways in their brains, according to a new study led by University of Michigan researchers. As a result, they say, the study offers the first objective method for corroborating what lower back pain patients report they feel, and what's going on in their brains at the precis

A New Kind of Science and Foundation for Theory in Biology

How Should Research Lead the Chiropractor?
Brain Study Of Back Pain Sufferers Yields Intriguing Results; Scans Show Amplified Pain Signals In Patients With Back Pain Of Unknown Origin
Brain Study of Back Pain ANN ARBOR, MI – Patients with lower back pain that can't be traced to a specific physical cause may have abnormal pain-processing pathways in their brains, according to a new study led by University of Michigan researchers. As a result, they say, the study offers the first objective method for corroborating what lower back pain patients report they feel, and what's going on in their brains at the precise moment they feel it. (sciencedaily 28 oct 2002)

NIH Videocast
Attentional Systems in the Human Brain
Author/Sponsor: Maurizo Corbetta, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine.
More: Maurizo Corbetta, MD
[ed. The possibility that chiropractic may be dealing with brain cortex mechanisms of reorientation to spatial attention patterns in tactile (touch) stimuli (and possibly chemical) is of interest. Some techniques using percussor methods of treatment to the spine appear to randomly disengage a stimulus pattern. My observation of topographical sensory changes as mathematical spatial patterns of change also demonstrate this possibility, as well as in activator, SOT, AK, etc. Whether this might be viewed as a circuit breaking approach to spinal stimuli, etc. is speculation. However, frontal parietal contacts in some techniques (BEST) appear to modify what might be interpreted as the transition from sensory stimuli through attention mechanisms to transcend into an alteration in the motor activation cortical regions. Practical application for the chiropractor is to reevaluate his viewpoint on muscle/ligament strain/sprain as possibly a disruption of brain cortex attention mechanisms. An interesting speculation on my part might view injury as a disruption of the spatial sensory brain cortex with the motor cortex in which normal activation cannot occur. By using touch contact to various areas of body/brain, it appears that a reorientation occurs in spatial attention and sudden changes appear to be demonstrated in the patients response to pain and/or range of motion. This latter significance is noteworthy when trying to explain strain/sprain as a localized reaction to sensory stimuli. (; v seutter; 26 oct 2002)]

Education: NIH video:
A New Kind of Science and Foundation for Theory in Biology Tuesday, September 17, 2002. Author/Sponsor: Stephen Wolfram, Ph.D. Creator of "Mathematica" and Author of "A New Kind of Science" (NIH Videocasting; 19 sep 2002)
[ed. Implications for theoretical development in biology may be linked to mathematical constructs. The recognition of spatial information contained in the elegant hypothesis (Alan Turing) links the nervous system (spinal cord) to the epidermis. "..chemicals generated incrementally during the development of a complex organism might cause the differentiation of cells during early embryonic development." In other words, "crude spatial information provided by the egg is converted into more refined information that ultimately defines every position along the body axis in exquisite detail,” “This process assures that fingernails grow only on the tips of fingers and two eyes become positioned symmetrically on either side of the nose.” In other words, neuro - development may have less to do with the linear, wiring system schema than with nonlinear, neurocognitive relationships as a mathematical projection of information. A speculation on my part is that the relationship mathematically of the nervous system to the epidermis might provide clues to why touch may be viewed as a nonlinear, mathematical phenomenon. The linkage suggests a neurocognitive correlation that must be approached mathematically to find a relationship of spatial contact points to the brain and nervous system. It is this observation that questions the theoretical basis for chiropractic subluxation theory in that linear relationships to the spinal cord level may have less to do with a response to manipulation as the effects of nonlinear, multilevel 'reflex' responses as a mathematical expression of function. (; vseutter; 19 sep 2002)

Requires latest free version of RealPlayer Windows, RealPlayer Mac or RealOne and 220Kbps LAN or 56Kbps dial-up bandwidth. (courtesy NIH)

Three Inferior Prefrontal Regions Of The Brain Found Receptive To Somatosensory Stimuli November 19, 2002) - Bethesda, MD -- We know quite a bit about the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). It is part of the frontal lobe that lies superior to the orbit of the eyes. This area of the brain plays an important role in emotional behavior, receives direct inputs from.. (sciencedaily; A.PhysiologicalSoc; 21 nov 2002)
[ed. For chiropractors, it remains unclear where research should start to understand its techniques. Those that involve touch (BEST, SOT, AK, NET, etc.) are sufficiently complex and probably beyond the chiropractors normal access to novel study methods. However, the above article is clearly identifying study methods that may contribute to the chiropractors understanding of touch and brain relationships. What might be kept in mind by the researcher is that while touch may register in the brain from peripheral topographical, spatial sites, the application of touch to the cranial regions (in regions under study) plus second contact on subocciputal region often demonstrates response by the patient in the feet, legs. Also, once change occurs, a second application may demonstrate differences (will not repeat itself), possibly associated with the idea that brain plasticity is a function of communication and pattern changes might be possible. Another consideration is important to differentiate the study; that we are dealing with a nonlinear, cognitive, computational response, not a static, linear association. While chiropractors may use a spatial contact point (cranial), the patient describes changes that manifest beginning in feet (as e.g.) and then slowly moving up to the back and the spine, etc. The multiple areas of patient awareness suggest nonlinear responses going on rather than linear. Addendum. Needling of BL23 (acupuncture) while the patient sits appears to demonstrate similar responses with gradual progression of patient awareness of relaxation from the feet (warming) to the shoulders and neck. Use of cranial technique as described above may observe a limit; that the patient describes changes on one side (leg) reaching into the thoraco lumbar region and stopping, only to continue up the spine into the neck after switching sides on the cranial contacts. This might suggest nonlinear nature of spatial contact to the body surface through touch or acupuncture. (; v seutter; 21 nov 2002)]
Data and Lore: the embryo patterning controversy (bmn; 21 nov 2002)
Self-recognition: body and action Günther Knoblich. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2002, 6:447-449

Kids’ acupuncture gaining interest Scientists starting to study ancient therapy in young patients ASSOCIATED PRESS Nov. 18 — Four-year-old Eliza Brady held very still as Dr. Yuan-Chi Lin slowly stuck hair-thin needles into her legs. After six months of these acupuncture treatments, the painful intestinal inflammation that plagued Eliza for two years was finally better. (msnbc; 19 nov 2002) [ed. Without realizing it, both medicine and chiropractic have accepted a theory that has not necessarily found scientific support; that "Oriental medicine practitioners say needles placed at certain points, along with other practices such as the use of herbs, can heal by correcting flows from the body’s energy channels." On the other hand, if science and chiropractic began to view the use of acupuncture (and/or any 'physical contact' therapies) as modifying nonlinear, information patterns as part of a computational brain/body communication networking, then it might recognize that BEST technique, (as well as other topical contact techniques: SOT, AK, TBM, NET, etc.) modify body response without the use of needles. Clinically, these appear equally effective in certain conditions. (; v seutter; 19 nov 2002)]

UCSD Bioengineers Develop First Computer Model That Predicts Disease Variant Based on Genetic Defect University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Bioengineers have for the first time used a computer model to relate specific genetic mutations to exact variations of a disease. This is the first model-based system for predicting phenotype (function of the cell or organism) based on genotype (an individual’s DNA). (ucsdnews; 14 nov 2002) [ed. Apparently more exists to the idea of disease and the link to a specific gene in the DNA sequence. Variations exist that are beyond what might be viewed along linear sequences in the DNA. Mathematical modeling is needed to detect more accurate variations. Similarly, early theories involving complexity science, the "elegant hypothesis (Alan Turing) links the nervous system (spinal cord) to the epidermis." requires similar approaches to inquiry; that the linear wiring system is not able to provide the insight without inquiry into a nonlinear, mathematical communication system.
Updating Neuroscience. What are the implications for chiropractic theory?
Neuroscientists signal the importance of connections Damaris Christensen. Neuroscience is all about making connections, and at this year's meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Orlando, the connections between genes, circuits, and behaviors or diseases - and the surprising plasticity of the adult brain - were major themes. "The brain is a very sophisticated organ for bringing together the inner and outer world," said Huda Akil, president-elect of the Society for Neuroscience. "Experience and genes meet in the brain because that is the point." (biomednet; 14 nov 2002)


© 2002 The Chiropractic Resource Organization. All Rights Reserved