When you think of tone, you probably think of the bass and treble controls on your stereo. These tonal controls affect which sound frequencies you hear. Boost the treble and the sound is thin, with little detail. Boost the bass and the sound becomes muffled, losing its sparkle and focus. Too much or too little of either, and the music doesn’t sound right.
Your Body has tone, too.
The tone of your body is controlled by your nervous system. Your brain and spinal cord orchestrate the millions of details necessary to keep you alive. Your nervous system sets the “tone” of each muscle, the amount of stomach acid you produce, your blood pressure, and even your ability to resist a summer cold.
In 1910, Dr. D.D. Palmer, the founder of Chiropractic, wrote: “Life is the expression of tone. In that sentence is the basic principle of Chiropractic. Tone is the normal degree of nerve tension. Tone is expressed in functions by the normal elasticity, activity, strength, and excitability of various organs, as observed in a state of health.”
Chiropractic is still based on this premise. Your body is self-healing, able to resist disease and fight off infection when functioning properly. But, when there is nervous system interference, it can’t do this to the best of its ability. The most common source of nervous system interference is from abnormally moving bones of the vertebral column which covers your spinal cord. These are called vertebral subluxations.
On each chiropractic visit, your chiropractor conducts a quick examination, evaluating the overall tone of your body. Instead of conveniently labeled bass and treble controls, we locate areas of the spine and pelvis which are not as mobile as others, which puts tension on your nervous system, affecting the “tone” of your body. This includes extra tension of your muscles, ligaments, joints, and nervous tissues. When nerve tissue tone is affected, you may experience pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness, but also perhaps heartburn, constipation, anxiety, PMS, and other hormonal imbalances, poor sleep, or fatigue. Drugs affect tone too, by chemically inducing increased function (caffeine, laxatives, ADD medications, opioids) or chemically reducing bodily functions (antacids, muscle relaxers, antihistamines, opioids). These chemical “remedies” attempt to ignore the regulatory role of the nervous system and merely treat the effect of the tonal issue or the symptoms.
Chiropractic Care uses an Entirely Different Approach
Emotional stress can definitely change the tone of your nervous system and body. A charged-up sympathetic nervous system makes muscles tighter, breathing more shallow, increases the heart rate and blood pressure, and can disrupt sleep. When you receive a chiropractic adjustment, subluxations are corrected and the nervous system gets the needed “tap on the shoulder” reminding it that this sympathetic dominant state is not appropriate for the current situation. Patients often report feeling relaxed or even sleepy after their adjustment – especially if they have been very stressed lately.
Many patients are surprised to learn that the purpose of their chiropractic adjustments is not to (just) move bones, but to restore the nervous system to its proper tone and tension. As the tension of the spinal cord is reduced, the communication within the body improves and the body is able to function normally, restoring normal health without drugs or surgery, but naturally.
If it’s been some time since your last chiropractic check-up, I invite you to come in and get checked. We can sit down and discuss what’s been bothering you lately or what you’d like help with and make a plan together to help you achieve the better health you’ve been looking for.
~Thanks to Patient Media Inc. for this content.
Dr. Hoch (pronounced Hoke), is a 1988 Graduate of Peotone High School and a 1990 Graduate of Joliet Junior College. She received both her B.S. in Human Biology (1991) and her Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) (1993) from The National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, IL. She also received her graduate and post-graduate certifications in Acupuncture from NCC.