Dry Needling & Joint Manipulation to Treat & Resolve “Idiopathic” Medical Impairments Using Autonomic Nervous System Homeostasis
A majority of health impairments are considered “idiopathic”. Meaning the problem is apparent without any apparent cause. The initial onset of the problem may be related to a car accident or something obvious, but continued or progressing pain or impairment following tissue healing, which takes about 3 months, in general, becomes “idiopathic.” Autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, most chronic pain, mental health issues, Erectile dysfunction, incontinence, headaches, and many more impairments, are considered “idiopathic.” In reality, we do know why these things happen, on a general level. And that is good enough to make a tremendously positive change in widespread, overall health.
We do know why lots of so-called idiopathic medical impairments occur, in a general sense, although we do not understand most of the specific mechanisms that occur. We do, however, understand at least one common thread between most human medical impairments. Sympathetic autonomic nervous system hyperactivity. A thread rarely, if ever, specifically addressed in modern medicine. I am not saying we understand exactly why sympathetic hyperactivity causes problems, or why problems cause sympathetic hyperactivity, but we know it happens. We also know how to implement simple methods, like dry needling combined with joint manipulation, to drastically shift the autonomic nervous system toward homeostasis. This improves immune function, decreases body wide pro inflammatory markers such as interleukin 1, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), reduces spontaneous electrical activity throughout the brain and body, improves systemic blood flow, reduces hypoxia, and much, much more. In Medical-Knowledge-Land, a wondrous land, if we could somehow objectify all the medical knowledge attainable out there in the ether, I bet we only know about 5% of the total, if full understanding is even possible. If it is, we are, at minimum, centuries away from anything coming even remotely close to complete understanding. Our lack of knowledge, combined with the mindset utilized in most current medical research, is completely contradictory to real time healthcare and positive outcomes. More on this in a bit…
The human mind and body typically respond to mental and physical stress, strain and trauma by elevating the sympathetic autonomic nervous system (fight-or-flight response). This leads to elevated concentrations of neuromodulators, hormones, and other proteins, like epinephrine, cortisol, and glutamate, which all cause, and are symptoms of, chronic sympathetic autonomic hyperactivity. This is a nasty, detrimental feedback loop that negatively affects all aspects of mental and physical health. Consequently, concentrations of substances primarily regulated by the parasympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system become inhibited, like GABA, acetylcholine esterase (AchE), and beta-endorphin. This becomes another detrimental feedback loop, since low concentrations of these substances typically lead to increased anxiety and pain, two of the most common causes, and results of, chronic sympathetic autonomic hyperactivity. All of this is bad. Luckily, we know of at least two cheap, safe and stunningly effective treatments that counter and help reverse these health-destroying feedback loops, nudging the autonomic nervous system toward homeostasis. Thoughtful dry needling combined with joint manipulation.
Overall, we know very little about the specific pathways involved in idiopathic impairments. That is why they are considered idiopathic. However, they are only idiopathic if you are looking at these impairments from a microscopic, specific perspective, like individual neurophysiology pathways, which we know very little about. If you think about it, we are discovering new pathways and molecules in our body we never knew existed all the time, with the advancement of technology. If we are fully aware that we are totally unaware of a huge amount of crap existing and occurring in our bodies, someone please explain to me why we conduct most medical interventions based on the underlying principle that we are smarter than our mind and body, based on results obtained in a lab that are only capable of describing a minuscule percentage of what is actually going on?
Doesn’t it seem more sensible, if we know how much we don’t know, to utilize the simple things we DO know, like the fact that pathologic soft tissue and joint position are both results and causes of sympathetic hyperactivity, and sympathetic hyperactivity can lead to just about any medical impairment out there? We should be treating people with the express intent of maximizing their own mind and bodies’ incredible healing powers. This means regulating the autonomics toward homeostasis. Again, we know how to do this! Remove as much soft tissue and joint pathology throughout the body with the combination of dry needling and joint manipulation, while at the same time targeting the parasympathetics.
In terms of sympathetic hyperactivity, “chronic” should be considered anything over a week. Yes, just one week. And yes, you have likely been living with sympathetic hyperactivity for years. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the most potent ways we know how to regulate the autonomic nervous system toward homeostasis, an intricate key to physical and mental well-being, are not through expensive medicine, but through simple, cheap, or free things like exercise, eating well, eating less, reducing tissue pathology throughout the body, and directly treating the autonomic nervous system. Stimulating the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system reciprocally inhibits sympathetic hyperactivity. Normalizing soft tissue length and joint position throughout the body also reduces sympathetic hyperactivity. Exactly what we need to achieve homeostasis, in most instances, to allow the mind and body to heal themselves and each other.
Once sympathetic activity is too high for too long for your personal threshold, destructive feedback loops begin all over the brain and body, driving each other to further fury and dysfunction. It’s like a bunch of neuromusculoskeletal thunderstorms swirling throughout our being, leaving a path of death, destruction, and dysfunction in their wake.
Another issue in the mile-long list of mind-boggling corruption and incompetence in the governmental-medical-industrial complex, is the way research is conducted. The core concepts, on a base level, are primarily based on a fallacy; that we know how to fix the mind and body better than the mind and body know how to fix themselves and each other.
One of the most common and widespread medications used worldwide is ibuprofen. I bet every single person that ever reads this has taken ibuprofen numerous times throughout life, possibly on a daily basis. The following is the full side effect list according to the US government: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682159.html
People who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (other than aspirin) such as ibuprofen may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than people who do not take these medications. These events may happen without warning and may cause death. These problems may develop at any time during treatment, but the risk may be higher for people who take NSAIDs for a long time or at higher doses. Do not take an NSAID such as ibuprofen if you have recently had a heart attack, unless directed to do so by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke; if you smoke; and if you have or have ever had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Get emergency medical help right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness in one part or side of the body, or slurred speech.
If you will be undergoing a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG; a type of heart surgery), you should not take ibuprofen right before or right after the surgery.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may cause ulcers, bleeding, or holes in the esophagus (tube between the mouth and stomach), stomach, or intestine. These problems may develop at any time during treatment, may happen without warning symptoms, and may cause death. The risk may be higher for people who take NSAIDs for a long time, are older in age, have poor health, who smoke, or who drink large amounts of alcohol while taking ibuprofen. Tell your doctor if you take any of the following medications: anticoagulants ('blood thinners'); aspirin; other NSAIDs such as naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); oral steroids such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Rayos);selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor XR). Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had ulcers, bleeding in your stomach or intestines, or other bleeding disorders. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking ibuprofen and call your doctor: stomach pain, heartburn, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, blood in the stool, or black and tarry stools.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms carefully and will probably order certain tests to check your body's response to ibuprofen. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling so that your doctor can prescribe the right amount of medication to treat your condition with the lowest risk of serious side effects.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with prescription ibuprofen and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
If you just pooped yourself, I understand. Wait, I can die from ibuprofen? It could give me a brain bleed, stroke, AND a heart attack? Black and tarry stools, you say? Excuse me? By “die”, you mean, it can kill me? Yes, and those are just the things they are willing to, or forced to, disclose to the general public… Mommy? Ma? Mum? Lois...?
So, if a drug that is considered by our “medical experts” to be so safe it can be bought without a doctor consultation has that many horrible side effects, including DEATH, which is listed twice, what are the actual side effects of all the other stuff you do need a doctor recommendation for? Mind you, if you have not searched online for the full side-effect list of any medication, you do not know most of the side effects. Ummmm. If there are that many potential horrific side effects for an over-the-counter drug, we obviously have zero firm grasp on how the mind and body work. If we did possess a passing understanding of how our neurophysiology works inside the most complex system in our universe, a human being, we could make drugs with far fewer potential serious adverse side effects, like death, for example. Neurophysiology is so incredibly variable throughout the population, no medicine will ever be totally safe for everyone. Ever.
I am not saying this to scare people away from taking medication. Lots of medications are super helpful and amazing. However, many medications people are taking are completely unnecessary because there are superior, natural ways to treat the root cause of why “idiopathic” impairments occur. Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. Unfortunately, because the best ways to regulate the autonomic nervous system are cheap, easy, and effective, Like breathing exercise, dry needling, and joint manipulation, the powers that be do not speak of them, at best, or shun and mock them, at worst. Again, Exercise, taking care of your body, eating well, and eating less are the most sure-fire ways to maximize healthspan and lifespan, because they regulate the autonomic nervous system toward homeostasis better than anything, allowing the mind and body to heal themselves and each other.
Doing those simple things leads to an average extension of life by about 14 years AND you will be healthier! Dr. Andrew Huberman and Dr. Peter Attia have some excellent podcasts about this. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not exercise, do not eat well, and eat way too much. And that is not going to change. Therefore, it behooves us to find ways to naturally induce the body to respond to treatment in a way that mimics the systemic effects of what we know to be healthy. Dry needling and joint manipulation are the two most powerful tools physical therapists have at their disposal to accomplish this. I believe they are two of the most powerful tools in all of medicine.
This is an important point to understand. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to make medicine based on specific neurophysiologic pathways and how they interact with each other. In fact, this is totally necessary if we wish to continue furthering our medical aptitude and abilities. However, to safely achieve this, you need advanced medical aptitude, and at the moment, our medical aptitude, overall, sucks. This is just the simple reality of where we are in medicine. We have nowhere near the ability to even be able to make simple medicine, like ibuprofen, without numerous side effects. And the Voldemort’s of medicine, those who shall not be named, are ensuring us they possess the knowledge to literally instruct our mind and body with foreign, unnatural, synthetic substances, to do things the human body has never done, and is not made to do. Because they know how all the intricately interconnected pathways in our mind and body work individually and together? Really? You sure it’s not that you just patented a super expensive medication? And, so I am clear, you are concomitantly telling me that seeking natural treatments that naturally stimulate the mind and body to heal themselves and each other, how God or nature intended, instead of instructing our body to do unnatural things with unnatural substances, is witchcraft?
When you treat the mind and the body with the underlying goal of maximizing the mind and body’s own innate, awesome healing ability via sympathetic depression (removing as much joint and tissue pathology throughout the body), parasympathetic elevation (stimulating the auricular branch of the vagus nerve, sacral plexus, and upper cervical spine, along with other stuff), and autonomic nervous system homeostasis, the results you achieve for a wide variety of mental and physical health impairments are nothing less than magical. I see this on a weekly basis, have been utilizing these techniques for nearly a decade, and am continuously dumbfounded at the amazing results. The healing abilities we innately have access to, when our autonomic nervous system is homeostatic, are infinitely superior to anything we can impose. The problem is, our mind and body become hindered from self-regulation through sympathetic autonomic hyperactivity, secondary to the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
Idiopathic diseases are only idiopathic if you are observing them on a molecular level. We do not understand how all that stuff works on that scale. In fact, we know for a fact that we do not even possess the technological ability to see all the stuff that is actually going on inside our cells. We think the base level is the quantum level. We are not even sure about that. And we have almost zero ability to observe quantum biology, since we currently can only study quantum processes at near absolute zero, -273.15 degrees Celsius. If you zoom out and look at the human mind and body from a more evolutionary standpoint, however, we do understand some overall relationships. One of those relationships is disease and sympathetic autonomic hyperactivity. Thoughtful dry needling combined with joint manipulation are the two most powerful, natural tools in Physical-Therapy-Land, and all of medicine, to induce autonomic nervous system homeostasis. Autonomic nervous system homeostasis improves all physical and mental health impairments, as far as I understand. If these tools were implemented throughout medicine, many current pharmacologic medical treatments would be unnecessary, and if they were still necessary, those treatments would become more effective secondary to increased baseline autonomic nervous system homeostasis.
This was a more philosophic article. If you would like to learn more about the specific mechanisms by which dry needling and joint manipulation regulate the autonomic nervous system, check these out. Let me know if anyone has any questions about anything.
DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog for Intricate Art Spine & Body Solutions, LLC is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. The information contained in this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Please consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare professional before acting on any information presented here.