The Control System Part 1
The amount of material to cover in this one subject has necessitated dividing this topic into 3 manageable articles labeled:
The Foreman: in charge of all operations and workers
Miscommunication between the two
The Restoration- Upper Cervical Specific—Stress Analysis
I PROMISE, you have NEVER heard this explained or connected to you this way and it will be an epiphany unlike anything you’ve ever learned before. What I am about to tell you is the greatest worldly discovery of my lifetime. In the end, you will see what I mean by that.
Note to reader: the information about the chiropractic technique described in these articles is called Upper Cervical Specific and was developed by BJ Palmer. It is implemented through Stress Analysis, which was developed by Guillermo D. Vazquez, D.C. Articles are written with permission of Dr. Vazquez. Opinions outside of the subject matter are my own.
Images can also be zoomed in to read and see detail.
In order to understand how something can degenerate, become dis-eased, or dysfunction you first must understand what it is and what and how it does what it does. This article will take you all the way through the CNS and how the body is controlled and regulated, and at the end will come full circle.
Every single aspect of your body is controlled and regulated by the Central Nervous System and Neuroendocrine System.
1. The Nervous System- Central Nervous System, Peripheral Nervous System, and the Autonomic Nervous System that control the processes, function, and healing of the entire body using nerves and neurotransmitters as information highways. This is a great way to achieve a goal quickly, in milliseconds, like with the snap of your finger (literally), and has brief effects.
2. The Neuroendocrine System- Located in and controlled by the CNS, the hypothalamus, working in conjunction with the pituitary and pineal gland, controls most of the secretory organs and basic life functions like hunger, thirst, sleep, sex, stress and emotional responses using hormones, and acts in seconds/minutes/hours/days/months to have long-lasting effects.
1. Central Nervous System (CNS)
Consists of the brain, cerebellum, brainstem, and spinal cord.
Known as the Master Control system, it operates, controls, and regulates all vital functions, the entire body, and all organs and organ systems.
Analyzes and assesses sensory information delivered to the brain from the body’s environment, detected and carried by the CNS and PNS.
Allows, controls, and coordinates voluntary motor responses (movement) and maintains balance, coordination, equilibrium, and posture based on sensory information perceived from the environment.
Regulates non-voluntary motor responses to sensory information.
Can learn, associate, differentiate, problem solve, remember, etc. –anything related to perceived senses and applied motor responses.
Oversees the regeneration process during sleep/REM cycles.
The brain and cerebellum:
The Brainstem contains ALL the nerves (information highways) of the spinal cord as they enter into the brain AND houses the nuclei, the point of origin, for ten of the twelve cranial nerves. Together this structure is responsible for many vital functions of life, such as breathing, consciousness, blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep (anabolism), as well as special sensory and special motor functions. You can continue to be alive without brain function so long as you have brainstem function (you’ll just be a vegetable), but without brainstem function you can not. (Note: locate the position of the pituitary gland in relation to the brainstem. Important for later.)
In this image above you can see 11 of the 12 cranial nerves.
CN1-Olfactory Nerve: Sense of smell. Located further to the front of the brain it has direct connections to the hypothalamus and the limbic system, which directly and strongly attach the sense of smell to long-term memory, emotions, and vital functions.
CN2-Optic Nerve: Vision.
Constrict the pupils (parasympathetic)
Focus on detail up close
Moves the eye.
Moves the eye.
Moves the eye.
*****4 out of the 12 cranial nerves are directly responsible for you being able to see your environment.
Sensory information to the head and the entire face, teeth, gums, and jaw
Move the jaw
Move the face
Run the glands of the face:
CN8-Vestibulocochlear Nerve: This is really two systems:
The Vestibular System-
The Cochlear System-
Contributes to the decrease of saliva production
Sensory to the:
posterior 1/3 of tastebuds on the tongue
the entire throat
the middle ear which enables you to detect fullness from fluid buildup,
regulation of blood pressure by detecting changes in blood volume/pressure on carotid artery
CN10-Vagus Nerve: This is a BIG one—
Runs some sensory, motor, and primarily parasympathetic (talk about that here in a little) input to the entire digestive tract from the throat down to the last few inches of the colon as well as virtually every organ in your body.
It also helps regulate the neuro-immunomodulatory center of the body controlling the regeneration of tissues and fighting off of infections in those tissues.
The epiglottis (flap that keeps fluids/objects out of your lungs and air out of your stomach)
Vocal cords, esophagus, trachea, thymus, thyroid, lungs, heart, pyloric sphincter, stomach, digestive enzymes, cardiac sphincter, small intestine, colon, spleen, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, pancreas, appendix, bladder, uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, penis, scrotum, and the testicles all receive part of their innervation from the Vagus Nerve.
Helps the Vagus Nerve with swallowing and speech.
Motor to the Upper Trapezius muscle and SCM which control the position and movement of your head—keeping it in line with the horizon to assist in balance.
Moves the tongue for:
The entire central nervous system is held buoyant inside the meninges (a three layer protective glove), and protected and maintained by the Cerebrospinal Fluid seen here in blue and moves about the CNS indicated by the arrows.
The CSF has 6 major functions:
Provides buoyancy and shock absorption (can’t compress a fluid; think hydraulics).
It is the medium for which to transport neuroendocrine hormones secreted by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the pineal gland and others to other areas of the brain and down the spinal cord to their target organs/areas.
It is the medium for which to transport neurotransmitters to other areas of the CNS.
Neurotransmitters are similar to how a computer runs code using 1’s and 0’s except instead of 1’s and 0’s the CNS uses neurotransmitters; chemical yes’s and no’s; chemical present or not present = action performed or not performed.
Examples of a few well known CNS neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, GABA, and histamine, but there are also many others.
Alteration in the amounts and transportation of these neurotransmitters directly lead to mental, emotional, cognitive, memory, dysfunction, dis-ease, and homeostatic decline/degeneration.
Carries specific CNS nutrients and healing agents.
Proper turnover and flow of the CSF is ESSENTIAL to prevention and healing of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, ALS, MS, CTE, as well as CNS tumors/malignancies.
Regulates homeostasis of the CNS. (Remember that word? Kind of a big deal…) It keeps the brain and brainstem and spinal cord fully healthy, regenerated, functioning properly, and in a perfect and specific state of environment.
Contains, and is the medium of transport for, the glymphatic system which is responsible for removing metabolic waste/toxins inside the CNS and keeping the “site clean”. Just like the body has a lymphatic system to remove waste/toxins, the CNS contains a glymphatic system to do the same expect it’s specialized for the CNS using cells called astrocytes. So….how important is the CSF?
As mentioned before, the CNS contains the origins of the Neuroendocrine System: hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and pineal gland. (Note the proximity to the CSF and the Brainstem)
The hypothalamic pituitary axis is an intricate pathway with a central role in maintaining homeostasis by integrating complex physiological and endocrine inputs, and neuronal and hormonal output. Disorders of the pathway result in a profound disturbance in blood pressure, thirst and electrolyte balance, body temperature, appetite and energy metabolism, reproduction, circadian rhythms and sleep, and the emergency response to stress.
»»»»»»»incompatible with life……
Sensory information comes in and motor output comes out in response.
ADH: helps the body “retain water” through the kidneys. You may have heard of drugs being “diuretic” indicating they cause the body to “lose/excrete water”. This is one of the pathways in which your body regulates its blood pressure. More water retained = higher blood pressure, less water retained = lower blood pressure and the body does this by measuring the amount of “salt” in the blood trying to maintain a certain osmolarity.
Oxytocin: contributes to the birthing process, the menstrual cycle, breast development, romantic attachments, relationships, trust, sexual arousal and orgasm, parent-child bonding, and love.
TSH: Stimulates the thyroid to make more T4 and T3, helping to regulate the turnover of tissues/cells, determine the rate of use or storage of energy; stimulates your “metabolism” and helps determine your BMR (basal metabolic rate) amongst many other physiological processes.
ACTH: These are your “stress hormones” that contribute to your state of catabolism and exist during states of “fight or flight” aka your Sympathetic Nervous System. Epinephrine and Norepinephrine (adrenaline) are your short-term stress hormones while Cortisol is your long-term stress hormone. ACTH also contributes to the production of melanin (tanning of the skin) and bone/muscle anabolism (building).
PRL: This hormone helps with the production, development, and secretion of breasts and breast milk before and after pregnancy.
GH: This hormone stimulates and controls the speed of the “building process” (anabolism) following catabolism, allows children and adults to “grow”, and has a significant impact on your BMR (basal metabolic rate).
GnRH: This hormone helps with embryonic development, puberty, menopause, sex hormone production (estrogen, testosterone, etc.), and the entire reproductive process.
Pineal Gland: also known as your “third eye” and the “seat of your soul” it has photoreceptors that help detect light, detect changes in your seasonal environment, regulate your sleep/wake cycles and your circadian rhythm (physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle). It will secrete the serotonin-derivative melatonin (different than melanin) which aids sleep/REM cycles, as well as secretes DMT (N-dimethyltryptamine) in large quantities at birth, death, and in deep meditation (prayer).
These neuroendocrine hormones can be dumped directly into the blood and/or directly into the CSF depending on their target destination and effects desired.
The CNS also regulates the Autonomic Nervous System (involuntary; automatic). The ANS can be divided into two parts (remember, you exist in one of these two states at all times):
Parasympathetic Nervous System (rest and digest/homeostasis/anabolism)
Sympathetic Nervous System (fight and flight/active work/catabolism)
These two systems oppose one another. You don’t want to be running part of your functions of Sympathetic NS while you’re in Parasympathetic mode and vice versa. This is why you’re not hungry or “in the mood” when you’re stressed out or exercising. It would also be quite impractical for you to use the bathroom with you’re running or fighting for your life.
Parasympathetic can also be considered your anabolic state (your building/regenerative state; your construction site) and your body’s homeostasis state, or better put: Parasympathetic allows the body to achieve homeostasis—your body’s perfect conditions and environment for achieving the next set of goals/work. Homeostasis requires a precise physiologic environment and the health and full regeneration of cells/tissues/organs. When any part of the body is completely healed, capable of fully functioning, and/or in an current state of rest it is said to be in a state of “homeostasis”. The word homeostasis derives from Greek, with home meaning “similar,” and stasis, meaning “stable.” Another way to describe this is being in a state of “ease”. If any part of the body is demanded to work for the benefit of the body, it comes out of homeostasis to do so. And any INABILITY to go back into a complete state of homeostasis after working would then be considered in a state of “dis-ease”, or disease. (For future reference, I want you to note WHERE the majority of Parasympathetic Nerves have their origins by looking in the most recent diagram above)
The brainstem also helps regulate the immune system and its responses to dis-ease processes. It will help control and regulate system wide inflammatory processes by regulating cytokines. Remember how during COVID people talked about “cytokine storms” inducing inflammatory processes in multiple organs and organ systems? This process of inducing and regulating a cytokine response is regulated by the brainstem.
When you have damage or dysfunction to your cells and tissues, this information is relayed to your foreman and the foreman then sends instructions back through the immune system to set forth a regenerative process—this happens reflexively and is communicated back and forth from the foreman to the cell/tissue/organ until regeneration is complete with check-ups on a regular basis just to make sure.
Most of this work in neuro-immunomodulatory regulation occurs through the Vagus Nerve. (Did I mention that this nerve was a BIG ONE?)
Neural reflexes support homeostasis by modulating the function of organ systems. Recent advances in neuroscience and immunology have revealed that neural reflexes also regulate the immune system. Activation of the Vagus Nerve modulates leukocyte cytokine production and alleviates experimental shock and autoimmune disease, and recent data have suggested that Vagus Nerve stimulation can improve symptoms in human rheumatoid arthritis.
Simply put, if you expect to have a properly functioning Immune System, you must have proper communication with the Immune System and the Brain, and the CNS needs to be in full working function. (Communication with the foreman)
“Sickness behavior involves functional changes in mood, memory, cognition, and sleep, and it also activates the HPA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis) stress response.” In other words, when you are sick, it is your immune system that is telling your brain that you should lie down and take it easy. Whether you respond or not may have as much to do with the strength of the signal as with the strength of your will to keep going; no one knows.
“It’s certainly a two-way interaction, where the immune system signals the brain and the brain signals the immune system and the two, in concert, act as a rapid response system of the body to all sorts of external stimuli,” says Sternberg.
“The immune system can be viewed as a sensory organ,” she adds, “sending signals about pathogens [just as] the eyes send visual signals and the ears send auditory signals. The brain responds and produces hormones and neurochemicals that alter immune function.”
The point of confluence for ALL these nerves (communication highways from the brain to the rest of the body and vice versa), CSF, and a large portion of the brain’s blood/oxygen/nutrient supply, is right at the bottom of the skull through the Foramen Magnum and between the C1 and C2 vertebrae.
The Foramen Magnum is Latin for “big hole”— they were really clever when naming this anatomical structure, seen here below:
The two lima bean shaped structures seen at the 9-12 o’clock and 12-3 o’clock, WEDGED for the purpose of maintaining additional anatomical stability and support positions of the foramen magnum are the bony articulations of the skull to C1.
C1 then wraps around the “Odontoid Process of C2” and is where the majority of rotation of your neck comes from.
C1 (Atlas/Top) and C2 (Axis/Middle) also have large (tapering in size) holes through their middles:
Notice C3-7 do NOT have a big hole:
That’s because C1 and C2 contain the transition of the brainstem to the spinal cord:
Now that you have some understanding of what we are dealing with and how the construction site (your avatar) is regulated, operated, controlled, etc. by the “Foreman”, let’s take a look at how one incident in your life can set you on a course for a rapid or slow waterfall of progressive dysfunction/dis-ease in Part 2: Miscommunication.