Political Conventions and Your Spine
In a presidential election year, we get to enjoy the spectacle of politicians trying to look their best for the country, and indeed for the world. The process begins with the primaries, in which the various candidates absorb and deal metaphorical body blows while striving to earn their parties’ respective nominations. As the picture on each side clarifies, the parties then attempt to heal the wounds and come together to give the best opportunity to succeed in the general election. This reaches its most fevered state at the national conventions; delegates and lobbyists and candidates for other offices do their best to work out their differences and reach consensus.
So what does this have to do with your spine? On a basic level, the work you put your body through every day, whether sitting or exercising or some combination of the two, takes its toll. Your spine slides out of alignment as a result, and your body cannot function at its best. Just like the candidate trying to line up all the support he or she needs, you sometimes need to realign your spine to give your best out to the world.
Aligning the Platform
One area this takes shape at the national conventions is the shaping of the party platform. For everyone to agree on the candidate, they have to reach a consensus on what they stand for. This requires a fair amount of work and negotiation. After all, a political party includes people who come from all corners of the country, with diverse interests and concerns. And the platform needs to shape up as a palatable option not only for those on the candidate’s side of the aisle, but for some percentage of people in the middle and on the other side of the political spectrum. Until the convention establishes this platform, the candidate does not have a solid ground on which to stand.
Your spinal cord represents your platform. It issues all of the directions out to the rest of your body. Your feelings, impulses, motions, behavior, and everything you do goes from the brain, through your spinal cord, and out to the rest of your body. Whether involuntary actions like breathing or something as intentional as kicking a ball, you need your spinal cord to be able to send the signals.
The spine has three primary functions: it gives basic structural support to your body; it protects that spinal cord; and it allows your body to move and to send signals out as needed to keep everything else functioning in harmony. When you are out of alignment, though, you lose some of the structural integrity that keeps this elegant system working. A realignment works by re-establishing the organization that your body was designed to have. It gives you that starting point from which everything else can once again function properly. Like a candidate working from an established political platform, you become ready to launch from your most productive position.
Aligning Moving Parts
Of course, getting the platform set is just the beginning of the work for the parties during and after the convention. The political primary process closes with each side declaring one winner—and at least one loser. In fact, the 2016 Republican primary concluded with 16 losing candidates! The idea that all of these people, and those who supported them in an at times bruising process, will suddenly come together in harmony is naïve at best. When the party is shifted into multiple fragments, it takes some work to move them back together. This is critical because, when one party is composed of members who are not working together, even if they are not directly opposed to each other, you lose the ability to work as one against the other side. Party unity matters because, in a two-party system, the side that functions best as a single entity generally prevails.
In the same way, your body functions beautifully when you have everything operating as a single, organized whole. Your respiratory system, circulatory system, nervous system, lymphatic system, immune system, and everything else connect to each other, and depend on each other. And all of it depends on the electrical impulses from your spinal cord to work. When your alignment is awry, your body will still function, but the pathways for all of these impulses, for the operation of every system in your body, become longer and less efficient. Like the political party in which people are working against each other, your body creates an internal discord that you need to address before you can move forward at your best.
Your Spine and Your Overall Health
No matter what you do, your spine’s basic alignment has an impact on how well you do it. You need the structure intact to support your body correctly and comfortably. Your movement depends on having that central source of strength and structure. As your vertebrae move further out of alignment, discomfort increases, posture falters, and everything moves further from where it needs to be.
Beyond support issues, though, a misaligned spine creates problems in the communication structure in your body. It can disrupt the spinal cord itself in severe cases, but absent that, it still alters the paths through which the cord sends impulses to the body. As these paths become longer and more convoluted, they perform their work much less efficiently. The timing in your body gets thrown off, and every other operating system in your body falters as a result.
Like the political party system, the body has a complex structure. When the different parts of the system start working against each other, the whole thing becomes less than it should be. In those situations, getting everything back into place is the first step toward moving forward in a cohesive way. When you come to Health Quest Chiropractic, we take the time to give a thorough examination that identifies where the problem areas are, and what we can do to get you back where you need to be. Our alignment procedures are designed to get you working at your peak again, so you are ready to face whatever lies ahead.