The five senses, that is, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell, provide us with necessary information regarding the world around us.1 These precious capabilities enable us to navigate our environment with seemingly instantaneous feedback with reference to our actions and activities in our immediate surround. The loss of one or more of the five senses requires compensatory enhancements of the remaining senses, the long-term results of which may lead to equivalences in capability and optimized functioning. Regardless of the number of sensory formats to which one has access, it is important to recognize that all individuals need to maintain high levels of health and well-being to derive the greatest benefit from their physiological processes and sensory inputs.
In order for us to comprehend what it is that we are experiencing, our specialized nerve endings, special sense organs, and brain process incoming signals so that we can interpret the information meaningfully. In other words, by processing the information presented by light waves bouncing off a ripe heirloom tomato and hitting our retinas, we’re enabled to experience that we are seeing a dusky red fruit. By processing sound waves emanating from a piano being played at a jazz concert, we’re enabled to experience that we’re listening to “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” by Duke Ellington. If we have the skill, our brain’s processing power will even allow us to identify individual notes, such as a progression from high G to E to D sharp and back to E.
The ability of our peripheral and central nerve systems to accurately process inputs from our five senses depends, in large part, on the fidelity of the information transferred from point to point, that is, from the nerve receptors that interface with the environment to various bundles of nerve cells to the highest levels of processing in the cerebral cortex and, finally, to conscious awareness.2 Competing signals such as pain signals can suppress information being carried in other pathways, and in this way information from the five senses may be distorted or lost entirely. The presence of pain and other types of irritation and inflammatory processes in the musculoskeletal system can distort our experience of the world in which we live.
By detecting and correcting misalignments of the spine, regular chiropractic care reduces and removes sources of pain signals that interfere with the accurate transmission of critical information our five senses derive from our environment.3 Thus, regular chiropractic care, based on its direct effect on the functioning of the nerve system, has both short-term and long-term effects on our ability to obtain maximum benefit from the functioning of our five senses. In a word, regular chiropractic care helps us become smarter. Regular chiropractic care enables all of us, children, adults, and seniors, to get more out of our daily experiences and also to obtain increased levels of health and well-being.
1. Doty RL: Measurement of chemosensory function. World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg 4(1):11-28, 2018
2. Hotz-Boendermaker S, Marcar VL, Meier ML, et al: Reorganization in Secondary Somatosensory Cortex in Chronic Low Back Pain Patients. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 41(11):E667-73, 2016
3. Lelic D, Niazi IK, Holt K, et al: Manipulation of Dysfunctional Spinal Joints Affects Sensorimotor Integration in the Prefrontal Cortex: A Brain Source Localization Study. Neural Plast. 2016;2016:3704964. doi: 10.1155/2016/3704964. Epub 2016 Mar 7