Network Spinal AnalysisTM
Is a natural and evidence based approach to wellness and body awareness. Practitioners use their hands to perform gentle precise touches to the spine which cue the brain to shift our body from defense posture and stress physiology to peace, development, reorganization and wellness. Unique healing strategies involving breathing and subtle movement develop from the pelvis up to the neck that are associated with spontaneous release of tensions and accumulated, unresolved life stress.
NSA is different from all therapeutic techniques in that through increased self awareness, the body relearns how to self regulate and heal as it was designed. Every human brain has ‘built in’ software for self-regulation, self correction and healing. NSA upgrades this software. This allows recipients to become more self reliant, autonomous with a new found trust in their body.
Practitioners combine their clinical assessments of spinal and nervous system refinements with patient’s self assessments of wellness and life changes. Greater self-awareness and conscious awakening of the relationships between the body, mind, emotion, and expression of the human spirit are realized through this cutting edge healing work.
The new wellness paradigm
NSA sits within a new emerging paradigm called “wellness”. Wellness is not about having a spa, workout and beauty treatment. Neither is wellness about whether a person has a disease or not. Wellness is about your inner experience of your body and life. True wellness is that feeling of internal peace and wholeness regardless of our external circumstances. Wellness is that ‘knowing’ that you have the physical, mental & emotional resources to adapt to life’s challenges successfully, it involves the ability to be able to see things from a healthier perspective and respond in a way that further serves the wellbeing of yourself and those around you.
Illness is the opposite of wellness. Illness is our state of inner fear and isolation about our life and safety. It involves feelings of being helpless and powerless and an inability to trust our body-mind and move forward through our circumstances. Interestingly, a person can have little or no disease but express illness. Another person can have a serious disease but develop a high level of wellness. Research shows that people who develop a high level of wellness recover far more easily from disease, use less drugs and live a much higher quality of life. Wellness is an invaluable resource for life. NSA is a form of ‘wellness care.’ This means that the care is based on the development of your inner wisdom and healing resources rather than dependence on the wisdom and resources of the doctor and drugs. The result of wellness care is new levels of self awareness, self trust, freedom and autonomy, this is wellness.
Defense or Development
Your body and mind are not separate, they are like 2 sides of the same coin. A human being is really a ‘bodymind’. Our brain is not our mind. The brain is an organ, but our mind is our thoughts , memories and feelings which can be both conscious and sub-conscious. Our mind does not have a specific location. It is a form of energy which permeates all parts of the body. This is why we feel can emotions as a knot in our stomach or a tension on our chest, head or other body areas.
Our body-mind switches into ‘defense mode’ when we feel ‘unsafe’ either physically or emotionally. The defense response in the body, sometimes called ‘fight or flight’ involves: increased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased breathing and blood oxygenation, greatly increased muscle tension especially in the spine, elongation of the spinal chord and a change in posture, decreased digestion and immune system activity.
When we are in defense mode, our development functions (sexual function, immunity, digestion, self repair etc) are compromised as they are not necessary for immediate survival. That self-regulation software is shut down. Blood is also redistributed away from the more advanced parts of our brain to more primitive areas for reaction. With this we lose our inner intuition and ability to pay attention internally to our bodyminds true needs. This is ok for short periods of time, but when we are in defense continuously our bodymind becomes exhausted. We are not designed to be in defense for long periods of time. This is why so many diseases are attributed to stress.
The emotional center in our brain (limbic system) places a “marker” on certain experiences in our lives which were traumatic and impossible to fully resolve at the time. This happens as our thinking brain (cerebral cortex) avoids having to fully feel and deal with bad experiences. Intelligent defensive mechanisms in our brain store such memories in energetic form as tension in our bodies, especially in the spine. Thus our energy and resources become devoted to us ‘not feeling’ things. The body becomes like a storage closet for unresolved stress that burdens us and effects our physical and emotional behaviour. The fuller the closet gets, the harder we have to work to keep carrying it around and the less adaptable we are to further stresses. This leads to physical emotional and mental exhaustion. NSA offers our bodymind strategies to empty this closet and keep it clean. It is now widely acknowledged in the medical and scientific community that about 95% of health problems are related to stress, lifestyle and our behaviour patterns. This is exactly what NSA addresses.
Increased body awareness is the key
As children, most people were not taught that paying attention to oneself is vital to a happy and healthy life. Most people grow up learning that paying attention to parents, teachers, doctors, politicians etc is primary. Many people were taught that paying attention to oneself is selfish or irresponsible. Our job, schedule, accomplishments, people in authority, spouse or family, or earning a living becomes primary. Therefore, the natural mechanisms that help you to listen or observe your body/mind’s subtle cues and needs become inhibited, improperly developed or blocked. We learned to use our thinking mind to redirect our attention outside of ourselves and began placing our trust where our attention had been…outside of ourselves. As people and life events disappoint us we begin to lose the trust we had placed outside of ourselves and feel trapped as we cannot place trust internally or externally. This leads to continued feelings of stress and defense which can lead to illness. A lack of body awareness sets the stage for illness. Developing connection, awareness and trust internally sets the stage for wellness. Your bodymind cannot remedy something it is not aware of. You cannot begin to do things differently until you are aware of what it is that you are actually doing.
The spinal gateway: Our window of opportunity
The spinal gateway is exactly that, a gateway or access point. It helps the brain and body to develop new strategies to self-assess and self regulate, release tension, move from defense into safety and more effectively adapt to stress so as to facilitate development rather than defense. It is a point of peace, safety and connection within a defensive and disconnected area.
When an area of the spine is locked in defense, we feel tense and tight in this area. The energy is locked up and not available. It is invested in defending us from perceived threats. The higher parts of our human brain become essentially ‘dis-connected’ from defensive areas. This is why a massage feels great but after a while the tension just builds up again. Developing long term wellness requires that the brain learns to find and regulate tension by itself. In a body that is stuck in the stress physiology and defense posture, NSA helps us to find the one or two tiny spots (Spinal Gateways) along the spine that are free, safe, and most important, possess energy available for healing and development.
NSA practitioners check the position of the feet and legs and head. They watch the way your spine moves when you move your head and legs and they gently feel for areas of peace and tension in the spine. All of these actions are part of Network Spinal Analysis to find these special points on your spine called Spinal Gateways.
How can such a gentle touch make such a giant change in our health and wellness?
By placing a gentle force exactly at the Spinal Gateway, for just a moment, the higher brain (Cerebral Cortex) is alerted to a place in the body that is safe, but has been forgotten in all the stress. As we gently touch this Spinal Gateway, the body drops its defenses and realizes we are safe. The areas in defense actually learn from the Spinal Gateway. Suddenly, we may take a deep breath or feel tension release from our shoulders or low back. We may feel tingly or electrical sensations. We may feel a desire to move or take a big stretch.
Over time, with guidance from the NSA practitioner through the 3 Levels of Care, your brain and body develop strategies of breath and movement to self-assess and regulate its own tension, move from defense into safety, and adapt more effectively to stress and change, facilitating growth rather than defense.
By Roger Smith and Nikos Kalogeropoulos