Checking the Ankles for Neural Parameters
Spinal cord tension indicators, technically referred to as neural parameters, are used by Network Care practitioners as they check for and interact with the changing tension levels in the ankles – both flexion/extension, (same motion in the neck as when we nod our heads ‘yes’), and lateral bending of the ankles – while the person under Network Care is face down on the table. In this position, the tension in the ankles mirrors the nervous system’s ability to facilitate the progression of the respiratory wave throughout the spine. It’s as if the tension in the ankles can be used as a very finely tuned joystick for interacting with the tension in the spinal cord, the central nervous system. ( * footnote)
The heel tension corresponds to the coordination of flexion and extension of the spinal segments moving through the respiratory wave.
Likewise, with the lateral bending of the spine and torso movements during the Network Care waves – as reflected by the resistance to eversion or inversion of the ankles.
Quite often, when under Network Care, you may feel like moving your ankles on your own, not even knowing that you are most likely doing this in a manner that furthers the coordination of tension between different points along the spine and torso, and even the arms and legs. No need to know any of this to make it happen. It’s enough to appreciate how your attention can work for you; in sensing and feeling what’s going on around you, your body, the practitioners touch, your respiration tendencies, and any feelings you may have along with thoughts that tend to come and go.
Often cited as the pioneering researcher on spinal cord tension, neurosurgeon, Dr. Alf Brieg, “Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System”. (1978; Stockholm, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell Int.; New York: John Wiley & Sons)
Here’s an abstract of Dr. Alf Brieg’s book from the Journal of the American Medical Association – http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=362912, quoted here:
“Hidden behind this forbidding title is a text that is radical, revolutionary, and incredible. It gets at the roots of things, should overturn cherished concepts, and parts of it are difficult to believe. Using cadaver, animal, and clinical material, Breig shows how tension in the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, and nerve roots can give rise to local and distant signs and symptoms. There are ample illustrations of the mechanical analyses and principles that are used to support his therapeutic suggestions and practice.
Part 2 is the clinically oriented segment of the book, concentrating on the neurological, neurosurgical, radiological, and orthopedic aspects of the abnormal tensile forces produced by a variety of orthopedic and neurological abnormalities. Clinical syndromes include facial neuralgias, spasticity, bladder dysfunction, as well as cervical and lumbar spondylosis, disk hernias, trauma to the spinal cord, confusional states, and multiple sclerosis.
In the third section, Breig discusses functional”
Dr. Donald Epstein, developer of Network Spinal Analysis, Somato-Respiratory Integration, and Reoganizational Healing, in his work,
Epstein, D. The Theoretical Basis and Clinical Application of Network Spinal Analysis™ (2001, Longmont, Colorado, Innate Intelligence, Inc.),
outlines the 4 subsystems “that regulate the dynamic state of spinal and neural integrity…. proposed systems (that) must be able to rapidly share energy and information with one another…(for the purpose of) instantaneous modifications of perception and adaptive responses to the changing environment”.
Regarding ankle tension from the Achilles tendon in relationship to tension in the Neural Control Subsystem, Dr. Donald Epstein, NSA – Network Care developer:
“This system (the Neural Control Subsystem) is composed of the spinal cord, nerve roots and peripheral nerves. The attachment of the meninges to the vertebral segments is also included. The concept of Adverse Mechanical Cord Tension (AMCT), introduced by Alf Breig, is associated with lengthening in flexion/extension or lateral bending of the cord. Relating to this concept, NSA considers five spinal cord tension patterns or “phases.” NSA care is evaluated according to these five phases. For example, heel tension, resistance to flexion/extension of the Achilles tendon is suggestive of adverse mechanical cord tension that is also believed to be indicative of a facilitated subluxation of a flexion/extension nature. Eversion stress, resistance of the Achilles tendon to lateral bending motion, is suggestive of AMCT/facilitated subluxation related to aberrations in lateral bending of the spine.
Adverse mechanical cord tension is proposed to be associated with stress physiology and is believed to be expressed by the individual as a defensive posture. It is suggested that the spinal cord tension patterns and attending vertebral subluxation(s) are the mechanisms through which the defense processes are retained in the body and disconnected from the brain’s reassessment of the adverse mechanical cord tension.
It is proposed that the presence of AMCT and vertebral subluxation is associated with a loss of critical self-perception and self-regulatory processes due to dissociation of higher brain centers.”