Back in April I shared some tried and true techniques for de-stressing in tense moments. I still love those techniques and find them extremely valuable. The trouble is, I’d been having A LOT of tense moments—I’m sure many of you can relate—and quick fixes only go so far in combating constant piled-up stress. So, if sitting cross-legged on the floor hoping enlightenment will wander by isn’t for you, how do you reduce the overall level of stress in your life? Recently I was introduced to Network Spinal Analysis, and it was a pleasant and very welcome surprise.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor, or an expert in Network Spinal Analysis or any chiropractic practice. The following is just an account and opinion based on my personal experience. Always consult a doctor if you have any physical/medical issues before undergoing any type of treatment.
What Is Network Spinal Analysis?
Network Spinal Analysis is a holistic chiropractic methodology developed by Dr. Donald Epstein. I don’t want to get too technical in my discussion here, so please feel free to read his website and others if you’re interested in the nuts and bolts. It sounds almost sci-fi, doesn’t it? At the very least, the name initially conjured images in my head of twisting and cracking and other major chiropractic adjustments. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I was introduced to it quite by accident, when a local practitioner held a workshop at the yoga studio I attend. I took him up on his offer for a free first session, and was rather surprised to find that he barely touched me. I was skeptical afterward, because I was convinced the thick knots in my muscles needed at least light massage-level contact to let go of anything. But I went back, and I’m so glad I did.
The gist of it is this: we all tend to hold our tension in certain places in our bodies. My neck and shoulders carry most of my burden, with my hips pitching in occasionally. You probably know where your stress likes to set up camp—maybe it’s even nagging at you right now. When you receive Network Spinal Analysis treatment, you lie down on a chiropractic table and the practitioner analyzes your body for areas of tension. Then, with his/her fingertips, he/she lightly presses on other areas (my practitioner calls them “gateways”), drawing your awareness away from your stress hotspots and over your entire body.
The neat thing about this is after a few sessions you can start to feel your tension flow to and through these new spots. It trains your body to distribute stress evenly rather than hold it in the usual places, and creates a feeling of balance and greater overall relaxation. I stand up straighter when I get off the table, and I have more flexibility in my neck than ever. The neater thing about this is it’s having the same affect on me emotionally. It’s changed my “normal” state—rather than feeling stressed all the time unless something specific comes along and makes me happy, lately I’ve been feeling generally content (or at least neutral) unless something stresses me out. And even then, I’ve been less inclined to dwell on it and let it eat away at me.
It probably sounds bogus in writing, but it has definitely worked for me—and I did not expect it to work. Because the physical aspect of it is so incredibly gentle, I think it’s appropriate for just about anyone. If you’re feeling open-minded (or, really, even if you’re not), I highly recommend giving it a try!