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“Sensory processing (sometimes called ‘sensory integration’ or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses.” – Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
We perceive and live our life through our senses; including touching, smelling, hearing, seeing, tasting, balance, and proprioception. Your nerves in your ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin are constantly sending message to your brain telling it what is going on in the world. For example, if you touched a hot pan, the nerves in your fingers send a signal up to your brain. The brain senses the hot sensation as dangerous and painful and in milliseconds your hand is removed from the hot pan. This is your sensory nervous system working and responding correctly. Another example would be your ability to taste a sour lemon or a sweet piece of chocolate. When these messages are sent on a clear and high functioning nervous system, the body will respond appropriately. For example, you will remove your hand from the hot pan.
Sometimes the communication highway (nervous system) is obstructed or unclear and does not function properly. The challenge with children or adults suffering from sensory processing disorder is that their “highway” (nervous system) is bumpy and full of traffic. Many times children or patients with SPD are over or under responding to senses. When this occurs there is a disconnect between the brain and body.
Chiropractic and SPD
Chiropractic care helps to reduce nerve disturbance and restore normal function. The nerves that regulate, control, and supply the sensory organs and tissues, travel down the spinal cord, and exit out between two vertebrae. Misalignments of the bones of the spine may compromise the function of the nerve signals to and from the body. This compromise can affect the child’s ability to properly sense his or her environment. We do not treat SPD. We as chiropractors simply check to see if the bones in the spine are properly aligned. If the bones are misaligned causing nerve disturbance, we gently reduce it with chiropractic adjustments. This create increased balance in the nervous system.