In a previous issue, I called the thoracic spine the unsung hero when it comes to your health. Most problems that people associate with the spine are due to pain in the cervical or lumbar areas. (The upper and lower part of the back) The symptoms are usually neck, shoulder, and lower back pain. But the all-important thoracic is hardly thought of when it comes to issues with fingers, hands, elbows and the heart or lungs. For that, people will bypass getting a chiropractic adjustment for a medical diagnosis only which can often come back as possible arthritis symptoms, overuse of the arms or even the potential beginnings of heart or lung disease.
Why is T1, T2, and T3 from a chiropractic adjustment standpoint so important to these diagnostics?
Because first and foremost the body works, operates, and keeps itself in a health state through the spine and nervous system. It is why we are alive. When your vertebrae are subluxed (or misaligned), they can prevent your health operating system from performing at its best.
Reiterating this point is crucial due to your health’s dependence on the well-being of your spine and nervous system. When those two fundamental elements are in alignment, addressing your symptoms becomes more accurate and effective, as it allows you to eliminate the subluxation factor which can also be at the root of it all.
T1, T2, and T3 vertebrae. What they operate and how symptoms may show up:
T1: The first vertebra of the thoracic spine, T1, innervates the arms, elbows, hands, and fingers allowing you to do things like grip or swing a golf club, pour tea, and pick up your cup to drink from it. You get the idea. If out of alignment, symptoms can show up as joint pain, muscle aches, poor grip, and numbness. Symptoms can start out minor and then become major over time. This, along with other factors, may cause or exacerbate other problems and deeper issues that make it harder to get back into a health state quickly.
T2: This vertebra innervates the heart, arteries, and chest region. When misaligned, symptoms may show up as upper back or shoulder problems, tightness, or in some cases, chest pains. It is important for the electricity that runs through your body to get to your heart and arteries so that it can function and do its job. Your heart beats approximately 150,000 times a day without you having to do anything. For most of your life you don’t even know it’s happening. I bet you didn’t even realise that electricity is running through your body at all times to the tune of approximately 100 watts of output at rest and 300-400 watts of output during sports activities. Your health can take a beating and keep on ticking but what if you could give it the best chance to stay in a state of health for as long as possible? How much stress mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially would that alleviate? (Hint: A LOT.) This is why it is vital to keep T2 in alignment.
T3: T3 innervates your lungs and bronchial tubes so that your respiratory system can make sure you are able to breathe deeply and oxygen can be delivered to your brain and your cells. Common symptoms like breathing issues, dizziness, asthma, COPD or other lung issues can be prevalent if T3 is misaligned. While you associate the lungs with breathing to get air, the function of the oxygen that you breathe into your body is also vital to your health. For example, if the oxygen is not delivered to your cells, things like breaking down your food may be compromised. The daily operations going on in your body are so vast which is why it is essential to keep your spine and nervous system in check. At each visit, I am interpreting your symptoms by way of your spine and looking for other signs that help me get to the root of your pain, discomfort, and overall dis-ease. In essence, the problem may not be in the location of the symptom.
Misalignments of the T1, T2, and T3 vertebrae can result in not being able to golf well into your 80’s and 90’s or not being able to pour from your teapot or even keep a steady hand while drinking your cup of tea.
Health is more than just “not being sick”. Health is a commitment that, if made a priority every single day, can pay your life dividends for a long time to come. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to “feel my age” as the years get on. I’d much rather live my life feeling happy and healthy.
If you have any questions about your T1, T2, and T3 or anything else related to your health, please reach out anytime and I’ll see you at your next visit!
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The start of a new year gives you a clear “Point A” and the end of the year gives you a clear “Point B”. Each year becoming a segment of time in the grand scheme of your entire life. Why is this important? You can use the bite-size chunks to see, plan for, and measure your progress in a way that does not overwhelm or make you feel like you have to do so much, especially without knowing what you want way far into the future.
2024's Point A gives you a tangible fresh start and of course, HEALTH is something I believe to be your MAIN ASSET. Without it, there is no life.
So what are some vital things you can add to your monthly, weekly, and even daily routines this year?
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your Health Journey.
Wishing you a healthy and fulfilling New Year!
Every year for the past 21 years, Dr. Michael has done an annual charity campaign during the holidays for families and children in need.
This year, we are proud to be doing it again for SHARE Wokingham who serves approximately 2,000 people daily via 15 sites within our community.
Our focus is to make Christmas wishes come true by providing new toys for SHARE to give out to the children who would otherwise not receive anything.
If you'd like to participate, be sure to stop in to Health and Wellness Centres between 20th November through 16th December to gift a toy. (Please make sure toys are new, unopened, and not in any gift wrapping.) In return, Dr. Michael will gift YOU your next adjustment at a 50% discount!
A little bit of hope goes a long way.
Mark your calendars because a special treat is coming your way! On Saturday, 18th November, from 9am to 1pm, we're hosting an exclusive Patient Appreciation Day and Community Open Day. This fantastic event is all about CELEBRATING YOU, our wonderful patients, and opening our doors to our community.
Space is limited so be sure to RSVP NOW by email!
Plan on bringing your family and friends and be sure to stick around for the day’s talks and mini-tours so you can learn and benefit and also be entered in our prize drawing at the end of the day! (You must be present to win!)
Here’s what you can expect!
Putting YOU first,
Welcome to another edition of my health and wellness newsletter where I share the secrets to better health through the wisdom of the spine. If you are enjoying our Spine Education Series, I hope you share it with others so they may benefit also. Remember, your spine is the gateway to your health. Look to it and you will find all the answers you need.
This month, we're moving on from the cervical spine to the thoracic spine. This segment of vertebrae can often be thought of as a group of “unsung heroes”. While persistent symptoms often come from the uppermost (cervical) and lowermost (lumbar) parts of the body, the middle section (thoracic) is uniquely important because of its connection to many organs and it being the largest section of singular vertebra in your spine.
The thoracic spine consists of 12 individual vertebrae. They are numbered T-1 to T-12, and like all the vertebrae in your spine, correspond to a particular area of your nervous system. Your nervous system being the operating system of your entire brain and body.
I think of the thoracic spine like the “middle child” as it is often overlooked. Why? In general, it is strong as a unit, rigid in foundation, flexible in function, and, in my opinion, the most stable. thus, causing less injury and problems.
Today pay attention to the way you are moving your entire body.
You’ll notice that the middle part of your body is moving all day long. Even when sitting for extensive periods of time (thus often stagnating the lumbar spine), your thoracic spine is in constant movement. Whether it’s breathing, typing, leaning over to grab a pen, driving, walking (and swinging your arms) – there’s always a lot going on naturally.
Conversely, sitting for long periods of time, staring at a screen all day keeps both the cervical and lumbar spines in precarious positions less likely to move, rotate, stretch, and bend.
Your spine needs 3 things to be healthy:
Over the next days, do me a favor. Your thoracic spine starts at the base of your neck to just above the curve of your lower back. Pay attention to all the movements your body makes within that area.
When you’re in next, let me know what you found, and we’ll go through what it all means and how you can improve your health and live longer!
Yours in health,
Have you ever experienced neck, shoulder, arm, or wrist pain, tightness, tingling, or weakening? If you have, you’ll want to listen closely to the story of your C6 and C7 vertebrae. In fact, even if you are not aware of any problems you may have, it’s still important to get to know these vital segments of your spine so you can understand their value to your health.
Misalignments of your C6 and C7 can go undetected for long periods of time. There can be years of subluxations, untreated, where you don’t feel anything. Then all of a sudden things start showing up but you dismiss it with “explain aways” like overuse, old age, an old injury, or other reasons to minimise important messages coming from within your body.
Instead of looking to your spine (Because who teaches you to do that?), you are told to treat a headache with ibuprofen, wrap your wrist with tape in hopes that the pain will somehow magically disappear, or leave things for as long as you can stand it only to find yourself in a position of having to seek more radical solutions that you don’t want to do.
All of these outward signs took a lot of time to manifest. And for the most part, were hidden or undetectable. This is why it is vital to maintain your health with regular spinal checkups.
Like the illustration below, showing the check engine light going on in your car, if you put a plaster over the light to hide it, the root of the problem won't get addressed. This will prove more costly over time.
Whereas, if you keep up regular maintenance appointments and the mechanic can look under the bonnet, do proper diagnostics, and maintain parts and fluids, your car runs smoothly, lasts longer, and doesn’t cost so much to fix.
It works much the same with your health.
Medical solutions normally treat pain with drugs, so the heart of your health issues hide, fester, or only get worse. Whereas, chiropractic solutions look to the spine for the source of the problem so the root cause can be resolved giving your body a better chance to get better and even heal.
Highlights of Your C6 Vertebra:
Highlights of Your C7 Vertebra:
Both C6 and C7 work together to collaborate seamlessly to uphold good posture, maintain muscle strength, and facilitate effortless movements. That may not seem very vital when everything is working, but without the ability to do all those things life becomes hard, and the dominoes of dis-ease start to fall into place causing bigger, more painful, and more costly problems you wish you never had.
Instead of reacting to things when you feel bad, be proactive with your health so you can experience confidence, peace of mind, and happiness for many, many years to come!
Should you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment, please don't hesitate to
Yours in health,
This month, I’ll be continuing our Spine Education Series delving into the remarkable C3, C4, and C5 vertebrae. As a team, they play a vital role in your overall health. (As I am hoping you are seeing that ALL of your vertebrae do!)
"C3, 4, and 5 keeps the diaphragm alive." This famous saying perfectly encapsulates the importance of these vertebrae. Situated within the cervical spine, this Super-Trio holds the key to serving your phrenic nerve system and sustaining the function of your diaphragm – the powerhouse of your breath.
Often when patients come in, adjustments give them the sensation of being able to breathe deeper and fuller and that’s because they are! Simply put, subluxations are like kinks and blockages that start to accumulate toxins and waste which impair the body and can cause stagnation of energy and eventual chronic or even life-threatening diseases. In addition to breathing better after an adjustment, patient’s often experience their senses coming alive. This can result immediately in better eyesight, a sudden surge in energy, mental clarity, and even a spike in positive emotions.
The phrenic nerve system located in your cervical spine is like the maestro of your breathing orchestra. It sends crucial electrical commands to your diaphragm that ensure a smooth rhythm as you inhale and exhale. The harmony between that Super-Trio of vertebrae impacts your entire body - everything from oxygenating your brain and cells to regulating your nervous system to harmonising all the organs associated with breathing. So ultimately, it is vital that you keep your Super-Trio in alignment.
I have seen the following symptoms stem from C3, C4, and C5 misalignment:
And that’s just the symptoms that you CAN see. Sometimes symptoms are underlying for a long time until they become visible. Which is why it is important to get your spine checked regularly to ensure your Super-Trio, C3, C4, and C5 are working in harmony for your breathing and overall health!
I’ve been adjusting spines for over 30 years and in those years, many people have come to me at their worst. For them, the road to wellness was the hardest thing they ever had to overcome but spine care helped in ways they could never imagine.
Conversely, many patients who want to maintain their overall health, athletic performance, day to day focus and energy also come to see me. They see the small differences adjustments make and know how it will make a big impact down the road.
No one wants to live in pain or riddled with ailments.
My passion for educating people on the importance of their spine’s health is rooted in the firsthand experience that I’ve had in this transformational field of chiropractic and spine health. ALL bodies need their spines to be in alignment otherwise things won’t work or won’t work as well as they should.
Your C3 Vertebra:
C3 plays a vital role alongside the Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2) in facilitating head and neck movements and keeping the structure of your neck. It houses the nerves that provide sensation to various areas of your face, the back of your head, and neck so you can feel things by touch and sensory perception. You need this to be safe and for survival.
Additionally, C3 collaborates with C4 and C5 to ensure the smooth functioning of a crucial bodily function: BREATHING.
If the nerves that flow through C3 are compromised because of a subluxation, your lungs and diaphragm can become impaired. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen. Left misaligned, a whole host of additional problems will arise.
Many times, by the time someone goes to the medic to address symptoms, the root of the problem goes overlooked for a long time causing recurring pain, aggravation, and even serious disease.
Dr. BJ Palmer, DC said that everyday small things like slips or falls can produce a subluxation. But those small things create big effects on the body, brain, and nerve function over time.
I see this all the time. Things like chewing more on one side, tilting your head for prolonged periods, sitting too much at work, slouching on the sofa while watching television, playing a sport, carrying a child, or sleeping more to one side all can cause subluxations which impacts nerve function. Multiply that over time and those small things lead to bigger and bigger problems.
Adjustments keep your body working and functioning as it should. They also address the root of the problem rather than the symptoms. Maintaining regular adjustments will sustain your health and keeps you thriving over time.
If you're finding value in this information, please feel free to share this with your friends and family. Everyone can benefit from this important information and I'm happy to help in any way that I am able to.
Yours in health,
While your entire spine and nervous system are essential for life, there are a few intriguing facts about the first 7 vertebrae in your neck, also known as the Cervical Spine, that you’re going to be glad to know about.
Your spine is made up of 24 freely movable vertebrae and is divided in to 4 sections: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacral.
Unlike the rest of the sections, the vertebrae within the cervical spine contain special openings for your arteries. Your arteries are the blood vessels that have the very important job of carrying blood away from your heart and to your brain.
This section also contains two extraordinary vertebrae: The Atlas, and Axis which are designed specifically for the rotation of your neck.
The first vertebra, or the atlas, sits between your skull and the rest of your spine. It looks much different than all your other vertebrae and have two prominent masses on each side that contain the passageway for your arteries.
The axis, another very unique vertebra , has a bony knob called the odontoid process that perfectly fits into the atlas. Think of it like an aligned door hinge. When everything is in its proper place, your door can open and shut easily, and effortlessly. When the hinge is off, the door can’t shut properly, or can get stuck. The atlas and axis are responsible for the wide range of movements and smooth rotation of your head. Just like the door hinge, if misaligned, can cause a host of problems that you can feel and not feel, too.
When your head is unable to move the way you need it to, your neck becomes susceptible to stiffness, acute and chronic pain, and decreased range of motion. The functions of your arteries can also become encumbered. If left untreated, the degeneration process accelerates, causing more health problems beyond just the neck area.
When performing an adjustment, I am looking for signs of misalignment through a variety of testing, questions, overall health history, and patterns that are on automatic. The simple way to think of it is like the door hinge analogy. When the hinge is aligned, everything moves as it should. The same goes for your body and spine!
Your cervical spine offers your body a remarkable degree of mobility compared to other sections of your spine. Adjustments are necessary for optimum health. Like your heart, your spine is constantly engaged and working for you 24/7. Every activity affects your spine in some way so having it checked regularly assures better health, enduring strength, happiness, and longevity.
Yours in health,
The King’s Coronation is right around the corner and that got me thinking about BAD POSTURE.
In my 30 years of adjusting patients, it is probably one of the most overlooked factors in the prevention of serious conditions like chronic neck and back pain, headaches and migraines, digestive issues, accelerated spinal degeneration, osteoporosis, mental health issues, and even cardiovascular disease.
Bad posture is hardly ever seen as a DIRECT CAUSE OF ILLNESS therefore no one pays attention to it. While symptoms are an important natural “alert system” that your body has within it, getting to the root cause of why the alert went off is the key.
Imagine your car’s oil light alerting you that you are low in oil and instead of checking your oil, you put a band aid over the light so you can’t see it. Even if the light is no longer visible, it does not mean that your car does not need the oil. Somewhere down the road, it will stop working and then you’ll have a bigger problem.
The same can be said about your body.
What if the symptoms you or your loved ones are experiencing could be less severe or prevented altogether from better posture?
This is why I use the POSTURE SCAN TOOL. It helps patients see for themselves what I see at a glance. When I look at people, I see spines and I can tell in an instant if someone is off balance, degenerating a lot faster than they should be, or will be experiencing painful challenges in the future. The scans help patients to see their own postural improvements while I see the intricacies of better mobility, organ function, and essential energy flow throughout the body.
By regularly realigning your spine, you not only improve your posture, but you relieve pain and discomfort, increase flexibility and range of motion, enhance nerve function, and promote optimal organ health. The endless range of vital processes that are needed every minute of every day for you to live, happen because of your nervous system that is housed in your spine.
Think of your spine as the CROWN of your health. An aligned spine assures that the trillions of neural connections deliver the critical communication necessary to your brain and every other part of your mind, body, and health. Consistent spinal adjustments help those messages get to where they need to go and that naturally and positively keeps you well from within.
When you’re watching the coronation, remember your posture!
Yours in health,