OK, so you know from my previous post the different systems within the Reflex Survival Totem Pole. But how and why does it work?
In simple terms, the more important a system is to survival, the more priority the body will place on that system. For instance, breathing is at the top of the Totem Pole, because within three minutes without oxygen, brain cells begins to die. Therefore, breathing is more important to survival than jaw mechanics because you can go longer without food and water than you can without oxygen.
This is important to understand because when a system is not as it should be, it will alter or sacrifice a system below it on the Totem Pole. Let me give you an example:
A client comes in with pain on the inside of the right knee. Conventional treatment might be massage around the knee, exercises on the vastus medialis muscle (inside thigh muscle) and perhaps strengthening of the hip muscles. When using the Totem Pole, it is evident that it could be a rotation in the pelvis causing the leg to turn inwards (medially rotate), placing excess stress on the knee. The next question is, what is causing the pelvis to rotate?
The pelvis could be rotating due to weak abdominals. So the next question, moving up the Totem Pole, is what is causing the abdominals to be weak. It could be a visceral problem due to a poor diet. The pelvis could also be rotating because the upper cervical spine is rotated. This causes tension in the spinal cord, which in turn causes the pelvis to rotate to take the tension off the spinal cord.
The next question is, what is causing the upper cervical spine to rotate? Well, if the client has a disc problem in the jaw, it can pull the jaw over to one side. If left unchecked, the teeth would begin to wear down whilst chewing. In the wild, worn down teeth means you can’t chew, which equals starvation. If the body believes it may starve, it will sacrifice the upper neck just below the jaw (as it is less crucial for survival).
So, just to recap, the medial knee pain could be caused by a disc problem in the jaw. This is the beauty of the system. You work you’re way up the Totem Pole until you find the factors causing the problems. It’s really quite simple when you know how to do it.
Tune in next time to find out what I do when I find a system that is causing a problem…