Imagine yourself lying face down on a table while a chiropractor gives a gentle, precise tap to several points along your spine, leaving you feeling surprisingly relaxed and free. “Network spinal analysis involves light touches on the parts of the body that are not in pain,” says Cindy Bergh, chiropractor at Le Coeur in West Asheville. “Focusing our attention on a part of the body with more resources increases our ability to heal.”
Bergh is one of three local chiropractors who do network chiropractic, also known as reorganizational healing. “I help people connect with their own inner healing resources,” says Bergh. “I teach people how to become aware of and connected to their bodies, through breath, touch and focused attention. The first goal is to release stress and tension.
“Instead of getting rid of a symptom, we connect the person with her or his own internal healing power and use the wisdom of the body,” she continues. “We need to find and align with our own rhythm, instead of fighting it. The result is that a person’s system organizes in a more efficient way.”
Network chiropractic was created by Donald Epstein of Longmont, Colo. According to Epstein’s website, WiseWorldSeminars.com, this method harnesses the innate ability of the central nervous system to reorganize with greater synchronicity of neurological signals. “Network” refers to the way our nerve cells communicate with one another.
Network spinal analysis is a profoundly gentle and honoring way to evaluate and adjust the spine to allow restoration of proper nerve function for full health and peak performance, says Bergh.
The network practitioner releases tension from the spine using network spinal analysis as well as somato-respiratory integration, she explains. Network spinal analysis involves a surface-electromyograph scan (measurement of electrical signals created by muscular contraction) of the spinal muscles and a thermal scan. Afterward, the practitioner performs light touches on specific spots along the spine. Somato-respiratory integration uses techniques of touch, breath awareness and focused attention to help the brain reconnect with the body and its experience, restoring well-being, says Bergh.
In somato-respiratory integration workshops, which are offered frequently by all of the network chiropractors, people are invited to breathe into the abdomen, chest and solar plexus, noticing which area feels the most at ease and peaceful. This well-resourced area of the body provides energy for other areas. “Once the breathing rhythm is restored, people naturally begin to make different choices, such as healthier dietary and exercise patterns,” says Bergh.
One of Bergh’s clients, a bipolar woman who had chosen not to take medication, has now learned to “surf” her own emotional rhythms with less fear and more acceptance. Her low back pain disappeared, and she now functions much better, both emotionally and physically, according to Bergh.
Asheville resident Joy Smith has been receiving network care and SRI from Bergh for about five years, almost on a weekly basis. “I especially appreciate the SRI exercises, because I can do them on my own,” she says. “They help me look at what’s going on for me emotionally and physically and to find a place of contentment and peace within. When my husband was dying, Cindy was my lifeline. She helped me clear space emotionally so I could be present with him. I consider it energy work; first, the energy shifts and then the body shifts. I am learning to be more present with the energies, to respond more than react.”
According to a controlled clinical trial of 2,818 people done at the University of California at Irvine, 76 percent of those receiving network care showed statistically significant improvements in all six categories studied, including physical, mental, emotional and lifestyle choices. Specifically, trial participants reported decreases in pain, headaches, colds, flu, fatigue, anxiety, depression and need for medications. They also reported improved flexibility, energy, relationships, coping, self-esteem, concentration, job satisfaction, self-awareness and self-care.
Brian T. Lumb, chiropractor at Nourish & Flourish in the River Arts District, says his clients experience a conscious awakening of the relationships among body, mind and emotions.
Lumb, who was the winner of the 2015 Patients’ Choice Award, sponsored by Opencare, for chiropractic in Asheville, states that he had chiropractic care as a child, starting when he was less than a year old. But it was only after graduation from chiropractic college that he heard Epstein speak. That one seminar was “life-changing,” he notes. He went on to study with Epstein and now helps him teach.
“Why does the body subluxate [dislocate] if it has innate intelligence?” asks Lumb. “It’s a protective mechanism. In a trauma situation, the body must protect itself against too much energy and information, so it stops it. When we’re in protection mode, the three layers of the body stop communicating, and that causes subluxation.
“Reorganizational healing is the focus on what’s right with the body, where there is energy available to assist the less resourced parts,” he continues. People who are stuck in old trauma can get emotional benefits, he says, because energy is released when it is not bound up in protection, freeing energy for healing.
Most people experience a change on their first visit, such as a release of tension, improved movement of the breath and decreased pain, says Lumb. Treatments help develop a “breath wave” that moves from the sacrum to the skull, leading to a feeling of safety and ease, he adds.
Lumb describes a 4-year-old who suffered from constipation from birth. After one month of care, the child was having normal bowel function. Now, her parents bring her in every two to three months for a “tuneup.”
Another client, Christy Yutzy of Asheville, was suffering so badly from Lyme disease that she could not walk, says Lumb. Three months later she was so much better that she insisted on working in Lumb’s office. Today, she helps him teach SRI classes.
Lumb has worked with nationally known celebrity Tony Robbins, who typically has a network session prior to leading his seminars and is on record as highly valuing the method, according to Lumb.
Asheville chiropractor Simon Senzon is a network practitioner, teacher of postgraduate chiropractic courses and a researcher who has published papers with founder Epstein. His books include The Spiritual Writings of B.J. Palmer and The Secret History of Chiropractic. He has practiced for 16 years in Asheville, noting that some of his loyal clients have been with him for 15 years.
Senzon says one of his clients had been through in vitro fertilization twice without results, and her chances of succeeding a third time were poor. When she sought network chiropractic with Senzon, he observed that she had “high adverse mechanical spinal cord tension” due to stress. After six weeks of care, he noted improved respiration, decreased tension and a calmer nervous system as well as quality-of-life improvement as reported on a questionnaire. Her third try with IVF was successful.
Senzon describes another client — a teenage girl who had suffered for six months with disabling midback pain. After three weeks of care, she could sit up from lying down without pain. She smiled more and was visibly more at ease, says Senzon.
And another patient, a woman who suffered from severe monthly migraines, had vast improvement in six weeks, Senzon says. She reported feeling more in touch with herself, noticing patterns of tension and being proactive in finding ways to release tension through movement and breathing, he adds.
Senzon says these patients were “looking to get more out of their lives. So many people experience a distinctly improved quality of life, both emotionally and physically, after having network chiropractic.”