Subluxation-Based Nutrition: Lungs and bronchi


Unlike the circulatory system with which it must work in harmony, the respiratory system can be controlled both voluntarily and involuntarily. It is a marvelously complex mechanism for exchanging nutrient (oxygen) and waster (carbon dioxide).

This suggests two essential functions dependent upon respiration for the maintenance of homeostasis.

First, oxygen must be supplied for energy production, i.e., oxidative phosphorylation in the Krebs Cycle. (In the absence of oxygen, lactic acid is formed by the substitute process of glycolysis.)

Also, carbon dioxide is formed as energy is produced by the cells, and since its accumulation increases acidity (as in asthma and emphysema, for example). It must be removed in order to maintain homeostasis.

Some symptoms associated with respiratory dysfunction are:

- History of emphysema, asthma, or other chronic respiratory disorder

- Shortness of breath or inability, to breathe deeply

- Frequent cough, dry or productive

- Wheezing or difficulty breathing deeply when lying on back

- Shoulder pain or bursitis

This final symptom requires a brief explanation.

It has been established that the respiratory system is a major player in the regulation of acid-base balance. Acid-base imbalances are a major factor in the precipitation of organic compounds into the joints and tissues. The persistent use of antacids increases alkalinity and causes calcium to precipitate. It could be said that calcium was added to such alkalizers because they caused calcium deficiencies.

The biggest factor in non-traumatic shoulder problems seen in chiropractic offices is the continuation of muscle contraction. All of the shoulder muscles share neurological connections with visceral organs, and dysfunction in any of them produces muscle contraction that may cause shoulder dysfunction.

A further discussion of this can be found in my prior columns on the shoulder that appeared in The Chiropractic Journal during the fall of 1996.

Autonomic control

The lungs and bronchi receive their sympathetic innervation from the first through the seventh thoracic spinal nerves. Sympathetic stimuli (adjustments) from these sources inhibit secretions and constrict the blood vessels, in addition to stimulating the action of the lungs and relaxing the muscles of the bronchi. This is why chiropractors have been so successful in relieving symptoms of respiratory congestion.

Parasympathetic stimuli to the lungs and bronchi is primarily carried through the Vagus nerve and stimulates secretions and dilates the blood vessels in addition to contracting the muscles of the bronchi. The Vagus is inhibited by muscle contractions in the upper cervical area and stimulated by upper cervical adjustments -- a topic which I covered in my Journal columns for November and December 1998.

Meric System

The Meric System, as taught by Palmer in the early part of this century, held that the 10th Vertemere was the "Lung Place." It is composed of the third dorsal vertebra and the second dorsal nerve above it. It supplies the following structures:

- Lower part of the heart

- Lungs and pleura

- Mammary glands

- Parts of the sternum

- Third pair of ribs and the muscles and skin of this region

The spinal trigger point, or muscle contraction, can be found by pressing medially on the lateral border of the Erector spinae muscle opposite the second dorsal spinous process. Tenderness may be traced through the third intercostal space, around the side of the body to anterior, and over the chest or into the mammary glands. The acupuncture alarm point for the lung lies in the area of the tendon of the Pectoralis muscle.

Urinalysis findings

Because acid-base balance is constantly being adjusted within the extracellular fluids, a 24-hour urinalysis must be used in order to discern whether the patient is being stressed in an acid or alkaline direction. Random urinary samples and saliva samples, while more convenient, are simply inadequate for our purposes because they only reflect what the body is throwing away at that time and not the continuing stress to the body that a 24-hour sample can provide.

Nutritional needs

During periods of stress, the lungs and bronchi require additional nutrients, over and above the recommended daily allowances.

Nutritional supplementation should be directed at certain areas as need requires.

Calcium or potassium, should be used depending on whether the sympathetic or parasympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system is stressed.

In chronic conditions that obstruct air flow, such as emphysema, additional protein is required to provide acidity, or fresh fruits and vegetables for additional alkalinity.

Expectorant herbs are utilized to facilitate the excretion of mucus from the throat and lungs. Herbs that have been used effectively for centuries with satisfying results include: Pleurisy root, Mullein leaf, Wild Cherry bark, Sarsaparilla root, and Horehound.

All of these nutrients can be mixed and matched with the appropriate food enzymes to not only facilitate their digestion and assimilation but also to assist the body in maintaining proper acid-alkaline balance.

The Chiropractic Journal.


By Howard F. Loomis

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