One of the adjusting techniques that is used at New Day Chiropractic is Activator. This technique involves adjusting with a hand-held instrument called an Activator.
I have had people raise an eyebrow when they see the Activator prior to treatment. “You are going to adjust me with that? Does it even do anything?” they would asked. After care, however, they are a believer in the power of an adjustment with an Activator.
In this research article, the method used to adjust these male participants is Activator technique. All of the participants had a history of neck pain and shoulder stiffness. After chiropractic care, the participants had a decrease in neck pain.
What’s interesting is the participants also had changes in their brain. The participants who received chiropractic care had activation in parts of their brain that are involved with sympathetic relaxation. The participants who received chiropractic care also had deactivation in parts of their brain that are involved with pain and stress.
Basically, participants who received chiropractic care had a decrease in neck pain. It also appears that chiropractic care affects areas of the brain involved with sympathetic relaxation and decreasing pain.
Here are more details about the research:
Ogura T, Tashiro M, Masud M, Watanuki S, Shibuya K, Yamaguchi K, Itoh M, Fukuda H, Yanai K. Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain. Alternative Therapies. Nov/Dec 2011;17(6):12-17.
All participants were men who had neck pain and shoulder stiffness. The participants were separated into two groups. The participants had a PET scan performed twice. One time after chiropractic treatment and one time after resting without treatment. The amount of time between the chiropractic treatment or rest and the time the PET scan occurred was the same. The treatment was chiropractic spinal manipulation based on analysis through the Activator Methods protocol. The adjustment was performed with the Activator Adjusting Instrument. There was a significant difference between resting and chiropractic treatment conditions. It was found that there was an increase in glucose metabolism* in the inferior prefrontal cortex**, anterior cingulate cortex**, and middle temporal gyrus in the chiropractic treatment scans compared to the resting scans. There was also a decrease in glucose metabolism*** in the cerebellar vermis^ and visual association cortex in the chiropractic treatment scans compared to the resting scans. The scores of the participants regarding their neck pain also improved after the chiropractic treatment compared to rest. There was also a significant decrease in salivary amylase^^ in the chiropractic treatment group.
* Increase in glucose metabolism means that area of the brain is activated
** Activation of the inferior prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulated cortex indicate that sympathetic relaxation occurred in that individual.
*** Decrease in glucose metabolism means that area of the brain is deactivated.
^ Cerebellar vermis is known to play a role in perception of pain, mental stress, and is involved with the autonomic nervous system.
^^ Salivary amylase has been shown to correlate with psychological stress. A decrease in salivary amylase suggests a decrease in psychological stress.