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Note this is for anyone interested in Nerve Energy 


A discussion of the phenomena associated with the subluxation and how the subluxation may be one cause of disease.

Many theories have been advanced in an effort to explain precisely how a wrongly positioned vertebra (or other bony joint) may become a cause of disease. Robert A. Leach (1) lists at least twelve chiropractic theories. Most authorities content themselves by saying that a chiropractic subluxation causes interference with the free flow of nerve force, thus altering the Innervation to certain parts of the organism, impairing their function and causing disease. Stated briefly, the theory is that a malpositioned joint may become a cause of disease.

We know that in many cases Chiropractic treatment is effective in restoring normality to a sick organism, but how it does that is not clearly defined. Some medical detractors contemptuously suggest that the effectiveness of Chiropractic lies to a large extent in a placebo effect or that the Chiropractor possesses some occult charisma, which mentally influences the patient. These insults are too childish to warrant serious consideration except to observe that Chiropractic is just as effective when administered to infants, foreigners and the mentally retarded. These pseudo explanations should be rejected.

The fact that in many cases Chiropractic treatment is dramatically effective can only mean that there are phenomena operating which at present are not understood by the medical profession.

The Commonwealth Committee of Inquiry, 1977 stated in its report, (2)  "there is no scientific evidence that subluxations actually occur and are a cause of clinical symptoms”. That is a positive enough assertion, which does warrant our attention. One of the main arguments used against the subluxation rests upon the results of experiments carried out on cadavers by a Professor of Anatomy at Yale University, E.S. Crelin (3). He said: "This experimental study demonstrates conclusively that the subluxation as defined by Chiropractors. -. the exertion of pressure on a spinal nerve which by interfering with the planned expression of Innate Intelligence produces pathology - does not occur". By setting up a straw man Professor Crelin successfully destroyed it.

Because a subluxation is not an entity but a biological process it is little wonder that Professor Crelin could not find it. The subluxation is a process, which ceases at death and so cannot be found in a cadaver. The subluxation is not a concrete entity. It is an abstract phenomenon and therefore cannot be found at a post-mortem examination. Phenomena such as thinking seeing, hearing, feeling, and taste are also abstract and cannot be found at post-mortem, yet nobody would deny that they are very real. The fact is that the subluxation does occur and is also real.

I am not aware of one Instrument used in the past that could successfully detect a subluxation. Most of the instruments were simply thermometers.

Thus the matter rested until 1600 when William Gilbert carried out a remarkable series of experiments which gave us our first glimpse of the possibilities offered by magnetism. From Gilbert we learnt that there is a field of influence surrounding a magnet. (Fig.1) Even so, magnetism was still a curiosity and we had to wait until 1819 when a Daniali physicist Hans Christian Oersted, quite by accident, noted a remarkable phenomenon. During a classroom demonstration he happened to pass a length of wire (through which was passing a current of electricity) near a compass needle. 

The compass needle rotated from its normal north and south position to a position at right angles to the wire. When Oersted switched the current off the needle returned to its original position. After repeating the experiment several times Oersted suspected that there must be an influence surrounding the wire which resembled magnetism. He thought of the ember and loadstone. Oersted announced his discovery that a wire carrying an electric current was able to deflect a pivoted compass needle when the wire was placed parallel to the original direction of the needle. He felt that such a deflection could only be brought about by magnetic force. The connection between electricity and magnetism had been found. This discovery represents one of the most sensational and far-reaching discoveries of physical science having possibly a greater significance than the discovery much later of nuclear fission. For some unknown reason Oersted did not follow up his discovery and it was some time later that another step forward was made.

It did not matter what method was used, spirits of wine, mercury, thermocouple or thermistor, they only detected heat. A few instruments detected humidity, skin resistance or skin conductance but this information did not help us to detect the subluxation either.

I have a theory which I believe explains clearly, simply and scientifically how a malpositioned bone may be a cause of disease (4). In order to fully comprehend my theory of subluxation it is desirable, to know something about certain seemingly unrelated facts. My theory is based upon MAGNETIC INDUCTION. I will briefly trace the history of this phenomenon because it leads directly to my theory.

The ancients discovered, apparently quite by accident, that when a piece of amber was rubbed against a piece of fur it acquired the ability to attract things to itself. For hundreds of years this phenomenon was treated simply as a parlor amusement with no practical value. Then one day a Greek peasant in the province of Magnesia broke off a piece of rock, which he found had the ability to attract ferrous materials to itself. It became known as a magnet after the area in which it was found. The rock turned out to be an oxide of iron called magnetite and for many years it too remained in the same category as rubbed amber, merely a novelty. It was simply a puzzling phenomenon lacking any rational explanation. Some time later it was discovered that when allowed to float freely the piece of stone would always orient itself. One end would always point to the north while the other would always point to the south. Mediterranean men used it to navigate their ships as far east as China. Over the years, man learned a little about this magnetic material which was generally called Loadstone.

Michael Faraday, another gifted physicist, made use of the principle underlying Oersted's discovery to produce the first electric motor and the first mechanical electric generator.

Today it is common knowledge that magnetism can be converted into electricity and electricity can be converted into magnetism, and we also realise that it is not possible to study magnetism and electricity separately because they are different manifestations of the same thing.

It is known that whenever a current of electricity passes along a conductor a magnetic field is produced around that conductor. (Fig 2)

But, what has all of this to do with Chiropractic and its unique theory of subluxation? You must be patient. We have to discuss a few other matters before light will be thrown upon this enigma.

At this juncture I ask you to cast your mind back to the one and only book written and published by D.D. Palmer the founder of Chiropractic (5). This book appeared in 1910 when electricity was still in its swaddling clothes. Unfortunately, like many of his contemporaries, D.D. Palmer did not have a full understanding of electricity. This is evidenced by what he said in his first book. This is what he says: "The energy that gives life to the body is now known to be nerve force. With plenty of nerve force there is life and health; with little nerve force the body is weak and sick, and without it there is no life at all". Then he added: "I wish that all Chiropractors could take in this basic principle of our science that too much or not enough energy is disease.” Then Palmer made this extraordinarily unfortunate statement which, with hindsight is quite understandable when we reflect upon the state of electrical knowledge at the time. Here is what he said: "Energy, mental impulses and electricity are not synonymous. Electricity is an inanimate force". A little later on he said: "The two sciences of Chiropractic and electricity have " no resemblance, have nothing in common, have no similarity whatever.” Finally, he said: "Nerves have but two functions - conveying impulses outwards and sensations inward".

Palmer believed that the nerve-force is a "kind" of electricity but not one identical with the voltaic electricity, which provides us with light, heat and power. In fact he says "If this nerve influence or as we prefer to call it, nerve force, which is supposed to be similar to electricity is weakened, the part supplied by it becomes feeble".

Palmer was undoubtedly a genius but his knowledge of electricity cannot be compared with our body of knowledge of the subject eighty years later.

Modern science has proved conclusively that the nerve impulse is the same voltaic electricity, which lights our home. Scientists have detected and measured this electricity many times, and we will deal with that topic a little later on.

Palmer was wrong about the exclusive role of nerves. It is true that nerves do carry sensations inward and Impulses outward, but modern science has discovered that nerves also generate electricity themselves and this can readily be detected and measured using suitable equipment. More of this a little later too.

Let us now consider the human body and some of its electrical ramifications. In the human body, some tissues act as conductors of electricity. Just as a current of electricity passing along a wire produces a magnetic field in its vicinity, so too do the tissues of the human body. The tissues which conduct electricity most readily are the nerves and to a lesser extent the muscles. But, most extraordinary is the disclosure that human tissues, especially the muscles and nerves generate electricity.

Around 1930, two scientists, quite unknown to each other were investigating the electrical phenomena inherent in the human organism and arrived at very similar conclusions. They were Professor Edmond Szekely of Romania and Dr. B.H.C. Matthews of Cambridge University. In a talk given over BBC Radio in 1930 Dr Matthews told his listeners how the human nervous system reacted to electrical stimuli and also that the human nerves actually generate electricity. He said: "All animals and man produce electricity in their bodies. These tiny currents occur in the muscle when anyone moves". Dr Matthews later published a book containing details of his research, (6)

In 1938 Professor Edmond Szekely began publishing a series of three books (7). (8) and (9) dealing with his researches. He then announced for the first time, concrete results of his experiments on human beings, which showed that the human nerve generates approximately one fortieth of a volt. He also announced his findings that electrolysis is the phenomenon behind the problem of Pinocytosis or how substances such as nutrients get into body cells.

Now I would like to return to the subject of Magnetic Induction, which I mentioned earlier. It is becoming apparent that human nerves are very similar to the wires which supply electrical power to our homes, energizing lights, fans, refrigerators and radio sets. The nerves carry electrical currents to every part or the body. What Palmer called nerve force or nervous energy turns out to be electricity, even though it is very weak in comparison with our public electricity supply of 240 volts. The voltage generated in the human body is only one fortieth of a volt yet it is sufficient for our needs.

Knowing that whenever currents of electricity flow along a metallic wire a magnetic field of influence is produced around that wire, I reasoned that a field of magnetic influence must also surround human nerves. The problem was how to detect this incredibly tiny influence.

It is fairly generally accepted in Chiropractic circles that nerve force provides the energy, which activates all muscular tissues. It is also fairly generally accepted that any interference with the free flow of this nerve force, (electricity) to any organ or part of the human body, would also effect the working efficiency of that part.

Now it is time for me to set forth my theory of how a subluxation may become a cause of disease, When a bony tissue, such as a vertebra, encroaches upon the territory of a nerve this causes a distortion of the electromagnetic field surrounding this nerve. This causes an interference with the free flow of blood, nerve-force and lymph thus leading, to an impairment of nutrition and drainage of metabolic wastes from the body tissues and delaying their transport to the emunctories where they are eliminated and expelled.

That is the theory which I submit for your consideration. How do we go about proving or disproving this theory? Obviously it is first necessary to prove or disprove the assertion that there is a field electromagnetic energy surrounding nerves. For this purpose we need an instrument having a sensor which can detect electromagnetic waves. Such an instrument is the well-known radio set, but conventional radio sets are not designed to receive human radiations. Another instrument we may consider is the Magnetometer. Here again this instrument is too crude and unsuitable for our purpose Another instrument is available called a SQUID. This is an acronym for Super-Conducting Quantum Inference Detector. While this instrument could detect human radiations it suffers from several disabilities. It is very large, very heavy and very expensive. It is not portable and requires several assistants to operate it Clearly, the SQUID is ill adapted for our purpose.

In order to detect the low level of voltaic electricity in human nerves we normally have to pierce the skin and insert needle electrodes directly into nerves if we want to observe their action and measure the electricity generated therein. This is difficult to accomplish in a living patient and considerable pain is involved. Having inserted the electrodes we would have to provide a very sensitive instrument such as a Galvanometer capable of measuring the very small levels of electricity. But this would not detect the electromagnetic waves emanating from the nerves.

I wanted a method with a different approach. I wished to have a portable device, which was convenient and painless in use. That instrument is the Neurometer, which I devised and built. If we apply the sensor of the Neurometer to various para-spinal areas we can detect those that have normal innervation and those which have abnormal innervatiori. Where there is not enough nervous energy the readings on the meter will be lower than the normal datum point. Where there is too much energy the readings will be higher.

By using the Neurometer I believe we can prove the validity of D.D. Palmer's original Chiropractic hypothesis.

Having proved the existence of the electromagnetic fields radiating from human nerves by means of the Neurometer it is only natural that we should become curious as to how it all happens. We might ask ourselves "How can a bone ever so slightly out of place, possibly become a cause of disease?

I have dealt fully with this topic in my booklet (4) and also in a later supplement (10) Briefly, the explanation I offered is that just as there are fields of electromagnetic energy surrounding electrical wires, so there are almost identical fields surrounding human nerves.

I return to the subject of electromagnetic fields. If we have an electrical current flowing along a wire there will always be a corresponding electromagnetic field surrounding that wire. If we take a small bar of iron and force it into this electromagnetic field the field will become distorted. This is well illustrated in Fig 3. You will note that the field is badly distorted due to the presence of the bar of iron. The presence of this bar of iron will adversely modify the flow of electricity. This is now well known. In many small radio sets a slug of metal is used to "tune" the set. By turning a knob we can move the slug of metal into and out of a coil of wire, This varies the frequency of the set and allows us to tune in to a radio station or even to tune it out. By moving the slug in and out we can either hear a broadcast or nothing at all. I suggest that similarly a bone (usually a vertebra) can move in and out of the electromagnetic field surrounding a nerve and either tune or detune it.

So there you have my Chiropractic theory in a nutshell. It is simple, easy to understand, and at every point is based upon the demonstrable truths of physical science. In a radio set, for it to function properly the circuit must be tuned so it is in resonance with the desired broadcasting station. When correctly tuned the station comes in loudly and clearly but when the set is improperly tuned, reception can be week or even non-existent.

A subluxation "detunes" the human electrical circuits so nerve force is restrained or resisted. Because there may be too much or too little nerve force getting through there will be an impairment of function. Blood and lymph circulation would be abnormally accelerated or inhibited. Digestion, assimilation and elimination will be impaired. Metabolic wastes and other toxic material, which should be regularly eliminated, will be retained within the tissues thus creating toxeamia. As toxeamia is the mother of all disease, it is easy to visualize that a subluxation can lead to a pathological condition.

I will close by reiterating what I have just said. In the human body, for the nerve force (electricity) to travel unobstructively from one end of the nerve pathway to another, the electromagnetic fields must be unobstructed, “tuned” to their correct frequency. In normal good health this is what happens but in the case of impaired health it is possible that the free flow of nerve force is hindered because it is encroaching on the territory of a nerve (the electromagnetic field). This abnormal encroachment is called an impingement. It is not pressure. The offending bone may not touch a nerve. It may simply come near enough to cause a distortion of the electromagnetic field.

That is the theory which I offer for your consideration. I submit that the old ‘Pinched-hose theory, along with several similar theories are as dead as the Dodo and unworthy of inclusion in the philosophy, art and science of Chiropractic. See figure 4



Written by

Kenneth S. Jaffrey ND, DC

Copyright & Published by: Reprinted with Kind Permission by:

K & K Hinton – Naturopaths & Lifestyle Educators Michael Barron - Karuna Health & Lifestyle

23 McCabe Cresent, Arcadia. 4819 2 Jean Street, Nelly Bay. 4819

Magnetic Island, Queensland Magnetic Island, Queensland

Australia               Telephone: (07) 4758 1026 Australia              Telephone: (07) 4758 1248

email: kkhinton@bigfoot.com email:michaelbarron@bigfoot.com

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Interesting, Angus.
I absolutely agree with this, this is why posture is so important and also why the healthiest people in the world sit in lotus position every day

As a chiropractor first starting in practice I appreciate this!

It is amazing how well the body can heal itself when the interference from the subluxation is removed.

I was impressed on the healing done by one of my patients who had debilitating pain.  I only removed the interference and take no credit for the healing, which was done by the patient.



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