A retrospective study of 2,818 patients in the United States and worldwide demonstrates that Network Care is associated with statistically significant, profound and consistent improvement in self-reported health and wellness issues. (3,4) In this study, 95% of respondents reported their expectations had been met; and 99% wished to continue Network Care.
Network is described by its developer, Dr. Donald Epstein as:
“a clinical assessment of the spine… utilizing certain chiropractic methods and employing concepts derived from a variety of health professions and theoretical sciences.”(1)
According to Dr. Epstein, Network’s objective is:
“…to assess and correct two classes of vertebral subluxation; facilitated subluxation and structural subluxation, using safe, ‘hands on,’ low force adjustments of the spine…”(2)
Summary…This study demonstrates a strong connection between Network Care and self-reported, positive changes in the overall health and well being of practice member respondents. (See Benefits of Care section of the web site)
The Retrospective questionnaire is being utilized at the New Zealand Chiropractic Association School of Chiropractic, in Auckland. The Epstein model of spinal and neural integrity is part of the curricula at the school, as well as Network Spinal Analysis being taught as an elective at the school and practiced in their clinical program.
A Longitudinal Study was performed, also at the Medical College of the University of California- Irvine, which tracked patients over time in care, with some patients still in care after one year. The questionnaire developed for the Retrospective study, was completed repeatedly by subjects. This study appears to support the conclusion of the Retrospective study, further validating the questionnaire and the effectiveness of care. Interesting unique factors associated with care will be highlighted in this study.
A study by Miller and Redmond (1998),evaluated changes in digital skin temperature, sEMG, and electrodermal activity in subjects receiving NSA. The NSA group demonstrated a significant decline in electrodermal activity and constancy of sEMG activity compared to controls, thus prompting the authors to proposed that a "sympathetic quieting effect" was in effect during the clinical application of NSA. These authors also suggested that these findings were consistent with the self-reported improvements in mental/emotional state and stress reduction in patients receiving Network Care in the retrospective study.
A recent study by Behrendt h reported a significant reduction in psoriasis in a male patient who had been under medical care for about eight years. While under concurrent NSA care, although at times undergoing personal stress, which is a known exacerbating factor in psoriasis, the patient maintained a decrease in body coverage to approximately 1.0% in the absence of methotrexate, a common immunosuppressant medication given to control psoriasis. Prior to NSA, he mistakenly withdrew from the medication, only to experience "flares" of up to 15% body coverage. The patient also reported other quality of life improvements. The author proposes that concurrent NSA care may have been helpful to this patient, possibly by positively affecting psychoneuroimmunological pathways.
Dynamical Non-linear Model
The actual neurophysiological processes which take place in patients under NSA care are under investigation. Two wave forms have been described to date. Specific changes have been reported by patients when expressing predominantly the "respiratory wave," while other benefits are reported during periods when patients are experiencing both the "respiratory wave," and the "somatopsychic wave."The time periods under care when these waves are most likely to be experienced has been described and identified relative to the Levels of Care, or clinical application of NSA.
It is visually apparent that a unique set of muscular contraction patterns are associated with the " somatopsychic wave," Thus, this neurophysiological phenomenon initiated through the clinical application of NSA was chosen for investigation. Observation of the "somatopsychic wave" reveals that the muscular contraction patterns are unique to each individual, but the overall group of patterns exhibit characteristic movements that seem common to a wide range of individuals expressing the wave. It also has been observed that when a large group of people are expressing the "somatopsychic wave" that some of the movements of the larger muscle groups exhibit synchrony within the population. Moreover, while certain muscle contraction patterns are characteristic of the process, it is not predictable as to when a given pattern will be expressed by a patient, or if the pattern will be expressed at all. Additionally, the individual patient may consciously arrest the "somatopsychic wave" but not reproduce it consciously. This combination of characteristics led to the development of a research hypothesis that the neuromuscular process was not only non-linear, but dynamical (chaotic) as well.
Current investigation has provided preliminary information in support of this hypothesis.
When surface electromyographic (sEMG) data was analyzed by non-linear mathematical algorithms, a non-linear attractor estimated to be of an order between 4 and 10 was predicted. Future study in this area will focus on confirming the suspected "chaotic" non-linearity of the "somatopsychic wave," and depicting its respective attractor. If predictions hold true, the next step will be to differentiate the wave relative to Levels of Care to see if attractors specific to each Level of Care can be discerned. This would permit confirmation of patient progress as to their respective status relative to the Network Protocol. Patients have been sampled at different Levels of Care. Preliminary mathematics is promising in regards to a potential relationship between progression in NSA Levels of Care and organization state of the signal and therefore the nervous system
Milestone:The "somatopsychic wave" represents a consistent, readily repeatable physiological model for non-linear mathematical modeling. This characteristic should be of interest to a wide range of disciplines interested in the dynamics of human function.
A Functional MRI (brain scan without X-rays) of a patient in Network Care during a pilot study suggested an extremely significant increase in brain efficiency via change in blood flow to the cerebral cortex (the thinking brain). This study was sufficient to have a grant awarded to a medical college for further study of the potential enhanced brain function in Network Care. It is hoped that this study will be expanded upon and will be performed at various international institutions.
A study of immunologic function associated with NSA care is currently being developed in conjunction with a Professor of immunology at the University of Auckland.
Candace Pert, Ph.D., former chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Mental Health and currently Professor of Research at the department of Physiology and Biophysics, Georgetown University Medical Center is currently involved indeveloping a further research agenda studying monocyte selectivity for neuropeptide associated with various phases or states of spinal cord tension patterns proposed by Dr. Epstein. Dr. Pert and Dr. Epstein are entering into a cooperation for a theoretical paper bridging the Pert model of neuropeptide (chemicals of emotion) and membrane research with the Epstein model of spinal and neural integrity and model of the Emotional subsystem. It is being proposed that the alteration of membrane tension at the spinal level may be associated with a predisposition to certain neuropeptide binding at the cell membrane. It is further proposed that the Somatopsychic wave seen in Network Care is associated with a change in this peptide-membrane relationship as tension is liberated from the nervous system and tissues regain flexibility and compliance.
NSA, through specific clinical methodology elicits an innate response, which through its apparent chaotic character can be surmised to involve inherent neurophysiological processes which are also chaotic in nature. This response appears to link the active, passive, neurological, and emotional subsystems, into a deterministic complex affecting spinal/neural integrity. The results of this process are reflected at the human perception level as improvements over a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional factors; all of which are believed to be components of health. These responses and expressions of improvement have been quantified as a wellness coefficient and measured through a non-medical health questionnaire format which has demonstrated a high level of internal and external validity.
Network Spinal Analysis:
Network Spinal Analysis is an evidenced based approach to wellness and body awareness. Gentle precise touch to the spine cues the brain to create new wellness promoting strategies. Two unique healing waves develop with this work. They are associated with spontaneous release of spinal and life tensions, and the use of existing tension as fuel for spinal re-organization and enhanced wellness. Practitioners combine their clinical assessments of spinal refinements with patient’s self assessments of wellness and life changes. Greater self-awareness and conscious awakening of the relationships between the body, mind, emotion, and expression of the human spirit are realized through this popular healing work. NSA is exclusively practiced by Doctors of Chiropractic in relationship to the identification and self regulation of spinal tension and subluxation patterns