We live unbalanced lives. This is a good thing. Things don’t move when they are balanced and we are always in motion, so by deductive reasoning, we are out of balance. I see this all the time with posture when people come into my office. I show them the photos I take of them in front of my grid so they can see one arm is further away from the body, one shoulder is higher than the other. They lay on my table and most times one leg is longer than the other. Most times I can fix it on the spot because it is a problem with the pelvis, which is easily corrected. This brings up the idea that if the pelvis is shifted and one leg is shorter, then the spine will curve to the side as well, causing the shoulders to tilt, which causes the neck to tilt, and the head to compensate because, after all, our eyes want to be level! What this then means is the muscles attached to the skull are often tighter on one side than the other, which can cause the bones of the skull to shift. This can usually be seen in the eyes with one being higher than the other. How are your glasses fitting? Do you struggle with them because they always seem to be off kilter? Your head is not on straight!
How does this happen? There are several reasons. Our work environment can encourage these changes, especially if you have the same movements you do throughout the day. Sitting at a desk, maybe the printer is to one side of you so you always twist to that side. Or you’re on an assembly line moving from one direction to the other. Same with lifting packages. Try it from the opposite side once and see how awkward it feels! Another cause can be stepping off a curb too hard. The jolt works its way up the leg, into the pelvis, up the spine, and to the skull – causing a shift of the plates. I love me some Flamingos! Our rugby team brings me to the next cause, hitting your head. In rugby it’s a bit more aggressive of a head collision and can range from another head to being stepped on. Most times we just knock it against the overhead cabinets, a car door frame, or the wall if you love your job enough. These impacts are absorbed by the skull to protect the brain – job well done! – but can cause the bones to shift, which can cause other problems besides your glasses not fitting right.
So why is this important? Our sinuses are open spaces embedded in the various bones of our skull. They produce mucous to keep the nasal passage moist and create a barrier against pollutants. They also make the skull lighter and give it some strength, allowing it to flex a bit without breaking when we get our “bell rung.” The sinuses flow from one into the other and have to cross the joints between the bones of the skull, much like the lakes at Walt Disney World. If the bones are not aligned then the flow of fluid from one sinus to the other is blocked a little, or a lot, depending on the severity of the shift. How many of you suffer from sinus head-aches, colds and the flu? If the fluid is not flowing it can become stagnant and become more susceptible to infection. Since we are talking about colds and the flu, here are some numbers:
• there are over 200 cold viruses out there
• 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu each year, and
• it will effect between 5% (16.3 million) to 20% (64.4 million) of us – that is staggering!
What can you do? You can feed into the $40 billion-a-year pharmacological machine for cold remedies (and that may still be necessary but there are alternatives). The neti pot can be purchased at any pharmacy, and even grocery stores these days. Follow the directions on the package and do it before you get in the shower. Simply put, it is a way to flush your sinuses with warm salt water. This loosens up any debris and helps flush it out. The salt does two things:
1) it shrinks the mucous membranes so you can breathe better,
2) it makes the sinuses a little more acidic so viruses and bacteria cannot grow as well.
Of course the other thing you can do is see a physical therapist who can realign your cranial plates and mobilize your sinuses. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.