Heart palpitations: an infrequent fluke or a sign that something is wrong? In a healthy person, a random, isolated palpitation is usually nothing to worry about. However, if you have any type of heart disease, you want to pay attention to these palpitations.
Palpitations, or premature ventricular/atrial contractions, are indications that there is a disruption in the electrical signaling of the heart. The cause of the disruption could be anything from a mineral imbalance to heavy metal toxicity to a mechanical problem. What do we mean by “mechanical?” Read on to learn how spinal alignment impacts your heart.
The Nervous System
The central nervous system is the main communication highway for receiving, processing, and responding to sensory information. It comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system comprises the nerves which branch off of the spinal cord and extend throughout the body. Under the umbrella of the peripheral nervous system, we will find a system which regulates our involuntary physiologic processes like heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, and others.
It is in this autonomic nervous system where we find three different anatomical divisions: sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric. These divisions have their own jobs, but also offer “communication bridges” from one system to another, as well as to the central nervous system. It is within the parasympathetic nervous system where we find the vagus nerve.
The Impact of the Vagus Nerve
The vagus nerve makes up about 75% of the parasympathetic nervous system and stretches from the neck to the abdomen, having a direct impact on multiple internal organs, including the heart. This nerve “promotes cardiac relaxation in several aspects of function and decreases contractility in the atria and less so in the ventricles.”
With all that being said, it makes sense that if the spinal column is out of alignment, an interruption can occur on the nerve signaling pathway. Think of it this way, there is a negative impact on your ability to function if you have ever had a pinched nerve in your back or appendage. Whether it is due to pain or locked muscles, you cannot operate as you normally would. The same idea applies to heart function. If the nerves which control the heartbeat are impinged, this will cause a “misfire” which could present as palpitations, AFib, or some glitch in the heart rhythm.
Chiropractic adjustments can help keep you in alignment, allowing the nerve pathways to remain open and proper function to be maintained. Combine this with healthy Paleo foods, clean water, fresh air, sunshine and exercise, and you have a recipe for a disease free, exceptionally long life.