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By John Marc
Last month I attended the Freedom for Family Wellness Summit and I want to share with you something I learned there from a chiropractor, Donny Epstein.
“The spine,” he said, “is an organ of emotion.”
This simple recognition allows us to organize our life in a new way.
Most people address problems in life by making plans, goals, and commitments that involve lots of thought. The mind is our go to tool and most of the time it works well enough. But sometimes emotions get the best of us and our mind has no way of stopping them; we yell at our kids, damage our social relationships, feel frustrated with our work, and a vicious cycle can keep us locked in negativity.
We all have to face the truth that the nature of emotion lies a little beyond our understanding. Our mind, it turns out, is not as clever as we like to think. The idea that the spine is the organ of our emotions is interesting, not because it’s a new mental affirmation or a new mindset to test out, but because it immediately places the weight off our mind and onto the organ that’s responsible for our emotions in the first place!
We already know how our posture in the way we sit and stand has an important effect on our health, confidence, and overall sense of well-being. Just by standing up straight with our shoulders back can bring in fresh awareness and joy to life. Now, knowing the spine is the organ of our emotion, the place where our emotions live so to speak, we can go much deeper.
Try bringing your attention to the spine and try sending energy and motion through it by stretching the spine a little while you sit. Allow those small, invigorating movements of the spine to proceed effortlessly, like a tree swaying and growing in a steady breeze of air. Keep the whole exercise sustained with ever-deeper attention and reverence for the spine’s vital role in your emotional life. See how much you can do this while you continue to read, or as your move through your day.
I believe by attending to the spine in this way, with awe and appreciation, we give ourselves the visceral understanding that movement is life. We tap into rhythms that can impact us more than even the most inspiring mental affirmations. When we attune to the spine we dance with possibility because the spine is our organ of emotion and therefore is at the root of how we feel.
For me, this message is just one of many gifts from the chiropractic profession. In my mind, chiropractors represent a silver thread through history. They are philosophers and healers who continually bring to our awareness the inner and outer workings of the human being. Moreover, they bring into practice the art and science of what I call, “waking up the nervous system.”
I hope that these discussions and the Pathways Movement can continue to serve this side thread of history which works to keep the innate intelligence of life alive in the human mind.