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Shift HappensWhen a person is subjected to chronic stress, what happens on the physical level is that the energy in the brain locks into the dominant hemisphere, drawing energy away from the non dominant side. This causes the side of the body opposite to the non dominant side to become under energized and muscularly flaccid. It has been shown that weakness precedes tension, so it should come as no surprise that the opposite side of the body becomes overly tense. Over a long period of time the body adapts to this arrangement, and the tense side can actually become larger than the weak side. The tense muscles rotate the hip forward and shorten the affected leg which causes the pelvis to tilt further out of line and the spinal column to twist to accommodate the imbalance. Over time this can cause the spinal vertebrae to pinch off vital nerve passages reducing the flow of energy to specific organs and parts of the body, causing them to become atrophied or diseased.
There was a time in the prehistory of man when stress events happened episodically, and the body could recover in between times. In the historical period of mankind there has been what could be described as a baseline of tension as the social interactions of the species became more frequent, more crowded, and more difficult. As the twentieth century has progressed the baseline stress level has risen dramatically from that experienced by a rural person in the early decades to the constant bombardment of stressors experienced by the modern urban dweller . Consequently the remedies to stress have been harder to find and harder still to effectively enact. Chiropractors have noted that adjustments that used to hold for several days sometimes barely last until the patient has left the office. The reason is the much higher level of stress experienced today.
The human spine follows the laws described in physics for the semi-flexible rod. This means that if a supple rod is anchored at both ends any curve or adjustment applied in one area will have an equal and opposite effect somewhere else along its length. The spine has its center of gravity in the pelvic girdle and its center of balance in the head. Since the brain is given the job of making sense of the world, it goes to any length to preserve a level visual plane. As the pelvis twists, therefore, in response to the uneven tugging of the unbalanced musculature, and the head holds steady, the spinal column is increasingly contorted. Attempting to remedy the situation by spinal adjustments is bound to fail if the same tension remains to do its on going work of distortion. The more stress a person is under the greater the forces of imbalance are, and the stronger is the need for a remedy.
A person who is in this state of stress is said to be biomechanically out of balance with gravity. Simply put, this means that the body will lean to one side and may actually be heavier by five or ten pounds on that side. If a person in this condition of imbalance were to walk the several miles we walk in an average day there would be a huge differential in the amounts of work done by each side of the body. This puts great strain on the skeleto-muscular system, exacerbating the other problems in the person's biomechanical and physiological challenge profile.
It is clear that a lot of the energy that the body has to do useful work with is tied up in waging an uneven war against gravity. Almost 90% of the nervous energy that the body devotes to the motor nervous system is involved in this struggle to remain upright. Releasing that energy to do other work such as healing can have tremendous positive consequences to the immune system.

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