New science is confirming that healthy movement patterns in our joints, specifically our spine, supercharges our brain activity, increases learning and development in children, and reduces stress hormones circulating through our bodies. John Ratey, MD, professor at Harvard Medical School and author of “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain has shown the research that proves proper joint movement during exercise “turns on” our brains and conditions it for learning. For example, a landmark experiment was conducted by a Naperville, Illinois school where the school administration turned the cafeteria into a fitness studio. During the experiment, students spent the first hour exercising before learning in a classroom setting. As a result, test scores improved exponentially and were ranked #1 in the world in math and science scores. Another school experienced an 83% drop in discipline problems because they switched on kids’ brains through exercise.
Dr. Roger Sperry, Noble Prize Winner, stated that 90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.” All movements start with our core – which is our spine. Our brain tracks body motion via mechanoreceptors. Because the majority of mechanoreceptors in our body are located in the spine, proper spinal alignment and motion is critical. This brain-body connection through mechanoreceptors act like “wind to a windmill” and stimulate brain activity through healthy joint movement. Spinal alignment optimizes communication between the brain and body and may enhance pediatric development, learning, and significantly reduces sympathetic stress to the body systems. We can conclude that lots of healthy movement of the spine promotes the rest and repair state that our bodies need on a daily basis. Alignment may even improve motivation and help regulate emotional patterns. On the other hand, spinal misalignment, poor joint movement patterns, and back pain creates static nerve flow, increases stress hormone release, and combats sleep, adrenal function, and concentration.