Multiple Dimensions of the Spine
By: Sue Brown, D.C.
“The fairest things we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle
of true art and true science…. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend.”
In past articles, I introduced the idea of the innate geometry of the spine and it’s relation to the Tree of Life from the Kabalah. The recognition of this geometric pattern first came about while working with the back or posterior of the body. Interestingly, the same pattern emerged while working with the front or anterior and then emerged again when beginning to work with the more complex relationships and movements between the two. In each of these discoveries, the relation to the Tree of Life appeared and deepened. It is this relationship and it’s clinical, psychological, philosophical and theoretical implications that I’d like to explore in this article. In BGI (which is the work I teach in case you forgot), there are 4 primary geometric relationships, posterior, anterior, sagittal and coronal. Clinically the posterior geometry is addressed first, which is why you begin the adjustment lying face down. As the posterior releases and becomes more flexible, the anterior geometry begins to come into play. This is the point when you turn over onto your back and we start working with the front of the body.
As the tension in the front starts to release, there’s a lengthening of the anterior structures and a shift in the weight distribution as your shoulders and chest lift up and back. As this happens, the posterior structures have to shift to accommodate this change in posture to then have the opportunity to open more. Clinically we begin a dance between the front and back, each time the structures opening more and more. As the body releases to a greater degree there comes a point where the anterior and posterior are flexible enough to begin addressing the two in relation to each other. It’s rather like any relationship. If a couple is having problems and is going to go to counseling, the two individuals have to be at a certain level of health and self-awareness in order for counseling to work well. The body is the same way, the front and back have to be healthy enough to be able to begin working with them in relation to each other.
At the point where this dance begins, patterns in the body that have created tension deep inside are adjusted by releasing the anterior and posterior at the same time. Adjustments are made in the front and back simultaneously or can be accessed at the sides of the body. These are called the sagittal planes and when they open the volumetric space inside the body releases. At this point it’s not uncommon for rib cages to get bigger and deep tensions in the head and pelvis to open.
The final primary plane to release is the coronal plane. Clinically this plane relates to the body’s orientation in space. By the time the coronals open much work has been done anteriorly, posteriorly and sagittally. There is enough flexibility in those planes for the body to begin the more complex movement associated with the coronal plane release. The coronals are adjusted in the arms, legs, in an arc around the head and at the sides of the body. When they are adjusted, the body’s position in space changes. As it changes the front, the back and the internal space of the body all change and a multi-dimensional shift occurs. This tends to be the progression in the adjusting process. Are the coronals the end? No, actually they are just the beginning of more and more complex geometric relationships, each one leading to deeper and deeper levels of releasing and healing and greater levels of evolution. Cool Huh?
The increased complexity of the geometry and deepening learning of the body is amazing but almost pales in comparison to the correlations between what was showing up clinically and the information of the Tree of Life.
Just as a refresher, according to the teaching of the Kabalah (the ancient book of Jewish mysticism) the Tree of Life is considered to be the model upon which everything is made. It is considered to be the path on which spirit de scended to become man and the path which man will travel to reconnect with spirit. Amazingly, the geometric pattern of the Tree of Life is exactly the geo- metric pattern of the body, and amazingly just as there are four “trees’ in the body (posterior, anterior, sagittal and coronal) there are also a total of four ‘trees in the Kabalah. Which conjoin to form the entire path or Jacob’s ladder. When we realized this I was completely flabbergasted. Guess what?! The correlations don’t stop there. This is just the beginning. There are also correlations between the physiological changes associated with each plane clinically and the divine aspects of each tree. When working with the posterior (1st tree), primarily it is the structure of the body that strengthens and changes. Typically people feel the pains in their back and neck change structurally to one of more stability, flexibility and strength. Interestingly, the first tree according to the Kabalah, is the world of action”, it relates to the material world and in the body relates to our structure. When I discovered this I was absolutely amazed and as you might have guessed, said “Cool.” My amazement only continued to grow as I continued the journey. When the anterior (2nd tree) of the body releases, typically stronger emotions begin to surface and patterns in the organ systems begin to open.
Physiologically, symptoms related to organ dysfunction begin to change on a more consistent basis. On the tree of life the second tree is the “world of formation”. This tree is associated with water and in the body relates to chemistry, organs and emotions. Can you believe it? This is right out of the Kabalah and its what was showing up clinically. Cool. The sagittal planes begin the more complex relationships of the geometry and release the internal tensions in the body. As these planes begin to release the internal relations of the individual seem to release also. Typically people express realizations about how the food they just ate affects their body or their emotions. They start to re-evaluate their roles in life. Who am I as a person, as a parent, as a partner, in my job. People tend to become more self aware and self-reflective. As you might have guessed this correlates exactly with the Kabalistic third tree which is the “world of creation.” This tree relates to the intellect. It is in the mental and psychic realms and is concerned with internal relationships.
The 4th plane, the coronal, exactly correlates also. This plane is defined by the movement of the sagittal volumes in space. Because of that, it is more virtual than physical. As it shifts, the body’s orientation in space and time also shifts. Old memories tend to come into awareness. People tend to begin questioning and re-evaluating external relationships…your relation to your partner, your parents, your kids, your boss and your friends. Often beliefs about your job, your politics or your religion come into question. Many times we choose our affiliations based on our parents. Beliefs are handed down from generation to generation. Our beliefs tend to either align with that which we inherited or we move away from the lineage. As the coronals shift we are given the opportunity to establish our own beliefs. In the Kabalah this correlates with the 4th tree which is the “world of emanation”. This tree is considered to be non-material in nature. “It is the perfect configuration of divine attributes. All is complete and present. Movement in time and space are required, however, for its expression. It is the higher mind and expresses our relationship to the world and to the divine.” WOW!
So, those are the 4 primary geometric planes, how we access them chiropractically and physiologically and how it all correlates with the Kabalistic Tree of Life.
Theoretically, as greater movement happens in the geometric planes of the body, greater movement happens along the tree of life. As one moves along the tree, we travel along the path to reconnect with spirit. Pretty deep huh? Pretty “out there” isn’t it? There are some of you who may be think- ing, “Great, I love it. This is exactly why I come in.” Others may be thinking, “Wait, you’re a chiropractor. I just wanted my back pain to go away. What’s Chiropractic got to do with all this stuff?” Well believe it or not, in it’s begin- ning, chiropractic wasn’t about treating back pain. D.D. Palmer, discoverer of Chiropractic, stated, “The sole purpose of Chiropractic is to re-unite physical man with spiritual man.” Chiropractic was and is about reconnecting the
individual to the inborn wisdom that exists within each one of us. When that reconnection occurs, all things are possible. Healing is possible, learning is possible, evolution is possible, growth and creativity are possible, life is
possible. That’s what Chiropractic is about. It’s about creating the space for the wisdom that created you from a single cell to act in your life. That’s why I’m a chiropractor. To turn on that power. The healing that happens and the evolution of thought which occurs, is just a byproduct of the ignition of that power.
As I continue my study of the body and delve deeper into both science and ancient teachings, the gap between the two, between the workings of the body and the ascension of humans greatly narrows. Contemporary science is beginning to look to the wisdom in the ancient teachings and recognize the similarities between the Kabalistic tree of life, the Christian seven sacraments, the chakras of the Hindu tradition and others. As we explore more, the ancient mysteries seem to be in alignment with where modern science is heading.
Is the relation of the 4 geometric planes of the body just some quirky synchronicity or something more? Who knows? Only time will tell. What I do know is that amazing things happen in the office everyday. For me, chiropractic is about so much more than back pain. I know that there is more in the universe that we don’t know than what we do. I know that I love adjusting and that I love serving all of you through the art of chiropractic. And I know that I’ll continue to serve as long as you bless me with your presence in my office. These things I know. The rest, I’ll keep searching. Welcome to the mystery.