When you were younger you probably watched Superman a time or two and envisioned yourself with all the superpowers of the man of steel.
Superman was unstoppable, except he did have that one weakness: Kryptonite. Even he was limited by something.
Christopher Reeve played Superman perfectly. His looks, his stature, his acting abilities all helped him pull off both Clark Kent and Superman on the silver screen. He was as close as anyone to being a real-life superman here on earth.
Do you remember what happened to Christopher Reeve?
He had a very unfortunate horseback riding accident just seven years after he last appeared on screen as Superman. This Ivy League and Juilliard educated, handsome, athletic man who was in fantastic shape found himself bound to a wheelchair and even a portable ventilator for the rest of his life.
What happened? How does falling off a horse affect a strong healthy body in such a profound way?
His accident is a very tragic, yet scientifically interesting example of how the body works. Mr. Reeve fell off the horse and onto his head, badly injuring his cervical spine (neck) and unfortunately severing his spinal cord in that area.
From that point on, his brain was very limited in its capacity to communicate with the rest of the body. Every function within the human body is ultimately controlled by the brain.
Constant communication is necessary between the brain and every square centimeter of your body. The wires used to connect the brain and body are found in the spinal cord and nerves. Messages travel to and from the brain, into the spinal cord, and then nerves leave the spinal cord to go out to organs and limbs so that the brain can coordinate each and every function.
Starting in the neck, nerves begin to branch out from the spinal cord at every vertebra to go connect to the body. Some messages leave from the neck to go to the head, arms, sinuses, eyes, and ears.
Eventually, in the lumbar spine (low back), the only nerves left are the ones that control the legs, bowel, bladder, etc.
In the neck, most of the nerves haven’t left the spinal cord yet so they are all contained in that portion of the spinal cord. The force from the fall that Christopher Reeve had, was enough to totally disrupt all the messages being carried by the spinal cord that were intended for the rest of his body. All parts of his body from the neck down were affected.
You might have wondered, “How did he hurt his neck, and now his legs don’t work?” Now you know.
The first thing that I look at and the first thing that I fix with my chiropractic patients is in the upper neck. The very first vertebra is the spot where the spinal cord contains all messages for the rest of the body.
If my patient is having a problem with any part of his/her body, the cause of that problem could very well be the one place where all the nerves are: the upper neck.
I like to call it the fuse box for the rest of your body.
I have stopped predicting what is possible when a person has an evaluation of the upper neck and a proper correction. I have a very specific instrument at my office that uses a tiny tap (you won’t feel much of anything) to expertly return the first cervical vertebra (the atlas) to its proper position.
Doing so has resulted in some unbelievably amazing things in our office. It’s hard to understand sometimes how a 20-year-old leg pain can be instantly corrected this way, but not if you remember the tragic circumstances of Christopher Reeve.
Even in tragedy, we can learn and hope to help others with our knowledge. Superman had to be concerned about Kryptonite. We humans do ourselves right by understanding and properly caring for our nervous systems.