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Nerves are made of biological tissue…

November 28, 2013

FR Release® treatment tip of the day:

Nerves are made of biological tissue.

Although this statement may seem obvious at first it apparently is one that we all must remind ourselves about when critiquing claims regarding treatment of neural “entrapments” (the word entrapments is in quotes because this word is a very poor choice imo…save that one for another day).

We have all heard of that ‘interesting’ case of a miraculous treatment intervention that completely observed a patient of chronic neurological symptomatology in a single visit!! Why would this be miraculous? Because, to repeat, nerves are made of biological tissue. As such, if a nerve is subject to a compressive or tensile force for a prolonged period of time, or more commonly (and more accurately) increased friction/irritation along the course of its movement leading to an inflammatory reaction, neural damage will occur which PRECEDES the onset of neurological symptoms. Thus upon detailed histological examination one will find things such as myelin sheath damage, inter neural scarring/fibrosis, inter neural swelling, etc, leading to the onset of symptoms. Therefore…if one were to say that a single treatment visit absolved the patient of their neural symptoms, then they are claiming that they somehow caused the immediate and spontaneous healing of the damaged biological tissue…a feat that has never been witnessed in the long history of the planet.

I believe that this whole idea stems out of a very dangerous scientific analogy that is propagated through out the manual therapy community. Namely, that the brain is a ‘computer,’ and that nerves are ‘wires’ on some sort of switch board.

To deal with the first analogy, the brain DOES NOT function like a computer…if anything the computer was designed to function ‘like’ a brain (which came first after all?). Further, as we know very, very little about how the brain really functions, the design of a machine to mimic its workings at MOST only contains a mild resemblance.

Regarding the ‘nerves are like wires’ analogy…they are not…period. If you were to hammer a nail into a wall, and that nail contacts a wire, that may in fact lead to the wire not transmitting current and hence its function will cease. If one were to remove the nail (assuming no significant damage was done), the function may spontaneously restart. Why? Because wires are NOT made of biological tissue, and hence, do not require time to heal…Nerves on the other hand, when subject to irritants (pressure, chemicals, tension, etc) do not spontaneously begin to function normally the moment the irritant is removed. No matter how much one thinks their treatment got to the ‘root of the problem,’ post treatment, the fact remains that the damaged tissue, resulting from said irritant, need time to regenerate, heal, and function normally.

From what is mentioned above, what is the actual “tip of the day?”….there are a few actually:

– Scientific analogies do not represent reality
– Nothing known to science leads to immediate healing of biological tissue
– Do not expect true neurological symptoms to immediately resolve when the irritant is removed. Healing time is required.


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