For this edition of Educational Empowerment we are going to 'take off' for the inspiration behind our name Gravity Spinal Chiropractic. The story begins in 2001 on the International Space station; 8 astronauts were tested by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. They wanted to see the affects of gravity on the excitability or the ability of the spinal cord to 'fire' when exposed to a ZERO GRAVITY environment such that on the space station. The study found that after only 5 DAYS on the space station spinal cord excitability was decreased and this remained 10 DAYS after arriving back on earth. The scientists extrapolated that the decrease in spinal cord excitability would be seen in microgravity gravity environments like the moon or mars..............or EARTH???
At Gravity Spinal Chiropractic we focus on how you can THRIVE in a gravity environment. We believe that the society we live in today has created a microgravity environment here on Earth by sitting either at desks, in our car, on our couch for a majority of our waking hours. Gravity can really be our friend! You just have to interact with it. My favorite way to interact with gravity is through Gravity Squats. Gravity Squats are body weight squats. For optimal spinal health if you sit longer than 20 minutes at a time stand up and do 1-10+ Gravity Squats.
Science Objectives for Everyone
Prolonged weightlessness results in a loss of muscle strength, muscle volume and bone density, particularly in the legs. These conditions can cause reduced spinal cord excitability, which can lead to loss of locomotor function in the legs. Spinal cord excitability was isolated and measured to study possible ways to reverse the process while still in flight. Reversal of this process will result in a healthier crew following long duration space flight.
Science Results for Everyone
Rigorous exercising in space helps counter the loss of muscle and bone caused by spaceflight. However, if weightlessness reduces spinal cord excitability (SCE), a reaction of muscles after electrical nerve stimulation, it would mean more effort is required to produce the same level of exercise. Researchers measured SCE before, during, and after flight and found a significant decrease after five days, lasting for the duration of the flight and up to 10 days after landing. This indicates microgravity does indeed reduce SCE and that muscle mass therefore decreases even with exercise.
The following content was provided by Douglas G. Watt, Ph.D., M.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Watt D, Lefebvre L. Effects of Altered Gravity on Spinal Cord Excitability: Proceedings of the Conference and Exhibit on International Space Station Utilization - 2001, Cape Canaveral, FL, Oct. 15-18, 2001. Published by: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 2001-4939.
International Space Station Information: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Continue your health momentum:
Proper Gravity Squat
Stance: Feet shoulder width apart
Toes pointing forward or slightly outward
Hips over feet
Shoulders over hips
Head over shoulders
Arms at your side bent 90 degrees at the elbow
2. Inhale: Take a deep breath
Engage your core
Keep the intra-abdominal pressure
3. Descent: Hinge at the hips by bringing the hips back
Continue to sit back in hips until your hips are even with your knees
4. Ascent: Slight upward gaze
Push up through your heels
Exhale but keep core engaged
Tips: Spine moves as one unit
Keep knees behind toes
Push knees out to side