Spinal column: the pillar of health

According to an estimation of the United Nations the population of Earth has reached in October 2011 seven billion *. However, we humans belong to a group that makes up about 5% of all described animal species on our planet *. This group are the vertebrates, whose body is supported by a bone structure with a very significant role.
The spinal column constitutes the axis of our torso. It is made of 34 elaborate vertebrae. The first 24 vertebrae are independent bones separated by intervertebral discs, while the last 10 are fused to form the tailbone. Our spinal column is supporting the skull and pelvis and also housing and protecting our central nervous system, the spinal cord.
The diseases of spinal column and the nuisance they cause are affecting many people and range from pain due to injuries or bad posture to malformations and neoplastic abnormalities that require surgical  treatment.

I find very interesting the theory of Eastern countries concerning the spinal cord. Wataru Ohashi, the famous shiatsu practitioner and teacher, is mentioning in his book "Reading the Body: Ohashi's book of Oriental Diagnosis" that: "the spinal cord looks a lot like a suspension bridge. There is a fine balance and support among all elements comprising its structure - not only among vertebraes but also among all other body parts, the organs, the muscular system and the skeleton. If any of these parts looses its balance and well being, the spinal cord will be affected". According to Ohashi, apart from structural damage (accidents, wrong movements, bad habits, structural dysplasia) which results in bad vertebrae alignment there are two more causes for back pain.  The imbalance (swelling or operation debility) of internal organs - mainly of the liver, the gallbladder, the heart, the spleen and the kidneys - and the accumulation of intense, negative feelings whose energy can be channeled to the spinal cord with the form of muscular spasms.
Preserving the good physical condition of our spinal cord is vital in order to maintain overall good health. The spinal cord is running through the body torso, adjoining our vital internal organs and the central and peripheral nerve network. You will find an exceptional interactive represantation of the human spinal column in this site Chiroone.net . Rolling the mouse over any of the 24 vertebrae of the human spine will show you how each vertebrae is connected to other areas, organs and functions of the body, as well as how subluxation of that vertebrae could cause health challenges if not corrected. For example,as shown in the picture below, sinus trouble, allergies, eye pain, headaches and ear problems could be caused if the the second cervical vertebrae is injured.


If you are facing problems with your spinal column it is very important to consult a specialized doctor in order to receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Very often, exercise, chiropractic care and various massage techniques can act supplementary and help with controlling pain and nuisance.
As part of a preventive practice massage enhances the good operation of our bodies and helps us maintain the balance of all organs and systems by relaxing the body and reducing stress and tension stored within.
Extra care should be given when massaging the spinal column. Actually no pressure should be applied directly on the vertebraes, only on the muscles situated on both sides of the spinal column. Also, the painful area should not be touched. Ohashi is mentioning that "the vertebraes have counter and supplementary relation with each other: the top of the spinal column is related to its base and reversely". Thus, if you are feeling pain low in your waist, a massage at the cervix area will offer you comfort. If on the other hand your cervix is in pain you should have a massage at the lumbar area.
The spinal column is the central pillar of the human body. If you manage to keep it strong, straight and harmonious you will appear taller and younger, you will radiate dynamism and you will feel more optimistic!