The Trouble With Network Spinal Analysis

Dr. Donald Epstein

Dr. Donald Epstein

LT asks: “Is Network Chiropractor, also known as Spinal Network Analysis, new age? Should one avoid going to such a chiropractor?”

Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) has two big strikes against it – it incorporates New Age beliefs and it does not have the backing of science.

NSA was developed by Dr. Donald Epstein, a chiropractor, who claims that he and his wife Jackie “are committed to creating an entrained biological field of human consciousness and love throughout the world, thereby empowering necessary global change through the transformation of individuals, couples, families, communities and nations.”

His NSA chiropractic system is founded upon the belief that the spine is “a channel of energy that connects individual consciousness to planetary consciousness.”

Epstein discovered the method after noticing that if he adjusted certain segments of the spine before others, the body would often “self correct” and move in response to the adjustment of the first spinal segment.

This resulted in a method that uses gentle manipulation to adjust tension in the spinal column by focusing on the order adjustments are made.

It also helps patients to develop a “new relationship with their body by helping them learn the language of their nervous system, particularly their spine,” says this article appearing in CHA Magazine.

“For instance, almost everyone can relate to the experience of being uptight; the shoulders creep up towards the ears, the neck stiffens, the jaw clenches and the breath becomes shallow. By applying a very soft touch to specific points along the spine (the base of the head, the neck and the low spine), the Network chiropractor helps their patients learn how to transform the body language of uptight into the body language of fluidity, melting and ease.”

There are three levels to Network care, with the first level helping patients develop deeper and easier breathing, more flexibility in the spine and the beginnings of a deeper connection with the body, the article continues. The next level is where patients learn how to “use the energy of their symptomatic discomfort to transform their more chronic neurological patterns into new, more beneficial strategies for health.”

At level three, “patients begin to develop strategies for accessing ever deepening wells of wisdom and awareness within themselves. They ‘entrain’ more fully through their hearts.”

References are then made to New Age self-help guru Tony Robbins who calls NSA “one of the most powerful sources of personal transformation I have ever experienced or seen.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for those concerned about becoming involved in healing modalities that are infested with New Age beliefs.

Finally, as this article explains, there is a long-standing controversy over the fact that the foundation of chiropractics – which is the idea that misaligned bones in the spine cause a variety of health problems – appears to have little scientific backing (except for minor relief of back pain). It follows then that NSA doesn’t have it either, and even practitioners complain about how often their colleagues in chiropactics throw this fact in their faces.

NSA is a problem and I would avoid it.

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