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Natural Evolution

Research suggests NSA does do the job


Wellness Lifestyles II: Modeling the Dynamic of Wellness, Health Lifestyle Practices, and Network Spinal Analysis



Objective: Empirical application of a theoretical framework linking use of Network Spinal Analysis™ (NSA; a holistic, wellness-oriented form of complementary and alternative medicine [CAM]), health lifestyle practices, and self-reported health and wellness.

Design: Cross-sectional self-administered survey study.

Respondents: Two thousand five hundred and ninety-six (2596) patients from 156 offices of doctors who were members of the Association for Network Chiropractic (currently titled Association for Network Care); estimated response rate was 69%.

Measures: Exogenous variables entered into the structural equation model include gender, age, education, income, marital status, ailments, life change, and trauma. A wellness construct consisted of calculated difference scores between two referents, “presently” and “before Network” care, for self-reported items representing wellness domains of physical state, mental-emotional state, stress evaluation, and life enjoyment. Positive reported change in nine items assembled into dietary practices, health practices, and health risk dimensions serve as indicators of the construct of changes in health lifestyle practices. The NSA care construct consisted of duration of care in months, awareness of energy and awareness of breathing since beginning Network care.

Results: Of the exogenous variables only gender, age, and education remain in the final parsimonious structural equation model in these data. Reported wellness benefits accrue to individuals along a direct path from both self-reported positive lifestyle change (0.22), and from NSA care (0.43). The path (0.65) from NSA care to positive health lifestyle changes indicates that NSA care also has an indirect effect on wellness through changes in health lifestyle practices.

Conclusions: The Structural Equation model tested in these analyses lends support to our theoretical framework linking wellness, health lifestyles, and CAM. This study provides further evidence that our measurements of health and wellness are particularly appropriate for investigating wellness-oriented CAM. There is a positive relationship between the experience of NSA care and self-reported improvements in wellness as well as self-reported changes in lifestyle practices. NSA care users tend toward the practice of a positive health lifestyle, which also has a direct effect on reported improvements in wellness. These empirical links are discussed relative to the sociodemographic characteristics of this population and show that use of NSA care is an aspect of a wellness lifestyle.

1 Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA.
2 Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA.
3 Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Medicine,
   and the School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA.
4 Department of Biomedical Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.


Research revealing the NSA spinal wave

Visualization of a stationary CPG-revealing spinal wave

A. Hiebert, E. Jonckheere, P. Lohsoonthorn, V. Mahajan, S. Musuvathy, M. Stefanovic
University of Southern California (


Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) is a technique through which the practitioner applies light pressure at the dural attachment areas [1] in the cervical and sacral regions of the spine. When the areas are sensitized enough, the spine goes into spontaneous oscillations, first localized in the sacral area, then propagating to the occiput (level 1), eventually reaching the neck, itself going into oscillation (level 2a). When two oscillators are engaged, the subject is said to be in level 2. During the initial phase, the oscillators are out of synchronization, traveling wave patterns are moving in opposite directions, and the spine is in nonperiodic motion. However, after a few seconds, the sacral and cervical oscillators become synchronized at which time the spine goes into a stationary wave pattern (level 2b).

The goals are 1) to develop a neurophysiological model of this phenomenon, 2) to confirm the stationary wave pattern by sEMG analysis, 3) to link it with CPG theory, and 4) to visualize it.

Tools and Methods

The fundamental tool is the spatio-temporal analysis [4] of the signals recorded by an array of sEMG electrodes along the spine [3]. In this technique (not reported in [3]), the signals recorded at two different points of the spine are correlated with a time shift to capture the traveling and standing wave pattern of the bursts of accrued sEMG activity.


If Xi(t) are the signals recorded at many different points along the spine, and ifYi(t) are the signals restricted to their D8 subbands of the DB3 wavelet decomposition, the correlations rij(s) = E(Yi(t)Yj(t + s)) vanish (rij(S) = 0, Ai,j) for some time shifts S as shown in the Figure. This is indicative of a stationary wave pattern. This standing wave property can be visualized by observing the wave pattern nodes during NSA entrainment. The results will be wrapped in a multimedia video demo.


The neurosurgical foundation of the sensitization of the cervical area is Alf Breig’s theory of dural vertebral attachments [1], which are conjectured to create sensory motor instabilities, themselves eliciting the oscillations. Another sensory motor instability occurs at the sacral level, via the attachment of the filum terminale to the coccyx. The neural pathways are hypothesized to remain in the spine without higher cerebral function involvement, as demonstrated on a quadriplegic subject who was able to sustain the wave despite a C5 burst fracture [3]. In conclusion, the NSA wave has all the features of a CPG [2]: it is a rhythmic motion sustained without external stimuli, its nervous pathways are localized in the spine, and it has wave pattern properties (stationary rather than traveling as in [2], because the subject is in the prone position on the table.)


  1. A. Breig, Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1987
  2. C. Eliasmith and C. H. Anderson, Rethinking central pattern generators: A general framework. Neurocomputing. 32-33(1-4): 735-740, 2000.
  3. E. A. Jonckheere, P. Lohsoonthorn and V. Mahajan, ChiroSensor---An array of non-invasive sEMG electrodes, The 13th Annual Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR 13) Conference, Long Beach, CA, January 26-29, 2005.
  4. E. A. Jonckheere and P. Lohsoonthorn, Spatio-temporal analysis of an electrophysiological wave phenomenon, International Symposium on the Mathematical Theory of Network and Systems (MTNS2004), Leuven, Belgium, July 5-9, 2004.