What is Network Spinal Analysis? NSA Chiropractic is a unique, specialized chiropractic technique that does not use manual adjustments. As a matter of fact, It’s a gentle approach to spinal alignment. Network Spinal Analysis specialized doctors help the body correct nervous system imbalances so that you are relieved from the pain of stagnant problems. The technique used triggers a healing and releasing response with minimal physical intrusion.
I Tried Network Spinal Analysis…
This month I tried Network Spinal Analysis to help me with severe muscle tension in my back.
Julianne Hough’s viral Instagram post made the gossip sites and social media rounds. In addition, the Netflix Goop Lab episode highlighting the same network spinal treatment was released. Network Spinal Analysis is simply a chiropractic treatment that focuses specifically on the nervous system. It’s been around since the 1980s.
The Goop Effect of Network Spinal
Thanks to Goop’s clever way of creating a media frenzy with ‘the goopiest’ most provocative articles, the weird body movement that Julianna Hough demonstrated on Instagram trended on Google. The soundbite taken from the show was ‘I just had an exorcism.’ Remember the This Smells Like My Vagina Candle? Such clever marketing. It’s a candle made of geranium, damask rose and cedar essential oils. I don’t know about you, but mine definitely smells like roses. What a conversation starter to keep on your coffee table, though? ‘Yeah, mom. I just picked that one up at Bed Bath and Beyond. Doesn’t it smell nice? It really does smell like my vulva’.
This viral Instagram post triggered all sorts of dramatic headlines and news coverage. The post was timed to promote Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab on Netflix, including an episode on this mystery treatment titled The Energy Experience. Way to bury the lead, Goop!
You Know, The Exorcism From Goop Lab and Julianne Hough’s Instagram
The Energy Experience and Julianne Hough’s treatment features a bonafide chiropractic treatment called Network Spinal Analysis. Unfortunately, never mentioning the name of the treatment, the post fails to offer any sort of context. Wondering what on earth these flakey actresses are up to now, you have to watch the show to find out, ‘Is it a sex thing? Did they go and join a cult again? What is happening?’.
That post created such exquisite intrigue and gossip fodder. Sensational headlines like ‘Chiropractic Exorcism on Goop Lab’ or ‘Julianne Hough has been bewitched by chiropractic treatment’ are what followed. Those headlines definitely make you want to hate-watch The Goop Lab just to see; Did she or did she not just have a powerful orgasm by herself, hands-free on Instagram? And does she provide instructions on how to do this? Why is his hand on her butt??
People, chill; that’s where your tailbone is.
Why does the treatment look weird?
I know the treatment looks strange. Julianne writhing and arching her back, sounding very orgasmic and possessed, is very dramatic. But, on the other hand, it’s a very gentle spine treatment compared to traditional chiropractic adjustments or even physiotherapy. Taken out of context, many different types of body treatments, both medical and alternative, can look alarming.
Is Spinal Analysis network chiropractic legitimate? Or is it too Goopy to be valid?
I have a pretty open mind to allied and alternative practitioners and traditional, modern medicine. Acupuncture, TCM, Yoga, Meditation, Psychology, and Fitness are all practices that are integrated alongside conventional allopathic medical care. Your mileage may vary with any of these disciplines. It’s up to you to consult your Dr. and find one that works best for you and your unique needs.
Chiropractors are a regulated healthcare professional with governing boards. They have extensive education and qualification requirements. I’m absolutely not recommending this treatment here or refuting it. I’m entirely unqualified to do so.
My experience is just my own, and you should not take it as medical advice, testimony or expert validation. However, I am sharing my experience so that you can have better context for what this treatment is, outside of celebrity spin and sensational headlines. The truth is it’s no more strange than many other body rituals. Society has normalized treatments such as eyelash extensions, cupping, fad diets, cosmetic injectables, etc. We all do weird shit in the name of beauty and wellness.
Keep reading for my experience with Network Spinal Analysis..
The ‘Chiropractor Exorcism’ From Goop Lab and Julianne Hough’s Instagram
My experience with Network Spinal
I am not new to chiropractic care. Before I had my kids, I managed a chiropractic office for years, where I got treatments for my neck pain. I have an old whiplash injury which acts up from time to time, freezing my neck in severe torticollis.
Over the years, I’ve developed a lot of postural compensations for my neck injury, which creates a domino effect of tension in different areas. I’ve had tension in my mid-back and shoulders building up to a terrible flare-up for the past few months. Outbreaks are usually triggered by stress, cold viruses or poor health habits.
So I researched and found a chiropractor that I recognized that offered Network Spinal Analysis. The gentle treatment style really resonated with me, and I wanted to try it out.My first appointment was just over an hour long. The chiropractor took a thorough history and assessed my alignment exactly the same way my old chiropractor had. She found all the exact same areas of injury and tension, which had gotten worse over the years.
On The Network Spinal treatment table
My chiropractor had me lay face down on the treatment table. Checking my foot alignment, she had me look left, then right and then began the treatment. The treatment happens nape of the neck at the top of your spine, right to your tailbone while you are in this passive position.
With a few light touches at my mid-back, I started breathing very deeply without her verbal prompting, only to say ‘yes, that’s it’s here and there, or ‘YES, just like that. It’s called Somato Respiratory Integration. The breathing felt like a deep and relaxed rhythm. It was the kind of soft belly breathing as meditation or yoga practice. I’m not sure how my body knew to get into that mode, but it did. If it’s some type of hypnosis, none of it happened with her verbal instruction.
I was fully aware and conscious the entire time; I felt her gently and purposefully touching areas along my spine. She drew her hand along my spine all the way up. In the beginning, I didn’t feel anything unusual beyond my breathing pattern. I thought, ‘this is never going to work for me.’
And then I started to feel It…the Spinal Analysis Was doing something!
As her hand went up to my spine using the entrainment method, I started to feel warmth travelling up like little sprinkles and pinpricks. My almost closed eyelids began to twitch and flutter. The first wave movement coordinated with my breath and felt like the beginning of a hiccup or a big yawn.
Going into this appointment, I had such a fear that my body would feel entirely out of control doing these weird contortions. It’s a bit terrifying to think that your brain won’t be in control of your body for the next half hour. But, I was so relieved that that was not how it felt. Instead, it felt like my body was fully aligned with my mind and breath.
How Network Spinal feels
I felt safe with my own breath, trusting my body’s instincts and directions. The doctor was stimulating an energy movement that brought awareness to me of areas that needed to move. My body was deciding where to go from there. Each activity happened in precise coordination with my breath at the exact same time, and my mind felt very connected to what my body was doing. Because my breath and the movement were so synchronized, it felt safe.
I was not telling my body to curve my spine this way, and I had no preconceived ideas of where my body would go next. As she stimulated a spot in my spine and then the next, sensation travelled between the two points just like a reflex or information travelling along with a circuit board. It felt like the reflex movement was mapping out areas of tension for my brain, connecting them to my breath.
My body would hiccup into motion as she felt along my spine for tender spots. Finally, my spine arched into the area of tension, and it squeezed and squeezed into that spot, creating more stress and holding it and holding it. Then, with another breath, the movement changed. The spine wave happened, releasing that tension and waving into the next area of pain connected to that first area, repeating that process until it found all spots.
Spinal Wave Movements
This network wave movement happens precisely the same way in every Network treatment. Occasionally, my body was trying to get at a spot where my angle wasn’t quite right (my neck was hard to access). So the doctor would help tilt my hip or neck slightly at the right moment during the movement, so I could go further in that direction. At one point, she held my head and told me to relax my head in her hands; my spine was able to quickly move into the atlas area that caused me so much trouble. It was such a fascinating and wonderful sensation feeling my body go into such an automatic primitive movement pattern.
She knew exactly the areas my body was working to correct and watched my movements very closely, even the tiny twitches. This way, she could step in and guide me only when needed.
There is a lot of focus on the emotional release in Goop Lab, the viral post, and the articles I’ve read. I did not experience any of that. Crying and moaning didn’t happen to me. At one point, my eyes felt like they were watering, but this felt more like when my eyes water with a sneeze or a yawn, not an emotional response.
The treatment ended by drawing the warm feeling up into my cervical atlas, where I have a lot of tension and pressure. Heat went up into my skull, and I felt my neck wiggle repeatedly and finally straighten. My right shoulder tensed really hard, drawing my arm up into the air. I felt the tension right into my fingers, which brought on a charlie horse on the side of my hand. After a few minutes, that tension released, and my neck wiggled and relaxed back into place. Eventually, after about a 30-minute treatment my movements slowed down. After a few minutes, when I felt ready, I got up slowly.
What did network spinal analysis do for my pain?
Hoping that my back would feel at least a little relief after this appointment, I expected that it would take a few meetings to get it to calm everything down. Instead, I was amazed to discover the deep pinching knots were gone, and my right shoulder was no longer tensed up towards my ear. Instead, my entire body was relaxed, at ease, and comfortable. Vagus nerve stimulation is pretty amazing.
sinus pressure and congestion
My ears popped as I sat up, and I noticed my ears were no longer plugged. I have pretty chronic congestion in my sinuses which causes my ears to get blocked, and I get occasional tinnitus. Sitting up, I felt a huge pressure headache at the top of my head. I always used to get these pressure headaches when major neck adjustments. It goes away after a few minutes.
As I was getting ready to leave, the Dr. explained that I may still find my body working on finding alignment and I may feel some unusual sensations throughout the evening.
I had some interesting sensations for sure. My spine was shifting up and down sporadically throughout the rest of the day. I was becoming more aware of holding tension in my thigh muscle. I’m now able to release the pressure right away, relaxing my hip.
Network Spinal Analysis triggers your vagus nerve
Stimulating my vagus nerve caused deep relaxed breathing, which continued throughout the night. I could feel strange sensations in the roof of my mouth, the back of my throat, and on my cheek under my left eye. That was caused by my vagus nerve. At bedtime, I also had cramps in my digestive system that came and went. Your vagus nerve helps modulate your digestive system. It modulates your breathing and heart rate, enables you to make facial expressions, and connects to your mouth’s roof. I had a profound sleep that night, only waking up at 5am from a sharp cramp in my stomach at that exact spot. The next day I stopped being aware of most of those sensations except noticing tension.
Follow Up Care
Since that first appointment, my back has felt really great. My posture is better, not perfect yet. But I can tell it’s getting there. I can quickly notice when and where I’m holding tension, whereas before, I only saw it when something started to hurt. My shoulders, neck and back are now soft and relaxed. I’ve had some follow-up appointments, and I’m definitely continuing with care. It works for me, and I like it.
I’m excited to see so much improvement in my neck from such an old, deeply set problem. I just assumed I would always have neck issues, and I’ve adapted to tolerate a lot of related discomforts. It becomes a real issue, though, when I get flare-ups which affect my day-to-day life, and simply taking Advil or Tylenol doesn’t help.
Posture Is so important for your overall health
Besides the nuisance of chronic pain and discomfort, I’ve been very self-conscious about my posture. Neck kyphosis causes a hump over time called the dowager hump. It’s very unattractive. I roll my back out frequently to break up that fascia, and when I drive, I focus on sitting up straight and pulling my shoulders back. If this treatment helps corrects my posture, that is as significant an advantage as any cosmetic procedure in my books. Good posture and carriage are as much a marker of attractiveness as full lips or long lashes. It’s subtle, but I believe posture forms a large part of a person’s impression of you. It speaks to your attitude, level of confidence and overall health.
I’m lucky I have a Network Chiropractic near me but if you don’t, here are some items you might like to help relieve back pain and tension.