I want to explain Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) from a layman’s point of view. This description is intended to help someone who is new to NSA to understand what it involves and what it can do for you. It is not meant to be highly technical and I will try to avoid using too much jargon.
Many people carry holding patterns of tension in their bodies, often centered around their spine and neck. These patterns are accumulated throughout life and often arise as a result of some stressful event or episode when the body tenses and braces. The patterns become fixed in the body and linger for a long time after the stressful events have passed.
Over a lifetime, we may be shaped by life events into all sorts of imbalances and not very good body postures. Our spines curve and distort, we become asymmetrical, with perhaps one shoulder carried higher than the other, or our heads jut forward, or we become hunched. This is mostly an unconscious process but the effects are apparent and manifest as backaches, stiff necks, headaches, restricted movement and a general feeling of discomfort.
These holding patterns and the resulting body tension almost always interfere with our natural breathing rhythms. A young baby’s breathing is characterized by an easy flowing wave through the body but this easy and natural pattern is disrupted by tension. In most people this wave is blocked and their breathing is often shallow and limited because they are using only a small portion of their true capacity.
What is often less clearly understood is that the emotions that helped cause the holding patterns (sadness, grief, anger, unhappiness, anxiety) also become fixed and enduring as they are held in our bodies.
The net result of this is that we often feel less well than we could, we have aches and pains that we would rather not have, and physical limits we would like to transcend. We have patterns of emotional response that are not positive and which we would like to change. And as we age all these problems – accumulated patterns of tension, restricted physical and emotional responses, restricted breathing – tend to get worse as our body’s inherent adaptability declines.
Because these kinds of postural and tension-related problems are so widespread many different therapies and treatments have been developed to alleviate them, such as various forms of massage and physical therapy, osteopathy and chiropractic. Most of these therapies, while offering temporary relief, are only palliative. They don’t address or resolve the underlying holding patterns that produce the symptoms.
Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) is a form of wellness care which releases and removes these deeply ingrained holding patterns and tensions. It does this through a very intricate system of light touches (called entrainments) and through the guidance of transformational coaching.. The practitioner’s gentle and precise touch to the spine cues the brain to create new wellness promoting strategies. NSA seeks to help your body heal itself.
Network Care starts with a consultation with the practitioner to provide information about your health history. There is also a physical examination to assess the degree and types of tension and holding patterns in your body. The practitioner then discusses the options for care with you. A single session of NSA can have a big impact but usually it is best to have a course of treatments. A common plan is a series of 12 entrainments over a period of 6-12 weeks. At the end of the course of care, the practitioner and client discuss and assess the progress and the changes that have been achieved.
You remain fully clothed during the entrainments. You lie on an a chiropractic table, usually face down. There are several tables in the room and usually there is more than one person being treated at the same time. This is because practitioners believe that receiving NSA care in the company of others is, in itself, beneficial. At the start of each entrainment the practitioner assesses your body state. This often involves holding and gently flexing your heels so the practitioner can observe how movement is transmitted through your body and establish where there are blockages to movement. An entrainment session may include guided breathing exercises and it is quite common to have two entrainments on the same visit with a short rest in between. An entrainment usually takes no longer than 30 minutes during which time the practitioner will gently touch various parts of your spine and back. Sometimes you may be asked to lie on your back, sometimes you may be asked to do a breathing exercise.
During an entrainment you can experience spontaneous body movements as tension is released. This can also result in the release of strong emotions and these may be felt in the NSA session itself as well as in the following days and weeks. Immediately after an entrainment most people experience an odd but pleasant sense of release and realignment.
NSA is suitable for all ages from young infants to the elderly. Infants and children often benefit from NSA very quickly as their body patterns are not as deeply entrenched as those of adults. An older person may have patterns that have been present for decades and these may take longer to release. NSA is also safe and recommended for pregnant women.
- Entrainment (biomusicology), the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm