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What is Functional Neurology?

Functional neurology is a specialty within the chiropractic profession that was built on the principle of Sherrington’s 1932 Nobel Prize winning theory. This theory is known as the “central integrated state.” It describes the nervous system’s integrity and current state of function being the sum of all its activating and inhibiting pathways and inputs. Because many nervous system abnormalities have no structural or organic pathology, they are termed as functional lesions. This means that somewhere in the nervous system’s pathways and connections there is dysfunction causing symptoms as a result.

In addition to the central integrated state theory, the application and treatment approach of functional neurology relies on the modern day understanding of neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change based on physical, emotional and environmental stimuli. The brain used to be thought of as fixed and unchanging, and that once we mature and develop we can no longer change our brain. We now know that is not the case. The brain is malleable and has the ability to change and adapt to its environment. These changes are created through neuroplasticity.

At CFNC, we utilize an extensive neurological examination and diagnostic testing to locate the areas and pathways of the brain that are dysfunctional, in order to properly assess the brain’s central integrated state. Throughout rehabilitation, we target these weaker areas of the brain to make them stronger and provide optimal brain function. We formulate our treatment solely based on the patient’s current central integrated state and carry out our treatment with one goal in mind: to create the highest amount of positive neuroplasticity for the patient.

Most importantly, as functional neurologists, we assess the human body as a whole. The nervous system is the one system that controls the entire body. At CFNC, we feel that it is of utmost importance to address the body comprehensively by evaluating and treating ALL of the systems involved.

  • Source: Margach R. W. (2017). Chiropractic Functional Neurology: An Introduction. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 16(2), 44–45.


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