Insomnia and fatigue are two sides of the same coin: if a person is unable to sleep at night, they are usually fatigued during the day. However, some people get eight to 12 hours of sleep a night and still have fatigue.

The top part of the brain stem is called the mesencephalon, and it determines our sleeping/waking patterns. The specific term is the “mesencephalic reticular activating system” which is a three-dollar phrase for “top of the brain stem.” If the mesencephalon is firing, you will be awake. If the mesencephalon decreases frequency of firing, you will be tired and unable to stay awake. Patients who experience insomnia probably have a mesencephalon that is over-firing. Patients with fatigue who seem to get enough sleep may have a decreased frequency of firing of the mesencephalon.

A thorough neurological examination should be performed in order to determine the exact state of the nervous system.

As a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, I utilize treatment modalities that increase or decrease frequency of firing on the mid-brain. For example, visual stimulation with red or green light from the left side crosses through the mid-brain and increases the frequency of firing in the right cerebral cortex (right brain). The effects of visual stimulation are monitored by blood pressure and pulse. Increased frequency of firing (impulses) of the cortex (brain) should lower the blood pressure and pulse via ponto-medullary (lower brain stem) stimulation. Increased cortical (brain) stimulation also fires to the cerebellum (back part of the brain) via feedback mechanisms.

The cerebellum controls involuntary muscles of the spinal cord. Auditory stimulation (sound) in the left ear increases frequency of firing (impulses) in the temporal lobe of the brain. Auditory stimulation is monitored by blood pressure and pulse. Treatments may include unilateral (one-sided) exercises and unilateral (one-sided) adjustments or manipulations. Extremities (arms and legs), lumbar spine (low back), and cervical spine (neck) may be manipulated on one side only to fire muscle spindle cells (muscle receptors) and joint mechanoreceptors (joint receptors) into the same cerebellum (back part of the brain) and opposite cerebral cortex (brain). The thoracic (mid-back) spine may be globally manipulated to fire the dorsal columns (back part of the spinal cord).

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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