I am going to group TH7 and TH6 together as the symptoms are very closely related and overlap. TH7 is in the middle of the back and helps to support the muscles of the chest as well as the spinal cord and rib cage. TH6 sits superior to TH7. Due to the proximity to the stomach area physical problems that can occur include – Duodenal ulcers, stomach complaints, hiccups, possible vitamin deficiency, feeling weak, digestive problems, heartburn and diabetes.
The spinous process of TH7 descends posterior to TH8 and locks the thoracic vertebrae in a stiff, solid column allowing very little lateral movement and rotation. The centrum and transverse processes have facets called planar synovial joints, which hold the ribs in place and allows a slight gliding motion, which makes it possible to flex and extend our upper body backward and forward with little lateral movement.
Stomach ulcers may be due to a virus, i.e. something external to us affecting us deeply. Ulcers are aggravated by high acidity from digestive juices. When we feel under too much pressure and worry, this aggravation is activated. Have you heard yourself say, I feel aggravated or agitated? If so, stop just for a minute, take a few deep breathes and feel in your body where this aggravation is stimulated? Then ask yourself what feeling is triggering that response and where did it first come from? How much acidity (words, behaviours and attitudes) are you taking from others? This ends up eating away at you which is what ulcers effectively do. When you feel unable to express how this makes you feel for fear that you will be humiliated by your family, friends, or other authority figures. When you are made fun of at another’s expense or have your vulnerability flaunted rather than understood, comforted and cared for. The lack of a safe person or place to help you digest those experiences, understand and express these feelings can become stored inside and develop as anger, resentment, bitterness turned towards the self, which eats away at you. Due to these earlier experiences, you may develop a pattern of attracting people who are abusive and hurtful.
The impact of misalignments with TH7 and TH6 on emotional and psychological states of being in addition to the above indicate – a great deal of how a person is feeling is swallowed thus lacking the ability to express the emotion adequately. Everything is internalised and nothing gets out. People often get lost in addictions like eating, drinking etc. with a lot of internal rebellion.
This all links to the previous thoracic vertebrae in relation to relationships and how supported or unsupported an individual feel’s in their life. People with misalignments in TH7 and 6 may also be affected by pain in the middle of their back. This is often a case of an individual who is supportive of other’s but doesn’t feel that anyone has their back.
Research highlights people who have had to carry or hold the burden of unresolved emotional issues in the family can be affected by the conditions highlighted above. There are often historical patterns of unhealthy boundaries, so one person’s issue becomes everybody’s issue and if you try to assert your own needs you are seen as unsupportive and shunned until you toe the party line. This is a learned behaviour to prevent the healthy member from forcing the family to face the dysfunctional dynamic.
Corrections to this area firstly alleviate the physical discomfort by releasing blockages. It may also have the effect of starting a process of emotional release as the healing has an up-stream effect pushing what needs to be liberated up and out. This is where an individual may feel the need to vocally release feelings or find an appropriate and safe physical outlet. If someone does not feel they have enough of a safe network of support around them to facilitate this healing they may subconsciously hold onto this pain, even after treatment. This is where you find people relying on repeat prescriptions of painkillers or other forms of behaviour to numb the pain. The individual must feel s/he is safe, has trustworthy support and in the right place to accept the treatment and subsequent healing.
Diabetes required a blog all to itself as there is so much linked to this condition on a metaphysical level. I will visit this condition in a future blog.
Thoracic 8 or TH8 can be found in the middle of the valley that is the slight inward curve of the spine between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae. Like TH9, the ventral body is heart shaped. The difference being that TH8 has an increasingly large vertebral arch. The long spinous process (the bony bit that you see when you look at someone’s back) slopes downwards and overlaps with TH9.
The physical conditions that are associated with misalignments to this vertebra are spleen problems and a weak immune system. The immune system helps to protect the body from harmful substances such as antigens. In other word this could include things like bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells or foreign blood and tissues from another person or species. An overactive immune system develops allergic reactions, while an under-active immune system makes you more susceptible to infection. This is in relation to external influences. When the defence systems that are supposed to protect you from harmful influences in the external environment starts to attack you, this is what we call auto-immune diseases
The spleen filters waste from and recycles the red blood cells. Platelets and white blood cells are also stored there. It has a crucial role in communication assisting the immune system to identify and attack foreign pathogens and allergens.
If we were to compare our immune system to a structure in society it would be our armed forces on a macro scale or our parents/carers on a micro scale. The people and systems that protect us from foreign or harmful invaders. On an individual level it is our ability to recognise and discriminate what is inside of us and what is external to us. The relationship we have with this boundary has a distinct effect on our overall health and development.
Research into how our emotions and thoughts affect this area indicates that a strong emotional support system in our early years will aid us in developing a greater resilience and strength to protect us against outside invasion and being easily influenced by others. We will have more self-belief and trust in ourselves. We will be more caring and loving towards ourselves and others, be able to recover from setbacks easier. The more positive and caring we are towards ourselves the less likely we are to become depressed.
Disruptions in our emotional development where love has been associated with trauma, confusion or when you just never knew what response you were going to get from your caregiver impacts on the strength of your immune system. Where there has been a lack of love, comfort and protection in our younger years, as adults that empty feeling can make you behave in a very needy way. You may feel unsure about how to express your love or even be confused about what love should feel like. You will have a deep need for love but your experiences of how unpredictable, unreliable or hurtful the expression of love was towards you, makes you reject it and feel overly defensive. You may forgo your own needs to please another until your needs are no longer yours. This is when the boundaries of what is you and what is external are blurred. These extremes of emotions are exhausting on the system and deplete your bodies ability to naturally defend and protect itself.
We also have to acknowledge the afffect chemical toxins from our food air and water are impacting on our systems. Our bodies are designed to maintain a balance/homeostasis but when the external influences are constant and relentless our systems just get overwhelmed, just like emotional toxins.
When inner anger, irritations and resentment go unexpressed, these old stagnant thought patterns and feelings also impact on the strength of our natural and healthy defences. A strong spleen frees us up from these toxic conditions encouraging clarity and compassion.
Thoracic 9 or TH9 greatly resembles the vertebrae of TH2-TH8 in that it’s ventral body is the shape of a heart. It does have other defining features that set it apart from the other vertebrae in that it is the lowest positioned and thus the largest. Although rare, displacement of TH9 can cause severe symptoms in the kidney area, due to TH9 communicating directly with the adrenal glands, which were discussed in the unit about TH10. Issues like this are usually associated with age related degenerative conditions.
Physical symptoms related to misalignments in this vertebra include allergies and nettle rash.
Emotional and Psychological issues
The emotional and psychological issues look like a set of secondary reactions and consequences to TH10 and combine suppressing one’s own aggression and making accusations. You may only feel able to express your boundaries after being regularly provoked; therefore anger becomes a way of feeling strong and confident.
Let’s look at some allergies, i.e. food and lactose intolerances, hives, hay fever, rashes, sinus, skin problems and celiac disease. What do they all have in common? They invade and attack our system (something or someone is offensive and hostile). We feel powerless to control this attack or invasion. It can trap us by making us feel like withdrawing from situations. Your body rejects certain foods, something that should be nutritious and full of sustenance. It can irritate and affect our moods. You may feel exhausted by being stuck in a ‘fight’ mode fighting off the invasion, leaving you bereft of energy. What all these allergies have in common is that they have breached your personal boundaries.
Research into the root causes of allergies on a metaphysical level indicates the following: One of things to remember is that when the body is in fight or flight mode, your senses are heightened. This gives the body and mind a feeling of overwhelm and being out of control. Whatever sensations, smells, emotions your are feeling or food you are eating at the time will be registered at a highly stressed level by your system. The mind and body then make an association between the situation, person, food etc and emotion. This is more than likely a negative association.
Let’s look at the connection at an early age. In childhood there may have been a hostile, invasive dominating and controlling parent, leaving you insecure and unsure about your position in the family. You may not have had a parent who was around enough for you to express your emotional needs in a safe and understanding way, therefore these feelings remain unresolved. As an adult you want to withdraw from unpleasant situations and sweep things under the carpet rather than deal with them in the here and now. This maintains you in a cycle of feeling helpless to manifest the desired changes you want in your life as things feel impossible to resolve.
Food and dairy intolerances related to nurturing and love, which impacts on our sense of self-worth. The love/comfort and nurturing you received from your parents, care giver and other influential people may have been hostile and offensive leaving you with difficulties trusting that their intentions would be good for you. This has an impact on all other relationships in life and therefore our ability to trust ourselves and others.
Deep feelings of grief are held in the system through these early experiences as it’s a form of loss. These unresolved feelings manifest as physical symptoms that our body uses to try to communicate to us what still needs to be dealt with in order to recover from.
The electrochemical peptide that stores the information of the emotion of anger is stored in the liver. Suppressing and denying one’s anger means it accumulates thus reducing the healthy functioning of the liver. Skin rashes and other skin conditions can occur if the liver is going through a detox or if the individual is working on any of these issues above. This of course is not true for every symptom or condition but it may occur in some.
This is a complex area to explain in a brief summary, but I will try to be as succinct as possible and therefore may miss out on expanding on explanations.
The Vertebrae of TH10 to TH1 are where the rib cage connects to form a stable and protected space for the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and other vital organs. TH10 specifically innervates (supplies with nerves) the muscles of the lower abdomen.
The physical conditions associated with a misalignment to Vertebra 10 are kidney problems, salt that cannot escape in this area, chalked up arteries and chronic tiredness, which would occur with these other symptoms. Kidney assist in filtering waste products from the blood as well as regulating blood pressure.
Emotional and Psychological issues
Research into the emotional and psychological issues talk about encompassing partnership difficulties with parents, husband or wife, children, colleagues, neighbours and others, it all focusses on relationships. These themes with their attendant feelings and expressions of them seem to infiltrate the other thoracic vertebrae as we move up the spine. What is even more interesting is that the left side of the body appears to express the individual’s relationship with their mother, whereas the right speaks of the relationship with the father.
With the left side there are issues about nourishment and not receiving the emotional comfort and nourishment as a child and then having the skills nourish yourself and make choices that are helpful to your well-being. Feeling powerless to bring about new changes in your life could be due to early experiences of anger, hostility and blame, which has an impact on managing stress. People then then rely on bad habits, whether alcohol, drugs, or some other form of compulsive behaviour to manage these feelings.
With the right side the issues are connected to unresolved anger. If the father was or is an alcoholic, rageaholic, workaholic, emotionally unavailable, or just not present, the need for acknowledgement, approval and affection are ever present in that person’s behaviour due to not receiving while growing up.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are about the size of a walnut. They produce the hormones adrenalin and cortisol. Adrenal fatigue occurs from both intense periodic and chronic low-level stressors. Under a high level of stress, adrenaline gives us a much needed burst of energy to assist us to get through whatever stressful situation we need to get through, whereas cortisol is released throughout the day to help up manage the stresses of day to day living. Any constant over-activity in this part of the system will be detrimental to the individual’s well-being. Examples of this can be office politics, domestic issues or more extreme bullying.
When you put this together with emotionally intense relationship with parents as a child and the anger and resentment that was stored at a young age this can result in a series of self-sabotaging toxic relationships as an adult until the anger and resentment is acknowledged and let go of.
Realigning this area and clearing blockages will assist the kidneys to detoxify themselves. However, a crucial part of a recalibration is for the individual to keep themselves hydrated and use exercise, while working on any other unresolved emotional matters.
The structural aspects of Thoracic 11 or TH11 vertebra has features that distinguishes it from its neighbouring TH12 and one in particular, separate it from all the other vertebrae. The spinous process is short and nearly horizontal in direction. The pedicles on the vertebral arch are like TH12, thicker and stronger than in any other part of the thoracic region due to the formation of the ribs. The spinal nerve 11 passes out underneath this vertebra.
The physical conditions associated with misalignment of this vertebra are skin disorders including acne, spots, eczema, boils, raw skin and psoriasis.
Emotional and Psychological Issues
The emotional and psychological issues relate to poor boundaries, contact problems, insecurity, feeling weak, afraid and fearful. The skin is our barrier between us and the external environment. The skin communicates to us when out physical and emotional boundaries have been overstepped. This is where an individual takes in more than they can comfortably assimilate and utilise. Everything in the body becomes overactive and stressed. Issues of relating to others is origin of these conditions, which we also find in TH10.
Saying ‘NO’ is a challenging concept for a person with these conditions as expressing their physical and emotional boundaries as a child may have been met with confrontation, rejection, abandonment or abuse. When their boundaries are challenged as an adult, they feel inadequate, unworthy and not good enough or strong enough to say no. Maybe saying yes to things that they don’t really want to gives them attention, or acceptance, appreciation and love but in an unhealthy way. By constantly doing this and not feeling good about it the body gets irritated and frustrated and breaks out in theses conditions. Suppressing and denying anger can build toxins in the body. Wanting to be nice, compassionate and understanding rather than addressing and expressing what is truly going on means anger becomes buried in the system. When the body becomes overloaded it will try to correct the imbalance. In some instances, this can erupt as the list of physical conditions listed above.
Recognising this, realigning and bringing balance to this area can assist the individual to begin to regain a sense of personal power, authority, desire and self-control.
Thoracic 12 or TH12 is the last of the vertebra in the thoracic section sitting superior to Lumbar 1. As we have gathered from information in the previous units, each vertebra has a specific shape designed to protect the spinal cord from injury. The basic form is the same i.e. a vertebral body, vertebral arch, transverse processes and spinous processes, facets, articular processes (connect to the vertebra above and below) and pedicles. However, the size, shape, depth and width of these sections differ depending on the role and requirement of that particular vertebra in relation to the movement of the body.
For example, the articular processes on the bottom of TH12 are like the lumbar section providing less movement and more stability than the ones on the top of this vertebra which connects to TH11 allowing more flexibility. In short they permit a slight flexion, extension and rotation of the spine, while preventing peculiar and potentially damaging movement of the vertebrae relative to each other.
The thoracic section is made up of 12 vertebrae which connect to our ribs. One pair of ribs extend from either side of each vertebra. All ribs from TH1 to TH10 curve round to connect to the sternum at the front of the body. TH11 and TH12 ribs do not attach to the sternum but do provide protection for the kidneys at the back of the body. As you can imagine this is prone to more problems due to its lack of stability in comparison to the other 10 thoracic vertebrae.
The thoracic section of the spinal cord controls muscles in the abdominal region, therefore we will find quite a few similarities in issues and blockages as we travel up the thoracic vertebrae. Specific to TH12 physical issues are related to problems with the small intestine, wind, rheumatism, disruption in growth, infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Emotional and Psychological Issues
The emotional and psychological issues are comparable to L1 in that making a new start and setting goals is a struggle due to feelings of powerlessness and being overwhelmed by other people’s energies Deep seated emotions are surfacing from the past and you may be struggling to address them or feel you may lose control and be rejected or feel less of a person by being honest with yourself about them and getting support. The ability to advocate for oneself is then depleted and anger usually ensues, which just maintains the cycle.
Research into the metaphysical aspects of Rheumatism indicates a link to early unresolved issues at a younger age where influential people in your life may not have respected your boundaries and the only way you were heard was in anger. As an adult your anger may be seen by others as confidence and this is what you have grown to believe, however it is only a symptom of poor boundary setting as your care givers may not have shown you how to get your needs met in a loving, thoughtful and appropriate way when you were younger. Even though this behaviour as an adult may be sabotaging your opportunities and growth, you may not be willing to change this as it gives you the illusion of strength and confidence.
Realigning this vertebra may help open the opportunity not only to correct the immediate physical discomfort but also assist the individual to regain a feeling of self -mastery and authority. Thus enabling the individual to confidently take the next step.
Lumbar 1 is the smallest and most superior of the Lumbar vertebrae before moving into the Thoracic section of the spine. If you placed your hands under the lowest ribs and slid them round to the back to the spine you would be close to Lumbar 1. It is between this vertebra and Thoracic 12 (TH12) that the spinal cord ends and breaks into spinal nerves, which thread throw and down L1 to L5. Like its fellow vertebrae that make up the lumbar section, L1 supports most of our body weight and helps to stabilise it.
Many muscles that flex, extend, rotate and stabilise the lumbar spine attach to the Spinous processes which extend laterally (to the sides) and posteriorly (to the back), which we are aware from previous discussions. The difference with this is that due to the limited movement of TH12 sitting superior (above) to L1, it has an incredibly difficult job to maintain one position but allow flexibility in another. The thin transverse processes and narrow spinous process which points more inferiorly (downwards) than its neighbouring lumbar vertebrae allows for this level of flexibility, while the smaller but thicker vertebral arch provides a safe and protective container for the spinal cords and nerves.
Physical conditions associated with misalignment with this vertebra are problems with the large intestine, disruption in circulation within the intestine, constipation and diarrhoea. Fear, stress and anxiety can trigger conditions like these in the system. What is often found connected to these symptoms on an emotional and psychological level is when someone is faced with making a new start in their life. It brings to the surface fear and difficulties letting go of the past.
Research into the metaphysical outcomes of these issues indicates a link to internalising emotions and your need for love. There is often a link to a love/hate relationship with an influential person in your life whether parent, or other carer who made you feel powerless and without a voice as a child. A negative association may have been made to being loved, which then creates a cycle of happy moments in your life being sabotaged with resulting feelings of resentment and unexpressed anger. Expressing yourself as a child may have provoked confrontation and being rejected or abandoned. This creates a situation where you hold onto your feelings and emotions for fear that you will not be accepted for who you are and won’t be listened to. Anger and resentment build up inside which results in explosive outbursts and you develop a pattern where you feel this is the only way you can reclaim your power and identity.
There is a symbolism in holding on and letting go, being able to move forward when the mind and body want to stay still and survive the unprocessed memory of what once caused you to feel powerless and hurt. Life is in constant motion, therefore trying to resist the change or motion will inevitably cause stress. Often the lower back pain connected to this area is the sound of that fear and judgement that prevents us from taking the next step.
Ask yourself these questions: Do you attract bittersweet circumstances and if so when do you remember the first one?
Do you feel the need to hold onto things? It can be emotions or materials things and benefits?
What as your experience as a baby with being nurtured? Do you have loving images, none or uneasy feelings when you recall these?
Do you trust people?
What part of your character do you feel you need to toughen up and why?
All these questions may help you link in with what your body is trying to get your attention about and just by gaining an awareness you will start to breathe again and start the healing process.
One of the most significant growth developments of the spine in adults is that as it grows and extends, the spinal cord stays the same. What this means is that the spinal cord does not extend all the way to the end of the vertebral column but stops at L2. After this point, nerve roots extend down the Lumbar sections. Injuries beyond this point, i.e. from L3 to L5 affect hips, legs and feet. The physical issues that manifest with misalignments to Lumbar 2 are appendix problems, stomach cramps, hyper acidity and varicose veins.
Emotional and Psychological issues
These conditions show up as a sense of powerlessness in the emotional and psychological bodies. Individuals become tense quickly and often are plagued by feelings of panic and anxiety. Energy stuck in this area can be incredibly debilitating as that inner critic full of judgement impedes the capabilities to learn and regain the confidence to manage, love and believe in who you are and what you can do. Research into the metaphysical aspects of pain indicates this is the area affected by holding onto past hurts and issues. You may not feel able to let go of the past even though the patterns created by the trauma no longer serves you. These habitual patterns continue to attract unwanted situations into your life.
Ask yourself how you felt supported, heard and understood by your parents? What are the ancestral patterns related to supporting each other, especially how a mother has been supported, whether by family or other authority figures? This then affects how she responds to her children?
Lumbar 3 appears to be the area where a lot of lower back pain is felt. The shape of this vertebra is slightly different from L5, L4 and all superior vertebra (the ones that lie above it). Due to the substantial weight-bearing role it plays, the body of the vertebra and its vertebral arch are among the largest of the moveable vertebrae. There are other slight differences in its formation, which allow for more movement and therefore additional risks of injury. The spinous process is very large almost rectangular shaped and acts as a strong attachment for the muscles of the lower back.
Lordosis is the name given to the natural curve of the lower back and L3 is at the mid-point of this curve. Hyper-lordosis can be a common problem of back pain, which causes your gut to protrude and pushes your pelvis forward. Doing squats and deadlifts can cause and exacerbate this condition as can sitting at a computer for hours on end. Issues relating to the Psoas muscle is particularly common in office workers, however that subject is for another forum.
Other conditions associated with L3 are pregnancy problems, menstruation pain, menopause problems, bladder pain, knee pain often found together with the bladder, impotence and bedwetting.
Emotional and Psychological Issues
When we look at the emotional and psychological conditions that manifest from blockages in this area, we can understand the connection to the physical. Take the reproductive organs which are the seat of our creativity, conception, initiation, what we want to generate, build and produce. It gives us a sense of self-worth and holds a reservoir of our personal power. When we are caught up in frustration and subsequent shame and doubt, the power in our batteries drain like a running tap.
The bladder connects to our cash flow and how we feel about this is or how we relate to money and the control of it. What is our relationship to the material world? Is it stuck, flowing easily or does it make you feel helpless, ineffective and impotent? This also applies to our most intimate relationships. Do they empower of disempower us? How easy is it to express how we feel appropriately or do you have to resort to manipulative means to maintain a feeling of control that was taken away from you when you were a child?
Research into the metaphysical aspects of menstruation and menopausal can be related to a woman’s relationship with her mother. Were they engaged in a battle of wills due to feelings of confusion through dysfunction in the family? How was the mother treated and regarded sexually by the father? It also relates to how a woman feels about being a woman. Are you afraid to be a powerful, successful and desirable woman? Do you think it will attract undesirable circumstances that make you feel out of control and suppressed? This creates a conflict within this area causing pain and discomfort.
With menopause, this often relates to ageing but not always. Many women feel valued due to their fertility so when this changes, their feelings about their desirability is affected.
Corrections to L3 can realign the physical aspects of the condition thus relieving the discomfort. By re-aligning the vertebra any nerves, ligaments and other soft tissue that were impinged begin to receive more oxygen thus assisting the body to release any build-up of toxins that might be preventing the ability to bring to the surface, address and release the emotional and psychological conditions.
Success of any of these treatments depends largely on the severity as much as the state of mind, timing, determination and the individual’s willingness to change. If a person subconsciously experiences a secondary gain that meets a need greater than getting better, they may remain stuck in an ongoing cycle of suffering, until that person or situation that feeds that need changes.