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Restoring healthy expansion of the spine and human frame
Scott Popp D.C.
The Expansion Method of Chiropractic
The technique that I have developed over Thirty-five years of practice is what I call the Expansion Method. The main principle is that the loco motor system's health is the ability to expand and contract at appropriate times. My treatment method focuses on developing the opening/ expansion of the body, facilitating quality contractions, and helping the body release and store energy. Let's look at these concepts from a human developmental model. The first principle of motor development is to.
1: Lengthen, rollover, and crawl
2: Sit and Stand up
Let's take each one and learn about its process.
1: Expansion process number one: Fetal position to movement integration of crawling.
When we are born, we are helpless except for the ability to cry, move our arms head and legs, suck, and drink milk. The core of our body is pretty much, just non-functioning. It does not take long for the turning of the head to couple with arm and leg movements, and the baby's ability to start to roll. Integrating extremity movement with the core, the baby has moved from the fetal position to one of lengthening and expansion. It is the first step in development. The baby can now expand and rollover. Counter side movements of cross crawling also develop in this phase
2: Expansion process number two: Laying to sitting and sitting to standing.
Healthy development involves expansion upward against gravity. The baby starts pushing up and learning to sit. From this point, the spine learns to push upward against gravity. The chin retracts, and the thoracic curve flattens to produce a maximal upward push. Now the child is sitting on their own.
The next phase is the expansion upward of sit to stand. This phase integrates the lower and upper body in extension against gravity. At first, the child has to hold onto objects, but they quickly learn to stand vertical on their own. Now the human frame is fully expanded in length. The head, mid and lower body are all aligned for balance. Nervous and muscle systems develop rapidly.
3: Expansion process number three: The ability to walk.
Walking involves the ability to expand outward around the center y-axis in the body. It's a vertical axis that cuts through the center of the human frame from head to toe. Head, chest, pelvis, and feet all counter-rotate each other, expanding outward in the development of walking. When the body hits full expansion, it pulls back inward on the contraction phase. We alternate between expansion and contraction. When humans step forward, we are lifting into gravity or maximal extension/expansion. From heel strike to the single-leg stance of mid gait, the body is getting compacted and moving away from expansion.
The Expansion Method of Chiropractic is based second and third development phases above.
1: The spine needs to extend upward against gravity maximally without restriction points and store and release elastic energy.
2: The body needs the ability to expand outward into counter-rotation maximally without restriction points and store and release elastic energy.
3: The body needs to contract under control without strain and be able to release and store elastic energy.
As you can see in the above Gif the human gait is the upper and lower body moving in opposite spiraling motions around the vertical axis. This is the outward expansion process that my method seeks to restore.
The treatment for expansion involves Dr. Popp placing the patient in various positions and working the spinal and postural system with gentle oscillations of mobilization to stimulate and move tissues outward into the expanded state. This stretching/ mobilization breaks up adhesions and fixation in joints, fascia, and connective tissue. Stimulating the nervous system's receptor system gives the central nervous system information and promotes the proper muscle reflex arc to continue the treatment for up to several days. The body then self-corrects because of this reflex loop.
The first position of expansion is the vertical sitting position. Here the patient sits with legs extended, and Dr. Popp works the spine into extension, rotation, and lateral flexion from the tailbone to the skull base.