The human spine is the very important and unique skeletal structure. To the total height of the body, it makes up about two to fifths.
For an adult male, the spinal column measures about 28” in length and for the adult female it measures about 24” on an average.
The spine comprises seven cervical vertebrae, twelve thoracic vertebrae, five lumbar vertebrae, five sacral vertebrae and four coccygeal vertebrae. The five sacral vertebrae are fused into one bone called the sacrum and the coccygeal vertebrae are fused into one or two bones called the coccyx.
We can describe the spinal column as the strong flexible rod that can move anteriorly, laterally and also rotates. It encloses and protects the spinal cord, supports the head and serves as a point of attachment for the ribs and the muscles of the back. Between each vertebra are openings called interverteal foramina, through which pass the nerves that connect the spinal cord to various parts of the body. Between adjacent vertebrae, starting with the first vertebra in the neck and continuing to the sacrum, are fibrocartilaginous intervertebral discs.
These discs form strong joints and allow various movements of the vertebral column. They also absorb shock. Under compression they flatten, broaden and bulge from their intervertebral spaces.
From the spinal cord come thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves. They are
Eight pairs of cervical nerves,
twelve pairs of thoracic nerves,
five pairs of lumbar nerves,
five pairs of sacral nerves and
one pair of coccygeal nerves.
The individual nerves which arise from certain regions of the spinal cord join together to form a plexus. Two plexuses are formed by the cervical nerves and one by the lumbar and sacral nerves. From these plexuses emerge individual peripheral nerves which serve different parts of the body. If there is a problem in a particular part of the body, it can be beneficial to work with the part of the spinal reflex which relates to the nerves that serve the problem area.
Man is the only creature who stands and walks completely upright, carrying his spine in the vertical position. Most animals carry their spine in the horizontal position. The spine in man has been referred to as ‘Jacob’s ladder’ which we climb in order to reach higher states of consciousness.
Esoteric science tells that the spinal column houses a threefold thread. In eastern terminology these are known as the ida, the pingala and the sushumna paths. These three paths of life are the channels for electric fire, solar fire and fire by friction and are related in their usage to the three stages of evolution. This is part of the philosophy taught in yoga.
The kundalini fire which resides in the base chakra is the union of these three fires and will make its journey through the sushumna only when the seven main chakras or energy centres are open and a person is ready mentally, physically and spiritually. When this happens a human being is said to have reached the state of enlightenment or samadhi or nirvana.
The spinal column and its esoteric counterpart, namely the sushumna, are primarily intended to be the channel through which the energizing of the chakras and the distribution of energy to the surrounding areas of the body takes place. Failure to do this causes energy imbalances and blockages which manifest as disease in the physical body.
Another technique called as the metamorphic technique, bases its treatment on the spinal reflexes of the feet, hands and head. This divides the spinal reflex into six sections and they are :
The first section is found on the first and second phalanges of the big toe. This is prior to the spinal reflex and represents pre-conception.
The second section is situated at the first cervical vertebra and stands for conception.
The third section extends from the first to the tenth thoracic vertebrae and is post-conception (1-22 weeks).
The fourth section, quickening (18—22 weeks), lies between the eighth and tenth thoracic vertebrae.
The fifth section, pre-birth (18—38 weeks), is found between the tenth thoracic vertebra and the coccyx, and
The sixth section, birth, is located at the coccyx.
Nerves connected to the spine
| Cervical area
| 1st Cervical
|| Head, pituitary, scalp, brain, face, ear.
|| Head colds, headaches, amnesia, chronic tiredness, dizziness, muscle tension.
| 2nd Cervical
|| Eyes, sinuses, tongue, forehead, mastoids.
|| Sinus trouble, allergies, ear and eye problems, fainting.
| 3rd Cervical and 4th cervical
|| Cheek, teeth, ears.
|| Neuritis, eczema, acne, hay fever, catarrh, blocked eustachian tube.
| 5th Cervical
|| Neck, glands, pharynx, heart.
|| Hoarseness, sore throat.
| 6th Cervical
|| Neck and shoulder muscles, tonsils, heart tonsils, heart tonsils, heart tonsils, heart.
|| Bursitis, thyroid problems, colds.
| THORACIC AREA
| 1st Thoracic
|| Lower arms, wrists, hands and fingers, oesophagus and trachea, heart.
|| Asthma, coughs, breathing difficulties, pain below elbow & in arm.
| 2nd Thoracic
|| Heart, coronary arteries.
|| Chest pain, heart conditions.
| 3rd Thoracic
|| Lungs, bronchial tubes, pleura, chest, heart.
|| Pleurisy, pneumonia, gripe, bronchitis.
| 4th Thoracic
|| Gall bladder, bile duct, heart.
|| Jaundice, gall bladder problems.
| 5th Thoracic
|| Solar plexus, liver, heart.
|| Fever, low blood pressure, anaemia, arthritis, liver conditions.
| 6th Thoracic
|| Indigestion, heart burn, stomach problems.
| 7th Thoracic
|| Pancreas, duodenum.
|| Ulcers, diabetes, gastritis.
| 8th Thoracic
|| Spleen, diaphragm.
|| Leukemia, hiccups.
| 9th Thoracic
|| Adrenal glands.
|| Allergies, hives, hypertension.
| 10th Thoracic
|| Kidney problems, fatigue.
| 11th Thoracic
|| Kidneys, ureter tubes.
|| Skin disorders, auto-intoxication.
| 12th Thoracic
|| Lumbar small intestines, fallopian tubes, lymph, circulation.
|| Flatulence, rheumatism, lymphatic congestion.
| LUMSAR AREA
| 1st Lumbar
|| Colon, groin area.
|| Inflammation of colon, constipation, hernia, diarrhoea.
| 2nd Lumbar
|| Abdomen, appendix, caecum, thighs.
|| Varicose veins, breathing difficulties.
| 3rd Lumbar
|| Reproductive organs, bladder, knee.
|| Bladder trouble, menstruation & menopause problems, knee problems, impotency.
| 4th Lumbar
|| Muscles of lower back, sciatic nerve, prostate.
|| Muscles of lower back, sciatic nerve, prostate.
| 5th Lumbar
|| Lower legs, ankles, feet, toes, arches of feet.
|| Cold feet, weakness and poor circulation in legs, weak or swollen ankles, leg cramps.
| The Sacrum
|| Hip bone, buttocks.
|| Curvature of spine and sacroiliac problems.
| The Coccyx
|| Rectum and anus.
|| Haemorrhoids, pain at the end of the spine.