St. Paul Chiropractor Blog

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Leonardo Da Vinci’s Muscles and Chiropractic Intelligence

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria d...

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell’ Accademia, Venice (1485-90) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When one looks at the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, we see an extraordinary base of knowledge across a wide array of subjects.

One of his many fascinations was the complexity of the human body and he meticulously studied the human anatomy detailing much of it in his drawings and paintings.  He was ahead of his time to be sure.  Now with modern medical imaging techniques and detailed textbooks we can see the true genius in his artwork.  His attention to detail and focus on the function of the structure was amazing.

Since he didn’t have the luxury of functional MRI or HD video, he handcrafted his images of muscles in various stages of movement.  He wasn’t just trying to record the image – he wanted to study and record its purpose.

A recent article explains this in greater detail, here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/edinburgh-festival/10223184/Edinburgh-Festival-2013-Leonardo-da-Vinci-The-Mechanics-of-Man-review.html

In my schooling as a chiropractor, arguably the most important class was anatomy.  We learned so much about the human body by dissecting cadavers and studying the intricacies of what comprises each person.

Like Da Vinci, we needed to go beyond mere structure.  To truly understand the body and to understand what it means to be healthy and well, I learned that the “whole is more than the sum of its parts.”

What I mean by that is that while there are cells, organs and tissues that make up the different body systems – there is something else that governs the function of the body.  A cadaver lying on the dissecting table has all the same parts as a living human being with one key difference.  One is alive and one is not!

Chiropractic calls this animating force in living organisms, innate intelligence.  It’s the inborn ability of the body to perform function, coordinate movement, and even heal itself.  Think of it as the “breath of life” breathed into each one of us at birth.

A good illustration of this is the way our bodies heal.  If you get a cut on your finger, your body knows what to do.  Before you may even consciously be aware that you are cut – your inborn healing ability has sprang into action mobilizing hundreds of thousands of blood cells to the damaged tissue.  A complex array of clotting components start to form and make the blood thicker around the site of the cut.  Groups of cells and proteins stick together to quickly form a clot and stop the flow of blood out of the cut.

You don’t need to will it or think about it – this whole process just happens.

And that is why chiropractic is so powerful – it works with the body’s intelligence to release its innate healing ability. Chiropractic is aimed at removing that which interferes with this healing intelligence that is within each one of us.  And we are all susceptible to interference!

It’s a different way of looking at healthcare.  It values the patient’s ability rather than disability.  It emphasizes facilitating more than treating. It cares about health, not just about sickness.

I suspect Da Vinci would have been a chiropractic fan.

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