THE THEORY OF TRIGENICS
Trigenics is a process that uses the body’s normal communication system, through the nervous system, to stimulate movement. Like if we set our minds strong enough to achieve something that we desire and we have the right motives with enough energy, then our subconscious will always get us there.
ORIGINS OF TRIGENICS®
When we have a break and allow the mind to flow, things come to us. I started developing the idea of what later became Trigenics®, in Los Angeles where I was in a relaxed frame of mind. I wasn’t pressured by the normal responsibilities of everyday practice. I had treated patients regularly with straight chiropractic manipulation but was seeing a lot of them coming back with the same problems, in the same areas, year after year.
At this point, I thought that there must be something more than adjusting alone and the information which we were taught in college. I realized that it was possible to use the body’s own neurologically programmed signals and innervated hard-wired communication conduits to effect the desired change.
When the CPU of a computer sends a signal up to the screen, one sees something specific on the screen. Our body is wired the same way through the central nervous system with messages that go down from the brain to the body. But, conversely, messages that come up from the body to the brain tell the brain whether or not the intention of the signal is occurring. This up-going, afferent part of the nervous system enables the brain to modify down-going efferent signals so that the intended target is attained. That’s the way that the brain monitors what’s happening and coordinates movement.
Previously practitioners focused only on the above-down effect. What we added is the treatment of the equally important below-up side that I developed and brought to the forefront of neuromusculoskeletal treatment concepts with Trigenics® Functional Neurology.
One of the unique concepts that stemmed from the above ideas was using a multimodal approach to accentuate the pathways and effect of reciprocal innervation. How could we instantly and sustainably change the tonicity and behavior of a muscle and the resultant biomechanics of a joint?
I realized that one could manipulate the firing of the reflexes; such as the inverse myotatic reflex, the stretch reflex, and various forms of reciprocal innervation. If the brain could be “tricked”, it would fire differently. The real trick would be in getting it to fire in exactly the desired way for beneficial results. I started to work with various neurological principles, including Sherringtons originating as far back as in the 1950s.
I added new concepts and innovations in neurology to accentuate reflex signals beyond their normal firing pattern in order to bombard the lower brain with an afferent activity that it was not normally programmed to receive. I hypothesized that this, in turn, would force the brain to reprogram the way that it sends down its efferent messages. This is referred to in neurology as amplitude summation and convergence projection and the change in efferent transmission following Trigenics®, I coined as redifferentiation.
There were three techniques or modalities (hence the name TRIgenics®) that I combined to create an entirely new neurological system of treatment. This unique treatment proved to have a very powerful and dramatic effect, unparalleled and unseen in any other treatments. This is the reason that Trigenics® is referred to as a multimodal treatment system.
Enhanced Reflex Neurology: The patient performs interactive exercise movements that are resisted by the doctor in a measured and modulated manner in order to accentuate reflexogenic afferent signal output and reciprocal innervation responses. Other neurological responses were attained by overloading circuitry with heavy resisted loads applied during the exercise movement. Our pilot studies indicated that providing a specific amount of light resistance to the movement of an agonist drops the millivolt potential of the antagonist lower than that which would be created by simple non-resisted contractions. We are able to use this accentuated response to make a change in brain response and muscle behavior. We named this the Resistance Loading Reflex or simply the Austin Response.
Mechanoreceptor Manipulation: This is where the therapist further amplifies afferent reflex signals actual physical deformative manipulation and stimulation of the nerve sensors or mechanoreceptors themselves while accentuated reflex signals are already cumulatively being fired in response to the resisted movement.
Cerebropulmonary Biofeedback: This is a focused breathing exercise with target visualization designed to stimulate alpha brain wave patterns and the Benson relaxation response, while the doctor directs and teaches the patient how to assist in attaining maximum neurological response. Visualization and breathing are proven scientifically to be able to affect the physiology of the body. I have two black belts in martial arts, where breathing is critically important.
Combining the effect of breathing with visualization with functional reflex neurology and mechanical nerve stimulation in a very specific way and then started experimenting. Synergistically combining these modalities gives you the triad of techniques that essentially make up the patented TRIGENICS® treatment procedures.
Taking Trigenics into practice
In the late ’90s, while back in Toronto, Canada I started to experiment with this new system. I kept notes and took Polaroid pictures of the different procedures as they developed. I also worked every Sunday for two years with different students. Eventually, I put together a book. I did more research into current neurological concepts and also developed my own and it started to come together.
It became clear that one of the missing elements in the complete care of the neuromusculoskeletal system was the below-up part of the equation. The main concept of chiropractic is that it opens up the communication between the brain and the body by removing interference on a spinal level.
I posed a question to the students of Palmer Davenport, What happens if we open up those channels of communication with an adjustment and they’re not the correct signals? The brain is sending signals down but they are the wrong signals?
“The body wouldn’t work as well.” was the answer. This is what occurs when a state of dysafferentation occurs where the upcoming afferent signals are disrupted and incorrect and this is the reason that there is a missing element in chiropractic philosophy and care.
There’s above-down but there’s also, the absolutely critical, below-up. Students are taught about dysafferentation and Jana and Leibenson’s concepts that below-up dysfunction causes neuromusculoskeletal conditions from the consequent weak-short imbalance patterns, but they are not taught how to effectively correct it. This was not discovered until Trigenics®. With Trigenics®, the above-down component of the neurological pathway is modified to begin firing its default signals correctly by overloading the lower brain with an unnatural barrage of afferent information causing it to ultimately reset itself.
When the circuitry of the nervous system is corrected using Trigenics®, fewer adjustments are needed and the effect of the adjustment is also more sustainable as the correct channels of communication are opened up properly. This is, of course, the chiropractor’s goal.
Trigenics® requires tremendous focus and concentration by the practitioner and the patient. I take my mind’s eye and I go right into where I’m going to adjust, including depth of penetration. I see it before I do it.
That’s very similar to martial arts techniques when you break a cement block or board. If your mind’s eye isn’t all the way through it already before you do it, you’re going to hurt yourself. We don’t use that type of force to do adjustments but you do have to use that much focus. A lot of the focus comes from the stance. The way you position yourself for adjusting is so critically important to maximize the effect of the adjustment. Focus like this is also required when performing Trigenics®.
Ted Carrick, one of my classmates, founded the American Neurology Diplomate program and he originally referred to Trigenics® as being neuroplastic. That means your nervous system has the ability to instantly adapt to change. The nervous system loses this ability when dysafferentation exists with resultant neurokinetic dysfunction.
The Trigenics® effect is dramatic and observable by the patients themselves in terms of the instantaneously increased strength and/or length of the muscle and the decrease in pain.