Did you know there is a butterfly that lives inside your head and when he flaps his wings, he is cleaning your brain and spinal cord? Sounds crazy but no, I have not lost my mind. That butterfly is more commonly known as the sphenoid bone. This bone is very unique as it sits inside of the skull and is the only bone to form a joint with every other bone of the skull, including the base of the skull. When we inhale, this joint flexes, and when we exhale, this joint extends. This pumping motion pushes cerebrospinal fluid throughout your central nervous system in order to remove metabolic waste and keep it from building plaque.
Due to the connections of the dura mater (your brain and spinal cord’s very own version of saran wrap) to the opening at the base of the skull and the top two bones of the spine, when primary structural shift is present, normal blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid flow are hindered. This in turn interferes with the normal flexion and extension of the sphenoid bone when we inhale and exhale. Because correcting primary structural shift does not happen in one adjustment, but rather over the course of your initial phase of care, by retraining your muscles to support the top vertebra’s normal position, applying gentle corrective pressure to the bones of the skull can help aid in restoring normal motion of the sphenoid bone. Because we can not access the sphenoid bone directly, we place gentle pressure on contact points throughout the skull in order to affect the other bones that form joints with the sphenoid. In doing this after adjusting the primary structural shift, the ultimate goal is to restore normal movement of the sphenoid bone and allow normal function to take place, including normal blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid flow throughout the central nervous system.