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Our Chiropractic Technique

Why is NIP Different

Chiropractic without the cracks!

Chiropractic adjusting image

Think of an adjustment as “tuning” a piano,
adjusting each string so it produces the perfect tone.

The NeuroImpulse Protocol is a form of full body assessment that has a more neurological emphasis. Think of your brain as being like a computer – if you change the input to the computer that will change the output. It’s the same for your body; if you change the input to your brain through having pain or loss of normal movement information from part of your body that will change the way your brain controls your body. Perhaps you may start to limp or have a change in posture.  This makes you susceptible to more aches and pains. The aim of NIP is to normalize the input to your brain and therefore the output.

What is a NIP examination like?

The examination involves the integration of very precise chiropractic assessment techniques and detailed neurological examination. This will include specific reflex testing, muscle tests and testing ranges of motion of spinal joints, extremity joints, joints at the front of the body or the cranium. This helps to direct the chiropractor to the exact location to adjust.

Will I hear a cracking or popping noise when I am adjusted?

No- The adjusting techniques we use may be different to the mechanical manipulations you traditionally associate with chiropractic. NIP adjustments are low force by nature, requiring only gentle finger pressure, and you will not feel or hear any cracking sounds. It is the speed and the specific direction of the thrust that may have a direct and profound effect on the nerve supply to and from the involved area. The adjustment is a hold and impulse technique directed to restore normal neurological function without force rather than a mechanical manipulation. Following your adjustments you may see an immediate difference in body function including increased range of movement and increased muscle strength as interference to your nervous system has been reduced.

A little more information on NIP – dysafferentation

The Neuroimpulse Protocol (NIP) is one of many chiropractic techniques. We know that some of the concepts of functional neurology related NIP chiropractic are new to many people so we’d like to explain them in a little more detail.

One of the central concepts in NIP is “dysafferentation”. [dys = bad or faulty, afferent = input to the central nervous system, ation = an action or process]. So let’s have a look at that first. Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. All the other parts of your body are constantly sending information to your brain and spinal cord related to 1) their position and motion and 2) whether or not they are suffering any kind of damage or irritation.

As long as your body is moving normally and the tissues are not under abnormal strain or suffering any kind of damage, the information being sent to your central nervous system will be the wonderfully nourishing, enlivening and health promoting movement information known as “mechanoreception” (mechano as in mechanical, so touch, pressure, stretch etc; reception as in receiving of information). If, on the other hand, there are joints that are not moving correctly, muscles that are too tight or too lax, or any tissue that is undergoing any kind of damage or irritation, the information being received by your central nervous system will be the detrimental, pain producing and energy sapping tissue stress signals known as “nociception” (‘noci‘ comes from the Latin ‘Nocere‘ which means to injure or damage).

The balance of these types of information should be heavily in favour of mechanoreception (movement information). If the balance begins to shift in favour of nociception (damage information), the result may be further muscle tightness or weakness and loss of normal joint motion placing you at an increased risk of aches and pains etc.

“Dysafferentation” then is simply the word used to describe this change in input to your central nervous system where there is reduced movement information and increased damage information.

During your chiropractic examination we measure the output from your brain (known as ‘efferent‘ output). We do this by measuring movement patterns of spinal and other related joints, testing the strength of certain muscles, the quality of certain reflexes and by looking at your posture. That detailed examination allows us to identify which part of your body is causing the altered afferent input (or “dysafferentation”) with the aim of restoring normal input through the adjustment.

And a little bit more information – the dura

Almost every structure in your body is capable of generating nociceptive afferent input and therefore dysafferentation. That’s why it’s possible for us to ache in so many different places! There are however some structures that have a particularly significant input to the central nervous system. One of these is the dura mater, or ‘dura’. The dura is a tough protective covering around your brain and spinal cord. The outer layer is attached to the inside of the skull and to various points in the spine – particularly the top and bottom of the spine. That means that if a person has a loss of the normal motion at the top or bottom of their spine or between the bones of their skull this can create a pull on the dura resulting in what is known as “dural tension”. When this is added to the effects of increased stress signals (nociception) from the joints, this further overloads the central nervous system and leads to even greater dysafferentation! It is for this reason that an NIP assessment always starts with an examination of the upper neck – because this part of the spine has such an effect on dural tension. 

And one last little bit – layering

Another concept important to the process of NIP is that of layering. This will explain why we tend to recommend a course of adjustments and then a review. Dysafferentation, the inability of the cortex to match the incoming information with an appropriate output, appears to occur in layers – just like the skins of an onion. It is not possible to get to the deeper layers until the outer layers have been peeled away. Sometimes the layers are very close together and this may result in you needing more than one adjustment at a single appointment. At other times the layers are more widely spread and you may not need to be adjusted for a period of time. We aim to tailor our recommendation for how many visits and how frequently you need them to you as an individual.

So there you have it, an introduction to the exciting science of NIP. If you have any questions about any of the concepts discussed here please don’t hesitate to give us a call and ask one of the chiropractors.


Our Technology

Stress Response Evaluation

We can now measure the adaptability of your Nervous System. The Stress Response Evaluation is a 12 minute computerised non-invasive exam. This simple test gives a detailed picture of how your Nervous system is functioning.


Cannon Hill Chiropractors | Phone: (07) 3899 8840

Providing today’s quality and natural chiropractic care to the Cannon Hill communities.