Interview With Dr. Fred

Interview With Dr. Fred


~ The Nation’s Largest Hispanic Newspaper ~

November 2004   

By - Juan Fernando Merino

  Alleviating Whole-Body Tension

Doctor  Fred approaches the small portable table on which one of his new  patients is seated. He gently moves Joe's neck to expose the posterior  joints. Dr. Fred requests that he breathes deeply, and with extreme  smoothness touches a point ('spinal gateway') adjacent the upper neck  vertebra. Seconds later, after making a few contacts it is evident that  Joe has entered a tranquil state, the muscular rigidity has disappeared,  a rolling wave moves through his body, and remarkably the expression on  his face is blissful.

The results are even more dramatic when Doctor Fred interacts with  Sanja, a patient whom already has experienced his spinal care a few  times previously. Only seconds after quickly touching these subtle  spinal areas Sanja's entire vertebral column begins to move with flowing  oscillations, in a series of spontaneous, graceful waves.

"Dr. Fred" (as he is called by patients and friends) is a chiropractor  in Bound Brook, New Jersey. He uses the technique of Network Spinal  Analysis (NSA) and an adjunctive method called Somatorespiratory  Integration (SRI). For three decades he has explored and taught diverse  methods of natural healing, meditation, and personal growth in different  countries. In addition to caring for private patients in his practice,  Dr. Fred frequently offers seminars and workshops to the public.

It appears that during an NSA 'entrainment' or 'adjustment' only a  delicate touch is needed at specific access points throughout the spine  to elicit a powerful effect on the entire spinal system, and in theory  the higher brain centers. This process has captured the imagination of  many neuroscience researchers. In fact a recent study at the University  of California Medical School at Irvine demonstrated in that patients in  Network Care reported significant improvement in: physical health and  symptoms, emotional / mental health and symptoms, stress, and life  enjoyment. Although physical symptoms changed most often within the  first couple of months, patients reported their overall life enjoyment  and quality of life continuing to improve year after year.

An NSA "entrainment", explains Dr. Kingsbury, develops two spontaneous  healing waves referred to as respiratory and somato-psychic. These two  waves serve to create new somatic (physical) strategies to dissipate the  tension and to re-organize the function of the spine and the nervous  system at a new level. The effect on patients who regularly experience  NSA, according to the specialists of this branch of healing, is a  dramatic change from states of physical defense and postural stress to  an open, relaxed state. This increases inner resources, and capacities  to make healthier choices, to be more adaptable and creative, to  transform physical and mental tension, to live in a more joyful state  with greater overall well-being.  I asked Dr. Fred the following  questions:

Is this a type of massage?

"Not at all. If anything, it's a 'massage' the body does to itself, from the inside through the nervous system.  Massage usually works at the level of muscles or connective tissue only, and for most of us it feels great, but quite temporary.  However, what NSA does is address a deeper level of the physiology that  causes the muscles to go tense in the first place. It involves the vertebral column, the spinal cord, the brain, the whole nervous system,  and how these structures interface and react with our internal and  external life.  Muscles do not have a mind of their own, they receive  and respond to communication from the nervous system.  When the nervous system experiences ease, the muscles and all the connective tissue naturally follow suit, and become more relaxed instead of locked in a  type of 'defense physiology', a fear-based silent dread, and anxiety.  Once the nervous system and the spine experiences greater ease and  safety it spontaneously exists more in the 'present moment'.  The  implications of this alone to our healing and personal growth are  enormous at every level of our existence."

 What are the implications regarding defense posture of the bodymind?

"When  we get stuck in a defense disposition, one of the things that happen is  that the spinal joints and muscles express rigidity and 'armor'. From  there many of us experience pain, stiffness, and feelings of  restriction. Usually people adopt stress postures associated with the  'fight or flight' response.  This is the frequent pattern most of us  experience consciously or unconsciously in our lives to some degree.

It just doesn't feel safe to be here on the planet, or in our bodies.  This armored state makes it almost impossible to express our greatest  range of adaptability and the flexibility, to live our full joyous  potential, to love more freely, or to make healthier choices. To the  degree in which a person is locked in this state is the exact degree they relate and connect to themselves, and the world. Our entire  perception and perspective of life is influenced and colored by our neuro-structural  state."

How could this healing experience be characterized?

"It  is a process, so it is cumulative over time. It allows the whole body,  the mind, and the spine to unwind acute and chronic tension. The  vibration of traumas, emotional wounds, tensions, and stress has been  stored in layers of the physiology; and remains as a block, a walled-off  or trapped region.  My opinion based on three decades in private  practice is that much of this tension could have been there for a very  long time, even starting with birth trauma in some cases. The body remembers and stores this energy, especially along the spinal structures.  Dr. Epstein, my mentor, is fond of saying that, "the spine  IS literally the back of the mind – it's where we stuff our stuff" also  "the body will store and 'weep' the tears the eyes refuse to shed."  This healing  work manifests a new strategy of body awareness, connection, and  release. NSA and SRI help release this somatic armor, and 'reset' the  system to a relaxed state of 'present-time consciousness', to ever greater ease and peace."

Sounds like it is induces a state of meditation?

"The  word "meditation" can be a confusing term meaning different things to  different people.  I see it this way.... when the usual 'static',  'noise', stress, and adverse tension of the nervous system reduces  dramatically during an NSA session then automatically  the 'chattering mind' settles down to an inner state of ease,  quietness, and serenity.  Some people imply 'meditation' is about  thinking or pondering an idea - to me that is a superficial layer of the meaning.  The deeper experience is one of less or no thought connecting to the field of quiet, serene consciousness underlying mental and emotional activity.  The intimate connection between body (nervous system) and mind (consciousness) is what is at play here.  More peace in the physical nervous system equals more peace in the mind.

That  is a very common experience in our practice using NSA, and when applied  regularly it appears to produce a cumulative baseline, so to speak, of a  transcendent expansive inner peace, a deeper connection to pure calm  awareness, or wakefulness. This is 'the peace that surpasses all  understanding' which the ancient and modern spiritual teachers have  expounded upon for thousands of years.  

What  I find so attractive here is that these 'higher states' or 'peak  states' are initiated and ignited in and through the physical body. The  concrete body itself is the meditation vehicle - the fuel, the mantra.  How so?  I use a computer analogy to explain; with entrainment sessions  the 'hardware', so to speak, of our entire system becomes 'upgraded',  advanced, and refined so it can now effectively download and use the  higher level 'software' of our deeper nature.  If we attempted to run  the most current software in a computer that is 25 years old it will crash quickly or not function at all.  Upgrading and advancing the  spinal system is essential.  Also remember that a nervous system  experiencing more ease, and greater function, is associated with the  health of all other body systems including our immune system, an  important added bonus, a side-benefit, so to speak."

 The immune system?

"Yes,  of course, the emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology has garnered  huge interest in health-related disciplines over the past 20 years. The  negative effects of adverse tension and stress on our overall health,  well-being, and immune capacities is well-known and documented by modern  science.  Remember every body system including the immune system  requires a robust neuro-endocrine communication to function normally. In  addition, most physicians agree that acute and chronic stress directly causes, complicates, or is associated with large percentage of all the diseases and ailments. Research studies have shown a significant  positive effect of chiropractic in general on the biochemistry of psycho-neuro-immunology.  

What other results can a person expect?

"We  acknowledge and experience a consistent clinical truth;  'to the degree  that a person can connect effectively to their interior, is exactly that degree they can connect with the outer world'.  What we have found  is that this technique initiates a deeper connection and direct  experience of life's innate healing energy and rhythms.  So  automatically it ushers the person to another level of transformation  and wholeness not usually experienced, it literally changes the quality  of their lives from the inside - out. This may show up in innumerable  wonderful ways in their outer life at home, in relationships, at work,  at play, spiritual practices, etc… and solid scientific studies have  confirmed these changes, as stated earlier."

A new strategy for personal growth?

 "My personal opinion is yes based on direct experience. When the  life-energy 'floodgates' are opened a personal evolution of wholeness  and greater awareness can take place more rapidly. Remember the computer  analogy I stated before: "when the tension in the nervous system  releases, and a new refinement happens, we can begin then to access  their higher 'software'."  Human beings have an enormous stockpile of  dormant, under-utilized 'human resources' i.e. consciousness,  compassion, love, creativity, connections, and insights, but if the  'hardware' (spine and nervous system) is not sufficiently stress-free,  advanced, or refined it cannot realize or express this software, or sadly only a very small portion of it.  I believe and experience that our  work helps this refinement and evolution take place in a natural,  gradual, safe way."