Understanding Scoliosis - Part 2: A Mind Body Detective Approach

A Mind-Body Detective Approach to The Muscular Skeletal System

The muscular-skeletal system provides us with both structure and stability.

It is our overall support mechanism, giving us our solid form.

It also does the job of protecting our more vulnerable softer tissues and organs.

In addition, it also provides us with the function of movement - as the skeletal system works in cohesion with the muscular system to assist movement both internally and externally.

It does this by either

  • allowing us to move ourselves within our environment - creating motion and progression forwards, through movement of the whole biological system, or

  • through moving aspects of the external environment, either towards us, or farther away from us

Both of these functions are the overall purpose of motion that the muscular and skeletal system are intricately involved in.

As a mind-body detective, it is our job to decipher the messages of the body, and to understand the deeper meaning in any dysfunction of the muscular-skeletal system, in relation to the impairment of the biological function and how that relates to our thinking, our beliefs and our deeper unconscious mind.

In Meta Health we know that all Muscular-Skeletal issues are associated with the cerebral medulla brain layer, which relates to issues of self-worth and self-value.

When in stress phase, the muscular-skeletal will experience a cellular degeneration, a reduction in cellular re-generation and a weakness in the overall function of the organ or tissue. In terms of scoliosis, this is when we see the muscles and skeletal structure in stress, and the progression of the curvature.

When in regeneration (healing) phase, the muscular-skeletal will return to a normal regeneration process and the vertebra will regain their strength.

It is very important to address the fundamental underlying emotional and ‘core value’ aspects of scoliosis AS SOON AS POSSIBLE once it is diagnosed, in order to reduce the time that an individual is in stress phase. This is because the curvature increases for the duration of time that the individual is in ‘stress’ - and that stress, as we will see below, will be systemic and will be affected by their social group and family - and the values of that group or family. 

Therefore we can see, that in order to address the core conflicts presented through scoliosis and in order to maintain and complete the regeneration phase of the spine and vertebra, this may require the inclusion of the whole family, or at the least, include the main care-giver, in order to support the individual’s healing. 

The Spine

The spine is the main structural unit that allows the individual to stand up, and to move fluidly and respond to the environment through directing where our motion will go. 

The spine is divided into several moving parts, the lumbar region, the thoracic region and the cervical region. Each of these plays a role in the support of the upright nature of the individual, but also are useful for more specific functional aspects. All of these should be considered when making any mind-body analysis.

For example, the lumbar spinal region is about core values that provide stability, either through issues that are about safety for us, including home, family and our sexuality. We may be working with values here that allow us to be rooted and stable in our interactions and movements through our social environment.

The thoracic spine allows us to change direction, to twist and face another direction, even if our feet, our root has been planted to take us forwards in one way, our thoracic spine allows us to turn away from that set direction. It allows a diverse range of movement that also allows us to bend forwards. It allows us to stand still, in one position, whilst turning to face other directions, which may be about ‘searching’ or ‘looking for’ another way forwards.

When we go to move forwards with motion, it is the thoracic spine which propels our weight forwards, whilst working in tandem with the lumbar spine, which is still required to keep us stable until we have moved in the direction our thoracic spine has pre-empted for us.

The thoracic spine also protects the thoracic cavity. Its protective quality is especially important for the heart and lungs (both of which are often physically affected if the scoliosis curvature exceeds >60º). 

So in meta health, we would expect to see severe scoliosis connected to the mind-body and emotional issues of the heart and lungs, and therefore corresponding values attached to this.


Scoliosis - A Mind Body Detective Approach
Scoliosis - A Mind Body Detective Approach

Case Studies

Some examples of two cases that I will present as scenarios, or 'stories' that might be attached to the mind-body themes we could see in scoliosis, include a young man with a crisis of faith that extended to how might he redefine his core beliefs and express those within a new social group, and a young girl who felt unsupported in her family.


Case Study 1

Our young man was beginning to question the ideology and the belief system of the church that he had grown up with and was asking questions which did not get answered to satisfy either his inner intellect or his emerging inner values.

However, the conflict became evident, as the church was a large part of his early years and beliefs that encompassed faith, morals and behaviours within a strict social environment. In addition, he felt that the faith that he was at odds with was massively important in terms of his mothers values  - and created a huge divide between him and his main carer. This perceived conflict of values - both within his own beliefs and with his main parental support (his mother) were multiple conflicts that would weaken multiple vertebra and their supporting muscle structures.

There was a period of time that he felt angry towards his mother, arguing to defend his position constantly.

Particularly angry with what he perceived as her blind and illogical faith. Later he cam