I consumed a great book recently; Quiet, by Susan Cain, among the many significant things I learned, was about some fascinating research on the natural born sensitivities of the nervous system. According to a Harvard child psychologist, Jerome Kagan PhD about 15-20% of 4 month old babies' nervous systems were wired a little tighter (my simplification) and were more sensitive to new sensory input. As these children became young adults they were healthy and turned out fine, the point though, is that the highly sensitive ones were slightly more than twice as likely to be introverted rather than extraverted.
So, this got me thinking; if about 1 out of 5 people actually are more sensitive to stimulus simply because their nervous system is built that way, maybe they need a different kind of chiropractic adjustment? There are over 200 formalized techniques to deliver a chiropractic adjustment, but in a very broad oversimplified way of looking at it, chiropractic adjustments come in two varieties; segmental and tonal. Segmental means the individual bones - or segments - of the spine and the curvatures of the spine are addressed. It's usually done with more force and in more areas of the spine, the stereotypical adjustment that makes a lot of noise is in this category. Tonal is a type of adjustment that addresses more of the tone and subtle adaptability of the spine, usually with less force and sometimes in fewer areas of the spine. (I know many of my fellow Chiropractors reading this are cringing at how ridiculously oversimplified this is). This is a much less common way of adjusting. I probably deliver 1 out of every 50-100 adjustment exclusively this way.
Now, the whole point to any chiropractic adjustment is to affect the nervous system in a positive pro-healing, pro-adaptability kind of way. And maybe 1 out of 5 of my patients has a nervous system on the more sensitive side. So I've been paying closer attention to how people identify themselves, as an introvert particularly. And using that as a clue to see if they would be someone who would benefit more from the softer adjustment or an adjustment in less areas. Ultimately I think it's more than 1 out of 5. Based upon my experience, even before this book and new idea, I suspect it's 1 out of 3 or even more that would benefit more from "less" - less areas of the spine and less force. Maybe this is why it's called "practice". It's always a process of learning and growing.