Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Dr. Julie Burke: Helping Bodies Heal Themselves

At Newton Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, in Newton Centre, Dr. Julie Burke practices a self-healing approach to wellness through Network Spinal Analysis (NSA), a gentle form of chiropractic care. Burke says that NSA retrains the body to correct itself and return to proper functioning through specific movements, stretches and adjustments, called “entrainments.” Natural Awakenings wanted to learn more about the body’s ability to heal itself through what Burke calls “innate intelligence.”

What is innate intelligence, and how does it facilitate healing in the body?

All human beings start out as just two cells, one from each parent, which then multiply into trillions of cells. These new cells go off in different directions to form the body, becoming a part of the organs, bones, blood and other structures and vessels. That’s innate intelligence at work and, once it forms a new body, it stays inside us to run every aspect of our lives. If we hurt ourselves or get a disease, it’s our innate intelligence that does the healing. This intelligence expresses itself largely through the nervous system, which is stretched over the body’s frame, or bones, like the strings of a musical instrument. Any distortion of our frame, such as an injury, can interfere with the nerves by disturbing their “tone” and creating tension. On the internal level, chemical or emotional stresses can also lead to spinal cord tension as the physiology changes and we literally become uptight.

Is such tension the body’s attempt to protect itself?

When stressed, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode and, while it may be appropriate to stay there for a while, we often get stuck in that pattern. An overabundance of stress erodes the body’s ability to communicate with itself and maintain its optimal position. This can be seen in postural conditions, such as when someone’s head juts forward all the time. What’s often at play there is that the nervous system is guiding that posture as a result of tension from the inside.

Can tension also lead to illness?

Yes, but a loss of function occurs before we develop symptoms and disease. About 10 percent of our nerves inform the body of pain, and the rest coordinate and control all functions in the body. When there is pressure or irritation to a nerve that guides function, there will be a change in normal function, creating pain or illness. If a patient comes in with knee pain, it’s usually because the joint has been functioning improperly for some time. Eventually, the pain shows up. Someone with asthma has likely had a functional loss where they’re not able to move the lungs effectively.

How does NSA assist the body in healing itself?

NSA is a very gentle, yet powerful, evidence-based approach to wellness that uses specific adjustments along the spine. These well-timed adjustments, combined with movements in related muscles and joints, release patterns of tension that have been locked in the nervous system. When the nervous system is able to communicate properly throughout the body, it can self-correct and transform both the structure and related functions. We notice not only decreased pain and significant posture changes with NSA, but also many other benefits, such as the improved ability to deal with stress and better breathing. Often a patient will suddenly become aware of an area in the body and feel blood or breath flowing there for the first time.

What determines whether a correction holds?

Everything that someone does before and after a treatment matters, so we educate patients about what supports continued healing, such as diet, exercise and stress reduction. Research on NSA has shown that when we get the body into a more highly functioning state, the person will actually want to adopt healthy lifestyle changes. It’s also shown that when people receive NSA they naturally take better care of themselves. We love this response, because we’d rather see people living from a place of “I like to exercise” than “I should exercise.” Simply put, when we get the body in better condition, the person’s desires line up with what is good for them.

Dr. Julie Burke practices at Newton Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, 345 Boylston St., Ste. 300, Newton Centre. For more information, call 617-964-3332 or visit