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Multi-Dimensional Mastery - October 2015 - Santa Fe

The 5 Gifts of the Spine

By Dr. Judy Scher


Our nervous system is responsible for the function of every joint, muscle, and organ in our body. The shape, tone, and position of our spinal cord determine every thought, feeling, and action we take. Often we think of the spine as simply the backbone, whether straight or crooked, relating it only to posture. 


However, our outward posture reflects the inner distortion or integrity of our spinal cord and the spinal nerves. There is far more going on with our spines than we realize. The nervous system through the spinal canal registers every word, thought, memory, and feeling we have. More importantly it registers the energy state we were in when we had the experience. 


According to Dr. Donny Epstein, developer of Epstein Technologies, Network Spinal Analysis, and Somato Respiratory Integration, the 5 gifts of the spine are:


  • Function

  • Emotion

  • Self

  • Behavior

  • Consciousness


Our nervous system is the first system to develop in utero and it continues to develop into adulthood. If all of the 5 gifts of the spine are fully experienced, then our potential is unlimited. 



Our spine and nervous system are essential to all the vital functions of our body, automatically and unconsciously coordinating functions such as breathing, heart-rate, blood pressure, digestion, walking, and so much more. We often only notice our spines when there is a problem. 


The gift of Function is about self-healing, self-regulation, muscle contraction, organ function, and hormone balance. When Function is not operating effectively, the energy of the body is diverted to ensure that survival processes can continue. The survival process shuts down ‘optional’ functions and growth. However, when the gift of Function is working well and we don’t have to consciously think of how to survive then we can put our focus and consciousness on life fulfillment.



Emotions are feelings and sensations that move through the body in response to situations. Our emotions are key to the actions we do or don’t take in life. Emotions are meant to move and change, often instantaneously, so when we are “frozen” we are unable to feel enough to create a shift or desire to take action. The challenge is that when we have habituated ourselves to experience only a narrow range of emotions we don’t have enough energy to feel what needs to be felt in the moment. When that happens our body will express what isn’t felt in muscle tension, contraction, and rigidity. The gift of emotion is the ability to express a full range of emotion and to be able to access emotion to create change through new behaviors quickly and effortlessly.



Sense of Self

How we posture or hold our body says so much about who we feel we are. We posture differently when we connect with different aspects of our selves. Our posture will reflect our lack of confidence, our inability to feel our heart fully, our sadness, our lack of self worth, and our compensations. This can be directly seen in the position of the spine, the position of the shoulders, how deeply we breathe, the position of our tailbone, and the position of our chest wall and heart. The gift of the sense of self through the spine is feeling confident and connecting to what it means to be ourselves, which will be then be reflected and reinforced in our posture. 



Our nervous system and spine co-ordinate how we move and the actions we take either consciously or sub-consciously. Strongly related to our sense of self, the actions we take profoundly reflect our experience in life. The gift of behavior through the spine impacts our habits and choices. It has to do with how we show up or don’t show up in our lives. The experience of coming from a place of freedom and flexibility is a gift of behavior.



We are sentient beings. Through the function of our spine and nervous system, which includes our brain, we experience our life. Increasing consciousness and awareness will influence how much you live life or how much life lives you. The gift of consciousness through the spine is being self-aware, present, living joyfully and contributing to others.  

Judy Scher, D.C. is Director of the Scher Center in Santa Fe since 1992. She is an international teacher, workshop leader, and keynote speaker. The Scher Center utilizes cutting edge reorganizational healing tools including Network Spinal Analysis Care. For more info go to

or call 505 989-9373.

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