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The Triad of Health

Bernard S. Burton DC PA

Chiropractic Physician • Clinical Nutritionist • Certified Acupuncturist

 There are many ways at looking at health.  In Applied Kinesiology we like to consider health as a Triad.  The three legs of the triangle are structural, chemical and mental.  If the sides are all equal then the person will have optimal health. A shortening or lengthening of any side will be less than optimum.

Note that nowhere in this discussion is pain or lack of it part of health.  Because it isn’t.  Pain is a natural response to noxious stimuli. It is normal for someone to have pain after they hit their hand with a hammer, but they are no less healthy.  Health is the optimal function, which should have minimal noxious stimuli.


The structural part includes the relationship between the muscles, bones, and nerves, also considered the Chiropractic aspect.  However this also includes all the joints of the body, in addition to the spine. Since we stand on 2 feet, improper movement of the bones in the foot, and ankle, or the muscles and ligaments, which support them, can cause symptoms in more distant joints.  This is due to our ability to adapt to a problem unconsciously and excessively stress other regions in compensation. (This biomechanical principle has been termed “Closed Kinematic Loop”).

The bones of the skull need to move slightly.  If they don’t, they can put an abnormal stress on the brain through the very unstretchable dura.  Also, live bone is much more flexible than most realize.  This flexing of these bones help circulate the Cerebral Spinal fluid which bathes and provides nutrition for the brain and central nervous system.  This is termed Chiropractically the “Sacral-Occipital Mechanism” and Osteopathically the “Craniosacral Mechanism” due to the different researchers who developed their approaches to health.

On average there are 206 bones in  the body.  In the spine with 26 moveable segments, there are 6-8 joints for each segment.  Considering many joints are in common there are over 100 just in the spine.  So giving a good spinal adjustment can be a daunting and extremely powerful task.


The Chemical portion of the triad is the nutrition, diet, and the biochemistry of the patient.  We have approximately 5000 chemical reactions occurring each second in each of the billion-billion cells of our body.  Biochemically we are all unique with our needs dictated by genetics, our internal and external environments, and all overseen by the nervous system.

Even something as simple as nutrition is very complex. In order to get proper nutrition, the food must enter the mouth where it is chewed and identified by the brain through the senses of smell and taste.  The brain then signals the glands to secrete the proper chemicals which mix with the food to start breaking it down.  The food enters the stomach where more chemicals mix with food in the proper proportion at the proper time. Once it leaves the stomach, the food must be raised to a much higher pH so that it doesn’t burn the small intestines, mixed with other chemicals and gets selectively absorbed.  Upon entering the large intestines, the remaining food with help of an array of friendly bacteria breaks down some more and gets selectively absorbed.  If all this goes well, at the proper time, with the proper proportions, and the proper food, the body should get adequate nutrition.

Notice nutrition is not an easy subject.  Arriving at the proper solution is not possible from laboratory tests at this time in our lives.  Applied Kinesiology is an approach in which many of these questions can be answered in a safe, cost-effective manner.


This aspect of health is crucial.  You don’t have to want to be healthy to get more healthy.  And you don’t have to believe something will work for it to work.  But it helps.

There are many psychiatric problems that have a physiological cause. Such as depression due to inadequate blood sugar control, food sensitivities, or constant pain as in Fibromyalgia.  These are chemical and structural causes of “mental” problems. They can be evaluated using Applied Kinesiology.

The sides of the equilateral triangle interrelate with each other.  A constant structural strain will affect one’s emotions.  The emotions can then affect the digestive system that will affect the chemistry in terms of nutritional deficiencies.  This can then lead to muscle weakness that will further aggravate the structural strain.  A unified and cohesive approach is important and necessary.

Unfortunately, today’s health care has promoted excessive specialization.  This has provided for good results in highly specific conditions, but not necessarily in overall health in the general population.  Also, problems exist when different specialties are unaware of the other sides of the triangle; whose is inadvertently treating the other sides and not getting at the cause.  An example of this is the use of painkillers and muscle relaxants for structural problems with a known cause.  If you fix the cause, you will fix the problem.



Dr. Bernard S. Burton DC PA, is a Chiropractic Physician, Clinical Nutritionist, and Acupuncturist in Sunrise, who utilizes Applied Kinesiology in his practice.  He is located at Sunset Square Plaza; 2045 N. University Drive; Sunrise,  FL   33322.  He can be reached at (954) 742-0332 FAX (954) 742-7344 or his website:  www.betterbacks.com


Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system for evaluating body function.  It was developed within the Chiropractic Profession and utilizes manual muscle testing, clinical expertise, and lab tests, to diagnose functional problems which can then be treated with Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Deep-Tissue Stimulation, Craniosacral Therapy, as well as a variety of other techniques.   This type of muscle testing has been termed “Functional Neurology”.