Monday, August 30, 2010

Perspective of NSA and Dr. Stephanie Bridwell from a new patient

When I first heard of Dr. Stephanie and Magnolia Wellness Center, it was through my older brother, Mike, who had been seeing her for a few months for his back; an injury sustained during work had forced him into early retirement and kept him glued to the couch or hobbling around like an old man. His condition has since improved and he has become more active again although he has not completely recovered. When repetitive stresses in my life and work created a knot the size of a plum in the back of my neck I was ready to head to Chinatown in search of someone who would tweak me back into shape and beat my tight muscles into submission; Mikey stopped me and sent me to Magnolia Wellness Center with a gift certificate and blessings of restored vitality. I can’t thank him enough.

My first private introductory session with Dr. Stephanie revealed some surprising things to me, information I had either had no previous knowledge of or had taken for granted for years. She first informed me of my scoliosis: two sizeable wrong turns my spine decided to make while my body was still awkwardly adjusting to a high school growth spurt. The lateral bends in my spinal column happened to be both right where that plum lodged itself at the base of my skull and in my lower back, another area that frequently caused me pain and discomfort. Now these aches had a cause – I was already one step closer to salvation.

The other bit of information I took away from my first session made so much sense to me that its no wonder I had been ignoring it for so long. Your spinal column is the conduit for your Central Nervous System. It houses and protects the very nerves that relay every important message from your brain to your body and back again. I learned this in seventh grade but for some reason chose to forget this information and continued abusing my back with heavy lifting and reckless endangerment. Somewhere along the line other aspects of my life began to be affected from the mistreatment of my spine, senses such as my hearing and eyesight. The nerves that communicate these senses were being twisted around in my misshapen spine and their functionality was suffering because of it. Obviously some damages sustained were unconnected and irreversible (damage to my ears from playing music too loud, damage to my eyes from staring at the sun [I have to stop doing that]) but it makes sense to me that by correcting the mistakes in my posture and improving the conduits through which my nerves travel I would in time notice a gradual return in my senses. Now I have a reason to sit up straight other than impressing the elderly – its actually better for me in the long run.

Finally, Dr. Stephanie introduced to me a breathing exercise called the “breath wave” that she wanted me to practice continually throughout every day. By taking a breath deep into my belly and acknowledging it as it rises up into my chest, I noticed almost every vertebrae in my back shift and bend with my filling lungs, like a wave, sending a surge of energy from the base of my tailbone to the top of my spine. With practice over time, every vertebra would loosen up and move in a fluid motion enabling this exercise to realign my spinal curves and open my closed gateways for my nerves to travel through. The breath wave, Dr. Stephanie assured me, would eventually do so much more for me in life, but at that time this improvement was enough for me.

The session was over quickly for how much I learned about myself and I was sent back into the world with a taller, more respectable stance and some newfound insight into my own life. Breathing deeply and happily, I wandered through San Francisco and felt sorry for the people who were taking their commute to work too seriously. Already I had questions to ask Dr. Stephanie but I had plenty of time to mull them about in my own head until my next appointment.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Network Chiropractic-SF Examiner

SF Women's Health Examiner

Interviewed by Rheba Estante
SF Women's Health Examiner

Dr. Stephanie Bridwell is a professional chiropractor and the founder of Magnolia Chiropractic in San Francisco. Upon discovering Network Spinal Analysis she began offering it at her clinic. Drop in rates are $55 for a session. Dr. Bridwell is also a yoga teacher and holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology. The clinic website can be found at

1. What is Network Chiropractic?

An evidence-based method of assessing, correcting, and transforming spinal tension patterns that we acquire during our lives as our bodies respond to physical, emotional, and chemical stressors. Network Care includes the modalities Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) and Somato-Respiratory Integration (SRI). With NSA gentle and precise contacts are made along the spine where the spinal cord attaches to bone. This assists the body in first discovering and feeling where spinal tension patterns are and then learning to develop a breath wave that free’s the ridgid areas of tension. This helps the body reorganize to a higher more sophisticated level as a new baseline. We are re- training the body to self correct and better utilize stress before it is stored ad tension in the future. Simply started, the intent is to enable the body's own self generated mechanisms of movement and respiration to assist in the correction of tension pattern and interference to the nervous system. The care is a continuum of increasing spinal awareness and self corrective efficiency.

2. How is network different to treat posture problems than standard chiropractic?

The shape, position, tension, and tone of our spine is in relationship to the shape, position, tension, and tone of our lives. Our perceptions create different responses in our nervous system and our physiology. Think about the position of your spine when you are in pain, disempowered, or after getting a parking ticket…its hunched forward, right? How about when you feel successful, passionate, just got recognition for a job well done…your shoulders are now open and back, your chest is lifted and head is on straight. Both postures greatly affect your health and vitality. They have competing affects on nerve flow, flexibility, blood pressure and adaptation to stress, just to name a few.

3. How did you become interested in network?

I was in Chiropractic school and studying several techniques in depth. When I received my first Network Adjustment, I knew something very deep, powerful, and graceful had just occurred. I felt a profound sense of peace in my body and in my mind and it lasted for five straight days. I remember being highly aware of this shift. Each subsequent adjustment built on the last and now I live my life in that peaceful flexible, adaptable, state most of the time. As a business owner and person that plays life ‘full out’ my life is very demanding and because of my Network care my body and my mind are in a calm and focused state allowing me to dance with all the layers of my life.

4. What are the common reasons that women seek network chiropractic?

Menstrual irregularity, fertility problems, mood swings, insomnia, concern related stress, back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches, and to have a greater connection to their body.

5. What are some specific ways that network is great for women?

This care is excellent for woman for many reasons. Our reproductive organs live our pelvic region. Our care promotes freedom in this area, which aids labor, delivery, menstrual cycles, moods related to hormonal imbalance, fertility, and overall motion.

6. Can pregnant women be treated with network?

Yes. I have cared for many women successfully through pregnancy. Our care helps to create space in the pelvis for the baby to grow and the uterus to expand in a balanced way. This is very helpful to avoid breach presentation and back labor, and an overall easier pregnancy. What about children? Our nervous system is developing from the time we are utero. The sooner we get it checked and cleared of interference the better. If a baby is born with a misalignment or abnormal stress on the spine-the nervous system is wired with that as part of the original script. I am committed to children being cleared of abnormal patterns early and wired to ease as soon in life as possible so that it becomes a the baseline for the rest of life.

7. What are the other modalities your clinic offers?

We offer body work and KaliRay TriYoga Classes.

8. How can network be used for people who have mobility problems or poor posture due to the type of work they do?

We help to correct spinal tension patters and retrain the body to hold tension differently. This will teach them to use their bodies differently at work and in their own personal circumstances.

9. How did you design the vision for Magnolia Chiropractic?

It gives me goose bumps to see how this dream has unfolded into such a successful reality. I have been visioning this wellness center since I was in my early twenties when my father was ill. I wanted there to be a better way for people to heal with dignity, respect, and for their to be a ‘real-ness’ to it. Meaning, the people I care for know what is happening. They know what is changing, they are part of the process and are being empowered in ways that positively effect their well-being so that they are not dependent on me, but can tap into their bodies healing wisdom outside of the office. We give people tools on how to do this and to trust in our inner doctor.

10. What is your vision for yourself as a practitioner and for the clinic in 2010?

Magnolia Wellness Center is a Network Chiropractic Studio dedicated to educating and serving our community to discover their bodies innate healing wisdom, transform their lives and awaken to their fullest potential.

Everything we do is a reflection of this vision.