by Dr. Michael L. Johnson
Insomnia and fatigue are two sides of the same coin:
if a person is unable to sleep at night, they are
usually fatigued during the day. However, some people
get eight to 12 hours of sleep a night and still
The top part of the brain stem is called the mesencephalon,
and it determines our sleeping/waking patterns.
The specific term is the "mesencephalic reticular
activating system" which is a three-dollar
phrase for top of the brain stem. If
the mesencephalon is firing, you will be awake.
If the mesencephalon decreases frequency of firing,
you will be tired and unable to stay awake. Patients
who experience insomnia probably have a mesencephalon
that is over-firing. Patients with fatigue who seem
to get enough sleep may have a decreased frequency
of firing of the mesencephalon.
A thorough neurological examination should be performed
in order to determine the exact state of the nervous
As a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, I
utilize treatment modalities that increase or decrease
frequency of firing on the mid-brain. For example,
visual stimulation with red or green light from
the left side crosses through the mid-brain and
increases the frequency of firing in the right cerebral
cortex (right brain). The effects of visual stimulation
are monitored by blood pressure and pulse. Increased
frequency of firing (impulses) of the cortex (brain)
should lower the blood pressure and pulse via ponto-medullary
(lower brain stem) stimulation. Increased cortical
(brain) stimulation also fires to the cerebellum
(back part of the brain) via feedback mechanisms.
The cerebellum controls involuntary muscles of the
spinal cord. Auditory stimulation (sound) in the
left ear increases frequency of firing (impulses)
in the temporal lobe of the brain. Auditory stimulation
is monitored by blood pressure and pulse. Treatments
may include unilateral (one-sided) exercises and
unilateral (one-sided) adjustments or manipulations.
Extremities (arms and legs), lumbar spine (low back),
and cervical spine (neck) may be manipulated on
one side only to fire muscle spindle cells (muscle
receptors) and joint mechanoreceptors (joint receptors)
into the same cerebellum (back part of the brain)
and opposite cerebral cortex (brain). The thoracic
(mid-back) spine may be globally manipulated to
fire the dorsal columns (back part of the spinal
About the Author
Dr. Michael L. Johnson is a Board Certified Chiropractic
Neurologist with over twenty years of experience
in private practice, over 850 hours of neurological
studies, and 3800 hours of postgraduate education.
His best-selling book What Do You Do When the Medications
Don't Work? - A Non-Drug Treatment of Dizziness,
Migraine Headaches, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic
Conditions is available wherever books are sold.
© 2005 M. L. Johnson