Environmental, postural and muscular contributors to thyroid dysfunction can be addressed.
Environmental – Thyroid and Chlorine
You may already know that chlorine is very harmful for the health of the thyroid gland.
As reported by the National Academy of Hypothyroidism (https://www.nahypothyroidism.org), “Chlorine, like fluorine and bromine, is related to iodine which causes it to compete with iodine and subsequently block iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. Iodine is a vital mineral when it comes to proper thyroid function so low levels can result in hypothyroidism (a low-functioning thyroid).”
Chlorine is absorbed through our skin as well as through the digestive tract. Our drinking water is routinely treated with chlorine to destroy disease causing agents. We shower and bathe in chlorinated water. Unless you take unusual precautionary measures you will have some environmental exposure. There are shower heads and other fixtures that can filter out chlorine. Some of the water filtration devices can also reduce chlorine content of drinking water.
One area we do have some control over our exposure is by avoiding swimming in pool water. Swimming pools are notoriously high in chlorine, especially indoor pools.
Another area we can exert some control is by choosing our household cleaning products more carefully. Chlorine wipes are in common use to wipe down kitchen and bathroom surfaces. We breathe in toxic fumes which can affect the lung tissues as well as the thyroid. Choose cleaning agents that do not employ chlorine.
Postural – The Pelvis / thyroid connection
The pelvis-thyroid syndrome has to do with the relationship of the tilt of the pelvis and the strain that develops in the throat affecting thyroid function. The pelvis is made up of the two hip bones (ilium, ischium and pubis fused together) and the sacrum. The sacrum can become misaligned for a number of reasons. Traumas such as falling on the tailbone is a common cause (perhaps you fell on yours once upon a time.) Muscular tension in the muscles that attach to the pelvis is another common cause. The hamstring group pulls on the back of the pelvis; the adductors and quadriceps pull forward and sideways on the pelvis and the gluteal muscles pull the hip joints out of alignment. Muscles in the lower back and along the spine attach to the crest of the hip bone (iliac crest) and the sacrum. Tension and shortening of these muscles exert pulling forces on the bones contributing to the misalignment.
You can see some of the effects on the posture due to pelvic imbalances and rotations. The thyroid located in the front of the throat area is affected and the he
althy function suffers.
Massage strokes and stretches to restore length and balance to the muscles acting on the pelvis can help in the realignment.
Spiral Synergy techniques for the spine, pelvis, sacrum and iliopsoas muscle can help restore balance to the pelvis and thus restore balance to the thyroid. Spiral Synergy can also be used with the breastbone and ribcage to affect the Chapman’s Reflex area for the thyroid. Learn more about Spiral Synergy here.
Chapman’s Reflexes for the thyroid located along the junction between the breastbone (sternum) and rib cage in front and along the spine in the back can be stimulated to restore lymphatic flow to the thyroid and help balance its function. Details are found in the Chapman’s Neurolymphatic Reflexes ebook available here.
In her book on myofascial pain and dysfunction Janet Travell details the effects a sluggish thyroid function exerts on the proliferation and perpetuation of trigger points in the muscles and connective tissues surrounding them. Although her book does not illustrate trigger point patterns in any muscle referring directly into the thyroid gland, it has been proposed that trigger point activity in the muscles in the anterior neck have referrals into the gland and can affect its function. The trigger points in these muscles can be established by traumas such as falls and sudden whiplash movements. (Read about whiplash here.)
Massage strokes to these muscles and their attachments to the hyoid bone can address tension in these muscles and release trigger points located there. An instructional video on Self Massage of the Neck is available through this website.
Spiral Synergy techniques to release tension in the neck are also a good way to restore balance and release trigger points in this area. An instructional video can be viewed here.
Reflexology techniques directed to the thyroid reflexes located at the base of the big toe can also bring balance to its function and reduce stress in the neck area.
Essential oils traditionally used to support thyroid function include myrrh, spruce, blue tansy and myrtle. Apply a drop or two to the reflex area on the feet and on over the thyroid gland in the throat. The Chapman’s Reflex area for the thyroid referenced above is another site that can help. Lemongrass is also a good oil to apply but must be diluted with a vegetable oil due to the nature of the chemical constituents in the oil that can cause skin irritation.