THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Our society is experiencing a cultural crisis and chaos when it comes to health care -- and trying to solve it with a medical approach won't work. To paraphrase Einstein, you cannot resolve problems with the same level of thinking that existed when the problem was created.
We are faced with a major contradiction when we view medicine as "health care" because -- in reality -- it is sick care. When you take sick care and apply it to society as health care, you end up with a sick society. As a nation, we spend over one trillion dollars a year on what we call health care, yet our morbidity and mortality rates are unacceptable.
Many people (especially politicians) would like you to believe this health care crisis is fundamentally a financial one. But the high cost of health care is an effect, not a cause. Trying to control these expenses will merely redefine the problem -- not correct it.
Correcting it will take a new level of thinking, or paradigm, in health care. There is no doubt that a consumer-driven health-care revolution is taking place in the United States. People know radical change is needed, but have no clear vision what that change should be.
Part of the problems stems from the fact that huge amounts of vital information have been hidden from the American public -- information which is vital when trying to draw conclusions about proper health care for yourself and your family.
There is an important difference between knowledge and wisdom, and knowledge void of wisdom can be a very dangerous thing. Knowledge built the atom bomb -- wisdom will prevent us from blowing up the planet. The medical profession has accumulated vast amounts of knowledge over the years, but can lack wisdom in applying it.
Nature is incapable of programming for failure. We know the body is innately endowed with the ability to heal and regulate, and the nerve system is the master system and controller of the body. It stands to reason that if there is any interference with nerve function, there must necessarily be interference with the ability of the body to heal and regulate.
This wisdom goes a long way in determining what type of action, if any, should be taken when trying to achieve health and well being. So much of what is being pushed on us today in medicine interferes with the nerve system and disturbs the body's normal regulatory processes. This is NOT health care!
Amid all this chaos I will be trying to share with you my knowledge. My goal is to try and produce a newsletter every month, sometimes it may be sooner, other times longer. Those of you with email addresses will be receiving upcoming newsletters via email. The rest will be getting through the mail. I want you all to become aware of what I see wrong with our current "health care" system. I want to impart my knowledge about chiropractic and other natural ways to obtain optimal health. You will be shown things that will have you shaking your heads in disbelief. Hopefully you will obtain the necessary knowledge to make wise decisions concerning your health. Never let yourself or your loved ones be victimized because of ignorance of this information. Share this newsletter with others -- their lives may depend on it. Join the revolution!!
We are supposed to use health insurance when we are sick. Life insurance when we die. When we are healthy we do not take medicine because it makes us sick. When we're sick the same medicine is supposed to make us healthy?! When a woman is pregnant she must stop all medication-does that mean pregnancy makes medicine harmful?
Where is our logic? Have we somehow managed to give up all forms of reason so as to avoid any responsibility? Here's one of my favorites: We have been led to believe for decades that germs cause disease. If that were true--wouldn't the doctors and nurses in hospitals that deal with "germs" everday be wiped out to extinction?
Germs do not cause disease. I'm sure that I will catch a ton of flask for that statement, but it is undeniable, absolutely true. In studies where they placed germs on the mucosal linings of healthy individuals, only about 12% get sick. If germs were the cause wouldn't everyone get sick. Saying that germs cause disease is like saying that flies caused roadkill! Sick, compromised, and susceptible individuals allow germs (scavengers) to invade the body. Any interference to the body's recuperative abilities will cause compromise and lead to "dis-ease" (lack of ease, lack of normal body function) in the body.
The body's recuperative, self-healing ability is controlled by the nerve system. The nerve system controls immune function. A main part of the nerve system is the spinal cord located inside vertebrae. Subluxations (misalignments of the spine) cause interference to the nerve system allowing the body to become weak and subsequently susceptible to germs and bacteria. This explains why a child will have chronic ear infections. Antibiotic after antibiotic and the child still has the ear infection. Unless you address the causes of the infection they will continue. As a chiropractor I look for interference in the nerve system. Interference will produce "dis-ease". If you eliminate the subluxation and allow the body's recuperative ability to function as it should you can correct the problem without harmful drugs or painful surgeries. Studies show that patients receiving regular chiropractic care can display 200-400% greater immune competency.
Let's get back to some insanity that most people accept as normal:
-When taken as directed adverse drug reactions will reportedly kill between 105,000 - 150,000 people each year, and be responsible for over 2-4 million hospitalizations.
-Medical mistakes will kill a reported 98,000-120,000 people per year and injure/hospitalize 4-7 million people.
-Most doctors guess at drug doses to give to children because less than 25% of all medications given to children have been tested to see if they are safe to give to children.
-70% of doctors who treat Medicare patients flunked an exam on prescribing to the elderly.
-It is 'conservatively' estimated that 16,500 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) deaths occur among ostesoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients only every year in the U.S. Imagine the number when you include people who take them for headaches, menstrual cramps, back pain, etc. (NSAIDs include: aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Alleve, Mortrin, Midol, Excedrin, etc.)
-The U.S. declared "War on Cancer" in 1971, spending close to a trillion dollars on cancer research -- the Results: in the National Cancer Program's 29 years, cancer: Deaths rose close to 10%, Incidence jumped almost 20%.
-On an average day American's spend over $11 million on over-the-counter pain medication; close to $50 million on precsription drugs and Americans will consume over 80,000,000 aspirin today.
A definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting different results. Like the lady used to say: STOP THE INSANITY!!!
The past decade has marked an incredible increase in how our country has utilized alternative health care. In 1990 researchers estimated that over 425 million visits were made to alternative health care providers. These numbers far exceed the amount of visits to traditional medical doctors and are increasing every year. In fact a survey conducted in 1994 indicated that over 60% of physicians recommended alternative therapies to their patients. Of these doctors 47% used it themselves and 23% incorporated them into their practice. Another amazing fact is that medical schools across the country are taking notice of the increasing interest in alternative therapies. Medical schools including Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Mount Sinai (and the list goes on) offer courses and seminars on alternative practices that just a few years ago were considered outlandish. The number one alternative to medicine is chiropractic. *(It is important to note that I and most chiropractors do not consider chiropractic an alternative to any other form of care. There is nothing that can be used in place of chiropractic. Anything not medical gets lumped as alternative, but that is an article for another issue.) However, the numbers above are certainly indicators that American's are finally realizing the difference between health care and disease care. The growing trend is for people to maintain their health instead of treating the disease. People are joining gyms, eating healthier, drinking bottled water, taking nutritional supplements and visiting chiropractors on a regular basis.
Why the change? Perhaps it's because traditional medicine has become the third leading cause of death. The top 5 causes of death being:
1. Heart Disease
3. Medical Care
5. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Maybe it's because people are realizing that the only purpose medication serves is to mask the symptoms while the disease process continues. Maybe its because they know that 2-4 million people a year are injured and hospitalized from the side effects of prescription medicines. Some of these injuries are so severe that 105,000 - 150,000 of them die. Maybe it's because even though a drug is FDA approved it doesn't make it safe. It is estimated that 51% of approved drugs have serious side effects that were not detected prior to approval (death, cardiac arrest, and cancer.) Maybe it's because of statistics printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicating that medical care is responsible for over 320,000 deaths per year (the equivalent of 4.5 jumbo jet crashes every day). Now let me ask you all a question. If 4.5 jumbo jets crashed every day would you fly?
Perhaps all these reasons are why pharmaceutical companies are spending over $2.5 billion a year to market over the counter drugs and over $12.5 billion to market prescription drugs. That equates to over 41 million dollars a day. If drugs were so good why does it take over 15 billion dollars a year to sell them? Because people are realizing that taking them does not make one healthy and with this whole revolution going on in health care it takes a lot of money to perpetuate the old myths. If drugs made people healthy then the person who takes the most amounts of drugs would be the healthiest, but we all know that is not the case. People are taking responsibility for their own health. They are asking questions and are no longer allowing doctors to have primary control over their health.
People are realizing that symptoms should never be a judge of health. For example, a heart attack is the first sign of heart disease for a lot of people, and cancer can go on for years before its presence is known. A decrease in body function usually exists for quite some time before symptoms arise and a disease can be named. People are also realizing that when symptoms appear they indicate a problem. It is like a built in alarm system telling us that our body is not functioning at 100%. With this knowledge people make one of three decisions. They can ignore it and hope it goes away. They can take medication to eliminate the symptom, or they can do something to correct the cause. This is why more and more people are choosing chiropractic. The logical thing is to take responsibility for ones health and play an active role in becoming healthy. If an alarm went off in your home indicating a fire would you want the fire put out, or would you simply want the alarm turned off? Taking medication when symptoms appear is like turning off the siren and allowing your house to burn down.
It wasn't that long ago when the American Medical Association set out to eliminate the chiropractic profession. They initiated so much slander that the chiropodist had to relabel themselves as podiatrists. "Chiropodist" looked too much like chiropractor on the sign and people avoided them. In 1991, the Supreme Court found the AMA and other medical associations guilty of conspiring to destroy chiropractic. A good deal of prejudice still exists today. But like the old saying goes "time will always perpetuate those things that are better for mankind." The chiropractic principles are being recognized and society, the scientific community and even traditional medicine are accepting the validity of the chiropractic profession.
Chiropractic is based on the scientific knowledge that the nervous system controls all body functions. It controls and coordinates literally every organ, tissue and cell of the body. Nerve impulses flow from the brain, down the spinal cord, and to every organ. Impulses sent back to the brain confirm that the body is working properly. If there is interference to these impulses the overall function of the body is decreased. This is what chiropractors label a SUBLUXATION. Whether or not symptoms are present, the body cannot function properly. A chiropractor is trained to recognize and eliminate these subluxations. It allows the intelligence of the body and the nervous system to maintain harmony and health. Chiropractic focuses on the person with the disease not the disease or the symptom. While traditional health care focuses on sickness, disease and what makes people die, chiropractic is based on health, wellness and what makes people live. A recent study published in JAMA noted that users of alternative health care were generally more educated and that these alternatives were more congruent with their own values, beliefs and philosophical orientations toward health and life. The Journal of Pediatrics stated that chiropractic was the number one alternative to conventional medicine. It also stated that the mothers who chose alternatives (like chiropractic) were again more educated than those who chose conventional medicine. The medical reasons for seeking care were respiratory (like asthma), ENT (like ear infections), musculoskeletal, skin, gastrointestinal (like colic), allergies, and prevention. Factors influencing the choice of alternative medicine are word of mouth, fear of drug side effects, chronic medical problems, dissatisfaction with conventional medicine and more personalized attention.
People are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are tired of prescriptions, side effects and unnecessary surgery. The world market for anti-depressants totals 6 billion dollars and 5.5 billion of that is consumed in the United States. Are we a nation that needs to depend on Prozac? Alarming rates of children are on Ritalin and other psychotropic (mind altering) drugs. The long-term effects of Ritalin are just being recognized. Our society is waking up and shifting gears when it comes to health care.
The argument used to be that alternative health care providers were unscientific and took advantage of the uninformed, yet all studies indicate just the opposite. Chiropractic has stood the test of time because unlike conventional medicine it is based on sound scientific principles. Chiropractors from 100 years ago can walk into any office and practice today. Take a medical doctor out of practice for 15 years and then put him back. He probably wouldn't know what to do. That ever so scientific profession is always changing its views. Many doctors today will admit that past practices were considered barbaric. Scientific principles should withstand the test of time. A mathematician, a physicist, or a chiropractor from a century ago can still practice. A medical doctor cannot because it is not scientific. This is the reason why the majority of office visits have been and continue to be made to alternative providers.
While medicine is making advances in the field of trauma and special surgeries they are losing ground when it comes to health and wellness. Their solution is a pill or a potion. Pills and potions only make the pharmaceutical companies rich. The sad thing is that pharmaceutical companies have literally taken over medical schools for their own benefit. Doctors are taught that the only ways to solve problems are with drugs and surgery. Dr. M.F. McCarthy says in the journal Medical Hypotheses, "If this situation does not point out the moral bankruptcy of American medicine, I don't know what could." Providing free equipment, computers, supplies, seminars and large grants (money) to professors does have a price. That price is public health. The pill popping approach explains (according to the World Health Organization) why U.S. citizens pay more for health. The sad thing is that our health status ranks fairly low when compared to other nations. Our infant mortality rate is below 20 other nations, and people live longer, on average, in 16 others.
Recent studies done in the U.S. and Canada concluded that only 8% of people under chiropractic care needed the services of an M.D. as opposed to 46% of those who did not. It also stated that people who used the services of a chiropractor were healthier overall, had less incapacitating conditions and required fewer health needs.
Studies done by Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York's Preventive Medicine Institute and professor of medicine in Environmental Health at New York University, showed that people under chiropractic care had a 200% stronger immune system than 'healthy' people who were not. The chiropractic patients had a 400% stronger immune system than people with cancer or other serious disease. He further went on to conclude that chiropractic care may optimize ones ability to fully resist serious disease.
Studies prove subluxations cause neurological stresses that impair immune response, and can be a factor in aging. Our immune system determines whether or not we get sick or stay healthy. Chiropractic keeps the immune response high. In fact when tested on HIV patients a 48% increase in their CD4 (immune system) cells was demonstrated over the six-month duration of the study. There is not a drug out there that can increase immune function like this.
Research shows that 80% of all infants suffer from nerve interference caused by a subluxation. This study states that out of 1250 babies chosen at random, 211 suffered from nervousness, vomiting, muscular abnormalities, tremors and insomnia. 95% (200) of those children had abnormal cervical (neck) muscle strain indicating vertebral subluxation. When the subluxation was removed it frequently resulted in immediate quieting, cessation of crying, muscular relaxation and sleepiness.
To be healthy, every organ, tissue and cell in the body needs a healthy nerve supply. To give our families and ourselves the chance for a better quality of life, we need to allow our body to function at its fullest potential with maximum nerve supply.
The purpose of our office is to bring chiropractic care to the people in our community. Our goal is to help the sick people get well and to keep the well people healthy. We want to educate as many people as possible on the importance of a healthy nervous system and thus a healthy body. We want our community to make educated choices, get to know what a subluxation is, and how it affects their health.
Chiropractic is concerned about your total healthy life. Eating right, caring for your spine and exercising all help contribute to lasting health. All of us, however, like to be reminded of easy ways to improve our life. Below are some tips that will make it easier for you to get healthy and stay that way.
-Exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week.
-Listen to music while you exercise... You'll do more.
-Always smile when you stretch...It makes it much easier.
-If you use a treadmill, set it at a 10% incline or more... Studies show this burns 40% more calories.
-Use the stairs whenever possible, leave the elevators for the physically challenged.
-Walk backwards, it burns anywhere from 30-100% more calories. (just watch out for traffic.)
-Be a role model for your children; if you exercise, chances are they will too.
-Drink a glass of water before every meal.
-Stand up during the day; on the telephone, at your desk. Walk around and you will burn calories.
-Take a multivitamin daily; add antioxidants and other vitamins as needed.
-Drink water all day long. You will cleanse your system, improve your skin, and lose weight.
-Drink peppermint or ginger tea to settle an upset stomach or drink chamomile tea to ease anxiety.
-Laugh often even if the teeth aren't your own.
-Hang a Boston fern, English ivy, spider plants and potted palms (1 per 100 sq. feet) for effective air cleaning.
-Call a close friend once a week.
-Make one change a month (any of the above or one of your own). Record it on a piece of paper and then add to it each month. Just think 12 changes in a year and you didn't have to make a New Year's resolution.
-Maintain good posture.
-See your chiropractor regularly.
-Tell others how great you feel and refer them to us!
1994 Inaugural Speech
You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. -John
Get the BIG IDEA and all else follows. -B.J. Palmer, D.C.
More and more, the health fields are acknowledging the interrelationship of areas of health and human function that previously were thought to be unrelated.
In the field of psychology, researchers are finding that depression weakens bones, anxiety about eating can affect the menstrual cycle and stress can affect fertility. Whether these findings are actually true or not, they still underscore the fact that everything affects everything. We cannot be unhealthy mentally or emotionally and expect to be healthy physically. Conversely, we should expect our physical health to affect our emotional and mental well-being.
In a similar manner, we cannot expect what we put into our bodies in the form of medication to only affect one specific part. The entire body is affected by any drug that we take, regardless of its intended purpose. Those chemicals placed in the body in the form of caffeine and alcohol also affect our entire body. While everyone may not have experienced the wide-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night, heart-racing effects of caffeine, we have all seen the numbness of thought and loss of reflexes and coordination brought on by too much alcohol.
There is an up side to all this. All those good things that we do to and for our bodies also affect us in every way. When school children eat a good balanced breakfast, it not only helps make their bodies stronger, it enables them to do better in their class work. When you exercise regularly, you are helping to improve the digestion, absorption, metabolism and utilization of the food that you eat. Exercise helps your respiratory system and your cardiovascular system but it also helps you to get the most from your sleep, which in turn affects your ability to handle stress which affects your cardiovascular system and digestion. Are you beginning to see the point? Nothing done to or for the body occurs in a void - anything relates to everything.
This principle is nowhere more obvious than in Chiropractic care. When a person undertakes Chiropractic care, for whatever reason, the adjustments have a profound and far-reaching effect upon the entire body. When the Chiropractor corrects a subluxation, the entire body is improved. Every system in the body functions at a higher level. The body has a greater potential to heal itself and resistance increases. Every aspect of one's life is better because of one little adjustment.
How much better is the question. Frankly, we do not know. These things are not measurable. Granted, in some people drastic changes are noted. People's bodies heal themselves where before they could not. Athletes show marked improvement in performance, children do better in school. But the major improvements are going to be imperceptible at the time, like eating an apple. You do not see the immediate effects of eating the apple but you know that the body is better for it. We may not see the immediate results of an adjustment but we know that chiropractic adjustments add to our health and for that reason we should be receiving them on a regular basis.