THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
This year marks a historic time for chiropractic. Chiropractors around the world are wishing the profession a happy 105th birthday and many years of continued health. Celebrations have been slated throughout our country and many countries throughout the world.
In spite of all the adversity from the "established" health care system, chiropractic has grown from one chiropractor in 1895 to over 60,000 in the US alone. From one school in Davenport, Iowa to just under thirty schools throughout the world. The expansion of chiropractic into the mainstream of health care has not been easy. Many of our chiropractic forefathers were jailed for "practicing medicine without a license." Those of you who know anything about chiropractors know that the last thing we practice or want to be associated with is medicine! There were legislative issues, legal battles, intra- and inter- professional disputes.
Through it all however, there were patients.
Chiropractic has grown to reach the masses because of patients. Practice members just like you stood proudly in defense of their chiropractors because they knew that chiropractors got sick people well and that a body free from vertebral subluxations is better able to express its innate intelligence and has a better chance of reaching its potential in life. When words like "quack," "charlatan," or "cultist" were used, patients told the truth. They told of the tremendous benefits and outstanding results that they had seen. They told stories of being discarded by the medical men only to be brought back to health by the removal of vertebral subluxations allowing their innate intelligence to be expressed more fully and do its job of healing and restoring proper function to their bodies.
Simply ask anyone under chiropractic care in any office throughout the world and they will tell you how great chiropractic is. They don't buy into the propaganda that exists in the media or the medical profession and quite honestly, they don't care about the politics. Like yourself, they care about one thing- RESULTS. Not just in their health, but in their overall lives. This issue of our newsletter is dedicated to you, the chiropractic patients that have made chiropractic the grand and glorious profession that it is.
*By no means is this a complete history, and I apologize for all the great pioneers and contributors of chiropractic that I have had to omit for the sake of space.*
The first recorded chiropractic adjustment was performed on September 18, 1895, by Dr. Daniel David Palmer, a Canadian-born teacher and healer. Dr. Palmer was, at the time, studying the cause and effect of disease. His patient was Harvey Lillard, a janitor working in the same building as Dr. Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. Mr. Lillard, who had been deaf for over 17 years, following an incident when he bent over and heard a "pop" in his spine, allowed Dr. Palmer to examine his spine. Dr. Palmer discovered a "lump" on Mr. Lillard's spine and suspected that a vertebrae might be out of place. With an admittedly unrefined, even crude technique, Dr. Palmer repositioned the vertebra with a gentle thrust. After several such adjustments, Mr. Lillard's hearing was restored.
This dramatic beginning caused much excitement, and soon exaggerated claims surfaced from activist and chiropractic zealots. Even Dr. Palmer himself thought at first that he had discovered a cure for deafness. As these "miracle" stories became common place, the controversy surrounding chiropractic began. Because chiropractic challenged the traditional medical concept of health at the time, a campaign began to discredit and eliminate the profession. This campaign is in some respects still active today.
One of Dr. Palmer's patients, a minister, is credited with attaching the name "chiropractic" to the art and science of adjusting. He took the Greek words for "hand" (cheiros) and "done by" (pracktos) and put them together to spell chiropractic, meaning "done by hand."
Throughout the first half of the 1900's chiropractic became truly controversial under the primary leadership of Bartlett Joshua Palmer (B.J. Palmer), the son of the profession's founder. B.J. is called the developer of chiropractic. B.J. almost single-handedly developed the chiropractic philosophy from an idea given to him by his father. Chiropractic philosophy has been refined since his time, but B.J. gave it to us. His philosophy spurred innovation. He developed the first technique that concentrated on specificity. He developed the first instrument for subluxation analysis. He was the first to use x-ray as an analytical tool. He was responsible for teaching chiropractic in a formal educational atmosphere. He administered the first and largest chiropractic college at the time, owned radio and television stations, traveled extensively, and even hosted three U.S. Presidents --Coolidge, Hoover, and Truman -- at his home. B.J. Palmer was a genius and was light years ahead of his time. He brought chiropractic to the masses. Chiropractic would not have survived the early ruthless attempts to discredit its healing ability without B.J. Palmer's tenacity and brilliance. You would not be experiencing these many wonderful health benefits if not for B.J.
Chiropractic has gone through some changes since B.J.'s time. There has been a division in the profession between the "straights" and the "mixers." The straights want to keep chiropractic pure. They believe that it should only focus on the removal of vertebral subluxations, and that any other type of therapy added to the adjustment is superfluous and may be counterproductive. If we remove subluxations and allow the nerve system to function as it should so that the innate intelligence of the body can better express itself, what more needs to be done? Wouldn't it be arrogant to think that we know what another person's body will need besides the ability to function as it should? The mixers want to be considered an 'alternative care' practitioner and want to limit their care to mostly the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. They will use every therapy short of drugs and surgery to get rid of the persons symptoms. To gain acceptance with insurance companies and other health care they are willing to limit their vision. They want to be more like medicine and even work in hospitals. They have been responsible for giving the public the image that chiropractors are "back doctors."
During this era of turmoil, the next figure to make an impact on the profession was Reggie Gold. Reggie took B.J.'s philosophy and was able to refine and improve it. B.J wanted to use chiropractic to "get sick people well." Reggie came up with the idea that if it is good for sick people, wouldn't it be a good idea to have everyone under care so that their chances of becoming sick were lessened. He focused not on sickness and disease, but on the objective of chiropractic; to remove vertebral subluxations so the innate intelligence of the body can be expressed more fully, allowing a person to come as close to reaching his full potential in life as possible. Regardless of whether you are healthy or sick, whether your symptoms improve or not, you are better off with a good nerve supply free from vertebral subluxations. And since subluxations occur from birth to death, you need to be under care from birth until you die. He made chiropractic understandable for people who were not chiropractors. Patient education took huge steps because of Reggie's ability to explain chiropractic in a way that was logical and made sense.
Since Dr. Palmer's first primitive chiropractic adjustment, the art and science of chiropractic has progressed significantly. Chiropractic has rapidly grown to be second only to the medical profession as the largest health care provider in the western world. Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, grew from 24 students in1906 to 3,100 in 1923. Today, there are now just under 30 chiropractic institutions throughout the world, including colleges in the United States, Australia, Japan, England, and Canada. Current enrollment at chiropractic institutions now exceeds 10,000 enthusiastic and dedicated students.
1. Vertebral Subluxations always cause the body to work at less that 100%.
2. You can never reach you potential in life without regular chiropractic care.
3. There are no alternatives to chiropractic care.
4. Chiropractic can never be an approach to treating disease.
5. The innate intelligence of the body can always run it better than the finite educated mind.
Some people are always looking for a miracle. It may be a miraculous cure for a disease from which they suffer, or it may be to win the lottery or it may be for something that seems impossible to take place. That's what a miracle is, something that occurs without any natural explanation. If you drop a quarter, it hits the ground. There's a natural law called gravity that causes it to fall. If that quarter stays suspended in air, that would be a miracle!
The working of the human body, in a sense, could be described as a miracle. It happens for what seems to be no apparent natural explanation. There is something more than just flesh and blood that makes us alive. A corpse has all the parts that a living human being has, but it does not have life. It is missing something, something that cannot be seen under a microscope, measured or evaluated by science. It is so difficult to explain that "something"; scientists do not even try. They leave its explanation to the theologians and the philosophers. We are not going to try to explain that phenomena called life either but we will examine some of what seems to be its miraculous manifestations. Let's look at life as it relates to the human organism.
Let's start our discussion with what is easily the largest organ of the body. Can you guess what that is? Most people guess the intestines, but that would be wrong. The right answer, while it's only 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch thick, is your skin. Yes it may sound strange, but it really is considered to be an organ of the body. Every day billions upon billions of skin cells die and either just fall off or come off when we wash. Your body will slough off or discard about 40 pounds of dead skin in a lifetime, much of which will end up in your vacuum cleaner. Not a pleasant thought, but nonetheless true. In the city of New York that amounts to 2,000 tons of dead skin every year! No wonder they have a pollution problem! Your body replaces old cells with new skin cells about every 2-4 weeks. No one knows exactly how. Oh, we know the scientific mechanism, but how the body knows how to create just the right cells in just the right amount year after year after year is still largely a mystery.
We do know where those cells come from and that's a miracle in itself. The millions of cells that make up the skin covering your entire body are actually formed from the food that you eat. That's right! Everything from an apple to a carrot, a cheeseburger or pizza is transformed into living tissue. The skin cells, as well as all the other cells in your body, are made from the more than 40 tons of food you will eat in your lifetime. You heard correctly. Your body will digest over 40 tons of food. That's about 6 tractor trailers full of groceries! To do that the stomach produces as much as 2 1/2 quarts of gastric juice, including hydrochloric acid every single day, 15,000 gallons in a lifetime. Speaking of miracles, did you know that the gastric acid your body makes can eat through metal yet in a healthy human body it doesn't disturb the stomach's lining in the slightest? A drop on your skin would raise a painful blister but it does not harm the stomach. The truth is, the body replaces the cells that make up the lining of your stomach every two days, sometimes even sooner, like when you eat Mexican food!
Let's look at some more manifestations of this miracle we call life. Your body has over 600 muscles. By the look of some bodybuilders, you would think they exercise every single one of them. Yet the strongest and toughest muscle in the body is never seen. That is your heart. We all know that it acts as a pump, pumping blood to the lungs to get needed oxygen and then to every part of the body that needs that oxygen. It pumps that blood every day, 24 hours a day, never stopping. That's about 40 million times a year and we never give it even a single conscious thought. We don't wind it up, plug it in or change the batteries--it just keeps working. Not only does it work every minute of every day but it also beats faster when we exercise and more oxygen is needed by the body and slower when we rest and sleep. It does this under the direction of an unseen, unfelt, unexplained principle.
Science, in its attempts to describe this phenomenon, calls it such things as the wisdom of the body, nature at work in the body, or the innate intelligence of the body. Granted, they are not very scientific terms, but then, this mysterious something is beyond the understanding of modern science. Whatever we call it, it causes the heart to pump 2 1/2 gallons of blood per minute and moves that blood through 12,000 miles of blood vessels in that sixty second period.
One more example of this miracle called "life," and perhaps the most phenomenal one, is the human brain. The modern advances in computers have been absolutely amazing. They have more and more storage capacity, work at greater speed, and can perform more functions than most of us can ever use. Yet with their portability, microchips, and numerous features, they cannot come close to the miraculous working of the three-pound human brain. It performs millions of functions a second sending messages to parts of the body at a speed of about 270 miles an hour. A baseball player can see a ball being thrown to him from 60 feet away at 95 mph. And in a split second the 130 million light receptors in his eye see that pitch, send a message back to the brain, which determines whether it is one to hit. The brain then sends messages to hundreds of muscles, which will move the arms, shoulders and body to swing the bat to connect with the ball.
We know that the brain produces electrical energy in the form of nerve impulses, usually two to 50 impulses per second. But under certain circumstances, it can produce 2,000 impulses per second. However, what science is unable to figure out is why the brain works, what causes it to function. It is another one of those miraculous mysteries of the human body.
When it comes right down to it, we understand very little about this phenomena called "life" or how it causes the body to work. But we do know a few things. We know that the nerve system is the principle system used for controlling and coordinating the function of every one of the 10 to 100 trillion cells that make up your body. We know that the human body cannot work when the nerve system shuts down. In fact, an individual is declared legally dead when the brain stops generating energy over the nerves. We also know that if damage occurs to the nerve system, to the brain or the spinal cord, complete shutdown or paralysis of part of the body can occur. We have all seen examples of athletes and celebrities, Christopher Reeves for example, who have been paralyzed by an injury. Lastly, we know that a slight interference in the nerve system can cause the body to work at less than its fullest potential. We conclude that a body working less than its fullest potential is a body not fully alive, not all that it could and should be.
What would happen, for example, if the nerve supply is diminished to the stomach? You may have too much or too little digestive juices created or you may not have those cells that form the stomach's lining being produced in sufficient quantity. As a result, digestion is not occurring as it should, your body is not receiving proper nutrition and every cell suffers. Cells responsible for other functions will not work at their fullest potential either, which compounds the problem. Life is not expressed as it was intended.
We could go through the body and show how every organ and system is affected by interference in the nerve system. However, I hope by now you understand that the simple fact is, when you have interference in your nerve system, you express less than the full miracle of life and every aspect of your very existence is negatively affected. To what degree depends upon your body and how much interference you have. But tell me, how much interference is an acceptable amount and how long would you want to carry it around? Until you feel bad? Until you are sick? Until you are really, really sick? Or until you die, until life is no longer being expressed at all? If you said yes to any of the above, well, we can only wish you the best. But, if your answer is that you would like to have the interference removed as soon as it occurs, we have some important information for you.
You can join the millions of people who want to express more of life and to get the most out of life. These people are turning to chiropractic, that's right, they are going to chiropractors because they have found that chiropractic isn't really about your back, its about your life. Chiropractors are the only professionals trained to remove nerve interference as it occurs in the spinal column, what are called "vertebral subluxations." Because these subluxations occur in the spine and the spine is in the back, some people have mistakenly concluded that chiropractic is about back problems. This could not be further from the truth. If your spinal cord was located in your right arm these people would probably refer to chiropractors as right arm doctors. Chiropractic is about expressing life to the fullest. Each of us has been given a certain amount of this miracle called life both in quality and quantity. How much you get out of life and the length of your life depends on how well and how long this miracle within you is expressed. Chiropractic can help you express your life to the fullest.
First, chiropractic is NOT an alternative to medicine and medicine is NOT an alternative to chiropractic. If you are having a heart attack or need insulin because you are diabetic or have a broken leg in which the bone is sticking out of your thigh, do not go to a chiropractor first. These are some examples in which medical care is absolutely necessary. You cannot get an adjustment as an alternative to medical care in these instances.
Now, if you have a subluxation you can not take any medicine or undergo any surgery that will remove it. In this instance you need chiropractic care and nothing else will get rid of your subluxation but chiropractic care. Medical care can not be an alternative.
Many people think that the healing arts can be divided in two. With the drug professions on one side and the drugless, "alternative" professions on the other. The distinction however, doesn't lie there. If we divide the healing arts in two, we don't find medical doctors on one side and all the rest on the other. What we find is chiropractic on one side and all the rest on the other.
There is a philosophical difference between chiropractic and everything else related to the healing arts. That is why we have doctors of chiropractic on one side and on the other side we have the DTs (Doctors of Therapy). Under doctors of therapy we have: Medical doctors, Osteopaths, Naturopaths, Homeopaths, Vitamin Therapists, Acupuncturists, Mental therapists, Prayer therapists, Physical therapists, and any other person who does what he does to treat diseases and symptoms.
Chiropractors do not treat disease. Chiropractic is based upon the premise that this human body has built into it the ability to heal itself. That this body is created by all the wisdom of the universe. How it functions will be determined by your innate intelligence. Subluxations disrupt your ability to express your innate intelligence. All body functions are off because of this. Nutrition, exercise, rest, and all positive things you do for health are not as effective. Pollution, bad nutrition, exposure to toxins, bacteria, and all bad things for your health do more damage because your body is not able to resist their negative influence when subluxated.
If chiropractors don't try to treat, cure, or heal disease, what does a chiropractor do? One thing and one thing only. He restores and maintains the mechanical integrity of the nervous system based upon the fact that in order to be healthy, every human body needs a good nerve supply to every organ, every gland, and every part, every cell. If there is no good nerve supply, if any part of the body is deprived of any neurological function there is no way on God's earth that that body will ever function properly again and all the pills, powders, potions, acupuncture needles, physical therapy treatments, voodoo, witchcraft, prayers, or anything else is never going to make it work again until the flow of life from brain to tissue cells over the nerve is restored. This can only be done by a specific, scientifically-applied, chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic and medicine (I pick medicine because it is the biggest, most influential group among the doctors of therapy) are two separate and distinct health fields. Medicine treats your symptoms or disease. Chiropractic adjusts subluxations, removes interference to your nerve system, and restore your body's expression of its innate intelligence allowing it to work like it should. They can not be used in place of the other.
The only excusable "alternative" to chiropractic care is ignorance, in that you may not be aware of all that chiropractic can do for you so, therefore, you do not get adjusted. It will be my job and the job of others to inform the public about chiropractic (which is why I do these newsletters). However, if you know all the health and life benefits that you can obtain from a chiropractor, but you purposely choose not to go, then that is another problem. Who would not want to be healthy or do what they can to improve their health? Why would you want to live with interference to your nerve system? Whatever your reason is for not going -- talk with a chiropractor and see if it can be resolved. No one should live with subluxations!
The prevention of disease seems to be of major concern to many people these days. The public is beginning to exercise to prevent heart problems and cut down on cholesterol to prevent cardiovascular disease. They are quitting their smoking habits to prevent cancer, and on and on.
Prevention of disease, however, perpetuates a very serious misconception concerning disease, that is, that it has a single cause. If a lack of vitamin C was the cause of the common cold, taking vitamin C would prevent it. While resistance is dependent upon vitamin C, it also depends upon a number of factors. This is why three children in a family can all drink their orange juice and two will get a cold and one will not. Resistance depends upon how well the body is working, how well it can utilize vitamin C, the amount of rest a person gets and, of course, the frequency of coming in contact with the virus. There are probably a dozen other factors as well, many of which we do not even know and some, like genetics, we cannot control.
If exercise prevented heart attacks, Jim Fixx, the guru of running, would not have had a fatal heart attack on one of his daily runs. There are people who smoke two packs of cigarettes a day for thirty years and do not get lung cancer. Conversely, there are people who never smoke a cigarette and die of lung cancer.
Here is the point. There is only one thing that is truly effective in preventing disease, that is staying healthy! The more things you do to promote your good health, the greater the likelihood of not ending up with a disease. Exercise is important, but it is only one piece of the health picture. Vitamin C and all the other aspects of good nutrition are another piece. Avoiding poisons like cigarette smoke is another. The more aspects of health you address, the greater your probability of being healthy and the greater your chances of preventing disease.
Of course, maintaining the integrity of your nervous system is a vital part of health, probably the most vital. This is where chiropractic comes in. You must correct vertebral subluxations (misaligned vertebra of the spine causing spinal cord and spinal nerve stress)because they interfere with the proper function of the nerve system. Besides directly improving the nerve supply, the removing of subluxations also indirectly affects the other aspects of good health. If there is interference in your nervous system, you may not be able to properly utilize good nutrition or get the maximum benefits from exercise and rest. Your body will be less resistant to the poisons you cannot help but be exposed to, like second-hand cigarette smoke.
If you want to prevent disease, the proper attitude is not just doing certain things to prevent certain diseases. That is a futile approach. There are just too many causes and too many diseases. The proper approach is to do those things necessary to be healthy. Perhaps if everybody were doing everything necessary to promote and maintain health, we would not have to worry about preventing disease. That seems to be the most intelligent idea.
Don't you agree?