THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given ... his name will be called Wonderful Counselor; Mighty God, Everlasting Father; Prince of Peace. -The Bible, Isaiah 9:6
You're the Boss
The known factor in ones ability to heal of any disease or problem is the intelligent life force within the body.
The unknown factor in ones ability to heal is the ignorance of the above. If you can realize your body is self-healing, then you are grasping the truth behind chiropractic. We know the brain generates information to all the cells in the body, over the nerve system, to carry information to all the cells in the body.
We know the spinal bones can shift slightly, causing pressure on the brain stem, or spinal cord. The nerves coming out of the brain only give 100% when they are free from any interference (subluxation). When there is pressure on them, they won't function normally, if at all. Thus if 1,000,000 fibers are pressed upon going to the heart, or any part of the body including the feet, those cells won't function correctly, thus DIS-EASE (incoordination/ dysfunction) has begun. When enough cells are dysfunctional, you get symptoms, number one being pain, but there are 1500 different symptoms, telling us there is dysfunction or cell damage.
For us to treat the symptoms and not correct the cause of DIS-EASE, a vertebral subluxation, which is a bone, pressing on the brain stem or spinal cord, would be worthless, unless we cannot offer anything else. You must give us time to correct the spine and reduce the nerve pressure to allow the body to receive the information needed to function correctly. Thus, we do not treat symptoms or disease; we correct a cause, which allows the body to rebuild itself with normal cells versus abnormal cells. It allows the pressure to be removed slowly, the nerves to function normally, to allow the glands in the body that regulate the chemicals to become balanced and restores normal function or healing.
For some, depending on the condition of the spine, how much nerve pressure there is, and the ability of the body to respond, it may take a long period of time, not to have symptoms or disease to go away, but to correct the spine and have it functioning properly once again.
People who understand and are serious about returning to their full potential agree that chiropractic, like any healthy habit, is something that should be done from birth to death and these people come in with their families to get their spines checked and adjusted as needed on a regular basis. Those that don't or won't understand, or aren't concerned about future health, will simply come in for symptom relief, which will temporarily make you more comfortable while your body continues to build itself sick, instead of healthy. How you value your health and life is up to you after all, YOU'RE THE BOSS.
Let's Look At Health Differently
Part of the ADIO life and world view point series.
Health and Disease
Science acknowledges both entities and non-entities. However, its attention is always directed toward the entity. Lets look at some examples.
Sound is an entity. We can create it by clapping our hands, speaking or turning on the radio. It is measured in decibels. Silence, on the other hand, is the absence of sound. It is a non-entity.
Light and darkness are probably the best examples. Light is the entity. We can create it by striking a match or flicking a switch. Darkness, on the other hand, is the non-entity. It is only manifested when the light or its source is removed. We measure light in watts or lumens. When the light is turned on, what happens to the darkness? It doesn't collect in a small pile in the corner or slip out under a crack in the door. It simply does not exist as a tangible entity. All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light from one candle. Darkness cannot overcome light.
Science deals with entities. But somehow when medicine began to investigate the issues of health and disease, they chose to make disease the entity and health the nonentity. Perhaps it is because the manifestations of disease are so much more noticeable than the manifestations of health. They are not the norm so they tend to stand out more. Regardless of why, the fact is that health is the normal state of an organism, so that when the organism manifests a lack of health, it catches our attention. It is very much like our analogy of light and darkness. We take light for granted. We think nothing of walking into a dark room, flipping a switch and have it suddenly be as bright as noonday. If we had never seen it, perhaps we would be surprised, shocked or awed. But it becomes a normal act of everyday life. The same is true for a properly functioning healthy body. We don't go to bed at night and say, "Wow, my respiratory system really worked well today!" As we lay our head on our pillow at night very few of us reflect how our heart beats over 100,000 times during the course of the day. We take health, like light, for granted. Most people when asked how they are, will say, "fine' or "okay" without really thinking about it.
It's probably because we know that the person asking the question really does not want an organ-by-organ, system-by-system report on our bodily functions. Like light, we take health for granted. It is only when the two are gone and the accompanying manifestations of a lack of light or health, are evident, that we begin to act. Unfortunately, it is usually in the direction of alleviating the manifestations of that lack of health, instead of addressing the cause of it or working to restore the lost health.
What are some of the manifestations of lack of light? The inability to move about confidently without harm is one. How many of us have banged our toe into a dresser or chair in a darkened bedroom in the middle of the night? What should we do? If we are cause/entity oriented, we turn on a light. If we are effects/non-entity oriented, we grope along like a blind person taking small, slow steps. Granted, we may treat the effects because our spouse is sound asleep, but we recognize that the better approach is to turn on the light.
Health is the entity, something to be attained. Or perhaps more technically, life is the entity. Life and health are in a sense synonymous terms. We have been able to measure the absolute aspect of life. Science can determine with a fairly good degree of certainty if a person is alive or dead. But we have not yet developed the technology to measure the relative aspect of life, what we call "health." We acknowledge it with such phrases as, "he is not experiencing life to the fullest" or the "quality of life," or "his life is slipping away." What we are alluding to is that life is the entity. A full complement of life is total physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional health.
It can be lost, to a degree or totally. When it is lost totally, we describe that person as dead because they manifest certain signs and symptoms. Years ago, the lack of a heartbeat or the absence of breathing were the manifestations of a lack of life. The medical/legal community more recently has come to the conclusion that a person can be dead before these signs appear, and even "brought back" after they have appeared. Whatever the exact point, at some time an absence of life occurs and eventually that absence of life manifests signs. It also happens on a relative level. At some time an absence of health occurs in individuals and eventually that void manifests signs and symptoms that are referred to as "disease." Just as a person can be pronounced dead while certain functions continue, a person can be partially dead (lacking health) while appearing to be perfectly normal.
Two Approaches to Health
Throughout history, all approaches to the physical well-being of members of the human race have fallen into two general categories that reflect what we are going to call the ADIO (health restoration) and the OIBU (disease treatment) philosophies of life and health, which are health-restoring and disease-treating.
This acronym represents the health-restoration approach. It acknowledges that health is the result of a power or principle greater than or "above" our finite, educated mind. It also understands that the physical manifestation of this principle in the human organism, the electrical energy of the nervous system, flows over the nerves from the brain "above" -"down" the spinal cord and "outward" to all parts.
This acronym represents the contrasting or disease treatment approach. It attempts to control the body and its function or malfunction from the outside. Those that practice this approach believe that an educated mind is better equipped to run the body than the principle that created it. While they may not admit this, their actions bespeak an outside-in viewpoint. Let's look at how these approaches contrast. We will look at OIBU first since it is the most common approach.
Disease Treatment (OIBU)
In the disease-treatment approach, the symptoms or effects of the disease are treated while the body either gets well from the condition or does not, depending upon the body's inherent ability. For example, an individual suffering with the common cold will be treated for its effects -runny nose, sneezing, coughing, low-grade fever, etc. Eventually, the body will rid itself of the virus or bacteria and/or at least reduce its effect by raising the resistance of the tissues to the degree that the disease either no longer manifests itself as symptoms or is no longer present. The treatment of the symptoms has been primarily directed toward making the patient comfortable until the body cured the disease. The practice of medicine is the most well-known discipline directing its efforts in the disease-treatment approach. Much of its practice has been confined to the alleviation of symptoms until the healing process takes place. Pain-killing drugs are probably the most widely used treatment in this aspect of medical practice.
As the practice of medicine has become more technical and advanced, particularly in the latter half of the twentieth century, attention has been directed more toward treating the "cause" of a disease, or the most evident cause (which is usually the last to appear) rather than just confining efforts toward alleviating symptoms. The ultimate example of this effort is demonstrated by the practice of surgery. For example, the most evident cause of gall bladder pain is a malfunctioning gall bladder. Rather than medicate to relieve the pain, the offending organ, unarguably a cause of the pain, is removed. This aspect of the disease-treatment approach has achieved the most dramatic results, but is not without its limitations. One can live without a gall bladder, although, not as well as with one. The brain, liver, and heart present a greater challenge. Medicine has been working diligently toward meeting that challenge. As a result, some very dramatic accomplishments have been seen. Heart transplants, liver transplants, and kidney transplants are examples. In the disease-treatment approach, continued success is largely dependent upon advances in technology. This works out well in a technological age and in a society that is enamored with continual technical advances. Of course, the down side of this approach is the fact that technology and its accompanying research have a high cost. This creates an economic burden on much of the world, a burden that most cannot bear. Even in a country as wealthy as the United States, the cost of disease-treatment technology is growing far faster than the average American's income so that it becomes largely unaffordable. If medicine is to progress in its battle to overcome disease, it must constantly have more sophisticated and greater numbers of weapons to do battle with disease; just as a military establishment must have greater and greater weapons to secure victory on the battlefield.
Let us now compare the philosophy of the disease treatment approach with the health-restoration approach. If we are ever to experience abundant health and end the frustration of fighting diseases, we must begin to look at health and disease from a different perspective.
Health Restoration (ADIO)
Presently, the accepted worldview is that disease is an entity, something to be covered up, negated, destroyed or cut out. That is essentially the medical objective. Health is viewed as an absence of disease, rather than disease being seen as the absence of health. When the disease is removed or eliminated, a void is left which they call "health."
Until we view health as the entity which can be created, enhanced, increased, decreased, destroyed, or lost, and realize that disease is merely an absence of health, that symptoms are manifestations of that absence, we will never experience our full potential in life.
The Bucket Analogy...
Let's look at an analogy. Our body is like a large bucket, a health and life container, if you will. Health is like the contents of the bucket. By eating properly, getting the proper rest, exercising regularly, maintaining a positive mental attitude, and attending to the other health-promoting measures, we are adding to the contents of the bucket. Reduce any one of them and you diminish the level of health. They all add to the level. No single one of them assures health. But together they combine to fill our body (the bucket) with health. We can diminish the flow into the bucket by diminishing the amount being added. There is also a maximum limit that we can add of each component of health. They are like faucets. There is a maximum flow. There is a sufficient diet. Any more doesn't add to it. More exercise than is necessary does not increase the flow into the bucket. Getting more rest than you need does not increase the flow. In fact, too much of the above can have a detrimental effect upon the body, just as too much hot water in your morning shower will burn you. If we continually add the maximum of each component, we can expect a lifetime of health.
You would think that constantly adding to the contents, constantly adding to health, would cause the bucket to overflow in a short period of time. Life would be great if we all "overflowed with health." Unfortunately, the problem with our bucket is that it has some holes in it. Through these holes leak the contents of the bucket. The first and most important hole is near the top. This is the hereditary factor. Actually, it is at a different level for everyone. It is like the hole at the top of the bathroom sink to prevent it from running over. Each one of us has been given a genetic potential for health, a level that we can reach, established by our genetic makeup. It has been said; if you want to be healthy, first choose your grandparents wisely. Each of us has a level of health we can reach and for each it is different. That may be one reason why some people who appear to take care of their health die at age 60 while others who obviously do not, live to be 100. Our objective in life, relative to health, should be to reach our potential. Probably very few ever attain their genetic health potential. One thing is sure; none of us are going to pass it.
In next month's newsletter I will explain what role chiropractic plays in the Bucket analogy.
Did Adam Have a Cold?
Winter is here - the cold season. Nearly everyone at one point or another will have a cold. In one year alone, Americans spend the equivalent of the national budget of all the Central American countries combined on cold remedies, a whopping $ 6 billion dollars, trying to alleviate or "cure" their colds. All this in vain and at the expense of the liver, kidneys and over-all body chemistry, not to mention the pocketbook. In a futile attempt to gain temporary relief, we destroy our long-range health. All drugs, whether over-the-counter or prescribed, have side effects.
Our society still regards a cold as an illness we "catch" from someone who had it before us. Not so! A cold is a normal, natural cleansing process. It is our body's biological way of adapting to environmental changes that occur in the fall as we move into winter, and then again in the spring as summer arrives.
Colds occur at times when all of life outside goes through profound changes. In the fall, trees are shedding their leaves, lawns are turning brown, animals' furs are becoming thicker, bees are moving underground, the list goes on as all of nature undergoes transformation.
By spring the resurgence of life can be seen everywhere as trees and shrubs buds, grass turns green, flowers spring up, and animals shed their winter coats. We, as human beings, are part of nature, not apart from it. We are alive and, just like the rest of nature, are going through similar changes. We label this a cold!
The symptoms we experience-stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, scratchy throat, running eyes and fever-are normal processes our body goes through in order to clean the sinuses and upper respiratory tract. In other words, a cold is the "menstruation" or shedding of the mucus lining of the sinuses and upper respiratory system. No amount of medication will stop the process. Instead, it will temporarily suppress the symptoms while rendering the body more toxic. As the late Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. put it in his book Confession of a Medical Heretic, "A cold with medication lasts a week. Without it, it lasts seven days!"
Yet by suppressing the symptoms of a cold we may be paying dearly down the line. Recent studies have uncovered that during a cold, the body activate protein P53, an antimutagen agent instrumental in preventing cancer. Who knows if the increase in cancer rate may be due to something as simple as society interfering with a normal biological process?
Contrary to popular belief, colds are not caused by viruses. Viruses may be present while we have a cold but this does not make them the causative agent. England's Common Cold Research Unit established in 1946 in Salisbury has been a pioneering institution in the worldwide study of transmission, treatment and prevention of colds. Every year 400 volunteers spend weeks at the lavish research facility where they are given nose drops that contain Rhinoviruses (cold viruses). As of 1993, 47 years and 18,800 volunteers later, less than one third of the tested subjects ever get a cold. And that is because the one third who react to the artificial, unnatural swabbing of Rhinoviruses have a weakened immune system to start with. Viruses do not cause colds, no more than flies bring garbage. Viruses may be present during a cold but they are not the cause of it.
Chiropractic care clears the nervous system of interference caused by vertebral subluxations. It allows the body to function better, express life more fully, provides greater resistance to sickness and disease and ensures greater immune response. In this sense, it facilitates the shedding, cleansing process of the cold. The only side effect of the adjustment is improved performance of the body and a greater ability to adapt to changes.
So the next time you have a cold -remember- you did not catch it from someone who had it before you. If you did, that someone would have caught it from someone who had it before them. This would mean that Adam, the first man, must have had a cold to pass it on to others down through history. But then, from whom did he "catch" it?