THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Why People Go To A
*Part of the ADIO life and world view point series
Everyone who sees a chiropractor does so for one or more of four reasons. In understanding the role of the chiropractor we will examine these reasons and how they relate to the philosophical objectives of chiropractic. Medical propaganda, divergent views within our profession, varied chiropractic advertising, and common misconceptions have confused the general public as to what it is that we do, which then causes a person to seek or not seek chiropractic care based on what they think a chiropractor can or cannot do for them.
The first reason people go to a chiropractor is to have their symptoms treated and/or their diseases cured. This is without a doubt the most common reason why people seek chiropractic care. They may have read or heard from someone with a similar condition that got help from a chiropractor. The list of conditions that have improved under chiropractic care is endless. And while a better functioning body will be better able to deal with any condition, people do get well from disease and symptoms may subside while under chiropractic care, medical care, faith healing, even no care. Therefore, chiropractic cannot always be seen as a direct cause and effect.
The second reason why people go to a chiropractor is to have their diseases and symptoms prevented. This reason is why many patients continue with care after their symptoms/disease is gone. However, as we have discussed in a previous newsletter, there are many different causes of disease. Sure, having a body free from subluxations and functioning better will make it less likely for diseases to occur, but there are many other things that need to be done to prevent disease.
The third reason why patients go to a chiropractor is to unfold their genetic potential. This is not a very common reason, and it is hard to see someone walking into an office hoping to have their genetic material improved so that they could produce healthier offspring and hopefully contribute to a healthier world in generations to come. People who come for this reason are usually of childbearing age.
The last reason why people go to a chiropractor is to allow their bodies to work at maximum efficiency or at their optimal level. Rarely, is this the reason that brings patients into an office (unless they have been to a good chiropractic lecture or read good chiropractic literature). But as people become educated to the fact that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism, and that it cannot work at its maximum potential if it has a subluxation, a change in thinking occurs. This reason becomes the focal point for continuing care long after the reason that brought them in is satisfied, or even in some cases, not satisfied.
You and future practice members that you refer to this office must be aware that I do not treat specific symptoms/diseases. My reason for accepting a patient is to restore the integrity of their nervous system so that the innate intelligence of their body can better express itself to its fullest potential. As a chiropractor, I recognize that a body with or without disease, manifesting symptoms or symptom-free is far better off with a good nerve supply. There has been research done to show that a vertebral subluxation does cause interference to nerve tissue at both the spinal cord and intervertebral foramina (holes between vertebrae) level and that this interference decreases the potential of the nerve, and therefore the potential of the body. This has been done in chiropractic research programs and also in medical and osteopathic sponsored programs.
As an objective straight chiropractor (we will be defining these terms in a later newsletter) I recognize that relatively little is known about the body and disease and therefore do not hypothesize as to the effects of vertebral subluxation specifically, except to say that we know it cannot be good. I accept all patients regardless of their condition or so called state of health, recognizing that whatever that state is, the individual is better off with a nervous system free of vertebral subluxation.
Unfortunately, in accepting all patients with all conditions, chiropractors sometimes cause outsiders to become confused as to what our objectives are. Although patients should understand their chiropractor's objective - to enable them to have a good nerve supply so that their innate intelligence can be better expressed - many outsiders, particularly those critical of chiropractic, do not understand and accuse chiropractors of trying to treat all conditions. This is most likely caused by the fact that treatment of disease is the only frame of reference in which most doctors of all kinds think. When an individual thinks in a disease-treatment frame of reference, it is difficult to understand someone functioning in another frame. It is essential that you understand and can explain what the chiropractic objectives are so that there can be no confusion on your part and no misconception about this objective by those outside the profession.
In a month that should be a celebration of love, I regret having to write such a grim article, but one of my favorite practice members wanted to know my opinion about this awful disease.
No disease is feared more than cancer. It is one of the major causes of death in this country (#2) and possibly even worse, it is associated with tremendous pain, debilitation, and despair. It strikes children and senior citizens, men and women, rich and poor... every age, race, economic class. No one, apparently, is safe.
This fear has sparked a billion dollar cancer industry, with drugs, clinics, hospitals and research projects all making money and empty promises. Yet, the only progress made so far on cancer has been a result of anti-smoking campaigns. No drugs or therapy have helped reduce the overall incidence of cancer and many are now being shown to cause more problems than they can ever have solved in the first place.
Cancer is grim. Once you develop it the chance of a "cure" are less than 50%. Despite all the new drugs and treatments cancer rates are rising every year. War was declared on cancer in 1971, and so far it has been a route, we are losing severely.
Yet, while there is not much promise once you have cancer, you by your own actions have a great chance of preventing the disease. You can eliminate 90% of the threat of cancer from your life. So you are left with a choice, continue living the way you do and risk getting cancer, knowing that your chances of survival or slim, or take action and help to prevent the second-largest killer in this country from claiming another life.
This brings us to an interesting experiment done some years ago at Ohio State Penitentiary. Volunteer convicts were purposely injected with cancer cells. The scientists wanted to see if they could promote cancer in an apparently healthy person. They found that those men who had a history of cancer, began to develop cancer again as a result of the implanted cancer cells. Tumors actively began to grow in the subjects and they had to be surgically removed from the convicts. Those results were not particularly surprising. What did come as a surprise to the researchers was that healthy prisoners, with no history of cancer did not develop cancer after the implantation of cancer cells. Within a few weeks every trace of cancer was gone. Their bodies apparently killed off all the cancer cells. A conclusion that could be drawn from this study is that the human body has the ability to destroy cancer cells within the body whether they are manufactured there or are introduced.
Next they did something even more interesting. In those patients who had fought off the cancer cells, they introduced more. Their thinking was that while the body has fought off the first "dose", it was now weakened and more susceptible and perhaps they can grow a tumor in those individuals on the second try. To their surprise, the patient's bodies got rid of the second group of cancer cells even faster than the first! The body was better at fighting cancer from the experience of having done it before.
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 under chiropractic care. 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.
There are a few important lessons that we can learn from this and we had better learn these lessons because despite the research and emphasis upon cancer detection and treatment, the disease is becoming more and more common. The first lesson is that the body has an inborn ability to resist cancer. Rather than developing treatments for cancer like harmful radiation and powerful drugs that have many side effects, we should be trying to develop ways to boost people's immunity and resistance to cancer. In actuality, the body's immune system doesn't need boosting. It is perfect to begin with and its resistance is high enough to start with. Perhaps we need to remove interferences to its perfect expression. Most cancers develop late in life. Is that a coincidence or is it because we have spent a lifetime interfering with the body's ability to be resistant to cancer and destroying the immune system? Maybe carcinogens, the substances we taken to our body that supposedly caused cancer aren't really "carcinogenic" or cancer-causing after all. That would explain why some three- pack a day smokers never get cancer, while others who never touch a cigarette develop lung cancer. Maybe what carcinogens do is help break down the body's inborn resistance to the disease, so of course not smoking is better than smoking. Possibly the greatest destroyers of the bodies resistance to disease are all the drugs and medications that people take. Maybe vaccinations break down to the body's immune system by not giving it a chance to work as it should. Or perhaps it is something else or number of things. Perhaps, it is interference in the nerve system due to a vertebral subluxation that causes the glands and cells that produce the chemicals to kill cancer cells to not work properly.
As medicine gets "better" at treating symptoms and diseases cancer will dramatically increase. Why?!? In treating a symptom or disease medicine has two choices, prescribe medication to counteract a symptom or remove an organ. But in masking the symptom or removing an organ has that made the person healthy, or has it given the illusion of health while the body continues to function abnormally. In all symptoms/diseases there is one common denominator - a body that is not functioning properly. Cancer has to be, in my opinion, the ultimate manifestation of a body that is not working properly. In cancer, a person did not become sick because of cancer. He got cancer because he is sick - his body was not functioning properly. So if now you remove the tumor or use chemotherapy and radiation all you are left with is a sick body without cancer, not a healthy body. And unless steps are taken to restore health it is only a matter of time before a health crisis occurs again. This can help to explain why the prisoners that had cancer previously got it again. Nothing was done to make them healthy.
Whatever factors into the manifestation of cancer it should be apparent that ultimately the cause comes from within. More than likely, it is a combination of a number of factors that lead to a breakdown in the body's ability to attack and kill cancer cells when they occur. But rest assured that these factors are all within the body and treatment and cures that come from outside the body are not the answer. The answer is in doing all the things necessary to be healthy, and chiropractic should be an important part of a program to help you stay healthy.
*Part of the ADIO life and world view point series
We chiropractic people just do not think the same as other people. While there are comparatively few who think the way we do, it is significant because it makes a difference in the way we live. And while it is different, I am confident it is right because logical reasoning says it is.
Chiropractic and chiropractic philosophy are based upon what is known as "deductive reasoning." Without getting too detailed, we can define deductive reasoning as "any set of logical reasoning that moves from a self-evident, true generality to a specific particular." For example, any type of organization requires intelligence; and the body is organized (both self-evident, true generalities). Therefore, the body must have an intelligence (a more specific truth).
It should be noted that deductive thinking is in opposition to medical thinking that uses inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning moves from a specific part to a generality. For example, it has been noted that some smokers develop cancer (specific truth) and hence, the common conclusion that smoking causes cancer (not necessarily a true generality). In fact, smoking in and of itself does not cause cancer. We know that because there are many smokers who never develop cancer and many people who never smoked that have developed cancer. As you may know, part of the truth is not necessarily the truth. Both inductive and deductive reasoning can be good when applied correctly. They are just different ways of thinking. Let's look at some other examples, all of which were taken from a single issue of a popular health magazine.
One short news clip discussed the effects of ultraviolet B rays (the type that have been identified as causing sunburn) on the immune system. Findings of the only noted study showed that volunteers who were tested with an allergy-triggering chemical when sunburned and again three weeks later. When tested three weeks later they did not developed as much redness or swelling at the second testing (specific). The author therefore suggested that sun exposure weakens immune response, (generality). Isn't possible that the decreased redness and swelling at the second testing was a sign that the body was better able to adapt to the induced "stress"? It may be that the body had a way to recognize a chemical and so it responded in this dramatic way. See how the conclusion is not necessarily true!?!
Another clip suggested that exercise could prevent the development of diabetes, (a generality drawn from the following specifics). The article noted a study that showed that exercising once a week reduces the risk of developing diabetes by 23%, 2-4 times a week cut the risk by 38% and 5 or more times cut the risk by 42%. These numbers would suggest that indeed the conclusion is true but how do they determine the risk? If a person does not have a disease and does not get a disease how do you know that they would not have developed the disease no matter what they did? The fact of the matter is that exercise is good for everyone and should be done in some regular manner regardless of your age, sex, weight, or disposition to any disease (self-evident truth).
In deductive reasoning, if our premise is true and our reasoning accurate we can be sure of our conclusions. One of the greatest things about our chiropractic philosophy is the certainty of it. In a world where ideals and standards change so easily and where principles tend to be set aside it is nice to see something that remains the same. In the past eighty plus years no one has been able to refute the Major Premise of Chiropractic - A universal intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining its existence - or demonstrate that the reasoning (that which we have deduced from this Major Premise) is incorrect - The 33 Principles. Science changes constantly and new facts are brought to light. Medicine changes daily but the chiropractic philosophy is today the same as it was when B.J. Palmer and R.W. Stephenson set it down.
Going back to articles above, deductive thinking focuses on the entity -health, while inductive thinking focuses on the absence of that entity- disease. So the next the next time you are reading a health magazine, remember there are two ways to view every story. Try to think deductively and see if things take on new meaning or make more (or less) sense.
What Are The Options?
When it comes right down to it, stress is a necessary evil that we must all face. For some, stress is a killer, while for others it is a motivator. The difference between these two types of people is in the way that they process the incoming stressors.
In interviewing practice members I have found that stress is a common thread running throughout the fabric of mankind. If we truly look at what stresses us we would find answers such as: jobs, kids, spouses/significant others, bills, bosses, in-laws, parents, etc. ... The hardcore reality is that if we were to eliminate all that causes us stress we would be left with the hardest form of prison punishment: solitary confinement.
On the surface the idea of seclusion from the 'real world' sounds like a viable alternative to the craziness of our day, but many of us would admit that this type of isolation would lead to desperation. As a species it has been proven that seclusion leads to suicidal depression. Studies have shown that even monkeys left on their own, over a period of time, will attempt to gain recognition via a number of life threatening and catastrophic episodes. Needless to say - we can't eliminate the stressors.
The one thing we can do when stress seems to have the best of us is make decisions. In a split second the mind makes a choice when a stimulus (stress) confronts us. The response we give can be either a positive or a negative one. For example: if someone cuts you off on the highway (stimulus) you have a split second to decide how you are going to respond. Positively, by thinking at least we didn't get hurt or negatively by getting furious and carrying that anger with you throughout the day. Don't let those outside of you dictate how you feel inside-- The choice is yours!
The First Chiropractic Patient Did Not Have a Back Problem
Many chiropractors are perplexed as to why chiropractic has become associated with bad backs, stiff necks, and other musculoskeletal problems. The first chiropractic patient was deaf and he, in fact, did not even go to the chiropractor for his deafness. (Since chiropractic had not yet been discovered there were obviously no chiropractors at the time). The patient's name was Harvey Lillard and he was the janitor in the office building where Dr. D.D. Palmer had his office. Dr. Palmer was a drugless healer, what some may call an "alternative health-care practitioner" today. Palmer theorized that the bump in Lillard's neck that had appeared when he became deaf was a bone out of place and if he could put it back in place, the janitor's hearing might be restored. The rest is history.
What happened on that September day in 1895? D.D. Palmer did not cure deafness. Although the janitor's hearing was restored, Palmer had simply corrected a vertebral subluxation (even though it was not yet called that). In correcting the subluxation, he allowed the innate intelligence of the body to normalize the function of the nervous system and the result was that Lillard's body healed itself of a hearing problem. For over 100 years, thousands of chiropractors have been doing the same thing to millions of people, which is removing interference to allow the innate intelligence to better express itself. Some of these patients have had medical problems, from a very minor ailment like the common cold to something very serious like terminal cancer. Some of them got well and some did not. It was not because chiropractic succeeds in some and fails in others. The objective of chiropractic is only to correct the nerve interference. Only the living body heals itself. Sometimes it can, sometimes it cannot. However, the body is always more capable of healing without the nerve interference caused by a vertebral subluxation.
As a result of those millions of adjustments, some children did better in school, some were better athletes, and some grew into more productive adults. Some were probably able to get into better colleges and some probably got better jobs because the mind thinks and the body works better with a good nerve supply. As adults, some of those people probably lived longer, healthier lives. Some of them were able to work better, miss less work, and reduce injuries. Some of the women undoubtedly had healthier pregnancies and gave birth to healthier children. All of them were able to fulfill more of their potential in every aspect of their lives because of their adjustments. You see, when the body is free of nerve interference, every organ, gland, and cell works better. The body's chemistry is more perfectly balanced and the body has more life giving energy to do everything it was intended to do. Chiropractic impacts every aspect of the life of every person who receives care.
How is it that so many people think chiropractic is for bad backs and stiff necks? How is it that the average person does not know that it is not about your back, it is about your life? The real objective of chiropractic, to allow the body's innate intelligence to express itself more fully in every man, woman, and child, may be the most closely guarded secret in the health care community. That simply cannot continue. It is up to the chiropractic profession and those who regularly receive chiropractic care and know what it is all about to share that knowledge with the rest of the world.