THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Getting the Most Out of Life
Congratulations to those under regular chiropractic care or those who are about to make the commitment to do so!! You are one step closer to getting everything you want out of life. All of the top motivational speakers will tell you that in order to get what you want out of life you must organize and execute around your priorities. If getting what you want out of life is a priority to you, then reading this article is a great way to begin the execution of your plans.
Let's take a minute to really think about what you really want. Picture what you want most in life. Try to see how you would look and whom you would be with. What would you be doing? Where would you be? How would it feel, smell, and sound? Really fill in the picture, color it as much as you can. Have you got it as detailed as you want it?
My job is to show you a way, a way you maybe never considered before, to help you get the very thing you just pictured. And I believe that I can do that despite the fact that no two people reading this are the same.
Let me start by telling you that numerous surveys have shown that no matter who they ask, all people pretty much want the same things in life. So no matter what you just pictured, whether you were enjoying a Hawaiian sunset with a loved one, swinging a golf club for the best score of your life, or bouncing a baby on your lap, you were probably thinking of one of just a few things. Surveys show that the four things people consistently want the most out of life are:
1. To be happy,
2. To be healthy,
3. To have family harmony,
4. To not worry about finances.
Since all behavior is adaptive, which simply means that everything you do is to bring about something you desire or to meet one or more of your needs, then if I could show you something you could do to help bring about any of these four things, I would in essence be helping you to get the most out of life. And that's precisely what the rest of this article is about.
Let's go back again to the vision you made for yourself. Did you find yourself thinking about how the hundred million receptors that are in your eye actually translate the beauty of a Hawaiian sunset into the majesty of brilliant colors that you perceive?
Probably not. Did you find yourself thinking about how your heart rhythmically pulsates beat after beat 36 million times a year, whether you are golfing the game of your life or whether you are in your bed at night; pumping blood through more than 60 thousand miles of veins, arteries, and capillaries? Again, probably not.
Did you find yourself thinking about how two tiny little cells one each from two different people came together to make the miraculous little creature that you bounce on your leg? No probably not that either.
Or did you think about how that three pound blob of tissue we call your brain, with its 13 billion nerve cells, allowed you to conjure up the image that you did by accessing every perception, every sound, every taste, every smell, every action you've experienced since the day of your birth? That three-pound blob along with your spinal cord continues to direct and animate every moment of your life.
Virtually every one of your 25-30 quadrillion cells is connected in the enormously vast network that is you by your nerve system. I say virtually, because your blood cells are not directly connected to your nerve system. That's because every second 2-8 million blood cells die and are replaced by 2-8 million more in a revolving resurrection that has continued since the day of your birth.
No, you didn't think of any of this, because you didn't have to; because the incredible organization of the body is not left up to you or to chance. It is directed and orchestrated by an intelligence far greater than any educated mind. An inborn wisdom that separates us from the people in the morgue, who with all their nerve tissue and organs, and parts, including the three pound blob we know as our brains, cannot express the miraculous organization that we know as life. They cannot enjoy the beauty of a sunset, the rush of euphoria that comes from an outstanding performance, the joy of a child's laugh, or the feeling of love. Because more important than the nerves or any and all of the parts, is the intelligence that is transmitted over those nerve pathways.
In fact, the transmission of this intelligence is so important to your expression of life that the nerve system itself is almost entirely protected by bone. The brain is covered by the skull, and the spinal cord by the bones of the spine in an intimate relationship unlike any in the body. Knowing how vital this expression is, do you think having interference to the nerve system is good or bad? I certainly hope you said bad. Because it absolutely is bad. Your body simply cannot fully express the life within it when interference is present in the nerve system. Consequently, you lessen your ability to get the most of what you want out of life.
You may be thinking well that makes sense and when I get nerve interference I'll make sure to do something about it. But let me ask you, how would you know if and when you have it? Studies have shown that the weight of a fly on the nerve can reduce the function of the nerve down to 60%. With that slight of weight would you really wait until you felt something?
What's more, other studies have shown that damage done by pressure even as slight as this, has the potential to be irreversible within a two-week period. So waiting until you hurt or reach a magic age or something is completely foolish and out of the question.
Remember we are talking about your dreams here. The truth is people develop interferences to their nerve system all the time, with absolutely no indication that they are present whatsoever.
Because the bones of the spine can move, they can also misalign in such a way that they can create interference in the nerve system. Let me ask you, would you know right now if your perception of color is completely accurate? Would you know if your golf swing is all it could be? Would you know if your feelings of love or any other emotion are absolutely what they should or could be? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO! You simply cannot know.
That's the stuff that is left up to the inborn intelligence of your body. So the best thing you can do for yourself is to ensure that there is no interference to your nerve system.
Let's go back a minute and think about some of the things that might cause interference to your nerve system. Do you think the stress of lugging heavy baggage through the airport might be enough to rack the spine sufficiently to misalign a bone ever so slightly to cause this interference to the nerve system? Of course. It absolutely could. How about sitting for long periods of time, whether it's on a long plane ride to Hawaii or at your desk at work? Or how about sleeping in a strange bed? Might these things affect your spine? Of course. How about swinging that golf club or any repetitive one-sided motion. How about bouncing that child around, giving piggyback rides, or the stress from worrying what's best for your children?
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but any of these things can misalign one or more of the bones of your spine and create that interference in your nerve system. What's worse is the list goes on and on.
It starts from the very trauma of being born as you are twisted and pulled through the birth canal and continues through all the falling down on your rear as you are learning to walk, falling off your bike, fighting with your siblings as you are growing up, and through all your worrying about school and pimples and dates to right up where you are today. What have you done this very day that might have caused interference to your nerve system? Interference that is keeping you from getting the most out of your life. And how long are you going to be willing to leave it there, compromising your dreams?
By the way, if this is true for you, it is also true for everyone you know and love. Are you willing to sacrifice their dreams and their lives with even a little interference in their nerve systems?
I know that you want good things for yourself and the people you love. You know what you want out of life. All you need now is to do something about it. Why don't you look to having your spine checked for vertebral subluxations. These are small misalignments of bones of the spine that create interference in the nerve system and keep the body from expressing its full potential in life. Exactly what you've been reading about these last few minutes.
We cannot appreciate momentum of DIS-EASE (body malfunction/incoordination) without first understanding momentum of ease (normal body function). You cannot understand momentum of ease without understanding what momentum is.
Momentum is defined in physics as the quantity of motion of a moving object, equal to the product of its mass and its velocity. There is a driving force against resistance. Motion implies speed and momentum is the amount of force used to stop speed. So we have speed and introduce resistance to stop it to manifest momentum.
Take for instance, an electric fan that is spinning at a speed of a thousand revolutions per minute. Resistance is introduced to stop this force of motion by cutting off the current and the fan begins to slow down and finally cease to run. The greatest amount of momentum was immediately after the current was cut off. When the fan finally stopped, there was no momentum at all.
Now that the fan is stopped let's say we wish to turn it on again. We must first turn on the current and the fan starts to develop speed. The least momentum is in the first second, twice as much in the second and more than three times as much in the third. This builds up until it reaches its maximum speed or number of revolutions per minute.
When we turn the fan off it does not stop immediately because the momentum must ease down and stop. When we turn the fan on it does not reach its maximum r.p.m.'s immediately because it must pick up or gain momentum. I think you appreciate our idea of momentum, and resistance.
In applying this to your body, recognize that your body is living under a condition of momentum. Every impression you receive is more or less resisted by the tissue cell. Let's consider a physical force such as a fall. The invasion of force to the body caused by the fall overcomes the resistance of the body internally. These momenta coming together cause a clash of forces. If the invasive force is greater than the internal resistive force, the shock waves or forces cause a vertebral subluxation. Now that the vertebral subluxation has been produced an alteration or interference of life energy (nerve impulses) causes a DIS-EASED condition to develop in one tissue cell, two cells, then 200, 2,000 and then 2 million. Proportionately, the longer the subluxation exists, the greater becomes the momentum of speed of diseases The longer it runs, the longer you go down hill, the greater becomes it's speed and the greater becomes the momentum of DIS-EASE.
I, as a chiropractor, am called upon to locate, analyze, and adjust vertebral subluxations. I am asked to reverse the vertebral subluxation, reverse the power, and the patient immediately expects to be well!?! Your body cannot do this as, it is contrary to the laws of momentum.
The vertebral subluxation and the DIS-EASED condition have gained a tremendous momentum. I adjust the vertebral subluxation and the momentum of DIS-EASE must slow down and stop to zero. Now the power of the life functions within can build from zero to a maximum momentum of normal function, or health. This process requires time! Be patient with your body's health processes. The longer you stay in adjustment, the more momentum is gained towards health.
Let's recall the time just prior to your first adjustment, when you had the vertebral subluxation and the maximum of momentum of DIS-EASE. You receive that first adjustment and let's suppose it takes three weeks for the life energy now getting through 100% to the body to stop the momentum of DIS-EASE. It then takes a period of time to start at the minimum of momentum and build up to the maximum of momentum of normal controlled function that is health. You must understand that while the brakes are being put on, by the renewed life energy causing resistance to the momentum of DIS-EASE you may see some relief. However, you can't have improvement till this DIS-EASE is stopped and you begin to reverse to the constructive health process.
Your understanding of this is important so you can appreciate what your body must go through. It will keep you from becoming discouraged because you can realize it is a part of your normal process of getting well. Therefore, if you receive that first adjustment and you feel that you continued to get worse, you are simply letting the momentum of the DIS-EASE stop. Then you can begin to reverse conditions, that is, the momentum towards health can begin. Now you will begin that constructive momentum of growth to health and a maximum of momentum of ease.
Chiropractic has a philosophy of observing and working with life's natural processes. It is a philosophy of reality and common sense. In investigating the phases of chiropractic philosophy of momentum and retracing (see next article), one works hand in hand with the other. These are natural principles, a definite fact, and yet simple. Just understand them and allow them to work. Keep your appointments to keep control of the vertebral subluxation. If you do, you can be better than you are!
Retracing - Cycles of Repair
Dr. B.J. Palmer wrote the following information during the early development of chiropractic as an art and science. Keep in mind that his words are as true today as they were years ago. The laws of nature remain consistent.
"As it took time for the condition ... to change from health to a maximum degree of abnormality ...it takes time to RETRACE ... BACK TO HEALTH."
Retracing: Cycles of Repair
What do we mean by retracing? Primarily it implies going over ground that has already been covered until the individual reaches the point from which he started.
When a patient is under chiropractic care, it often occurs that he exhibits symptoms that have not manifested themselves for months, or even years. His first impression is that he is becoming worse, but he is retracing the several stages through which his DIS-EASE (incoordination/body malfunction) and maybe even a disease progressed in the making. In chiropractic, the way it is practiced in this office, our focus is on DIS-EASE (incoordination) and not so much on disease, due to the fact that there are many factors that may have caused your disease. By addressing the removal of subluxations, the body will work better/more coordinated and, as we have said before, in a body that is working better, symptoms and diseases have a greater potential to go away. Also, remember that when you have a subluxation, you may not always have obvious symptoms or diseases present, but you will always have DIS-EASE, which is why you still need to be checked in the absence of symptoms.
The question of time is essential in the matter of retracing. If DIS-EASE has been in progress for a number of years, the patient should not always expect to regain the normal state within a few days.
As it took time for the condition of the patient to change from health to a maximum degree of abnormality, so it takes time to retrace from the abnormal condition back to health.
The time consumed in the recovery does not always correspond to the time consumed in the production of DIS-EASE or even disease. As a general thing, however, it may be stated that acute situations respond rapidly, while chronic cases of long standing are slower in their response.
Some abnormalities show very extensive involvement of tissues, while others show very little involvement of tissues. In any involvement of tissues, the structures must retrace the various steps through which it passed in assuming its normal condition.
As an example, this is well shown by the various eruptions on the skin where tissue gradually changes and becomes abnormal, reaching its greatest degree of abnormality and then returns through the steps that it has covered in its appearance until the skin again becomes normal. This is equally true of those tissues in the body that are not visible.
What The Chiropractor Does
The chiropractor is thoroughly trained to detect abnormal positions of the vertebrae in the spine that are causing nerve interference. He is further trained in the technique of introducing a force to help the body restore these vertebrae to their normal positions.
The question naturally arises in the mind of the patient as to why the chiropractor cannot return the vertebra immediately to its normal position and thus immediately restore the tissue to a healthy state.
What actually happens when an adjustment is given is the vertebra is returned toward its normal position. When an adjustment is done, the ligaments and muscles are given an opportunity to regain, in part, their normal tone, and this permits them to hold the vertebra in a more nearly normal state.
Points To Remember
The spine, however, and the body in general are subject to stresses every day of your life, and it is possible that the vertebra may recede toward its old abnormal position, thereby necessitating numerous adjustments. The muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and discs have all changed shape while the body has been subluxated. Keep in mind that tissues often must be rebuilt in order for the vertebra to hold its normal position.
In addition, tissues that have perhaps for years assumed an abnormal condition, due to the gradually increasing pressure upon the nerve fibers, must be allowed time to return through the various stages they have passed in the production of the abnormality.
This all takes time, and patience becomes a cardinal virtue, based on the knowledge that all is progressing as it should. In a perfect world it may take up to a year of care for all the tissues involved to be back to normal. Then further care is needed to maintain or even improve original quality the tissues.
It can thus readily be seen that there is a gradual retracing in the position of the vertebra from the time when it attains the maximum degree, to the time when it returns again to normal.
There is also a retracing in the condition of the tissues that are supplied by the nerve fibers impinged. They have gradually attained a maximum degree of abnormality and must return through those various stages by which they progressed in the attainment of that abnormality. In most instances, now that nerve interference is removed, "sick" or abnormal tissue cells must die off and be replaced by healthy tissue cells, which is why time is such a factor.
Not only is there retracing so far as the vertebrae are concerned and the tissue cells affected by the subluxation, but there may also be a retracing in any symptoms that may be exhibited by the patient (assuming they had any).
In the presence of a disease process, different stages of a disease will give rise to different symptoms, and as the order reverses itself, symptoms that were present, perhaps years ago, may again occur.
If the vertebra is being returned rapidly toward its normal position, an entire series of symptoms may develop at one time and the patient consequently will believe his is getting worse.
As a matter of fact, the outlook is particularly bright at this time, and the patient should realize this fact. Naturally, it he does not understand the condition, he will assume that he is becoming worse and may stop chiropractic care entirely.
It cannot be made too emphatic that this is the very time when he should continue with chiropractic care, because the results are being obtained which will do the greatest good.
Must Be Retracing
It is immaterial whether DIS-EASE or a disease process is one of long standing or an acute condition. There must be retracing in the position of the vertebra and in whatever structural or functional change has occurred.
Naturally, if this is true, there may be a retracing in the symptoms (if there were any). In acute cases they may be so slight in degree that they pass unnoticed.
Finally, every chiropractic patient should realize the necessity for continuing with chiropractic care, even though you cannot note the progress made from day to day, or even though you believe the condition is worse.
It is essential for this period of retracing to be passed through, and do not allow any temporary discouragement to preclude the ultimate health which will be yours if you continue.
Little Johnny was born in a hospital. Due to complications with the delivery a Caesarian had to be performed. The motions around Johnny's mother became frantic and after cutting her open they grabbed Johnny's little neck and twisted and pulled. There was great concern in getting him out. There was little concern about the excess physical, chemical, and emotional stresses produced by the process.
When little Johnny was an infant, he "caught" a cold. The people who loved and cared about him put a medication formula in his bottle and smiled as he drank it, because they now felt assured that he was getting better. A few weeks later he developed an ear infection, and was given antibiotics for it. In the upcoming months he developed 8 more ear infections due to the resistant germs the antibiotics produced.
At five years of age, Little Johnny fell off his bike, scraped his arm and "twisted" his neck. The people who loved and cared about him the most, his parents, cleaned his wound and gave him two St. Joseph's aspirin. They smiled warmly and explained to him that now he would be fine and that the pain in his neck would be made better by the aspirin.
At nine years of age, Little Johnny was playing little league football. Going through the line, he took a hard hit to the helmet. He came off the field complaining of neck pain. The next morning, he woke with a scratchy throat and congestion, his neck still sore. The parents felt reassured because now he was old enough for Junior Tylenol. How wonderful, they thought that their boy was getting old enough to have more medications available for use when necessary. The people who loved and cared about him the most gave him drugs, feeling good because their fears were laid to rest as they helped their boy.
At twelve years of age, the same sore throat and congestion came back, however this time, Junior Tylenol didn't work. Johnny's symptoms persisted. So now the people who loved and cared for Johnny the most took him to the person they respected the most in such matters, the guy or gal in the white coat, the pediatrician. The pediatrician did a very "thorough" evaluation of Johnny, and then gave Johnny drugs.
Johnny's experience for his entire life has been when he felt bad, the people who loved and cared about him the most gave him drugs. And the people who they respected the most as having the greatest amount of knowledge in these matters gave him drugs.
Now Johnny is 16 years old and in high school. He doesn't make the basketball team and the girl he likes rejects him. He feels bad. What has been his training and programming his entire life? You guessed it - DRUGS!
And we cannot understand why the youths of this nation take drugs, when they've been programmed to do it their entire lives. The average 18 year old in the US has seen over 20,000 hours of drug commercials! When you break that down it becomes 40 hours a week for 9.6 years!! Almost a decade of drug commercials. And this number will rise now that drugs are being advertised more on television.
Imagine the contradictions we feed the children in this country as they are taught to "just say no" to drugs while we feed drugs to them in record proportions. The author/philosopher Ayn Rand had said that contradiction lead to destruction. How true those words ring in this situation.
We are not winning the drug war in this country, nor shall we, as long as the culture persists in such a way. I've often said that the war on drugs begins with the cabinet above the bathroom sink (we don't call it a medicine cabinet in my home because there has never been any medicine in it).
To paraphrase Einstein, "you cannot resolve problems with the same level of thinking that existed when the problem was created." We have a problem. What is your level of thinking? How will you change? What will you do to help solve this problem? For the children ...