THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER

JULY 2002



I Find These Truths to be Self Evident...


-The body is a self-healing and self-regulating organism under the control of an innate intelligence.


-The nerve system is the master system of the body, carrying the life force to all organs, tissues, and cells of the body.


-Interference with that life force and its expression is a cause of sickness and DIS-EASE (incoordination/malfunction).


-The removal of that interference is necessary so that mankind can fully express his/her potential uninhibited.


-If mankind is subluxated, resulting in the inability to express ones health and the human potential, then these rights to life, liberty, and happiness are not fully obtainable.


-Any effort, by way of government, political organization, group, or individuals that interferes with the rights of chiropractors to remove this interference so that mankind may have complete access to these unalienable rights is a contradiction of universal law and the Constitution of this great country, and, therefore, must be acknowledged as EVIL.


-And releasing the imprisoned impulse and setting mankind's health and spirit free must be acknowledged as GOOD.

-The Truth must go marching on ...

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!


The First Adjustment


She won't remember it, but our newborn daughter, Alexia, just had her first adjustment a couple minutes after being born (I had to wait to calm down from the adrenaline surge to be able to give her a proper adjustment).

 

After analyzing her spine, an adjustment was made. The adjustments did far more than just address the complications of the birth process. Any subluxations that could hinder her proper growth and development were eliminated. While I don't have the research papers to prove it (yet), we know she will grow much stronger and enjoy greater vitality because of this and many future adjustments.


The adjustments inspired health within her body. We won't be making all those trips to the pediatrician's office that so many children in this country make. That's not our first choice of care anyway, but more importantly, it is because we don't have to.

 

Alexia will be much healthier than most babies whose parents rely on a constant stream of "medications" (drugs) to sustain what they have led to believe is "health" (the absence of those symptoms that are most obvious). Through the knowledge and understanding of the chiropractic principles of health, we have realized that while there may be certain times in which medical intervention may be necessary, on the whole it is a contradiction to logical thinking and reasoning to believe that an unnatural foreign chemicals will ever produce natural results in our bodies.

 

We've started Alexia on a deliberate lifestyle of wellness that will carry her throughout her life. Our older child, Vasilis, understands the importance of wellness through chiropractic. Even as young child he knew when it was time to have his spine checked. He would often climb on the adjusting table and ask me to check his spine for subluxations. Yes, he could say subluxations by the time he was 1½ years old as many of my patients could attest to.


As I adjusted Alexia, I couldn't help but wonder about all the babies that were beginning life without that first adjustment. How would the quality of their lives be lessened? How many unnecessary illnesses would they succumb to? How much school and fun would they miss out on? Would they meet their full potential when they played sports in high school? Would they get the best grades they could possibly get? Would the absence of that unmistakable look of wellness and good posture erode their physical beauty? It's easy to see how the first adjustment will impact a child at every stage of life.

 

Notice also that the repercussions intensify as the child gets older. The longer a subluxation exists, the more damage it does. It didn't take much force, but that first adjustment (and the many more that are sure to come) was a life-affirming event that will affect Alexia's future in so many ways that she won't appreciate until she's older. Some people will watch her grow and call her good "health" luck, just like they do with her older brother (and all the other children I have adjusted regularly since their birth). But we know better, because we have chosen to have our children be healthy by choice instead of chance.

 

The Human Body


No machine can compare to the human body, which can do all this with a minimum of conscious control and awareness.

As an average adult during an average day:


-You exercise 7,000,000 brain cells.
-You speak 48,000 words.
-Your heart beats 103,689 times.
-Your blood travels 16,800 miles.
-You breathe 23,040 times.
-You inhale 438 cubic feet of air.
-Your hair grows 0.01717 inch.
-Your nails grow 0.000046 inch.
-You move 750 major muscles.
-You eat 3.25 pounds of food.
-You drink 2.9 pounds of liquids.
-You lose 6.2 pounds of waste.
-You perspire 1.43 pints.
-You turn in your sleep 25 to 30 times.
-You give off 85.6 degrees F.


Just like any piece of finely tuned machinery needs tune-ups, so too does every human body need regular Chiropractic check-ups to ensure that the nervous system can control everything optimally.


Summer Subluxations


Oh, the stories we chiropractors hear on the Mondays of summer, as the refugees of over-ambition arrive for care, those who squeezed as much as possible into the all-too-brief summer weekends, often squeezing past the feedback of their bodies. "I did this, we did that, I had to do this, we couldn't pass up doing that, do you think that's why I feel like this now?," etc.

 

As we all are aware, subluxations can occur when the spine and nervous system have received a stress beyond its ability to recover, be it physical, mental/emotional, or chemical stress. Subluxations are an expression, internal feedback where interference develops as a response to an experience in our environment - in our life.


Summertime has its own unique pulse and pace, and our lives reflect that. So, now that we are entrenched in summer, let's explore subluxations that can occur as a response to this season - topics to include allergies, gardening, air conditioning, sports and travel.


Many have become conditioned to expect that they'll have allergies during the summer, and their current resource on how to respond effectively is limited to the inescapable drug commercials on TV and in magazines. They are, in fact, missing a big opportunity to improve their health by recognizing what their bodies are asking for by producing allergy symptoms: better care of the immune system.


The immune system is designed to respond to allergens by manufacturing the appropriate amount of chemicals needed to neutralize these allergens, and if there is interference and the body cannot properly respond - the result can be symptoms. Suppression, depression or alteration of the immune system through products designed for this purpose offer limited and - often negative - short and long-term effects.


Now, to "gardening spine." The art of gardening can include passion, obsession, Houdini-like contortions, the overloading of reluctant muscles, chemical assault, and oh, yes, peace. Remember that subluxations result from stress that the body cannot recover from. Chiropracticaly-wise gardeners know to listen when their bodies plead for alternate positions, giving muscles a chance to recover. And, they know to stop and "smell the roses" while working in the garden to refresh their mind and emotions. All living things benefit from regular care, so as you would check for weeds that can interfere with your garden, you'll want to be checked for spinal subluxations that can interfere with your life.


Air conditioning is something I can never imagine not having during the summer. Yet, it's important to consider the stress load on the body's temperature control center. As you move from unnaturally cold interiors to a hot exterior, the body receives confusing information as to what season it is. And, the majority of air pollution (we are told) is indoors, in sealed buildings, impacting respiratory and immune systems for many. This environmental stress taxes the human response system, including the immune system, and basically the choice is boost or bust. Boost for me is through chiropractic.


Water-skiing, mountain biking, swimming, rafting, softball, baseball, etc., are all activities of summer that are enormous fun. But, they are a lot more fun if we are healthy. One of the great benefits of chiropractic care is the symmetry that develops as a body moves towards health and organization instead of the chaos and disorganization that are associated with subluxation. Symmetry and coordination in the body can make a big impact on performance, enjoyment and recovery in all sports, a benefit many Olympians and top athletes who utilize chiropractic appreciate. (See Fitness vs. Health article)


Travel is such a big summer activity; it could easily have its own article. A small list of potential causes of subluxation include: sleeping in strange beds; eating foods that you do not normally eat; performing activities that your body may be not used to; sitting for long periods of time in a car, airplane, or other forms of transportation; disrupted sleep schedule; the list can go on and on.


Having a spine free of subluxation will help you better adapt to these summertime situations, but it may be inevitable that they may cause a subluxation. Just make sure you keep your scheduled appointments or maybe even get checked a little sooner than you normally would. Let's make this a healthy and enjoyable summer for all.

 

A Thought on Health


Something had been bothering me for quite a while and I was reminded of it recently when I saw that Paul McCartney was getting married. It was two articles that I had read, but placed in the back of my mind to comment on later. When Linda McCartney died of breast cancer at age 56, USA Today asked Fran DuRocher, MD to comment on her death. She said: "Breast cancer after all is a disease that affects healthy (emphasis mine) people. That's why everybody is so surprised when they get it."'


A few months later the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article entitled "Stroke In A Healthy (emphasis mine) 46-Year-Old Man."


Healthy women develop cancer? Healthy men suffer strokes? Are these doctors for real? I'm embarrassed to have them included in the category of health care professionals. Those conditions can take months, years, or even decades of body malfunction/incoordination (DIS-EASE) to develop. Were these people really healthy the day before their cancer was diagnosed or their stroke occurred? Were these diseases waiting to pounce on these unsuspecting victims? Of course not! So why were Ms. McCartney and the unnamed "healthy" 46-year-old in the JAMA article considered healthy by medical doctors?


The Limitations of the Medical Paradigm
"Half of us are blind, few of us feel, and we are all deaf."
-Attributed to Sir William Osler, MD (on physicians)


When traditional MDs declares you "healthy" what they are really saying is that you have no symptoms or abnormalities that their training can detect. That is why people can be declared "healthy" when they are in fact facing serious illness. We do not mean to imply that medical diagnosis is useless, however it does have serious limitations. Well, even by their admission, they are wrong almost 70% of the time - to their defense, it is usually not out of carelessness, but because diagnosis is a difficult art.


Too many people live their lives silently waiting for disease to seemingly "strike" out of nowhere. Many people enter medical offices with fear in their hearts. "What will he discover?" "A cancer?" "A blocked artery?" "Deteriorating joints?" "Organ disease?" Must they live with years of body malfunction before the medical profession can diagnose a problem? Does it have to be that way?


Subtle (Preventive) Health Care
People are increasingly choosing another path. Instead of waiting for their health to deteriorate, getting a medical diagnosis and then intervening with the tools of medicine (drugs and surgery), they are choosing approaches to maintain and enhance their health. People are exercising, eating better, breastfeeding, using natural products, avoiding drugs (as much as possible), praying, meditating and turning to vitalistic healing arts for their health care. Vitalistic healing arts include chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and other systems that take many years of highly disciplined study to master. Practitioners of these arts appear to be able to locate signs of body disturbance, malfunction or DIS-EASE long before allopathic (regular) MDs can diagnose something wrong. For example, a doctor of chiropractic will undoubtedly find vertebral subluxations causing nerve pressure and energy/communication blockages in "healthy" women developing breast cancer or "healthy" male candidates for stroke. Subluxations are often painless and can cause body/mind dysfunction years before disease symptoms appear. Similarly, a practitioner of homeopathy, using the intensive case histories homeopaths are known for, would surely discover some form of body malfunction years before orthodox medical practitioners would raise concerns. Practitioners of traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) or traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture) check their patients' pulses for subtle energy imbalances. These doctors analyze a patient's 12 different pulses, six in each wrist, that are related to emotional and physical organ systems and energy patterns that can reveal subtle abnormalities. The subtlety of this diagnosis makes a modem cardiologist's pulse-taking look rudimentary by comparison.


Cranial osteopaths and craniosacral therapists can locate deep meningeal (inner brain and body) tension and perhaps locked emotional energies impeding the flow of energy and nutrients to important organs. A nutritionist would surely discover nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal or chemical toxicity, dehydration or other findings regular MDs are not trained to locate.


Health Optimization
If people paid attention to their small health problems they wouldn't have large health problems. -Chinese proverb


Are you functioning at your optimum? Do you have health -- complete physical, mental and social well-being? Anything less than optimal may be a warning sign of DIS-EASE (body/mind malfunction).


If you pay attention to the small, subtle signs of physical or mental DIS-EASE now, your body won't have to use serious illness to get your attention later.


"....A friend and general surgeon with more than thirty years experience once confided to me that, in retrospect, he felt the majority of surgical procedures he had performed might be classified as excisions of the "vocal apparatuses" of the inner selves of the patients. He meant that by removing certain organs or tissues, he was eliminating the bodily voices that were attempting to communicate the presence of deeper emotional or spiritual problems in need of attention." (from the book Healers on Healing).


A Golden Age
We are living in an exciting golden age of health care with discoveries and re-discoveries of ancient wisdom blossoming. Discoveries in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) are revealing that our thoughts and feelings affect our immune system. Research is revealing that feelings of anger, hostility, depression, helplessness and other negative emotions weaken your immune system and set the stage for serious illness -- from the common cold to heart disease and cancer. Research also reveals that loving relationships, friends, religious observation, prayer and meditation can be very healing. Enhancing relationships, seeing a therapist or a counselor and/or learning emotional/meditative techniques can be powerful forces for self-healing.


Waiting for Healing to Suddenly Strike
People don't grow old, when they stop growing, they become old. -Anonymous


Old age is always twenty years away. -Jack La Lanne


Do it now so you'll age healthfully and never grow old. Do it now so you'll live free of physical and mental debilities and be active, full of energy, vitality, happiness and inspiration all the days of your long and productive life. Don't wait until symptoms appear to keep your body free of subluxations.


If I am not for myself who will be for me? And if I am only for myself what am I? And if not now, when? -Hillel


Maintaining the Gain


It's easier to stay well than to get well. Because of ongoing physical, chemical, and emotional stresses that cause spinal muscles to contract abnormally, it is desirable to have regular chiropractic checkups/tune-ups.


Regular visits are like an insurance policy. They help to assure your continuing good health at the time you need that well being most.


By maintaining your body today, you may well be preventing conditions that will keep you out of action later. Regular visits are a good investment in your future health the most precious commodity of all!


Fitness vs. Health


Exercise is one element of living that affects health. However, while our bodies need exercise to be healthy, exercise can't make us healthy. Exercise can enhance health if the body isn't overburdened just trying to survive.

 

A regular exercise program can help you look better, be more energetic, more flexible, stronger, and more upbeat. Yet, even if you exercise strenuously and regularly - work out, run, walk, play tennis or golf - you may not be healthy. Your body may be working overtime to handle the health-inhibiting effects of improper diet, polluted air, restless sleep, or persistent emotional upheaval.

 

When you exercise, rest, or breathe, your whole body responds. Your heart rate speeds up or slows, blood pressure goes up or down, oxygen delivery to the blood stream increases or decreases muscles contract or relax, alertness heightens or falls and energy production accelerates or subsides. Literally thousands of internal physiological responses are excited or suppressed. You live in a body that functions through a finely-tuned, well-orchestrated, integrated system of chemical and electrical responses.


So, depending on how hard the body is working just to survive, exercise can promote health - or endanger life.


Exercise temporarily adds acid to the "atmosphere" of your internal environment. If your internal environment is "toxic" from excess acid when you begin to exercise, your body may not be able to withstand the additional stress. Those people who need to "clean up their internal environment" should be prepared to modify their exercise routine, diet, and attitude to try to minimize any damage that may occur.


What is "being fit"?
Fitness is more than being slim, trim, and muscular. It's a psychological state that is generally judged by how well a body functions in four categories:

1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance - how well the heart and blood vessels can deliver oxygen to the cells.

2. Muscular fitness - strength and endurance.

3. Flexibility - joints that move freely through their full range of motion without discomfort or pain.

4. Body composition - the amount of muscle, bone, and fat.

 

So, does that mean if you score well in those four categories you are healthy? Not necessarily. It means you are "fit". You can be fit without being healthy. We tend to think of fitness as being the yardstick for health. Being fit certainly looks healthy - leaning toward lean, agile, sculptured muscles, and strength. Yet, if being fit means being healthy, why do we so often read that a top-notch, fit, well-conditioned young athlete has dropped dead or had a heart attack?


Exercise isn't enough
You simply can't exercise your way to health. Your health depends on numerous criteria, two include: 1) the condition of your internal environment, and 2) how, or how long, your body must adapt to handle long-term stress. The condition of your internal environment depends on the choices you make in what you eat, drink, and breathe, how you exercise and rest, and how and what you think. Your long-term health depends on how long you consistently make appropriate or inappropriate choices in each of these areas, not just how you exercise.


For example, a diet of excess protein may leave your internal environment struggling to retain its natural slight alkalinity. Cells produce acid as they work. The harder they work, the more acid they produce.


While exercise also has an acidifying effect on your body, the type of acid produced by cells is easily eliminated. But if your internal environment is already acid from too much protein food, even easily eliminated acid could push your acid factor into the danger zone. If you regularly eat a lot of high-protein foods such as meat, poultry, and dairy products, give your body a generous supply of foods that provide alkalizing minerals before you launch an exercise campaign.


Chiropractic's Role in Athletics
Why do teenage and amateur athletes get adjusted and enjoy Chiropractic care so much? The same reasons professional athletes enjoy regular Chiropractic care. Chiropractic helps athletes improve their athletic performance, heal quicker from injuries, increase flexibility and stamina, and much more.

 

If you had a racecar would you make sure your front end was aligned properly before a big race? Of course you would because you know that when your car is aligned properly it will run faster, more efficiently, and with less strain on the car's structure. This is one way that chiropractic care relates to your body and athletics. And there's more.


To perform at your peak, your body must receive signals from your brain, and your brain must get messages from your body. Have you ever been on a cell phone when there was static on the line? Interference over your nerve pathways has the same effect. It reduces the communication between your brain and your body and affects your ability to perform at your best. Chiropractic care removes this interference and keeps it out of your life through specific Chiropractic adjustments.


One particular study tested two groups of athletes in training. The first group trained without receiving Chiropractic care. The second group trained and received ongoing Chiropractic care as well.


As you would expect, both groups improved. After 12 weeks, however, there was a substantial difference in their results. The group that was not under Chiropractic care showed a 4.5% improvement while the Chiropractic group showed a 16.7% improvement after 12 weeks. That is a huge difference in athletic performance.


People heal quicker from injuries, sickness, and everything else if they have good nerve supply from their brain to their body and back again. This is what chiropractic does!


There are countless personal experiences from people who have limped into Chiropractic offices with a sports or athletic injury, and leaped out to participate in their activity the next day.

While not every person who goes to a chiropractor has this kind of experience, because it depends on the extent of the injury, many people certainly do.


Why do you think Chiropractic has been one of the fastest growing health professions over the last decade? It allows you to get the most benefit from your exercise, while helping to minimize any damage that it may cause. Most importantly, chiropractic works!


Exercise is one of the essentials for whole-body health. Your body needs exercise to keep it in the best shape possible for survival by keeping all the muscles flexible, strong, and responsive so they can do their assigned jobs effectively. And, exercise refuels you cells with oxygen. Still, health involves more than being fit. It is a by-product of making appropriate choices in all essential areas of life. The bottom line is fitness is fine - if you are healthy! Learn to pursue health first, and then go after fitness. If you're involved in sports, don't you think it's time you were examined by a chiropractor to see if chiropractic could make a difference for you?


The top athletes in all sports go to a chiropractor. They recognize the importance of having a healthy spine to improve their performance:


"Bodybuilders and fitness people have been using chiropractors very extensively in order to stay healthy and fit. I found it was better to go to a chiropractor before you get injured. We are a perfect team - the world of fitness and the world of chiropractors." -Arnold Schwarzenegger


"If it weren't for chiropractic, I wouldn't have won the gold medal. You obviously can't compete at your fullest if you're not in alignment. And your body can't heal if your back is not in alignment. It was the holistic idea that I liked about chiropractic and that is what track and field is about. Every track and field athlete that I have ever met has seen a chiropractor at one time or another. In track and field, it is absolutely essential. Chiropractic care is one of the things I think that no one has denied or refuted." -Dan O'Brian, Decathlon Gold Medal Winner


"I have to have an adjustment before I go into the ring. I do believe in chiropractic. I found that going to a chiropractor three times a week helps my performance. The majority of boxers go to get that edge."-Evander Holyfield



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