THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
The Flu - Why Doesn't Everyone Get It?
That dam "flu bug" is going around again. It has been spotted driving north on the highway as well as through many local communities. Now, if we could just get the license plate of the car and apprehend that pesky varmint, we could stop him in his tracks.
This is a common perception about the flu virus. It's "going around." It's flu season. There is some truth to the statement that the virus is more prevalent at some times than others but why doesn't everyone get sick? Or at the same time? Or for the same length of time? Questions to ponder.
Recently, major news sources reported that the number of flu-related deaths in the United States has increased fourfold since the 1970s and now claims more lives than AIDS -- this despite the invention and use of the flu vaccine.
This increase is blamed on the aging population, who are more susceptible to the flu. Over 65 percent of the elderly receive flu shots, however it was reported that the shots are largely ineffective among this group of people aged 65 and older. According to a recent report, the shots do not protect aging immune systems as well as younger ones. But didn't older people exist before 1970? And if the shots are ineffective can someone tell me why they are used? Hmm, more questions.
From 1976 to 1977 the number of flurelated deaths was 16, 263, compared with 64, 684 from 1998 to 1999. While previous estimates had gauged the average number of deaths from flu at 20,000 per year, researchers say the average number has reached 36,000.
All this despite the fact that more people are receiving the vaccine than ever before. By comparison, since the mid-1990s there has been a decline in U.S. AIDS deaths from 51,000 in 1995 to about 15,000 in 2001. The increase in flu-related deaths, despite the wide use of the flu shot, has led some to say that the importance of receiving the flu vaccination could be undermined. You think? Here we have one disease for which we have no vaccine going away, but another for which many are vaccinated and the numbers of those dying is increasing.
Vaccines are big business, with revenues are expected to reach $10 billion soon. You can bet that drug companies are not going to take this defeat lying down. They are going to do everything in their power to get more vaccines approved and used. They do not seem to realize that doing more of the wrong thing will not produce better results. They seem to have lost all sight of sanity and health when it comes to this issue.
Most of you know that based on the objective research I have done I can say that the flu shots are worthless and should be avoided. Not only are they loaded with toxic chemicals including mercury and aluminum, but many people come down with the flu shortly after receiving the shot. It doesn't make sense to inject foreign, potentially toxic chemicals (known carcinogens and neurotoxins) into your body to prevent illness. Also, recent research has shown that there are many problems that are associated with the flu shot, such as a 40 times greater chance of developing Alzheimer's disease. But don't take my word for it do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
Let's look at the factors that determine our strength in fighting off health challenges like the flu. First of all, viruses and bacteria are opportunists. This means that they do not attack you. It doesn't "catch" you in some desperate race. It can only take advantage of you if your defenses are weak.
Our bodies weaken and breakdown when there is more stress than it can handle. The three types of stresses are physical, chemical, and emotional. A few examples of physical stresses would be poor posture at work or school, a slip on the sidewalk, and other accidents; chemical stresses could be eating processed foods, too much caffeine, pollution; and emotional stresses could be caused by the recent world events, arguing with a loved one, or balancing your bank account. We can literally make a list of hundreds if not thousands of each of theses stresses in each category. Since we are exposed to many of these stresses on a daily basis, the key to being healthier is to constantly build our bodies so they are capable of dealing with these stressors effectively.
We all know that some of the most obvious ways of maintaining or improving your health are regular exercise, proper nutrition, adequate rest and a positive outlook on life. Often overlooked is maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system. A properly functioning spine and nervous system build a healthier you by maximizing the effects of frequent exercise, good nutrition, proper rest and a positive mental attitude, while at the same time helping you to better adapt to the stresses that can weaken your resistance.
By consistently working on your health, stress does not weaken your body as quickly or as much as it might have before. This helps explain why some people get the flu, why some don't and some don't get it as bad as others. If viruses and bacteria were the only cause, shouldn't we all get it at the same time and with the same severity?
Remember to remember that a healthy, subluxation-free spine will improve the quality of the messages going through your nervous system, enabling you to do everything you do better. Get your spine checked regularly so that pesky flu bug has less of a chance of "catching" you!
Most of us would agree that more money in our pockets would be good. For some, though, it may not be good. Recently, a man won the lottery. For some reason, the guy wound up in jail for burglary. I guess he thought he needed a lot more than the lottery gave him!
There are those who have the false belief that when a headache occurs, they should take two aspirins; if it is a really bad headache, then maybe they should take four aspirins; and a headache with a sinus swelling needs a combination of pills... the more pills, the better. JUST HOW MUDDLED HAVE THEIR MINDS BECOME?
HEALTH DOES NOT COME IN A BOTTLE OF PILLS. The majority of people realize that pills don't make us healthy, but still pop pills to feel better. Is the reason for this that people just don't know anything about health? Medical science knows a lot about sickness and disease but still just gives more pills, shots and surgeries in attempting cures. There must be a better way!
The chiropractor's main goal is to adjust the spine for correction of nerve interference. If this correction is maintained from cradle to grave, there will be much less sickness and disease. Our body possesses an innate ability to be healthy. It began at conception and ends at death. The brain controls all cells of the body. Without the brain's communication via the nerve fibers to the cells, we cannot survive. If the communication is interference free, the cells of the body work according to Nature's plan. If not, DIS-EASE (incoordination) results. Left uncorrected sickness and disease may then result.
Chiropractic is the only profession that corrects abnormal spinal pressure on nerves (subluxation) with spinal adjustments. Subluxations sometimes cause pain but most times they do not. We are brainwashed into thinking that if we don't feel pain, there is nothing wrong. This can be far from the truth. A chiropractor who checks his or her patients' spines periodically for subluxations and corrects those subluxations with an adjustment helps them achieve a healthier lifestyle. Any practitioner who simply treats the pain fails in promoting a truly healthier lifestyle.
"More" diseases would be eliminated if f1more" people understood that treating pain is not correcting the cause. "More" is better when responsibility for our own health is better than waiting for symptoms to appear and then treating them. "More" desire to seek natural approaches for our own health care and that of our loved ones would be better.
You know what blinders are; they're those leather flaps they used to put on horses to curtail their peripheral vision to keep them from being distracted or "skittish".
People often wear blinders too, although these blinders may be invisible to others. People-blinders definitely curtail the wearer's "view of things."
Let's look at an example: I have a friend whose wife has suffered from dizziness/ vertigo over the past six to eight years, to such a degree that she's had to give up her job and many outside activities. All medical tests have come up inconclusive, they have no idea what is causing her problem. I have suggested to this friend that he have his wife checked by a chiropractor to find out if her problem might actually be a chiropractic one. A simple analysis of her spine should determine if she has subluxations with special attention paid to see if the Atlas, or top vertebra of the spine is subluxated. The Atlas vertebra has an intimate connection with the nerves that control the blood supply to the head, pituitary gland, scalp, bones of the face, the brain, inner and middle ear and the sympathetic nervous system just for starters. Therefore, if an individual's Atlas vertebra is subluxated, that person can very possibly be more susceptible to suffering with any of the following problems: headaches, nervousness, insomnia, head colds, high blood pressure, migraines, nervous breakdown, amnesia, chronic fatigue, and/or dizziness.
What if my friend's wife had gone through all this grief of dizziness and restriction of activity (along with trying this, that, and the other medication and dealing with all the other problems they caused) when all she really needed was a correction of the alignment of her vertebra?
But correction of this lady's vertebra is not to be. Why? Because somewhere along the way she came to believe that chiropractic could not help her. Perhaps a trusted medical doctor told her, not knowing himself (or herself) what true chiropractic is all about. Perhaps a friend or someone she knew had a bad experience with a chiropractor, which somehow means all chiropractors are bad. Or maybe she is one of those "know-it-alls" that know everything and have an opinion on all things without having taken the time learn anything about it. You know who they are. Every extended family has at least one. I love hearing from people that they don't "need" a chiropractor. I'm always amazed by such ignorance. I get a sort of satisfactory joy of questioning them and showing them that they know nothing about chiropractic. I then leave them with a choice of continuing in their folly or making a change in their life.
So chiropractic, a possible solution to this lady's problem., is not an option for her. She's wearing those invisible blinders that some of us wear at one time or another when it comes to problem-solving. So what are we to do, do we give up on these people? I don't think so, but they should not frustrate us so much. After all some people have minds like concrete, all mixed up and set. Just keep at them if they get it - good for them, if they don't - too bad for them.
The real focus on our energy should be in telling as many people as possible about chiropractic and finding those that are rational, logical, and care enough about themselves and their loved ones to take the necessary steps to learn and empower themselves through knowledge. If they then grasp the simplicity and far reaching aspects of chiropractic, they will get their spines checked regularly and they will see an improvement in health, performance, and in their lives. They will be forever grateful to you for your actions toward helping them, and you will be able to go to bed at night knowing you have done an awesome thing for that person.
Over the course of the last week, a few people commented on how tired they were, how lackluster they felt, and how surprisingly low their energy level was.
I've heard many people refer to this as, "The February Blahs".
From New Year's Day until the first sign of spring, as a people living in a cold climate, we lament the coming of February. We even blame the late arrival of spring on an unsuspecting groundhog.
Are we really dealing with "The Blahs", as some people would have us believe, or are we following a path set for us, buried deep within our DNA?
One question I posed to everyone who came for their adjustment resonating at a lower energy level was: "What are the bears doing?"
The amazed response was "What bears?" "No, not Da' Bears of Chicago, but the bears in the forest, what are they doing?" I'd ask. "Well, they are hibernating", came the answer from the sleepy bear on the adjusting table.
"Exactly!" I'd say. When we stop for a moment and look around at the magnificent intelligence outside our windows buried deep under the snow, we do not see the teeming activity of summer.
The trees stand naked, the palette is monochromatic, and rarely do we see the flash of a bird or the twitch of a squirrel's tail. The world around us lies dormant, resting, to be reawakened with the coming of spring. Why is it then, that our species, and only our species, ignores the intelligence of nature and presses on through sleet and snow?
I think, we know that we also need to hibernate (or migrate, as so many do) but we desperately override these signals and continue on with our busy schedules.
What if this lowered energy level and decreased desire to accomplish and perform that some people feel, is directly due to the fact that we haven't taken the time out to rest and regenerate?
Then, as the days go by, our energy to take us through each day peters out by February, and suddenly, before we know it, we have a phenomenon known as "The February Blahs." What if we, collectively, began to listen to the whisperings of our bodies during the winter and took time out for rest and hibernation so that we would not resent this time, but cherish it for its true purpose?
Yes, most of us lead busy lives, but the investment pays huge dividends in our health and well-being, and a reduction in our winter-associated grumpiness. This time of year is also a good time to reevaluate some of your health practices.
If the February Blahs have affected you, you may want to schedule an extra visit or two to make sure you are not subluxated. Subluxations are notorious for zapping energy in the body. Being free from subluxations balances out your energy level. I've noticed those that have scheduled a few extra visits do not seem to have the blahs.
Here are some other tips that will also help boost your energy:
-Walk or exercise outside regularly (particularly at lunch time if you'll be inside all day)
-Manage stress effectively
-Get enough sleep
-Eat the right mix of protein and carbohydrate for you
-Brighten your home or work environment with light and brighter decorating.
According to Ovid: What is without periods of rest will not endure. So remember to take time to rest, just like the bears in the forest!
Movement is Life
... And Chiropractic Delivers
This may sound a bit strange at first but if you think about it for a moment the truth of this statement begins to become more and more apparent. Without movement you could not sustain life: blood cells that don't move cannot transport oxygen, lungs that don't move can't breath, hearts that don't move can't pump blood, and spines that don't move can't create the motion required for proper joint nutrition, for the activities of daily living, or for the stimulation of the joint-brain pathways required for proper brain and body function.
You heard correctly, movement (especially of the spine) is required for proper brain function for the coordination of activities such as concentration and learning, emotions, motor control, and organ function (including immune organs). Roger Sperry the recipient of the Nobel prize in 1982 for his work in brain research stated that the importance of movement of the spine in relation to brain function could be equated to that of a windmill that generates electricity for a power plant. He also stated that the more structurally distorted we are, the less energy we have for metabolism, for heating, and for thinking.
In fact research has shown that if you cut off the supply of somatosensory information (sensations received by the body excluding those from sense organs - eyes, ears, nose, etc.) going to the brain, the brain will actually reach a state of coma!! That's right, the brain does not simply control the body, the brain requires constant stimulation; it requires constant input from movement to keep the batteries charged.
Did you know that over half of all the nerve impulses being sent between your brain and body in your spinal cord are for the delivery of movement stimulation to the brain? Movement charges your brain's battery and makes you able to think better, feel better, and function better.
Sound a bit too good to be true? Don't just take my word for it, read the work of some of the most prominent neurologists, physiologists, psychologists, and educators in the world. Messages to your brain created by proper movement (especially of your spine) have been called an essential nutrient for brain function and development. In fact, research is now showing that people who do not properly stimulate their brain with joint movement have learning, memory, emotional, behavioral, and overall health deficits.
This is especially true for children because spinal joint receptor stimulation plays an integral role in the development of the child's brain and nervous system. The effects of decreased stimulation of the brain in childhood have been linked to central motor impairment developmental impairments, learning disabilities, concentration problems like ADHD, behavioral problems such as violence and increased illnesses such as ear, nose, and throat infections, sleeping difficulties, and colic.
"Connectivity is a crucial feature of brain development because the neural pathways formed during the early years carry signals that allow us to process information throughout our lives (Dixon and Shore)."
At first researchers thought that it was just the exercise that improved brain and overall health due to increased blood flow and oxygen supply etc. Further research has shown that aerobic activity is not what is responsible for the amazing benefits of proper movement stimulation of the brain. It is the neurological stimulation of the pathways between moving joints, especially spinal joints, and the brain that are responsible. At a major neuroscience symposium in Chicago where experts in the field of movement and cognition met the message was clear: "Our body enriches our mind".
It should be obvious why it is so important to ensure every child and adult has a properly moving and aligned spine as the spinal joints are the main source of sensory movement stimulation to the brain. If there is subluxation in the spine, movement and therefore essential nutrient delivery to the brain are compromised.
The upper neck has been found to be particularly important to examine because it is the most easily subluxated and it has by far the most movement receptors to stimulate the brain.
These findings have been confirmed by clinical studies performed by both chiropractors and medical doctors. In fact after examining thousands of children one medical researcher concluded that "observations of motor development and manual control of the occipitoatlantoaxial (upper neck) joint complex should be obligatory after every difficult birth". He also states that the upper neck "should be examined and, if required, specifically adjusted (as) the success of adjustment overshadows every other type of 'treatment'." Of course it does, a specific adjustment is the ONLY way to correct a subluxation!!! (Note: Treatment is his term. An adjustment, as done in this office, is not a treatment for anything. It is for the correction of vertebral subluxations.)
I recommend combining specific adjustments along with everything that is of benefit to your health (exercise, nutrition, proper rest, etc.) to ensure that you get the best possible chance to have a healthy body and mind.
Not only does proper spinal movement increase overall health, decrease DIS-EASE (incoordination) and improve the ability to create feelings of happiness and well-being, it also helps to reduce pain and discomfort and to diminish feelings of anxiety and stress.
When it comes right down to it we are creatures designed for virtually constant movement living in a society that involves almost constant sitting. We are also clearly designed to have properly moving and aligned spines and many of our citizens are unknowingly walking around with subluxation in their spines because they have NEVER HAD A SPINAL EVALUATION!! This is not a healthy combination and the result is that we have a population that is much less healthy and much more sick, tired, and in a state of DIS-EASE than is necessary.
As a chiropractor I am very familiar with this type of work and have personally seen great results with the care I provide to children and adults. The problem is that much of society is unaware of the pathogenic potential and far too many children and adults are suffering the effects of being subluxated needlessly. It is up to all of us as individuals to disseminate this information and to educate friends and loved ones about chiropractic.
Please get yourselves and your children out and moving around. Everyone will feel better, think better, have a healthier spine, have increased overall health, and enjoy a much greater quality of life. All children (and adults of course) deserve a wonderful quality of life and proper spinal movement is an integral part of this. Motion is lotion, movement is life, and chiropractic delivers so get out there and get those spines moving!!!!