THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER

JANUARY 2003



"If They Knew What You Knew, They Would Do What You Do"

 

We are in the third year of the new millennium. I'm sure that most everyone reading this is under regular chiropractic care because they know of the absolute importance chiropractic plays in health and wellness. If our respective communities understood the benefits of chiropractic to the extent that we do, they would also make chiropractic a regular part of their lives. In order to come to this level of understanding, the public must be exposed to enough good credible information that will help them become aware of what we already know (one of the reasons I write this newsletter). 


I also urge everyone to check out my website (www.alphachiropractic.net), to borrow books from the lending library, and to feel free to look at articles in the Children's Chiropractic Information Center. Hopefully this will give you further assurance and confidence in knowing that what you a doing is so awesome. It may even provide you with the added inspiration to tell others about chiropractic and our office. That is why we say, that when it comes to community education, "If they knew what you knew, they would do what you do."


The Last Resort

 

Upon learning that I'm a chiropractor, many people asking me questions like - what can you do for diabetes? What can you give me for arthritis? What do you got for high blood pressure, weight loss, thyroid, hot flashes, cancer, reflux, chronic fatigue, etc? What they're really saying is - what magic bullet can you give me that will allow me to continue my current lifestyle of self-abuse? I know where this idea came from. It's how we're raised: solving health problems is not our responsibility. See the doctor. He'll know what to give us.


When it comes to health, people try the easiest stuff first. Doctor appointments, tests, MRI, procedures, drugs, and more drugs - sometimes even surgery. All the things that THEY do - anything that doesn't require "OUR" participation. The comforting illusion that something is being done about the problem by letting somebody else do it.


After a while, when all this has failed, a little light goes on - for some. And that's the idea that most of these guys really don't know what they're doing. And that if you're going to stop this downward spiral, it'll be totally 100% up to you. Blind luck may suddenly reveal that the cause of some of your health problems may be due to what you're putting in your mouth, both food and drugs. Some may even be due to interference of nerve impulses from the brain to the body.


And now you've come to that point of self-loathing or desperation or confusion or being fed up or whatever where you really want to make a change because you know you have to. Maybe it's a chronic digestive problem. Or a "weak heart." Or diabetes. Or chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or MS. Or arthritis, or allergies, or asthma. Or a cross reaction from those combinations of medications that all those guys are giving you, without much consideration or concern, after that 5 minute office visit - with a nurse.


A lot of people are jumping ship here. And many of them are washing up on my beach. After we start getting the spine in order, some want to know what else they can do. Anything beyond getting checked for subluxations and adjusted if they are present is beyond the scope of the way I practice. However, when logic and reason are applied, most health "secrets" are easily available and easily implemented by most people. The Internet as well as volumes of books are now available for all types of health questions, from exercise, to nutrition, to rest, to anything and everything you could possibly imagine. It's just up to every individual to find what is logical and what works best for them.


So here's the last resort - participation. Taking an active role in your health care. Many people find out, some too late, that this is the only thing that was ever going to work in the first place. What particular disease you have doesn't really matter that much. So much of it is just a name game anyway - they're usually just guessing. Let's remember according to the best diagnosticians out there, diagnosis is usually wrong almost 70% of the time.


If your body's going to survive, the same rules of health and healing apply. Variations will occur between the time it takes to get well and any limitations of matter (any severe irreparable damage that could limit healing). No matter how advanced your particular problem, you're still just flesh and blood like every one else. Your body follows the same physical laws. Every day you're alive, certain fundamental problems occur for each of your cells. Either these problems get solved or they don't. Of course, a body with no nerve interference due to a subluxation has a better chance of healing and functioning closer to its optimal potential. That, if nothing else is a great reason to keep getting checked and adjusted throughout your life.

 


Drugs to Treat Drug Addictions? --I Don't Think So!!

 

It is truly amazing how so many people who appear to think clearly and logically on so many matters and issues become totally illogical to the point of absurdity when it comes to matters of health. Some people who eat only pure, unadulterated foods and avoid pesticides, additives and preservatives will pump their bodies with drugs as soon as they are ill. If strong chemicals are not good for healthy people, is it logical to think that they be good for sick ones?


An article by syndicated columnist appeared in the editorial section of a widely read newspaper. The author usually has convincing insights into the world and its problems. However, in this editorial he misses the mark by a mile. He rightly recognizes that the drug problem is overwhelming us and that our Federal Drug Policy has apparently failed to stem the problem. He briefly cites the history of the rise of heroin as a derivative from the 19th-Century medicine, morphine. Here is his solution: The government "should have provided the resources for research to discover chemical compounds that block or reverse the pleasure and addiction-producing effects of drugs." He wants to give a drug to counteract the "pleasant" effects of drugs. Does anyone else find this to be ridiculous or what? How does he plan on implementing this? Are we going to vaccinate all the children on a yearly basis with this "wonder" drug? Or are we going to expect that drug addicts will line up to receive this miracle drug that will reduce the pleasurable effects of the drugs they are taking to get high?


We must come to a realization that what causes our problems is not the solution to them. To paraphrase Einstein, you cannot resolve problems with the same level of thinking that existed when the problem was created. People take drugs because they believe that a temporary quick fix is the answer to their physical, emotional, mental, social and/or spiritual problems. They think that way because the thirty-second television commercial has taught them that drugs are the answer to all their problems.


We are not going to resolve the country's drug problem until we all realize that the cause does not come from the outside. It is not in Turkey, China, Colombia, or Afghanistan. It is inside certain human beings. Something is lacking in their lives that causes them to seek temporary relief or fulfillment in a drug, a drug that they know deep down inside will eventually harm them. Many times it is the interruption or breakdown of a specific pattern of chemicals called the Brain Reward Cascade. This is a complex sequence of neurochemical events that produce a feeling of being peaceful and satisfied. When this cascade is disrupted, it is called Reward Deficiency Syndrome. Addictions stimulate the Brain Reward Cascade, giving the person a false sense of being satisfied and at peace. Unfortunately, the addictions themselves create further breakdown of the Brain Reward Cascade and the addicts end up in a downward spiral becoming increasingly dependent on the addiction for any feeling of being okay with themselves.


How does all this apply to chiropractic? Well, without getting too technical, a subluxation disrupts the Brain Reward Cascade and produces Reward Deficiency Syndrome, which is a factor that predisposes a person to addiction. Getting adjusted regularly can help to rebuild the normal Brain Reward Cascade and allow the person to "feel good" naturally.


Chiropractic does not claim to have all the answers to the drug problem. We do present a philosophy that says do not treat symptoms, do not treat effects but look inside for the cause. Treating the drug problem with drugs is obviously not the answer. That is just replacing one tool with another, which may be a little better, but perhaps is a little worse. Before morphine, the precursor to heroin, was used medicinally, a shot of whiskey was given to dull pain. Who is to say that what comes next will be less dangerous. Let's look to the cause rather than treat the effects. If we begin to raise a generation of children who recognize that drugs are not an answer to man's absence of health, perhaps they will also recognize that they are not an answer to man's absence of happiness. If they understand a prescription does not really restore health, they will realize that neither does a quick fix restore happiness. Keeping them subluxation free will also help to keep their Brain Reward Cascade intact and help keep them feeling great and functioning at their optimal potential in all areas of life. That is where the drug war needs to begin.


Old Habits Are Hard to Break

 

If you have ever tried to break yourself of a bad habit, you know how hard it can be. You have to break it once then again and again and again. You have to do it many times at relatively close intervals. This helps your body to retrain itself to a new habit. Hopefully the new one is better than the old. We are creatures of habit. We find a pattern that we are comfortable with and follow it to a tee, often without conscious thought.


We merely revert to our programming, our pattern, our habit. Example: Have you ever driven somewhere and when you got there remembered very little, if any, of the trip? It really freaks you out. You think to yourself, was I paying attention? You were, but it's just that you've done it so many times before that it is part of your program. It is an action that can be done without conscious thought. If any of you play sports of any sort, you know that sometimes you just get in the "zone." It's the same thing but with this you get a feeling on oneness with the game, an intense focus that conscious thought has little and/or no bearing on. You react quickly, reflexively, instinctively, and innately to your motor program.


Kids are another example. We know that kids are very impressionable at a young age. Usually this is from about birth to six or seven years of age. The programming or habits that they learn in this period may be with them for a long time, maybe even for life. The "bad" habits formed here are the HARDEST ones to break.


We get into these patterns or habits and some are good and some are "bad." The "bad" ones, I believe, are good in that they offer the possessor a chance to learn and change and grow as a person. What we often see is that those early habits, those tough ones, are the ones that many people have trouble breaking on their own. The best way to stop these habits is to never let them start in the first place. It's like trying to stop a snowball after it has been rolling down a snow-covered mountain for forty years. It's much easier to stop the snowball when it's a mere marble size, then when it's a boulder. Actually it is like we said before, easier to stop it from starting in the first place.


Now that we are all on the same page, I would like to talk about one of the worst habits I know of that a great deal of people have and, for the most part, don't even know it. That habit is a subluxation. It's a habit that can begin at birth. If left uncorrected for years it just gets harder and harder to break as it becomes more and more ingrained into whom we are. A subluxation is a misaligned spinal bone that is interfering with the nerve messages. At first this may not seem like a very bad thing but if we look at it a bit closer we find that it can have long lasting and devastating effects. The bones of the spine, 24 movable ones, serve two primary functions in our body. One of those functions is to allow all the movements that we do on a daily basis. It serves as the "anchor" for the attachment and movement of our arms, legs and head. The second function is the one that the chiropractor is more concerned with. That function is to PROTECT the spinal cord. The bones of your neck and back form a ring around the spinal cord to provide this protection. Between each of the bones in your neck and back there is an opening on either side to allow the spinal cord to shoot off a branch of nerves to supply a part of the body. Now if the structure of your house wasn't good, let's say that you had a hole in the roof you'd probably get rained on right? The same is true of your spine. If the structure of the spine is not good then the function of the nervous system that it protects will not be 100%. And as we all know the nervous system is the system that regulates and coordinates ALL functions of the human body, so if the nervous system is at less than 100% everything else in the body will be less than 100%.


I'll give you one more analogy. A subluxation of the bones of your neck and back is like taking a tire on a car and making it square. Changing a car tire to a square most definitely changes the function of the tire but if you look at it a little deeper you come to realize that it affects the overall function of the entire "vehicle." Changing structure changes function, and it's as simple as that.


There is one large difference between you and the car, you adapt and the car doesn't. If the car has a square tire it simply will not go anywhere. If you have a subluxation (square tire) you adapt to it. Adaptability is one of the five signs of life that all living organisms possess. If life didn't possess adaptability, it wouldn't last very long. When your spine becomes subluxated, your body adapts to that state. That state is an abnormal one. For a subluxation to be present, there is probably ligament, tendon, and muscle damage in and around that area, not to mention an actual change in bone shape. As you can imagine it may take a long time to stabilize even in the best of circumstances. It is a negative cycle that continually feeds upon itself causing an increased chance of more subluxation and thus more adaptation into a negative pattern. The longer this "habit" is there and the more compounded it gets the harder it is to break.


This negative cycle, this bad habit, begins many times at birth due to trauma to the spine during the birth process. The more natural the birth the better your chances that this won't happen but remember that it still is a possibility. These "habits" are easy to get rid of early by adjusting the spine so that the structure is consistent with optimal function. Left unchecked and compounded by years of altered structure and adaptation to a negative cycle more than one adjustment will be needed to correct the original problem. This is why chiropractors want to see you several times in the early going especially if you weren't adjusted from birth. The chiropractor's ultimate goal though should be to get you to a point where you value and take responsibility for your own health. Through this "mental" adjustment you realize the values of healthy living and you learn to avoid some of those things that cause the problems in the first place or realize that you may need to get checked more often if the causes of your subluxations cannot be avoided. Children adjusted from the very beginning will need to be adjusted less as adults because they have adapted correctly to their surroundings with a structure and function that was optimal for them.


I look at the spinal column as the great "resistor" of the body. It is where internal and external interference is broken in an attempt to keep the body functioning. Although through this attempt to maintain function the body slowly "overheats" and ultimately begins to break down. The body must then be retrained to what is optimal and the initial interference, or cause of the problem, removed. This must be done in order to let the healing begin from within. This process requires time. The longer the problem is there the longer the process of healing takes.


Kids bounce back quicker than adults, so get those kids checked for subluxation, before they have years of subluxation and finally some stupid backache brings them into the chiropractor. If you take them to the dentist before they have a cavity then take them to a chiropractor long before they get a "backache." The chiropractor, unlike the dentist, is dealing with the most important system of adaptation in the body, maybe on the planet, the nervous system. Remember if we fail to adapt appropriately in an ever-changing world we die.


Health as defined by the WHO (World Health Organization) is: optimal physical, mental, and social well-being and NOT merely the absence of disease or infirmary. Other "health" professions continue to seek to alleviate symptoms and control the natural processes of the body. Chiropractic seeks to reduce or remove interference to the nervous system thus allowing the individual optimal adaptation and balance with their environment. Now tell me, whose REALLY about HEALTH? I think you already know the answer to that question. Knowing that answer, give yourself, your family (especially your kids), friends, and coworkers a chance to live with REAL health through Chiropractic Care.


More U.S. Children Being Diagnosed With Youthful Tendency Disorder

 

Nicholas and Beverly Serna's daughter Caitlin was only four years old, but they already knew there was a problem.


Day after day, upon arriving home from preschool, Caitlin would retreat into a bizarre fantasy world. Sometimes, she would pretend to be people and things she was not. Other times, without warning, she would burst into nonsensical song. Some days she would run directionless through the backyard of the Sernas' comfortable Redlands home, laughing and shrieking as she chased imaginary objects.


When months of sessions with a local psychologist failed to yield an answer, Nicholas and Beverly took Caitlin to a prominent Los Angeles pediatric neurologist for more exhaustive testing. Finally, on Sept. 21, the Sernas' received the heartbreaking news: Caitlin was among a growing legion of U.S. children suffering from Youthful Tendency Disorder.


"As horrible as the diagnosis was, it was a relief to finally know," said Beverly. "At least we knew we weren't bad parents. We simply had a child who was born with a medical disorder."


Youthful Tendency Disorder (YTD), a poorly understood neurological condition that afflicts an estimated 20 million U.S. children, is characterized by a variety of senseless, unproductive physical and mental exercises, often lasting hours at a time. In the thrall of YTD, sufferers run, jump, climb, twirl, shout, dance, do cartwheels, and enter unreal, unexplainable states of "make-believe."


"The Youthful child has a kind of love/hate relationship with reality," said Johns Hopkins University YTD expert Dr. Avi Gwertzman. "Unfit to join the adult world, they struggle to learn its codes and rules in a process that can take the entirety of their childhood. In the meantime, their emotional and perceptive problems cause them to act out in unpredictable and extremely juvenile ways. It's as though they can only take so much reality; they have to 'check out,' to go Youthful for a while."


On a beautiful autumn day in Asheville, NC, six-year-old Cameron Boudreaux is swinging on a park swing set--a monotonous, back-and-forth action that apparently gives him solace. Spotting his mother on a nearby bench, Cameron rushes eagerly to her and asks, "Guess what?" His mother responds with a friendly, "What?" With unbridled glee, Cameron shouts, "Chicken butt!"--cryptic words understood only by him--before laughing and dashing off again, leaving his mother distraught over yet another baffling non-conversation.


"I must admit, it's been a struggle," Mary Boudreaux said. "What can I say to him when he says something like that, something that makes no sense? Or when he runs through the house yelling while I'm trying to balance the checkbook? You can't just say, 'Please, Cameron, don't have a disorder for just a few minutes so I can concentrate.'"


Cameron's psychological problems run even deeper. He can name every one of his beloved, imaginary Pokemon characters, but the plain realities of the actual world he inhabits are an enigma: Ask Cameron the name of the real-life city councilman sponsoring the referendum to renovate the park just across the street from his house--a park he plays in daily--and he draws a blank. According to Dr. Dinesh Agarwal, director of child psychiatry at NYU Medical Center, such disconnectedness from reality is a coping mechanism for YTD sufferers. "The Youthful child is born into a world he or she does not fully understand," Agarwal said. "Their brain pathways are still forming, and they need to repetitively relearn how to assimilate into society. These disassociative play-fantasies apparently help them accomplish that."


But such fantasies come at a price, producing in Youthful children a disinterest in the everyday responsibilities of life bordering on contempt.


"Jesse knows when it's his turn to take out the trash. We've gone over the house rules a dozen times," said Richard Torres, a Davenport, IA, father of three whose nine-year-old son Jesse was recently diagnosed with YTD. "And still he neglects the job time and again."


Slowly, methodically, through an elaborate system of rewards and punishments, Jesse has shown improvement. But the road ahead is long.


"We get a lot of platitudes from the so-called experts," Torres said. "We hear a lot of, 'Oh, he'll grow out of it, just give it time.' That's easy for them to say--their kid's not running around the neighborhood claiming to be Superman."


Help for families struggling with YTD may soon be on the way. At last month's annual AMA Convention, Smothklone-Baacham unveiled Juvenol, a promising YTD drug which, pending FDA approval, could reach the U.S. market as early as next spring. Already available in France and Sweden, Juvenol, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported, resulted in a 60 percent decrease in running and jumping among users.


But until such help arrives, the parents of YTD sufferers can do little more than try to get through each day.


"I love my child with all my heart," said Alexandra Torres, Jesse's mother. "But when he's in the throes of one of his skipping fits, it's hard not to feel a little envious of parents with normal, healthy children."


Notice: This article is a joke. It is based on a parody news article from The Onion®. The Onion is a satirical newspaper and the information provided is not to be taken seriously. If you think your child suffers from YTD you may want to have your atlas checked. Kind of puts this whole ADD/ADHD farce and the drugging of kids in perspective, don't you think?

 

While YTD and Juvenol may not be real, the problems we are facing today as a result of massive pharmaceutical mind and body snatching are very real and it's no joke. Does the thought of putting our vibrant and energetic children on dangerous mind altering psychotropic drugs sound like lunacy to you? Do we have a prescription drug problem in the United States as a result of the drugs that are real and are being pushed upon our youth? I obviously do.


Oh yeah and guess what? Chicken Butt!

 

Kids & Chiropractic
Did you know?


--Two German medical researchers discovered that infants examined shortly after birth were suffering from injuries to the cervical spine. From his and other German medical studies, Guttman concluded that approximately 80% of all children are not in autonomic balance and that many have atlas blockage or subluxation. He has been "constantly amazed how, even with the lightest adjustment with the index finger, the clinical picture normalizes, sometimes gradually, but often immediately." His colleague, Frymann examined a random group of 1250 babies 5 days post partum. Manual examination revealed cervical strain in 95% of this group. Release of this strain by specific spinal adjustment "frequently resulted in immediate quieting, cessation of crying, muscular relaxation and sleepiness." ('Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants', Gutmann G, Manuelle Medizin (1987) 25:5-10)


--Dr. Abraham Towbin, a neuropathologist at Harvard Medical School stated, "the birth process, even under optimal conditions is potentially a traumatic, crippling event for the fetus." "Spinal injuries often occur during the process of birth but frequently escape diagnosis."('Latent Spinal Cord and Brain Stem Injury in New Born Infants', Develop Med., Child Neurol, 1966, 11, 54-78.)


--A child will fall down (on their behinds only) over 3,000 times before reaching the age of three.


--Children are subjected to the same daily physical, emotional, and chemical stress as adults.


--Tiny, usually painless misalignments of spinal bones caused by these stresses can interfere with intelligent nerve transmission causing the body to work at less than optimal. This will decrease health and life potential.


--Chiropractic adjustments will help the body correct this interference to the nerve system.


--Chiropractic adjustments are painless, natural, and effective.


--Chiropractors pay very small malpractice premiums because our procedure is extremely safe.



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