THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER

MARCH 2003



Where Do You Live?


A friend and colleague of mine asked me a profound question a few days ago. "Where do you live?" he asked. "You know where I live, Bethlehem, PA.," I replied. He kept asking the question until I realized that I didn't live in my house with my family, but that I actually lived in me--in my nervous system. We may live in our bodies, but we truly live in the matrix of our nervous system.


That is where we live. Our nervous system mediates every function of our being. It recognizes foreign intruders, produces the correct amount of bile, determines heart rate and stroke volume, controls our moods, our ability to run, laugh, cry, see, hear and care. It determines when we've not eaten enough, or eaten too much. It heals us, connects us to our innate healer and allows us to interface with the world around us.


What happens, then, when our nervous system works at 100%? We live in a world that's connected, where things run smoothly, where we have only positive self-talk and the person staring back at us in the mirror is regarded with deep love and perfection. What happens if our nervous system does not work at 100%? We're disconnected like an overloaded breaker box, people "get on our nerves", our relationships suffer, we live our lives from lack, we diminish the impact we make on those around us and we live in our heads, away from our heart in a confused state.


There is a great intelligence to this universe that is innately in every sinew, every cell, and every space between the atoms of our cells. This intelligence keeps everything in perfect balance, perfectly. What may initially seem horrible--the loss of health, the loss of a loved one, or an accident--may be a gift in disguise. When we're open to these gifts, whether perceived as "good" or "bad", the universe provides us with rich, abundant, interesting lives. When we're closed off from theses experiences, we can't grow as human beings. So we must take risks, we must step out with the idea that everything will work out as it was meant to be.


When subluxated, however, it is difficult to step out into the unknown, as we don't live in the intelligence of the universe in full faith. This is the greatest tragedy of living a subluxated life. If we don't step out and take risks in faith with the knowing that the universe is in balance, we stagnate, wither and die. When we live at 100% of our potential, we thrive.


So, I ask you, "Where do you live, and is your home, your nervous system at 100% of its potential?" If not, I'm here to help you be reconnected. If so, we'll help you stay connected, so that the life you lead is the best life you can possibly lead.

 


Still Shocking After All These Years


There are two things that still shock me on a daily basis in my chiropractic practice. The first shocker is how many people are willing to settle for being less than 100% of their inborn potential and tolerate pain, illness, and weakness. They label these inadequacies as "normal" for them and accept them as a part of their life without seeking out safe, practical concepts and ideas that would make a positive impact on their health and quality of life.


Every week I speak to new patients in my office and/or people I meet in my life as they tell me about their "normal" headaches, their "normal" sinus trouble, their "normal" digestive disturbances, or their lack of energy. Since when is insomnia "normal"? Since when is it normal to be less than 100%? When did it become okay with you?


It saddens me to see people justify these inadequacies and physical weaknesses with statements like "that's what happens when you turn 30, 40, 50, etc.", or "how can I expect to feel any different after having two children," It is so disheartening to see people who, rather than seek out opportunities to improve their health and quality of life, just give up and settle for being less than they could and should be.


Age has absolutely nothing to do with health and human potential. One of my patients ran her first marathon just 6 months after delivering her third child, and she was 40 years old at the time. Some of my patients are involved in the martial arts and other physical activities and have been able to dramatically reduce their incidence of injuries and are more flexible than ever before, even though they are older.


Many of my patients have turned the medicine chests in their homes into bathroom cabinets because they have, through chiropractic care, been able to eliminate their "normal" health problems and their need for their daily dose of pain killers and other drugs.


This leads me to the second shocker which is the amazing healing capability and adaptability of the human body. As easily as your body heals from a cut or a bruise, you have the capability to overcome tremendous health problems, achieve optimum health and reach peak performance levels. How does this happen? How do people that have been deteriorating turn it around and become healthier than ever before? How do people who are thirty- and forty- something take up a new sport or exercise program and become more flexible and athletic than ever before? And what does this have to do with chiropractic?


The answer to these questions lies in some simple definitions and concepts that will hopefully excite you and motivate you to strive for the best and not settle for less - especially when it comes to your health.


Most people define health as feeling good or not having any disease or active symptoms. By definition, health is much more than that. Dorland's Medical Dictionary, defines health as "a state of optimum physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity." Since optimum means the absolute best, this raises your standard immediately. And the way to insure your health is to do all you can to make sure your body is functioning at its optimum level all the time.


Gray's Anatomy, the premier anatomy textbook studied in all the health fields, describes where function comes from. It states that, "the purpose of the brain and nervous system is to control and coordinate the function of all the organs and tissues in the body and to adapt the organism to its environment."


When the nervous system is free from interference, your body has the ability to express as close to 100% function as possible, thus bringing you closer to your desired state of health. When this is the case, there is no settling! There is no "normal" health deficiency to deal with.


A vertebral subluxation, is misaligned spinal bone that interferes with the function of your nervous system. Unfortunately, your nervous system can be interfered with just like you can get static on your telephone lines. This "static" can be caused by mental, chemical and physical stresses and can create manifestations pain, ill health, and adversely affect every aspect of your life.


Dr. Chung Ha Suh, a Ph.D. in spinal biomechanics found that equivalent of the weight of a dime on your finger is enough to reduce the nerve function from 100% to 40%. To compare, that would mean that if you were a 100 watt light bulb and you had a subluxation, the most you could put out would be 40 watts, and you would be a dim light bulb.


Subluxations can be caused by everything from the birth process, learning to walk as a child, falls, improper or constant lifting, excessive sitting, improper exercise, environmental toxins, sleeping wrong, and any other mental, chemical, or physical stress on the body. This is where chiropractic comes in. Chiropractors specialize in reducing and eliminating the subluxations and allowing your nervous system to function as close to 100% as possible.


Recently I had a patient come in to my office who had worked for years leaning over a work table. He owns his own company and also has a lot of stress that comes with that. His "normal" was daily neck and back pain, low energy, short temper, irritability, headaches, and insomnia. He was a dim light bulb, only he thought that all these things were "normal". Within a couple of weeks of beginning chiropractic care, the people in his office wanted to know what he was on because he looked so much happier and felt so much better. He proudly answered, "I'm on chiropractic!"


Now you and I both know he is not "on" chiropractic. Chiropractic just eliminated the subluxations so that his body could begin to function normally once again. It's amazing how different the world looks when you see it as a bright light bulb rather than a dim one.


I can think of the dozens of pregnant women I see who thought it was "normal" to suffer through their pregnancy who, after receiving chiropractic care, enjoy their pregnancy because they don't have any pain.


And I can think of the world-class athletes who incorporate wellness chiropractic care into their life to help them achieve peak performance levels.


Are you a dim light bulb or a bright one? How about your family and friends? Don't settle for anything less than the best. Don't let your family settle. Create a new normal! Chiropractic can help you become the bright light bulb that you were meant to be.


Children and Chiropractic


Most people recognize the value of chiropractic care for adults. But a more normally working nervous system can help everyone and it is nowhere more important than with children.


Chiropractic care for children is different from that for adults. Tailored to their age and weight, their adjustments often require no more pressure than you'd use to test the ripeness of a tomato. Children in our office enjoy their chiropractic care and look forward to their visits.


Can you recognize the signs of spinal nerve interference in your children?


Proper maternal nutrition, exercise and regular chiropractic care help create the best opportunity for healthy prenatal growth. Baby clothes, bassinets and car seats are also concerns, as are countless other factors. These are important, but consider the trauma of the birth process.


Pulling, forcing and twisting a baby from the birth canal are still too common. Cesarean section, forceps, suction extraction or eager hands can do unseen damage. Even "natural" birthing methods can cause subluxations.


Subluxations are misaligned bones of your baby's spine that interfere or distort controlling nerve impulses between the brain and body. With vital neurological signals compromised, your child's health is impaired from his or her first breath. Other problems can appear years later, but their potential is decreased from that moment forward.


Unless corrected.


Only a chiropractic spinal analysis can tell if subluxations are involved.


Many infants and toddlers will rub or tug at their ears. If they can talk, they complain. If they can't, their crying makes us feel helpless, even desperate.


Subluxations are often found in children who suffer from chronic earaches. An impaired nerve supply can make their middle ears and eustachian tubes susceptible to fluid buildup or infection.


Traditional treatment usually involves antibiotic therapy of some sort. The result? A recent study showed that children taking antibiotics compromise their immune system function. They are 2-6 times as likely to have recurring ear problems than those taking just a placebo. Every medical journal has questioned the use of antibiotics for ear infections and most say not to use them. It makes you wonder why they are still prescribed.


Instead, restoring proper nerve supply with safe and natural chiropractic care has helped thousands


Without the language to explain what's wrong, some newborns exhibit unexplained crying, a lack of appetite, allergic reactions or other difficulties. Newborns and infants often show a tendency to hold their head to one side or prefer breast feeding from one side. These are ways they cope with abnormal spinal function and an impaired nervous system.


Chiropractic care has been shown helpful for infants suffering from colic. As subluxations are reduced, more normal sleep patterns emerge. Many parents notice that other aspects of their child's health improve as well.


Chiropractors are alert to the many ways nerve interference can negatively affect your baby's health.


As children grow and explore their world, crawling leads to walking. Walking leads to running. Tricycles lead to bicycles. Before we know it, their mobility and curiosity produce a whirlwind of nonstop activity. Along the way they lose their balance. They fall. They slip. They trip. They stumble. They tumble.


A kiss and a bandage may be comforting, but what about the unseen injury to their spine?


Even though your child's young body has tremendous capacity to adapt, uncorrected subluxations can set the stage for problems often seen later in adults.


What's the difference between children who seem to get "the bugs that are going around" and those who don't?


Subluxations can hamper your child's ability to ward off infection. Weakened by a compromised nervous system, his stomach, lungs, nose, ears and throat can welcome viruses and other microbes.


Restoring the integrity of the nervous system and the workings of every cell and tissue is what chiropractic care is all about. Many parents who consult our office report that their children miss less school and seem healthier than other children.


With puberty come hormonal changes, a new self-consciousness, awkwardness and a lack of coordination. A host of nonspecific aches, pains and muscle spasms often appear.


These so-called "growing pains" may be common, but they are not normal. That they seem to resolve on their own is merely a tribute to the adaptive qualities of children's growing bodies. Uneven leg length, unbalanced hips and other underlying spinal distortions caused by subluxations often go unnoticed.


Regular chiropractic checkups during this time of rapid growth are essential. If not, we see the results years later in adults with chronic, expensive and hard-to-correct problems.


A common symptom during adolescence, especially in girls, is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine called a "scoliosis." Alert parents may notice that a high shoulder or low hip make clothing fit poorly. Back and leg pains may be present.


The cause of the majority of scoliosises is idiopathic, which is a way of saying that it is unknown. But, since the nervous system controls and coordinates the function of every cell, tissue, and organ of the body, it would be real good idea to make sure that it is functioning at its best to maybe help prevent this problem. Don't you think?


Adjustments reduce subluxations and improve spinal structure and function. Muscles can strengthen. Posture can improve. Safe and natural chiropractic care has helped many young women avoid braces, surgery and the psychological effects of this underlying deformity.


We have high hopes for our children. Above all we want them to be happy, be healthy and reach their fullest potential. Raising children is a big responsibility that can produce extraordinary joy and satisfaction.


Along the way you'll make many choices on their behalf.


Aches and pains at any age are signs that something isn't right. It's convenient to treat the symptoms with a couple of aspirin or some other medication.

But should you?


Will you allow needless antibiotics to tamper with your child's immune system? Will you agree to ear surgery to install an artificial drainage system? Will you consent to the use of Ritalin or other personality-altering drugs?


Worse, what do you teach your child when you help her "feel better" by taking a drug? How will you explain the difference between a "good" drug and a "bad" drug? Remember, every drug has side effects, seen or unseen. Will your child be the one to experience the stomach bleeding, liver damage or other side effects from popular over-the-counter pain relievers?


Or, will you trust the ability of their body to heal naturally, unhampered by subluxations?


Please choose wisely. Know when medications are absolutely necessary and when they are not.


Traditional symptom-treating is expensive and becoming more and more unattractive. That's why more and more families include a chiropractor on their health care team.


Rather than dangerous symptom-treating, the chiropractic approach detects and helps correct an underlying cause all without drugs and any side effects.


Parents who want their children to enjoy their fullest potential consult our office to help assure proper growth and development. We recognize the self-healing properties of the body. We know that regardless of their age, a subluxation-free nervous system gives your child the opportunity to be their very best. If you have or know of any children that are not under care, please refer them to us. You'll be so glad you did.

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