THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
The problem we chiropractors too often face is being asked the wrong questions. There is a saying that there is no right answer to a wrong question. Recently, someone in a social setting asked me the wrong question. It was the beginning of Spring and he wanted to know if I saw more people with musculoskeletal problems in the Spring time because people tend to be more active in the Spring after Winter "hibernation." Since our objective is not to treat musculoskeletal problems I really do not even note whether people are coming in the office with that type of problem. If I had responded to this question with a yes or no answer, I would have perpetuated this person's mistaken impression of what chiropractic is about. So I had to explain that while we see some people coming in regularly with musculoskeletal problems, our practice focuses on having people come in irrespective of physical problems. We work diligently to educate our practice members so that they understand that having a good nerve supply is important to their overall well-being and aches or pains, especially those associated with increased springtime activity, have very little to do with a person's health and well-being.
Chiropractors are constantly faced with how to answer the "wrong questions." For example, "What can chiropractic do for __________?" is a wrong question that we are frequently asked. Similarly, "Can chiropractic help my __________?" (You can fill in just about any medical problem or condition.) It is possible to answer a wrong question but usually the answer has to be very involved and the person is looking for a quick response like yes chiropractic can or no it cannot. In truth the answer is somewhere in between. We do not take care of medical conditions, that is the practice of medicine but we do take care of people with medical conditions all the time. It just makes sense that anyone with any medical condition should want a good nerve supply so that their body has the greatest ability to handle their condition, whether they are utilizing medical care or not. Of course, the important point that question misses the fact that people who have no medical problem need chiropractic just as much. If you want to stay healthy, if you want your body to work at its maximum potential in every area of life, then you need a good nerve supply.
You can see that it is not easy to answer a wrong question. It is even harder for the non-professional or the practice member to answer a wrong question from their friend or loved one. How do you answer someone who says to you, "Do you think your chiropractor can help my _________?" Now you know that a person with headaches, back pain, allergies, stomach ulcers or just about any other problem is better off being adjusted, not because chiropractors treat those conditions but because people have a better chance of getting well when their nerve systems are clear. Yet, if you answer "yes" to the question, you mislead this friend or loved one into thinking chiropractic treats those conditions. If you answer "no" then the person will probably never avail themselves of the benefits of chiropractic care. So what can you do? How can you answer a wrong question? If you explain to your friends and loved ones exactly what we do as chiropractors before they ask you about medical conditions, you will prevent the asking of a wrong question. If you give them one of our newsletters, pamphlets, tapes, or other literature that helps explain what chiropractic in our office is all about, you can possibly forestall the asking of a wrong question. Here's the secret. People who understand chiropractic may still have questions but they are less likely to ask the wrong questions and more likely to ask the right questions. If everyone knew about chiropractic care, wrong questions would not be asked, a good deal more people would be enjoying the benefits of chiropractic and this would be a better community. Help us educate this community about chiropractic.
A few weeks ago, I attended a social gathering. It was crowded with many families with small children. As I was watching all the children running around, talking and relaxing with other guests, I thought very little about the noise.
Sometime later, the crowd left, and there was a "deafening" silence. The spoken word seemed to carry across the entire room. We had not noticed that earlier we had been almost shouting to be heard. Every sound was magnified, where earlier it had been absorbed by the general din.
Is your health in a similar situation? Often people get accustomed to ill health. People just get used to aches and pains. Winston Churchill is said to have remarked that most of what is accomplished in the world is done by people who do not feel good. Sadly, this may be very close to the truth. Very few people really experience vibrant health. Most go through life not really sick, but not really healthy. If someone were to ask these people how they were doing, they would say "fine," but they really are not fine. They are not experiencing their fullest potential. They do not think as clearly as they could. They seem to have less energy every day. They cannot get going in the morning without two cups of coffee. They have to take a nap after supper in order to have enough strength to go to bed. They would like to jog, exercise, or play tennis, but they just don't have the energy, or maybe they don't even have the desire. Millions of Americans are not healthy and they do not even know it. Like the noise level at the party, they have grown accustomed to not experiencing what is normal and natural. A body not functioning at its fullest potential has become their norm.
How can one break out of this situation? Well, it's not easy. It takes effort. First you must want to be better. If you are satisfied with feeling less than 100% then there is no incentive to change. Unfortunately, many people are satisfied. But, if you want a fuller expression of life and health, you must begin to do the things necessary to achieve that end. You must do those things necessary to be healthy. Begin by improving your eating habits. Only you know what it takes to improve them. Improve or start an exercise program geared to your lifestyle, physical body, and what you enjoy. Above all, maintain your body with a good nerve supply by getting your spine checked regularly. There is no way the human body can begin to function as should when it has vertebral subluxations causing nerve interference. You may be surprised at the difference.
The World's Greatest Drug Store
Let's say we were going to visit the greatest drugstore in the world. What would we expect from it?
First of all, we would expect it to be able to make any and every drug a person would ever need. That would require a large supply of materials, because the human body needs hundreds, if not thousands of different drugs in order to run properly.
Just a partial list would include such drugs as: insulin, cortisone, adrenaline, antibiotics, digestive juices, laxatives, sedatives, drugs that raise our blood pressure, drugs that lower our blood pressure, drugs that control our body temperature, drugs that give us energy, drugs necessary for a healthy sex life and pregnancy, drugs to keep our brain healthy and our eyesight keen ...etc., etc. The list seems endless ... I'll let you in on a little secret - scientists still do not know all the drugs we have in us - they're discovering new ones all the time.
Second, we would expect this greatest drug store to give us only the right amount of each drug we need to keep healthy: not too little and not too much. For you see, too much of a drug would upset the delicate chemical balance that must be maintained. An imbalance of our body's chemicals could cause much damage. Too little of a drug would be ... well, too little, and that would also hurt our body's chemical balance. The amount we receive must be just right.
A good example would be insulin, which is produced in the pancreas and helps us digest sugar. Too much would cause a disease called hypoglycemia which would make a person weak and dizzy. Too little would cause diabetes which strangely enough would also make us weak and dizzy and could kill us.
Many other powerful drugs are needed like the ones that destroy cancer cells or fight infections. The wrong amount of a drug like that could kill us. You see how important the right amount of a drug can be?
Third, we would need careful directions to take the right amount of the drug only at the times we would need it. Now that would be a big job, because our body's demands change from day to day, hour to hour, and even second to second.
We'll use our friend insulin again to show how our chemical needs change. Our body needs insulin to help digest the sugar in our blood. Without it we would die in a few hours. We may need a lot after a heavy meal, much less 4 or 5 hours later and so on until the next meal.
Another example of a drug we may need suddenly is adrenaline. Suppose we are walking through a forest and all of a sudden we encounter a bear. Our body suddenly demands extra energy in order to save ourselves. Adrenaline is quickly shot through our blood stream giving us sudden strength in our legs and extra energy to defend ourselves.
Yes, drug demands vary hour to hour, even second to second. It would be some great drugstore to be able to supply us with the exact amount of the hundreds of drugs we need every changing moment.
Fourth, the drugstore would have to be open day and night, 24 hours a day, every day, without missing one day for holidays, earthquakes, floods, or even vacations. Since we need drugs all the time, our drugstore must never close.
Fifth, because this is the greatest drugstore, everything in it would have to be free so that we would all be able to have everything we needed, whether we had money or not.
Sixth, this drugstore would need the fastest delivery system in the world, so that our many urgent needs could be immediately satisfied even within seconds.
Seventh, and probably the most important thing needed by this Greatest Drugstore in the World, is the 'Greatest Doctor in the World.'
The Greatest Doctor would be able to know and prescribe exactly what our body needs, at what time and in what amount. Without this information, the World's Greatest Drugstore would be useless.
WOW! Those are some requirements to satisfy. And yet, believe it or not, such a drugstore does exist, and it can bring us perfect health. It has everything we need to cure cancer, heart problems, the common cold, sore throats, aches, pains, broken bones, skin problems and every one of the thousands of other diseases we can develop. It can even keep us so healthy that we won't get the diseases in the first place.
Now before you go running off to look in the Yellow Pages under 'Drugstores', read on a little further.
I'm sure many of you have already guessed what this Greatest Drugstore in the World is ... It is your own body!!
Yes, your own body does all the wonderful things we described. It makes every single one of the hundreds of drugs you need. It makes them in the right amount, at the right time, at a moment's notice and free of charge. It does all that, better than any regular drugstore in the world ever could.
Do you think about everything that happens in your body? No, everything happens without your conscious control. You don't have to tell your stomach: "Produce 2 oz. of digestive juice", or tell your pancreas, "Please make 1/4 oz. of insulin."
Also your heartbeat, blood pressure, temperature and breathing are controlled without your conscious awareness.
You, don't have to think about running your body because along with the ability to create all the chemicals you need, and the ability to run all your organs, you have within you an intelligence.
This intelligence isn't something you get from going to school or from your parents or friends. It came with your body when you were born and for that reason we call it the inborn or innate intelligence.
Everything alive has innate intelligence.
Whether you're a college professor or you never finished high school (or never even went to school) this intelligence is the same.
This innate intelligence is the Greatest Doctor in the World that tells the Greatest Drugstore in the world what to do. It writes the prescriptions, so to say.
This doctor's favorite tool is the nerve system. It uses the brain as its nerve center, sending messages down the spinal cord, and then branching off as the nerves that supply your whole body.
Across your nerves go messages from your rain to all parts of your body. There are billions and billions of nerves. They go to every part of you carrying vital messages and also conducting the vital energy of life itself.
Along the nerves are sent instructions to every part of your body, telling your body what to do to remain healthy, telling your glands and organs and cells what chemicals to make, what parts need repairing, what invaders need to be destroyed, where cancer cells might be lurking.
As long as your doctor can communicate with your body it will do everything necessary to make you healthy and to keep you healthy.
Health is when your innate intelligence can be properly expressed in your body.
"Well then", you may ask, "if health is when the innate intelligence, or the doctor within me, is in control of my body, shouldn't I be healthy all the time and never get sick?"
That's a good question. Here is the answer:
If the communication lines or nerves between the innate intelligence and your body weren't working properly, then your private built-in doctor would lose control over your body and you wouldn't be healthy anymore.
Then your body wouldn't know the right chemicals to make, at the right time, in the right amount. Maybe you wouldn't be able to fight infections properly and a simple cold could turn into something worse.
If your chemical balance is wrong, dangerous cells, which your body would have destroyed, could grow into a cancer.
As a matter of fact almost anything could go wrong if your innate intelligence isn't properly controlling your body.
When the control mechanism of the brain isn't controlling your body, we have a special name for that. We say your body is in a state of DIS-EASE (incoordination/ dysfunction). In other words, it is not working right. When you have DIS-EASE your chance of getting all kinds of sickness and disease is much greater. When you have DIS-EASE you have what is generally referred to as "low resistance." That means you can't effectively adapt to changes in your internal and external environment.
Some people may go to a regular drugstore to make up for what their own bodies can't produce due to DIS-EASE. But no drugstore can give you exactly what you need in the right amount, at the right time. Every external drug you take causes damage to your body. Doesn't it make more sense to correct the cause of the DIS-EASE? Then your body would work properly, the way it was meant to work and it could make its own drugs.
So how do we get rid of DIS-EASE? First we have to find out what caused it. For that we have to know a little bit about the body.
The brain sends messages to all parts of the body by way of the nerves.
Nerves connecting the brain with all parts of the body are protected by a long hollow tube made up of 24 bones that look like rings. These bones are called vertebrae and make up our "backbone".
The vertebrae are stacked upon each other like a pile of donuts or bagels along our back. The nerves start as the spinal cord, and then divide up into branches of nerves, which extend through openings between the vertebrae and go to all parts of our body.
If any vertebrae were to get out of place, the nerves inside the tube would be injured and their ability to carry messages and life energy would be affected. The brain's messages to different parts of the body would be distorted and DIS-EASE would result.
How can our intelligence regain control of our body? . . . SIMPLE.
All that is necessary is to get the misaligned (or subluxated) bone back where it belongs. Then the messages will once more travel without interference over the nerves to the whole body. That's the job of the chiropractor. The chiropractor is specially trained to check the bones of the spine to see if any of them are out of place, damaging nerves. If any are out of place, the chiropractor will gently adjust them into motion so that the innate intelligence can return them to their perfect placement.
That's what a chiropractor does! Once the nerve control between your brain and your body is restored to normal, the right chemicals will be made again in the right amounts at the right times and the Greatest Drugstore in the World will be working properly once again under the direction of the Greatest Doctor in the World.
That's what health is all about!
One final note ...
The services of the Greatest Drugstore are not entirely free. To get them we have to take care of our body and obey nature's laws.
WHAT ARE THESE LAWS?
1. Proper food so that the body will have good raw materials from which to produce the chemicals it needs.
2. Proper exercise so that this great drugstore will have its equipment in good working order.
3. Appropriate physical and emotional rest and relaxation, and ...
4. Most important: a nerve supply free from nerve interference so that all this fantastic equipment we possess will be running in a healthy manner. Then the doctor within us can control the drugstore within us.
Make sure your own built in doctor is in control of your body ... see your chiropractor regularly.