THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Does anyone remember the 'rock band' shirts that were so popular in the 80's? I had a heavy metal wardrobe of shirts that seemed to be comprised of Guns 'n Roses, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Kiss, etc. Somewhere on these shirts was usually some type of quote professing them to be the loudest, the baddest, bunch of rockers you would ever hope to find.
The other day I was in line at the store. As I was waiting, I noticed a young man wearing a rock shirt. On the back of the shirt it simply stated 'Each cell is aware of its own Divinity.' Carlos Santana was the author of this quote. I could not help but reflect on how much things have changed in the years since I finished high school. It was amazing to me that a rock star would write something so profound on his shirts.
What was even more amazing was that a rock star could sell shirts such as these to high schoolers, yet most chiropractors and chiropractic patients are still too scared to talk about innate intelligence fearing that people will see them as 'quacks' or out there.
People are truly ready to hear the chiropractic truth.
I recently just had someone ask me my opinion on why there seems to be so many popular books that focus on aspects of spiritual growth. My response was that perhaps now more than ever before, people need to embrace their spiritual self because for so long we've been moving so far from it. The drugs to which we've been exposed, pollutants in our air, the negativity in the papers and on the TV... for so long we've been on a path that has led us so far astray from our true path, that now collectively we are looking for answers to help guide us to find our true selves, and our true purpose.
Whether or not we feel comfortable discussing it, the simple truth is that the chiropractic adjustment allows you to express the innate intelligence within you more fully. It is not just about health and healing, it is about Life.
Principle #2 of the 33 chiropractic principles states that 'The expression of intelligence through matter is the Chiropractic meaning of Life.' It is not just about health. There is so much more to chiropractic than simply allowing the body to heal properly. It's about realizing your potential for life in every aspect, so that we may all experience 100% of the gift of life.
If Carlos Santana can boldly put this on a shirt and have high schoolers proudly show it off to their friends, it's time that we proudly shared this message to the people that are important to us in our lives and to make sure they are checked and adjusted regularly.
Priority is defined as, "that which takes precedence ... that which is more important." We all handle our lives on a priority basis in doing those things that seem most important to us at the time.
An article in my September newsletter entitled "What Heals First?" sparked a lot of discussion recently. If you missed this article, check out my website or ask me for a copy of the newsletter. I wanted to once again discuss the concept of top priority when it comes to healing.
PRIORITY AFFECTS LENGTH OF ADJUSTMENT TIME
The word priority takes on a more significant meaning to those patients who are sincerely interested in regaining their health.
Many people go to a chiropractor (or other doctor) because they hurt somewhere, or some function of the body is not normal. If the area of pain happens to be in priority, you will feel great after the first adjustment and be convinced that your chiropractor has worked a miracle.
But, what if it isn't?
Acute severe pain is usually in priority and will respond accordingly, but chronic, long term aches and pain may be down the list of priorities to survive.
Then there is the organ malfunction that may go undetected for years and never produce a symptom until some type of emergency or even death occurs. We all know someone that never had a sick day in his life that just dropped dead for seemingly no apparent reason. Do you really think they went from 100% health to 100% death in an instant? Of course not.
REAL HEALING VS. SYMPTOM CHASING
There is a decided difference in "not hurting" and "regaining health." The elimination of pain is more easily accomplished, but a return to health can be a long and hard fought struggle. The end result of true health, however, far outweighs the mere subsiding of pain.
If you are choosing the return to health, you must understand that the body will heal itself on a priority basis. Your body's healing energy will be directed to repairing the most serious problem that you have. It may not be the problem that you are concerned or bothered with. To actually get well, the body must be allowed the time and the opportunity to repair everything that needs repair. The body will do this on a very definite priority schedule.
PAIN IS GOOD; IT WARNS THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG
If you think about this, it is quite reasonable. Everything that the body does is reasonable and logical, even though at times we are inclined to feel that it might not be. Intense pain seems totally wrong, and yet it is the perfectly logical process for the body to warn that something is wrong. Pain and other symptoms will change as the priority of the body changes.
You might like to go fishing, but you realize that you have to go to work to make money to pay bills. Going to work will take priority over going fishing. Each day we make decisions and judgments, and we act according to what we decide is our priority.
Occasionally we might make a mistake in establishing our priorities, but the innate intelligence within the body does not make mistakes. This infinite wisdom that created you from two cells and guided your development and growth, never makes a mistake in priority. It always chooses wisely and decisively.
SOMETHING YOU'RE NOT AWARE OF COULD BE IN PRIORITY
If your health challenge is not responding as quickly as you (or your doctor) would like it to, you can be assured that your body is directing the healing force to some part of your body that needs the attention more at that particular time. Some other area of your body is in priority.
This happens because your body rebuilds itself as a total unit and not piece by piece. Let's say that you had both heart and kidney problems. It would be foolish for your body to completely rebuild and repair your kidneys if your heart were to last only two more days or vice versa. It will, for example, improve your kidneys perhaps 5%, then change priority and work on your heart. When the heart is improved to the point at which it is no longer the worst thing wrong with you, then your body's wisdom will direct its attention to the kidneys or another organ or part of your body. It has been said that the body functions in 3, 7, 14 and 21-day cycles, and your symptoms will usually change in those time periods.
BALANCING YOUR BODY'S ENERGY
Your body's nervous system and energy must be free of interference and properly balanced to allow your body the chance to accurately select its top priority, and to do the proper job of making repairs. That is how adjustments work in helping allow your body to work and heal at its best.
The function of rebuilding and repair is done by your body usually when you sleep. Again, just how well it repairs depends on how well your body's nervous system and energy is balanced. When the conscious mind remains active during sleep, we sleep poorly and fitfully, and awake just as tired as when we went to bed. Repair and rebuilding was not being done as it should have been.
During our waking hours, the body is concerned with activity, balance, and all the thousands of little evaluations and reflexes that allow us to stand and to walk and to eat, and all the other things we do. There just is not enough quality energy available at this time for repair. The person whose body is out of balance energy-wise and whose body is therefore not communicating properly, is unable to "turn off the conscious mind during sleep. Therefore, they are also unable to repair and rebuild during that time.
YOU COULD BE SHORT-CIRCUITING YOUR SYSTEM
Medications of any kind will alter the priority of the body by fooling the body's intelligence. An aspirin may mask the pain of a headache, but this is accomplished only at the expense of interrupting the body's normal communication. If a fire alarm is disconnected, pushing the buzzer will accomplish nothing. The fire is certainly in priority, but if communication is not intact, no one will find out about the fire and nothing will be done about it.
Of course it goes without saying that if you need drugs to stay alive or for other reasons, don't stop taking them. Just realize the effect they may have on you regaining your health and plan accordingly.
The body's use of priority is seldom a totally one-sided situation. More often it is perhaps 75% and 25%. For example, a patient comes into the office with a severe sciatic pain in the leg. His Subluxation Station scans may reveal more severe problems occurring at other areas of his spine or the person may be already diagnosed with a more serious illness. The sciatic condition may actually be a minor problem when compared to the other problems detected or already diagnosed.
That which is causing the most obvious and annoying pain may not necessarily be that which is the most serious to surival.
We begin adjusting this patient and gradually the sciatic pain diminishes and at the same time the other problems also improves. The sciatica pain may even take longer to disappear. During the course of the adjustments, the symptoms of leg pain can diminish and then recur several times while the body's wisdom alternates repair between the major and the lesser condition. Remember, the 3, 7, 14, 21 day cycles discussed earlier.
BE AWARE OF IMPROVEMENT IN OTHER AREAS
A re-scan a few visits later may show an improvement in the areas related to the sciatic pain, but it may also show a marked improvement in the other problem areas as well.
The body wisely places the most serious condition in priority, but eventually the major problem needs only a portion of the available energy, and the rest can then be directed to helping the lesser problem.
Stress imbalances the body. An imbalanced body has less energy, less resistance and more dysfunction. When the spine becomes imbalanced (subluxated), it interferes with the nerve function resulting in more dysfunction.
But I'm Sick!
A few days ago, a practice member of mine came in for her weekly check-up. I found that she was clear (i.e., didn't need an adjustment), so I told her she did not need an adjustment today and congratulated her.
She got up off the table with a confused look on her face and said, "But I'm sick! How can I be clear when I'm sick? Are you sure I'm clear?"
I asked her what she meant when she said she was "sick." "Well," she answered, "I'm congested, I'm coughing and I feel run-down - you know - SICK!" I told her that the problem wasn't with my assessment of her spine and nerve system, it was with her definition of the word "sick."
You see, traditional medical thinking calls the presence of symptoms "sickness." But the truth is that you are sick before the onset of your symptoms. The symptoms are really an indication that your body has accurately recognized an invader or toxin and is actively responding to it by creating a fever, mucus, cough, diarrhea, etc., to eliminate it from your body.
The beginning of symptoms, what we have always called "sickness," is really your body getting WELL!
Take this short test. If two people go to a restaurant and eat some tainted fish, then one of them throws up within an hour but the other is fine until morning when he also gets sick, which of the two has the stronger and healthier immune system?
Most people would say that the second was stronger and healthier because his body was able to tolerate the poisons longer before he "got sick." But the truth is, the first man probably has the stronger and healthier immune system because it was able to recognize the invader and start the elimination process sooner than the second man's was.
The first man started getting well the same night, but the second man didn't start getting well until the next day!
So, how could my patient be feeling so poorly and still not need an adjustment? Being "clear" simply means that there is no interference in her nerve system. This means the body is at it highest capacity to heal - it does not mean that healing is complete.
The process is just like cleaning laundry in a washing machine. When the soap and water touch the garments, the grime is loosened, and it rises to the surface. If you were to look in a washing machine during the agitation cycle, you would be repulsed and think that your clothes were actually getting dirtier. But the truth is that they are actually getting cleaner. The thick muck must be extracted and discarded before the clothes are totally clean. If we know the washing machine is working correctly, nothing more needs to be done except to let the cycle complete itself.
Similarly, as your body is "cleaning itself" of toxins and germs, it appears at first as though you are getting worse, but you are actually getting better. If we know your master control system (your nerve system) is working correctly, nothing more needs to be done except to let the cycle complete itself.
My patient learned a valuable lesson that day about what sickness is and what wellness is. Plus, she already knows enough to trust her body and allow the clearing process to complete itself without any outside interference from medications designed to simply make her feel better. She knows that these things only stop her body's own natural elimination and healing processes not to mention that they place a strain on the organs that have to metabolize and eliminate them.
Hopefully you too now know a little more about the difference between getting sick and getting well. Know to trust your body and allow the natural process of healing to occur when it needs to. And finally, make sure you continue to live your life in a way that not only helps prevents sickness, but also actually creates health, happiness, and wholeness.
If there's a vertebral subluxation the quality of life is lessened. When the subluxation is eliminated and free expression is restored to the nerve system then the quality of life improves.
Oddly enough, I still occasionally get calls from patients telling me they don't want to come in for their appointments because they are too sick. When I hear this, I know I still have work to do in the realm of patient education.
While I firmly know that there is no time that is more or less important when it comes to getting your spine checked, I still can't help think that when you are experiencing a health challenge it is usually a sign that your body is unable to adapt to some kind of stress and that you must be checked for subluxations. I still wonder why when people are not "feeling well" they would choose to not come in and get their spines checked.
Now in another article I talked about a patient that was experiencing "cold like" symptoms, but had no subluxations. Her healthy body was doing everything it needed to do get rid of whatever bug she had. She could rest knowing that her body was functioning as close to optimal from a neurological standpoint as possible. She knew enough to get checked even though in this instance she did not need an adjustment.
Now as to why this article is titled 1918.
In the closing days of World War I, a deadly form of influenza ("flu") appeared. The influenza pandemic of 1917-1918 claimed more lives than the war.
During this crisis, doctors of chiropractic noticed that their patients seemed to have a lower fatality rate than the general population. Although this chiropractic observation remains unpublished in the peer-reviewed literature (since no scholarly journals were willing to publish chiropractic data in those days), a study was published by the osteopathic profession. Among doctors of osteopathy of the time, it was routine to check patients' spines for "osteopathic lesions" (what we know as "subluxations"), and to correct them with manipulation (a crude adjustment). Due to this similarity, the osteopathic publication effectively verifies the chiropractic experience.
The death rate among influenza patients under conventional medical care in the U.S. was estimated at 5 percent to 6 percent. The fatality rate among influenza cases under osteopathic care was estimated at 0.25 percent. The implication drawn from this data by the study's author was that lesions (subluxations) depress the immune system; therefore, correcting the lesions assists immune function.
This conclusion, drawn by both osteopaths and chiropractors more than 80 years ago, has received support from recent research. The activity of the immune system's major "players" - the white blood cells - has been found to increase after chiropractic adjustments. A small, but intriguing study suggests that the immune response of HIV-positive patients (as measured by CD4 count) improves when spinal subluxations are corrected. If you have been a patient for some time I'm sure you are aware of the preliminary study done at NYU showing that chiropractic patients had a 200-400% greater immune competence than people not under care.
Its funny because as I was writing this article I read that the "so-called" experts have stated that they have guessed wrong on the strain of flu that they placed in the flu shots this year. Despite that blatant mistake, they still tell people they should get it because its close. Hey, I always thought that close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear missiles. If you need to be reminded as to why this practice is quackery at its fines view my previous newsletters.
Now in your ordinary, day-to-day experiences, you are not likely to notice that your white blood cells are a bit sluggish. However, this may very well be one effect of vertebral subluxations - even in the absence of a sore back or a stiff neck. Those of you that are keeping your regular chiropractic check-ups will benefit from having a body that works better in all ways including immune system function. Those that have not been making regular checkups a part of your health wellness and maintenance, what are you waiting for? Call and schedule an appointment today and bring in your family and friends.