THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
On pages 336 and 337 in R. W. Stephenson's Chiropractic Textbook is an article entitled "B.J.'s Utopia." This article speaks of an ideal sociological state or "utopia" that B.J. Palmer (the developer of chiropractic) believed chiropractic could theoretically bring about if it were "given the chance to do its miracles and reasonable time allowed for the results to be brought about."
In B.J.'s vision, this would be "a country or a world without sickness, insanity, blindness, feeble-minded people, deaf and dumb, backward children, social evils, criminality, drunkenness and its attendant evils, abnormal reproduction, etc."
There are many reasons why we would not be very likely to ever see such a society, but I would like to concentrate on discussing two reasons why most people in the "health" professions, as well as the most of the general public are to blame for actually preventing the progressive realization of this utopia.
The first reason is simply that most people mistakenly believe that by eliminating what we don't want we will automatically have what we do want. The examples I use most frequently to illustrate this point is that you are not automatically wealthy just because you pay off your debts. You simply aren't in debt anymore. Likewise you are not intelligent because you got a D in a course and did not fail. You are not necessarily healthy if you have no symptoms. A person that just had a cancerous tumor surgically removed is not healthy. He is just a sick person without the cancerous tumor.
In addition to this, by focusing so completely on what we don't want to see we actually cause what we don't want to keep showing up. The simple truth is that you cannot escape something you are giving your attention to!
We must focus on a clear vision of exactly what the community we want to would be like, not what it would not be like.
The second reason most health care practitioners (including most chiropractors) will not ever see this utopian society in their own communities is that their offices actually depend upon sick people in order to continue to be profitable.
Most types of doctors (Medical, Osteopathic, and even Chiropractic) first attract to their offices people who are either in pain or sick in some way. Some chiropractors take it one step further and have a goal of "educating" their patients to a wellness or what I call a "possibility" mentality. I think this is a noble goal. In fact, it is the goal I personally have with every practice member who comes in initially with a complaint of some kind. The problem is, most doctors actually market mainly to this symptomatic/ in pain segment of the population and have procedures and plans set up to either "treat" the illness or,at the very least, follow its progressive resolution.
Look at this situation very closely now. You will see that without the sick person, this type of doctor's practice and therefore his or her own financial security will quickly die. I will suggest to you that no person will willingly work against his or her own financial well-being.
This then creates a major incongruency between the desired outcome for the community and his or her own personal prosperity. What use is an MD or a pain/symptom oriented chiropractor to a healthy person or even a person without symptoms? (Note: they are NOT the same.) This can create a high level of stress and unhappiness for the doctor that wants to see his patients "get well", yet will go out of business if they do so.
Can you see the incongruency with this type of thinking?
It does not need to be this way! The problem here is not with the positive vision of what is possible for the community. It is with the average chiropractic patient's understanding of the purpose of the adjustment and of the "limited goal" of optimal health! Let me explain what I mean by this.
If you only believe that the purpose of the adjustment is to allow the body to heal, then what is required is the presence of people in the community that need healing!
In addition, once a person is "healed" there is no reason to continue with care except to prevent a problem from occurring again. But, as I have pointed out before, living a life of prevention means simply living to NOT DIE! Is that the purpose of life - to not die?
If on the other hand, you believe that the purpose of life is to continually grow physically, mentally, socially and spiritually all the way until you die, and you know that once you are healthy you can continue this growth process, then the purpose of the adjustment becomes about allowing for the greatest possible expression of our innate intelligence. And, all people - healthy and sick alike - can benefit from chiropractic care and continually grow toward the full expression of their purpose and their potential in life.
In this scenario, this type of practice does NOT depend upon having sick people in our town. The contradiction has been eliminated and we now open up the door to the possibility of creating what we all want for our community.
B.J. saw chiropractic as an incredible way to help sick people get well. I believe this is why he never saw his utopia develop. His vision required his community to have sick people in order for him to still be useful to it. It is time to take the incredible gifts that D.D. and B.J. Palmer have given to us and expand our awareness to include what is possible for us beyond just being healthy.
Ask yourself how often you put energy into seeing and experiencing a world without the things you don't want, and how much time and energy you give to creating exactly what you do want.
When you focus on what you prefer to see, that is what you get. Remember - you cannot escape something you are giving your attention to!
Ask yourself what the purpose of your adjustment is, and if you can expand your vision now?
Ask yourself how amazing the world would be if everyone truly understood the miracle they are, and that chiropractic helps them express the inner perfection that was placed within them at the moment of conception?
We may not see a utopian society in our lifetimes, but expanding our thinking in this way will help each of us to see the perfection that exists right here, right now and will allow us to appreciate and enjoy the process of progressive unfoldment.
When each of us reaches this level of awareness, we will realize that experiencing utopia is possible on an individual basis, because we will see that it is nothing more than a choice each of us makes every moment of every day.
What structures attach to the T12 vertebra? Well, let's see, there are 2 discs, lots of ligaments, the trapezius muscle, the erector spinae muscles, the diaphragm, the thoracolumbar fascia, the iliopsoae, latissimus dorsi, mesentery...I know there are more, but that will do for now.
Now, what structures do the T12 nerve roots innervate? OK, well, there's the small intestine, large intestine, Iliocecal valve, uterus (in women), bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, various muscles...again, I know there are more, but that is enough for now.
Now that we have identified what structures could be affected by a subluxation occurring at the T12 level, I would like you to please tell me which of these structures heals first when you are given an adjustment.
What? Oh, of course...you don't know which structures actually need healing, do you. After all, about 96% of all body functions happen and we do not feel them. At best we are aware of about 4% of what our body is doing/needs.
Well, for our purposes, let's pretend that the kidneys, adrenals, diaphragm and the quadratus lumborum muscle on the left were all affected by the nerve interference in some way.
So now, when you get adjusted at the T12 level, which of these structures heals first?
What?! You still don't know?! Why not?
I see, you say it's impossible to know which one(s) will heal first.
Why is that?
Oh, I see, because you don't know the extent to which they were each damaged. It is also impossible to know which of these structures the body needs to be functioning most critically right now, isn't it?
The point in my asking you these questions is simple. If you can't know the extent to which any of the body's structures were damaged, nor in which order the body needs to heal those structures, why are some of you focusing on one or more of these areas in following your "progress?"
Let me give you an example as to what I mean.
I have a practice member who we'll name "Joe" to keep his privacy. When "Joe" started his care, he came in exactly as I recommended and did everything I asked him to as far as getting adjusted. His original complaint was moderately severe lower back pain that was constant and dull. He finished his initial clearing phase in roughly 6 weeks and graduated to weekly check ups.
He continued to come in weekly for the next 2 months and then asked to talk with me. He said that while he had gotten some relief from his lower back pain (about 20% in his estimation), he still had it nearly every day and was discontinuing his care to go see an orthopedic doctor. I asked him if I could ask him some questions to "close out my file" before he left and he agreed.
I asked him how his prostate was doing, since he had actually been catheterized when we began and was on 2 different medications for this. He explained that his prostate was doing great! In fact, his urologist had never seen a recovery like his.
Next, I asked him about his chronic hemorrhoids. He told me that those too had completely gone away for the first time in over 8 years.
Last, I asked him about his "Ulcerative Colitis." Again, he let me know that his bowels were not only functioning better than they ever had, he wasn't taking anything at all for that problem and as far as he was concerned, he was "cured!"
Then I asked him, "If you were the innate wisdom of your body, and you had the power to heal your prostate, your bowels, your hemorrhoids or the structures of your lower back first, which would you pick?"
He looked at me and I could tell he was having a "light bulb moment." "Well...I guess I would take care of the most important things first."
"That's right!" I exclaimed, "And I predict that's what your body has been doing in the 3 ½ months since we started your care. It may not have healed the thing you most noticed, i.e., your lower back, but it has healed what was most critical first. I also want to suggest to you that if you continue your care here as we've recommended, your body will eventually get to everything that needs attention, and then continue to help you express your purpose and your potential in life to the fullest extent."
"Joe" continued his care, and a little more than 3 weeks from the day of our talk, he woke up without any lower back pain, and it's been gone ever since.
"Joe" had been taught from day one that we were not "treating" his lower back pain. Yet, it wasn't until I reminded him of the truth about his body's ability to know what needs to happen when and where that he really understood the perfection of this inner wisdom.
Please have faith that your innate intelligence knows what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Even though sometimes it may not necessarily be in the order or in the time we want it to be. And, that it always does these things, perfectly when the brain and body can communicate without interference.
In addition, please make sure that you remember this simple the truth about chiropractic. That truth is:
We all encounter destructive forces on a daily basis. We also have within us an innate intelligence whose forces are constructive. If these destructive physical, chemical and emotional stresses are beyond our ability to adapt, they predominate over the innate constructive forces and we move toward sickness and death. Nerve interference decreases our internal resistance to these stresses and begins this downward spiral in our health and vitality - what we call the subluxation.
The adjustment restores our ability to adapt to these stresses and allows our innate constructive forces to prevail. This permits the processes of adaptation, healing and growth to proceed.
Simply put, we are all growing and dying at the same time. The subluxation causes us to die more than we grow, and the adjustment allows us to grow more than we die.
So, what heals first?
Last week, a gentleman came in for his weekly check and said these words to me, "Hey Doc, I need your help today." "What's up?" I asked. "It's my heart rate Doc, it's not normal!" "What do you mean, not normal?" I asked. "Well, it's normally right about 68 beats per minute, but today it's going almost 90 - something's definitely not right here!"
At first, you may think, "Yep, something's definitely not normal there." But the problem here is not with this man's heart rate. It's with his definition of the word normal. What he really meant to say is that his heart rate was not average.
Regrettably, these terms are very often used in place of one another incorrectly.
One of the areas this mistake is most often seen involves the day-to-day functions of our bodies.
You see science has established what it calls "normal" figures for our physiological functions. These include heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and everything else you can think of. Medicine has even established a number as far as what each person should weigh.
However, what we are really looking at is not what is normal, but what is average.
An average is rarely a number that is actualized by any individual in a group. In fact, forcing a person's body to conform to the average can actually be harmful to an individual. The average is simply the median of the group. The average value is something that is easy for us to know - all it takes is a simple mathematical equation to figure it out.
Normal on the other hand is something that is not as easy to figure out. In chiropractic, we say that the body is an ever changing, constantly adapting, self-regulating and self-healing organism. We say that normal is something that can only be determined by the innate intelligence of the body.
This is an important distinction to understand.
Even though the average heart rate of an adult is 72 beats per minute, it may not be what is necessary for an individual at any given time. In other words, if a person's body needs to increase its heart rate for some reason, it may not be average, but it can most certainly be normal!
Let me ask you a few questions:
1. Is it normal for a healthy baby to have a runny nose, fluid in its ears and a fever?
2. Is it normal for a healthy woman to gain 1-2 pounds per week?
3. Is it normal for a healthy person to vomit and have diarrhea?
4. Is it normal to have muscle spasms, inflammation and pain in your neck?
How did you answer? If you said no to any of these, you may be right. And, if you said yes to any of them, you may also be right - let me explain.
1. A healthy baby who is cutting teeth can have a runny nose, fluid in its ears and a fever. These are all normal parts of the process of cutting teeth.
2. A healthy pregnant woman will normally gain 1 - 2 pounds per week for nine months.
3. A healthy person who eats a bad piece of fish will vomit and get diarrhea as a way of healthfully expelling toxins.
4. A person who has injured his neck will have muscle spasm to protect the area from further damage while it heals. He will also have inflammation to begin what is called the healing cascade. And, his body will produce pain so that he knows to be careful until all is well.
It turns out this particular man who was concerned about his heart had been in a bowling alley the night before his visit and it had been very smoky. His body was likely raising its heart rate to expel the toxins and to increase the rate at which his cells received oxygen to speed healing of the damage done. So you see, nothing was wrong, it just wasn't average. When his heartbeat was checked a few hours later it was where it usually was for him.
Chiropractic recognizes that normal is a state that can only be determined by your body's innate intelligence. We do not try to conform you to a standard level of function. Rather, we accept you for the unique individual that you are and we rejoice in the knowledge that when you have a balanced nerve system and a healthy lifestyle, your body will do whatever is necessary to grow you toward the full expression of your purpose and potential in life.
Have a NORMAL day!