THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Every year at this time the people of the United States celebrate their Independence. Americans live in a country where the freedom exists to make virtually any choice you can imagine.
Why then does it seem that so many Americans have problems that keep them from enjoying the freedom that is available to them? What kinds of problems am I talking about? Problems like addictions to cigarettes, alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, gambling, depression, anxiety, fear, children who are medicated into a stupor, repetitive harmful behaviors, and generally less than sparkling health seem to be rampant.
Don't get me wrong - these things are by no means exclusive to Americans and there are plenty of people who don't suffer from them. But the problems listed above are so prevalent that it is impossible to even watch a thirty minute television show without seeing a few ads for medications or programs to help with these things.
So why are they so common?
I believe the answer lies in our belief systems.
What I mean by this is that we are programmed from a very early age to believe that our bodies are somehow defective and weak. Right from birth we are given vaccines because our "immune systems are too weak." As we grow we are given medications every time our bodies try to make an adjustment to something in our environment (i.e., fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) instead of realizing that these things are what need to happen in order for us to adapt and continue to grow. Plus, if we show any kind of deviation from the "norm" in our thinking and actions we are labeled with some kind of mental challenge!
The truth is that there is an innate intelligence expressed within you and me and everyone else. This innate intelligence expresses your "life force" which is responsible for animating, regulating, adapting, healing, and continually growing you from conception until death. And this growth is not just physical - it is also mental, emotional, social, and spiritual development we are talking about - including the ability to think at a higher level!
The problem is that the body always gives its energy first and foremost to the lower three functions - animating, regulating and adapting. Whenever there is interference in your nerve system (what we call a subluxation), the brain and body cannot communicate effectively and your whole body can no longer comprehend itself and its environment fully. This means that your body's energy use is very inefficient.
This inefficient use of your body's energy results in shunting energy away from the higher functions of healing and growth - including the ability to think at a higher level! This is where many believe people get stuck in their unwanted and addictive thoughts and behaviors. It is hard to continually see the good in yourself and the world and make good choices when there isn't enough energy available to think at the highest levels!
So what is the answer?
The answer is to make sure two things are taken care of. First, make sure you are living a lifestyle that actually creates health, rather than just avoiding sickness. Second, make sure your nerve system is free of any interference by getting checked on a regular basis by your chiropractor.
The chiropractic adjustment restores the flow of communication and life between your brain and body and allows your body to use its energy at maximum efficiency again. This means there will be plenty of energy available to think at the highest levels and will allow you to recognize and honor the perfection within you.
Once you understand this, your actions will progressively and consistently change and soon good choices will become automatic.
Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone understood and honored this truth about themselves! Would any of those problems I started out mentioning even be possible?
Independence Day is when Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence from England and the beginning of a life of full self-reliance. I look forward to the day when we are all so aware of the truth that war is not even possible anymore! This will truly be "independence day."
As little ones grow and explore their world, crawling leads to walking. Walking leads to running. Tricycles lead to bicycles... and rollerskates... and skateboards.
Before you know it, their curiosity and energy create a whirlwind of nonstop activity. Along the way, they lose their balance.
They slip. They trip. They stumble. They tumble. They fall down.
A kiss and a bandage are comforting. But what about the painless, unseen injuries to their spine?
Even though kids are resilient and have a fantastic ability to adapt, spinal subluxations stop their little bodies from working properly. If left uncorrected, the cumulative damage of spinal subluxations can lead to serious and expensive problems in the future as adults.
When spinal bones choke nearby nerves, your child is robbed of precious life messages between brain and body.
As a parent, one of your main concerns is giving your children the right opportunity to grow, develop, and become their healthy best.
You should be aware that many studies now show that our health and performance as adults... on physical, mental, social, and occupational levels...is largely determined by the windows of opportunity that we experience during childhood.
Chiropractic checkups and adjustments are essential during this precious time of life and growth. Seeing how kids respond to chiropractic adjustments is truly a priceless experience, as
their parents well know.
Just watching your child receive a chiropractic adjustment from a highly skilled chiropractor is a marvelous sight.
Very gently, using subtle forces with fingertips, the best chiropractors connect with children of all ages and make them feel comfortable, as their tiny spines are guided back delicately to optimal function.
The value of a subluxation-free childhood is immeasurable, so make sure your child reaps all the benefits that life has to offer with regular spinal checkups and adjustments.
WHEN SHOULD YOUR CHILDREN HAVE THEIR FIRST CHIROPRACTIC CHECKUP?
All human beings have a spine and a nerve system, and because every human spine has moveable joints and many delicate parts and tissues, it is always vulnerable to stresses and forces.
Because the birth process is unavoidably stressful, newborn infants are particularly susceptible to forceful stresses on that tiny spine.
Subluxations in a newborn are not immediately obvious to the parents, and may not become apparent for many years into adulthood.
Unfortunately, the damage associated with subluxation is cumulative.
The longer you have a subluxation, the more damage it does to normal nerve function,
until eventually some of the damage can become permanent.
If a subluxation exists... in any person of any age... when would be a good time to do something about it?
Should it be corrected when it happens... or 20, 30, 40 years later when symptoms show up and permanent damage to function and performance sets in?
The treatment of aches and pains is the older approach of chiropractic that only gives limited benefits, and usually gives them too late. Once you understand that subluxations are not noticeable enough to "feel" (especially when they first occur), then it is easy to see the superior effectiveness of modern straight chiropractic.
The sooner spinal subluxations are found and corrected, the sooner your child can take advantage of the full potential inside them.
Remember... it takes a trained expert to detect spinal subluxations in your child. Make sure that your child gets the right start in life with regular chiropractic checkups as a normal part of post-natal care. If your older children have not received a spinal checkup yet, the sooner they are examined by your Chiropractor, the better.
I heard a radio commercial the other day for one of the nation's largest drug stores that went something like this.
"In this age of drive-thru banking, drive-thru dry cleaners, drive-thru restaurants and even drive-thru coffee shops, it's nice to know that our pharmacy fits right into your busy lifestyle!"
This made me ask myself a few questions:
Have our lifestyles really gotten so busy that we can't even leave our cars to do our banking, shop or eat anymore?
What effect has the mental stress of this busy lifestyle and the lack of activity from sitting in our cars all day had upon our health?
Does it make more sense to just add to this pattern or would it make be smarter to make a change that will begin a new process?
There is another question to ask here as well. Is using pharmaceuticals really a form of health care - or is it really disease care? Chiropractor Dr. Patrick Gentempo has stated, "Traditional medical health care is really disease care, and when we masquerade it as health care we end up with a sick society."
Why does the need for "disease care" even exist? In chiropractic, we know that there are always two processes happening in your body - the process of growing and the process of dying. What I mean by this is that we are all exposed to destructive forces every day in the form of physical, chemical, and emotional stresses. If these stresses are beyond our internal resistance, they break us down and we die a little more than we grow.
Where does our internal resistance come from? We have within our bodies an "innate intelligence" whose job is to run, regulate, heal and grow our bodies from conception until death. This constructive "life force" uses your nerve system to move information back and forth between your brain and the 70 - 150 trillion cells of your body.
As long as there is no interference in your nerve system (what we call a subluxation), your innate intelligence can use the nerve system to accurately perceive its constantly changing needs and respond appropriately in a timely manner. In other words, it can adapt to the destructive stresses you encounter every day. As a result, we all grow a little more than we die.
So how does this relate to the topic at the beginning of this page? It's simple - when we live a lifestyle that is loaded with physical, chemical, mental and emotional stresses, we are more likely to develop subluxations and begin the progressive downward spiral in our health and vitality that eventually leads many people to seek disease care.
But the answer is not to simply add to the process that caused your illness in the first place. The smarter solution is to begin taking action on a consistent basis that begins a new process - one that creates health instead of contributing to disease.
What kinds of things can we do? We can create a peaceful and happy mindset, deep breathe, drink more pure water, eat foods that are more alive than dead, get a balance of movement and rest, exercise and get checked by your chiropractor for the presence of subluxations. And, get adjusted if necessary to restore the proper expression if your innate intelligence so that adaptation, healing, and growth may all occur normally again.
Stop trying to eliminate and prevent disease and begin creating a lifestyle that actually generates health. Then, you and your family will be able to not just drive through, but actually sail through your days with outrageous health, happiness, and the full expression of Life!
What if one of the many people you talk to about your chiropractic experience asks you this question? Are you prepared to answer it? Do you know exactly what you will say to them?
Before you read on, please answer this question out loud, as if you were speaking to the person who asked you the question.
If you are like most practice members, you have a well-thought out answer for this and most other questions people will ask you. But, in answering the question with your prepared response, I believe some of you may be making a mistake.
Habit # 5 In "The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People," by Stephen Covey is, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Most of us listen with the intent to reply, rather than to understand what the person is saying. But if we don't understand a person's intent in asking a question, how can we possibly help them move to their own next level of understanding effectively?
Whenever someone asks you a question, the simplest way to assess their current level of understanding is to ask a question back to them. One of my favorite response to a question is, "Well, what do you think about that?"
This allows them to clarify for me where I need to go with a series of questions designed to help them come to their own next level of understanding regarding whatever they are inquiring about.
You may find that they have no idea whatsoever about health or chiropractic principles, and that you must start out at the most basic level of questions with them. You may find that they have a fair understanding of what we do, but are still stuck in the allopathic (medical) mindset. Or, you may find out, like I did just recently, that they have a very good understanding of what I do and doesn't really want an answer to the question at all.
One morning not too long ago, one of my favorite practice members came in. She is a quiet and loving woman in her mid-fifties who has been with me for roughly 2 years and lives a very healthy and happy life, as do her husband and 2 daughters who have also been in my practice for the same amount of time.
As I was finishing up with her, she asked me if I had a minute to answer a question. "Of course!" I replied. "Doctor, can chiropractic help someone with really severe PMS?" I gave her my standard response of, "Well, what do you think about that?"
"Well," she answered, "I know that if your nerve system is free of interference that you should be able to function as close to 100% as possible, and if anything is wrong, your body should be better able to heal itself." Obviously she knew that chiropractic had the potential to help someone with PMS, there must be another reason she was asking me the question.
"Wow! I wish everyone could explain chiropractic as simply and as beautifully as you just did. I can see that you already know the answer to your question, so why did you ask me this today?"
At that point, she burst into tears. "It's my niece! She's so miserable and now her doctor is telling her that she will need a hysterectomy and she's only 27 years old! I told her what I just told you, but I needed to know if I said the right thing - I mean, this may be her only chance and I want to make sure I don't mess it up for her or for you!"
I gave her a huge hug and told her how lucky I am to have a person like her in my practice, and how lucky her niece is to have her as an aunt. I asked her if she could get her niece to the office and she said she could. The rest was simple.
But, if I had used a prepared answer for her, I would have missed several opportunities:
1. The opportunity to know how well she really understands chiropractic.
2. The opportunity to let her know how well she did at explaining it to her niece.
3. The opportunity to raise her confidence level for teaching others in the future.
4. The opportunity to show her my gratitude.
5. The opportunity to help her get her niece to my office and then under care.
6. The opportunity to learn about a source of great mental stress that could have lead to nerve interference in her life.
By listening and seeking to understand, rather than to be understood, I was able to make the most of all of these opportunities for everyone's benefit.
Try this approach with everyone that asks you a question about chiropractic this week. See what you find out about how much people really understand what chiropractors do. Then, call me if you have any additional questions about how to communicate with people in this way. Of course, you already know what I'll probably ask you when you call with your question..."Well, what do you think about that?"