THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
A very busy road near my home was under construction recently. I don't usually travel that way, but I noticed a sign I hadn't seen before. The sign said, "New lane configurations - EXPECT DELAYS!"
Now at first, this didn't seem strange to me, but as I continued to think about it, I wondered why we should EXPECT delays, rather than just preparing for them.
What I mean by this is that if people leave a little earlier than they usually do so that they don't have to worry about being late and bring an extra CD or tape to listen to in the car, then they are prepared for a delay.
And, if there is no delay, everything is still fine. This way, the EXPECTATION is that the situation will be fine no matter what happens.
But again, why should I actually EXPECT delays? If you're still confused, let me try a different means of explaining what I mean. There is a concept that states that you cannot escape something you are giving your attention to. When I put my attention toward EXPECTING a delay, I am very likely to experience that. But, when I put my energy into EXPECTING to be OK with whatever happens because I am PREPARED to deal with it, I often will experience whatever is best for me.
This concept is true with every area of your life - even your health. My question for you is what are you EXPECTING to happen with your health? During this pre-election time we see people worrying about drug prices and health insurance coverage. I wish they would give 1/10 the energy to actively pursuing healthy habits to make the need for these other things an afterthought.
In other words, does more of the energy with your thoughts, words and actions go toward worrying about what might go wrong, or toward what might go right?
Most of us were raised with the belief that our bodies are inherently weak and defective and that they will break down without some kind of medical intervention. This begins in pregnancy with all of the talk about how hard labor is and that drugs will be necessary for the mother to be able to handle it.
Next, we are told that we need lots of vaccines because our immune systems are inadequately prepared to handle life.
We are taught that if our body raises its temperature it is a mistake and that we must take some kind of medication to lower it.
If we are creative and active in school, we are told we have a disease that doesn't allow us to focus and function normally.
We are basically told that we are not good enough the way we are, but that medications can make us better. This continues on throughout our lives and we unknowingly pass this legacy of lunacy on to our children.
The chiropractic paradigm takes the completely opposite approach to health and life. It says that we are all born with an innate intelligence that strives to organize and reorganize our physiology in order to adapt and survive in an ever-changing environment. We use this knowledge to expect our bodies to be strong and healthy, so that we can be free to happily work toward the actualization of our purpose and potential in life.
If there is any interference in the ability to express this, then we end up in a state of "DIS-EASE". We call this interference in your nerve system a subluxation.
The chiropractic adjustment restores nerve function and allows us to progressively return to the full expression of health and life.
By making sure your brain and body can communicate effectively and by living a healthy lifestyle, you are PREPARED for whatever life brings you.
People raised in this mindset tend to progressively apply this way of thinking to every area of their lives and so the legacy they pass on to their children is one of health, hope, and faith that every situation offers an opportunity for growth. So again, I ask you - What do you expect?
A nervous system free from interference is a prerequisite to normal body function.
It is the chiropractor's task to remove nerve interference to allow the body
to heal and function properly.
Fishes?! We Don't Need No Stinking Fishes!
A few days ago while I was watching television, a commercial came on for a program on "The Learning Channel" for a program that was going to be aired the following week.
The program was designed for health professionals creating an office atmosphere that is relaxing and pleasant.
The woman speaking said these words. "Make sure you watch this program as it will give you invaluable information on creating a wonderful healing environment."
Then some clips came on from the show, including one that said that every doctor should have a fish tank in his or her office to "give visitors and those waiting for appointments something to look at besides old magazines."
But, even more important than this is that the fish tank distracts them from fretful and fearful thoughts about what is about to happen."
HOLY COW! I have never once thought that I had to "distract people from fretful or fearful thoughts" from what goes on in our office!
But then again, maybe that's because chiropractic patients almost always LOOK FORWARD to their appointments!
Most chiropractors focus not on what's wrong and trying to fix it like most other health professionals. Rather, we focus on what is right and helping you express it!
We acknowledge an organizing principle called innate intelligence that animates, regulates, adapts, heals and grows you from conception until death. This wisdom knows exactly how to respond to the stresses you encounter each day, whether they are physical, chemical, or emotional.
But, if there is interference in your nerve system, then your brain and body cannot communicate effectively and this innate intelligence cannot comprehend or respond as well to your environment. The result is a downward spiral in your health and vitality we call a subluxation.
What we do as chiropractors is to restore the flow of life between your brain and your body and allow normal communication to occur once again. This gives you the opportunity to function the way you were designed to, and the result is a fuller expression of health and life.
In other words, we are working to help the natural perfection that is you to be expressed maximally in your life.
So, the next time you walk into a doctor's office and see a fish tank, ask yourself what kind of doctor it is. If it's a chiropractor, you can be pretty sure the aim is not to distract you from what is about to occur. Rather, it is to help you be aware of and to appreciate the perfection that is in all living things.
We honor who you are and we appreciate the trust you have placed in us to help your family reach your potential in life. We look forward to helping you achieve a lifetime of Outrageous health, happiness and the full expression of life!
This quote from a direct mail promotional advertisement is designed to get you to subscribe to a publication that claims to give you the secrets to preventing cancer, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and other diseases.
They suggest that a natural diet which includes certain substances is responsible for the absence of certain diseases in certain countries.
They further suggest that if you take these substances in supplemental form, you will not get these diseases either. There are a number of interesting aspects to this theory.
First, independent of diet, most people in these countries do not live to advanced age. In fact, they die at just about the same age as people in other countries, just not from these diseases. For example, countries with low mortality rates due to breast cancer have high rates due to colon cancer or something else. It appears that people in these countries are not any healthier, they just suffer from different diseases.
This bit of information tells us that clearly there are a variety of factors involved in the development of any disease. Eskimos do not ordinarily die from cancers, but they do have an increased incidence of cardiovascular problems. Island populations that do not eat a lot of red meat do not have cholesterol-related conditions, but they often have stomach and bowel cancer from the high fish and seafood diets.
The point is that there is no perfect diet just as there is no perfect environment. All have certain advantages and all have certain drawbacks.
This is not to suggest that what you eat is not important. Quite the contrary, everything that you eat is important.
Likewise everything you do or do not do has an effect on your health and your longevity. Where you live and how you adapt to where you live are certainly significant factors in your health. Hereditary factors are also important, as is your ability to handle stress.
So what is not important? Everything is important. There are literally hundreds of factors and causes.
So the next time someone says they have the answer to disease, realize that they may or may not have an answer but they surely do not have the answer.
Supplying a nutrient that is lacking in your diet may be an answer to one thing, the lack of that substance, but it is not the answer to all or any disease.
That is one of the great things about chiropractic. We do not claim to have the cure for all or any disease or even the answer for back problems. We do, however, have the answer to one problem, an interference in the nerve system due to a vertebral subluxation which deprives the body of working at its maximum potential in all areas.
Chiropractic is not a substitution for medicine, nutrition, exercise, or anything else. Nothing else is a substitute for chiropractic either. It is one thing, only one thing, but you must do this one thing if you care to reach your potential in every area of life.
The health of your spine and nervous system will impact the function and performance of every part of your body. Having a healthy spine and nervous system or having a subluxated spine with nerve interference are your options.
We must also realize that since there are so many factors in health and in freedom from disease, it behooves us to focus on what we should be doing for our health rather than trying to prevent the thousands of diseases.
No country is free from all disease. If there was such a country, it would be the most crowded spot on earth. Fortunately or unfortunately, the major cause of disease is not within the environment but within the individual and his or her ability to live in and adapt to the unique environment of that country.
If you want to take supplements that is up to you, but realize that only addresses one factor relating to your health. Of course, ideally you should develop good enough eating habits that you would not require supplements and you should do a variety of other things necessary for good health and a productive life. Some of these things might include regular exercise, appropriate amounts of rest and a good mental attitude and by all means have your spine checked regularly by your family chiropractor.
Health and a better life is for everyone. Make sure you tell others about chiropractic!
Chiropractors have been talking for years about the fact that physical, chemical, and emotional stresses can cause the spine to subluxate and interfere with proper function in the body.
People have no problem understanding how a physical stress, such as falling, lifting, or repeated motions, can cause subluxations.
While chemical stresses may be a little more difficult to understand, after a little explanation people see how chemicals and poisons in the body affect the spinal musculature and can also cause the spine to subluxate.
Today, more than ever, we are hearing about the effect that emotional stress can have on the body. Some figures claim that 85% of all illness is due to stress. People understand the link between emotional stress and ulcers, heart disease and headaches. Similarly, emotional stress can result in subluxation.
There are probably a number of mechanisms but research done at Ohio State University has demonstrated some interesting results.(1)
A group of college students repeatedly lifted 25-pound boxes while a special measuring device calculated the pressure on the students' spines. During the first half of the experiment researchers offered words of encouragement to the participants while they were performing their tasks.
In the second half of the experiment, the students were criticized, sort of like having your boss yelling at you while you are doing your job. While some of the students were not bothered at all, others, particularly introverted students who did not handle criticism well and who dislike repetitive work to start with, demonstrated an almost 27% increase in pressure on the spine.
Clearly, a 27% increase of pressure on the spine could potentially subluxate a person. William Marras, professor of industrial engineering at OSU said, "What this shows is that there is a body?mind interaction that manifests itself as pressure on the spine."
Of course, if a person is already subluxated, then the spine is weakened and this stress can have even greater repercussions. The researchers were limiting their research to job-related pressure but they concluded that the same findings could occur "anywhere exertion and stress combine." That could be the pressure of athletic competition or even non-physical stressful situations like talking on the phone with the head titled at an angle, sitting at a computer, or any kind of repetitive work while experiencing the pressures of your job.
Except for major physical traumas, it is likely that almost all subluxations occur as a result of a combination of physical, chemical, and emotional stresses upon the body.
Clearly, if you are subluxation free you will be better able to withstand those forces. Yet, in this stressful world even the strongest spines will subluxate given certain circumstances. We live in a world where these stresses are unavoidable. That is why it is important to keep your spine checked and adjusted, so that you can better withstand stress and so that when it does cause a subluxation, it can be corrected as quickly as possible.
See your chiropractor regularly.
(1) Popular Science, May 2001, page 43.
Why chiropractic? Because the least you can be is at your best.