THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER

JULY 2005



Are You Blind?


-Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
-An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
-Meditation is the key to a balanced life - If you don't go within, you'll go without.
-Laughter is the best medicine.
-Water is the true fountain of youth.
-A deep breath is a breath of life.
-If you stay fit, your health will never quit.
-Except the Lord build the house, he who labors, labors in vain.


Each of these is a familiar phrase and each of them is true. We definitely need a balance of movement and rest, including enough sleep. But is that enough? Good nutrition is essential, but can an apple a day keep us healthy all by itself? Do you know relatively happy and healthy people who have never meditated? How long would we last on just air and water? Those body builders are totally fit, but most of them using performance enhancing drugs aren't too healthy! Some of the most spiritual people ever to walk the planet have died of terrible diseases.

 

What's the point here? It is simply that each one of the phrases above claims that there is ONE THING above everything else that is the true key to a long, healthy, and happy life. While I will not deny that each of these things is a piece of the health and life puzzle, it takes more than a single piece to complete the whole picture. It reminds me of the story of the six blind men from India who were out walking together one day and came across an elephant in their path.

 

These six sightless men had of course heard of elephants, but none of them had ever had the opportunity to see one. Each man stepped up to feel the elephant attempting to ascertain what it must look like. The first man fell against the elephant's side and said that it was like a wall. The second felt the tip of the tusk and was convinced the elephant was like a spear. The third, upon feeling the squirming trunk, proclaimed that an elephant was like a snake. The fourth put his arm around a leg and came to the conclusion it was like a tree. The fifth grabbed an ear and announced that an elephant was like a big fan, while the sixth, upon seizing the tail, declared it was like a rope.

 

They all then fell to arguing about who had the truth. While each of them had discovered a part of the picture, all of them had missed the whole.

 

This is the same thing that has happened in the world as far as our health is concerned. Yes, it is vital that we do all of the things in the beginning of this article and more, for each of them is a vital part of the puzzle. But, none of them is enough by itself.

 

There is one more crucial piece of the puzzle that hasn't yet been mentioned specifically. That is the need for a clear and balanced nerve system so that your Life Messages can FLOW easily throughout your body. This is where chiropractic comes in. Actually, it has been mentioned in a way. This is one way to actually use the Biblical quote above...Except the Lord build the house, he who labors, labors in vain...in a practical way. You see, all of your efforts to build a healthy body will be in vain if the Power that made the body is not allowed to flow effortlessly and continue to help us adapt, heal and grow.

 

One more thing is important to understand here as well. The reason the blind men got only little bits of information is that they were all blind to the wholeness of an elephant. When you keep your nerve system clear, your INNATE INTELLIGENCE will be able to SEE each piece of your healthy lifestyle and integrate them into keeping your body and mind in the whole and perfect state that our Creator gave us when we were born.

 

A Historical Perspective

 

In the early 1900's B.J. Palmer (the son of the Discoverer of Chiropractic) noted that certain medical conditions were alleviated by adjusting the bones of the spine. At that time there were probably hundreds of other procedures that were being performed to alleviate human ailments, none of which are around today -- everything from bleeding to magnetic healing. Most of them we never heard of because they were not noteworthy. They have passed from the scene because they did not work or if they worked they did more harm than good.

 

Chiropractic has lasted for almost 110 years because it obviously does something. It has more practitioners than ever before in history and millions of satisfied patients for over a century, many of whom come back on a regular basis.

 

All of this despite the fact that very few people understand the true objective of chiropractic.

 

The success of chiropractic with a multitude of conditions must mean something. Anecdotal success must have some validity. Some people would ascribe chiropractic's numerous successes with varied conditions to positive thinking, coincidence, faith or some other illegitimate factor. But all the different successes with millions of people for 100 plus years tell us that, it has to be something more than coincidence or mass hysteria. After all, how do infants and animals get such incredible results while under care? Critics have never been able to explain that one.


Chiropractic had to possess something in order to succeed, despite the opposition of the medical community who were convinced that no single procedure could be the cure for everything. Millions of intelligent and reasonable people including legislators and insurance companies concluded that chiropractic worked on some level.


Along came the objective straight chiropractor who presented a reason why chiropractic "works" for some people and not for others, why certain conditions are alleviated in some and not in others, why chiropractic appears to have had some success with all kinds of medical ailments. They presented the reasonable explanation that chiropractic is not a treatment or cure for medical conditions (which makes the medical community happy).


Chiropractic does one thing, it allows the body to work better, to function at a higher level, to be a little bit healthier. That is the reason for the apparent success in so many and varied conditions. A body working better has greater potential to heal all types of conditions. It is also the reason for chiropractic "failures." Even though chiropractic adjustments enable the body to work better, sometimes that improved function is not sufficient to enable the body to heal itself. So despite working better the body cannot heal completely and either the patient must learn to live with a condition or seek care in the therapeutic realm.


Objective straight chiropractic further reasoned that if the body works better with adjustments in some people, enough to get well from some conditions, and chiropractic is not correcting the cause of disease, then it must make the body work better in all people, those who do not get well, those who have no apparent problems or conditions, and everyone in between. It further reasoned that a body working better because of no interference will be affected in a positive manner in other areas of human function beside disease and health. While we cannot always measure quantatively the improvement in a person under chiropractic care, the fact that varied and serious conditions have been known to disappear, improvement must be of a significant nature. Also the failure to keep the body free of nerve interference must be a significant factor in the loss of health or decreased ability to function in all areas of life.

 

This idea was so logical to chiropractors that they began to have themselves and their families adjusted on a regular basis. They further determined that if it is good and necessary for themselves and their families (the idea of regularly checking the spine for nerve interference and removing it when found) it is good for all of humanity and perhaps there were enough people out there who would agree and want this type of care for themselves and their families. After all, there are millions of people who drink bottled water, take supplements, eat nutritionally, exercise regularly, and in many other ways take care of themselves for no other reason than because their body will work better. Chiropractors concluded that if they can find enough people interested in this type of care, they cannot only make a living but they can contribute to the betterment of society. That is how this unique approach to chiropractic with its lifetime care developed.

 

Vertebral Subluxation

 

Vertebral subluxation is a technical term for the chiropractor's area of interest. Many people think of chiropractors as back doctors but there are other professionals who address the spine and problems associated with the spine. Yet, there are no other professionals whose area of expertise is the correction of vertebral subluxations. What exactly is a subluxation?


Technically, it is a vertebra that is misaligned, out of its proper relationship to the bone above, the bone below or both, to a degree less than a dislocation or luxation (hence 'sub'- or less than; 'luxation' - or dislocation). It is only a slight misalignment, one that is imperceptible to anyone who is not specifically trained to locate it and chiropractors are the only people so trained.


However, it is not just a misalignment. More specifically it is a misalignment that closes off one of the openings through which nerves pass. The spinal cord passes through a tunnel that runs from the base of the skull to the bottom of the spine, which is created by the 24 vertebrae (i.e. spinal bones) stacked like donuts on top of each other. You may have heard of injuries that resulted in a person being paralyzed. This happens when the spinal cord and/or the tunnel through which it passes is seriously damaged. Similarly, when one of the spinal bones subluxates, it too affects the nerves but to a lesser degree. A smaller but still important opening is the one between the vertebrae (known as intervertebral foramina) that allows the spinal nerve coming from the spinal cord to exit the tunnel and go to all parts of the body. A slight misalignment will compress the contents of that opening, which includes the blood vessels, fatty protective tissue and the spinal nerves. Because of their close proximity, when one of the spinal bones moves, it can affect the nerve tissue and does on occasion cause an impingement of the nerve. That is the second component of a subluxation, the impingement of a nerve.


The third component is the effect of this misaligned vertebra and nerve impingement, which is interference to the transmission of mental impulses between the brain and the cells of the body. It is what makes the vertebral subluxation such a serious life?threatening problem. You can live with a misaligned vertebra. Millions of people have curves in their spine. You can even live with pressure on the nerve except for one fact, even the slightest degree of nerve impingement alters the ability of a nerve to carry the vital life message, the information necessary to make you alive and enable you to work in a coordinated manner. Your body needs information, good information in order to carry on its activities. When the nerves are impinged, there is a disruption of that vital information. Without the proper information, cells die, organs do not function in a coordinated manner, the various systems of the body cannot carry on their vital function and the body is in a state of biological chaos. There is no way the body can ever return to a harmonious state unless and until that interference is removed and order is restored.

 

That is the objective of the chiropractor. He/she does not straighten the spine. Their job is to adjust vertebral subluxations so that the life messages are restored to all the organs, tissues and cells in the body. When that happens the body's self?healing capabilities are increased. The body's ability to function at its best, in every area of life, is elevated and grows closer to its full potential. In short, you have more life in your body and that is no small thing. One last but important point about subluxations should be made. Vertebral subluxation do not hurt or cause pain, in fact often they cannot even be felt. Consequently, you cannot know when you are subluxated unless you have a chiropractor check your spine. That is why it is important to have your spine checked regularly by a chiropractor.

 

The Harry Potter Phenomenon

 

A few weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of children and adults around the world lined up at their favorite bookstores and participated in "Harry Potter" parties for several hours until the latest volume in the series of Potter books was released at Midnight. This is not unique to Harry Potter by any means. Many people took part in similar events for Star Wars, Batman, The Fantastic Four, and several other entertainment offerings just this summer alone!


Why is it that so many of us so look forward to books and movies about individuals with special powers? This is not a new thing, just since I was a boy I have seen The Lone Ranger, Tarzan, Conan, The Hulk, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Wonder Woman, the X-men, and on, and on!


Of course it is exciting to watch these heroes, but why? I think the only reason we get so excited over people that seem to be above and beyond the norm is that what we call normal is way below what we are capable of. We have lost sight of who we really are - we have come to believe that we are less than we are, and it feels really good to imagine that we could be more than we now believe ourselves to be, even if just for a few hours.


Imagine what it would be like to just wave your wand and do magic! How would it feel to be able to soar among the clouds, leap over tall buildings in a single bound and tap into the all powerful Force that permeates everyone and everything in the universe?!


The fact is that YOU already have a very special kind of magic inside of you, as does everyone else on the planet. See in your mind's eye the ability to take a glob of matter into your body, break it into tiny parts, extract out all of the good things, send them to where they can best be utilized and dispose of the wastes - all without even thinking about it! Imagine being able to heal a cut or a broken bone, smell something that hasn't been in the room for hours or tell what someone is thinking just by looking into his or her eyes!

 

"But that's not the same thing as just thinking about moving an object and seeing it move - simply with the power of your mind - like using the Force in Star Wars," you say. Really? Let's try an experiment. I want you to hold your right index finger up in front of your face. Now, try to flex your index finger - you can only use your mind now - NO FAIR TOUCHING IT WITH ANY OTHER PART OF YOUR BODY! Go ahead, give it a try.


Did you do it? Did you move something with just the power of your mind? You see, you too have that power! You have just forgotten that you have it! Or maybe we have all just become so accustomed to our everyday magic that we have forgotten just how miraculous we really are!

It is important to always remember the Power YOU have within you. This Power flows through each and every one of the 70 trillion cells in your body - a community of consciousness we call YOU.


It is important to keep your nerve system clear so that this Power can flow easily and to allow communication between each of these individual points of consciousness we call your cells. This allows them to work together for your overall good. Getting your family checked by your chiropractor on a very regular basis is an important part of a health-creating lifestyle that will allow each of you to continually grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually from conception until death.


This will help you to become more aware of this magic we all possess! Then you will know the truth - there are no muggles* - we are ALL magic makers, and the world is anxiously waiting for us to demonstrate the truth!


*A Muggle is a term from the fictional Harry Potter series of books which refers to a human with no magical abilities.

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