THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
I recently came across again this quote from Mahatma Gandhi. It is one of his best and one of my favorite quotes:
What Gandhi must have understood was that everything in the universe is a process. Therefore, everything builds upon something else and moves the process in one direction or the other - toward growth or toward destruction.
Two other great minds from history have said things that relate very well to Gandhi's words. The first was Albert Einstein who said - You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that existed when it was created. The second is Ernest Holmes who said this - We do not struggle with circumstances, we hold on to beliefs that create circumstances.
These three great leading-edge thinkers from history all knew that our beliefs are what initiate the process that Gandhi has described above.
When you take a look at the world, what do you see? Do you see a world that is falling apart or going to the dogs? Or, do you see a world that is awakening at a greater speed than ever before - a world where spirituality is present at a level we cannot remember in our history?
How does this relate to your chiropractic care and to your health? I asked myself this same question! Here is the answer I received.
What is a belief? Very simply, a belief is an idea you have said YES to. Our PERCEPTIONS shape our beliefs. Our perceptions are NEUROLOGICAL, that is, they come through our nerve systems.
-interferes with the normal flow of mental impulses,
-hinders our ability to perceive and interpret things in the most productive way,
-alters our thoughts and beliefs and
-ultimately affects our ability to make choices and develop habits that deliberately move us consistently toward health, happiness and wholeness.
Because of how we see the world when subluxated, we progressively express thoughts, words and actions that often lead us to develop destructive habits.
On the other hand, the SPECIFIC CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT re-establishes integrity within your nerve system, restores normal perception, elevates your level of thinking about every aspect of your life and allows you to make choices and develop positive habits that progressively and consistently move you toward health, happiness and the full expression of life!
How important is having a clear nerve system? If you cannot answer that question after reading this,
Birth is a normal, natural process that's been around since the beginning of humanity. As with any other task the body was created to perform, when you support normal functioning, you have your best chance of success.
The road down the birth canal and out into the world can be a trying one, particularly in the case of medical intervention and high-tech births. (You may recall a Journal of the American Medical Association study showing the U.S. ranked last [as in worst] for neonatal mortality, infant mortality and the health of newborns.) As a result, there have been ever-increasing occurrences of traumatic birth syndrome.
Traumatic birth syndrome describes the presence of trauma-induced skull, spinal damage and spinal misalignment as a result of the birth process. Imagine going through it with a mother lying on her back, working against gravity and on medications to increase the intensity of labor and numb the delivery muscles. Combine that with common surgical interventions, and the birthing process becomes exponentially more traumatic.
And, when you think about it, it should be no surprise that vertebral subluxation in infants is a common reality.
During the pushing stage of labor, the spine may be injured as the fetus is compressed and pushed down the birth canal. The most frequent cause of subluxation in infants is the pulling, twisting and compression of the infant's spine during birth, leading to respiratory depression and other illness.
If something alters the normal birth process, subluxations will frequently occur at the point of greatest stress (upper and lower cervical [neck] vertebrae). While in severe cases, these can result in more obvious, clinical nerve damage such as nerve palsies, more frequently subluxations remain subclinical, with health issues arising at a later time.
Catching Them Early
These issues can range from colic, sleep disorders, and symptoms of lowered immunity to poor development and more. "Subluxations should be analyzed and corrected as soon as possible after birth to prevent these associated conditions," says chiropractic pediatric expert Dr. Maxine McMullen.
These subluxations have been found to be severe enough to lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) due to the pressure they cause upward toward the lower brain (2-4) as well as creating numerous other disorders common to newborns, infants and young children. Reports show chiropractic care can be helpful in such diverse disorders as cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, ear infections, the prevention of SIDS and others. (5)
While chiropractic care is not a treatment for anything, the benefits of adjusting subluxation to remove interference has been particularly telling in the case of small children. The facts show young people need chiropractic care as much as or more than anyone to maximize proper development and help to minimize the advent of common infant symptoms and disease.
One of the most interesting studies -- based on the examination and adjustment of 1,000 infants -- was done by Dr. Gutmann, a German physician. (5) He concluded blocked nerve impulses at the level of the first vertebrae can cause of central motor impairment and lower resistance to infections, especially those of the ear, nose and throat. (1)
One example of Dr. Gutmann's published case studies describes an 18-month-old boy with early relapsing tonsillitis, frequent enteritis, drug therapy resistive conjunctivitis, frequent colds and earaches and increasing sleeping problems. After the first specific adjustment, the child was put to bed and slept peacefully until morning. The conjunctivitis cleared up completely, and his previously disturbed appetite returned to normal.
Dr. Gutmann's research showed the 1,000 children [adjusted] had success, almost without exception, for a variety of ailments after spinal [adjustments] at the atlas
(top vertebrae in the neck). The rest of the spine was not adjusted. Symptoms to have responded favorably included the following:
Disturbed mental and especially linguistic development
Enteritis (inflammation of the intestine)
Unmotivated central seizures
Disturbed motor responses with repetitive falls
Distortion of ilio-sacral joint
Inability to thrive
"If the indications are correctly observed," Dr. Gutmann said, "Chiropractic can often bring about amazingly successful results, ... With developmental disturbances of every kind, the atlanto-occipital joints should be examined and in each case be [adjusted] manually in a qualified manner. The success of this [adjustment] eclipses every other attempt at treatment, including especially the use of medications." (5)
1. McMullen, M. "Physical Stresses of Childhood that Could Lead to the Need for Chiropractic Care." Proceedings of the National Confernce onChiropractic and Pediatarics, Sand Diego, California. Int. Chiropractors Assoc. 1991.
2. Towbin A. "Latent spinal cord and brain stem injury in newborn infants." Develop Med Child Neurol. 1969 Feb: 11 (1): 54 -- 68.
3. Biedermann J. "Kinematic Imbalances due to Suboccipital strain in newborns." Medicine Springer-Verlag 1992, 151-156.
4. Koch LE, Biedermann H, Saternus KS. "High Cervical Stress and Apneoea." Forensic Sci Int 1998 Oct 12;97 (1): 1-9.
5. Gutmann G. "Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Infants and Small Children." Originally published in Manuelle Medizine, Springer-VErlag, 1987. English translation published in International Review of Chiropractic July/Aug 1990.
A few days ago, my son and I were watching TV when a commercial came on for some skin moisturizing lotion. Near the end of the commercial the announcer said, "This lotion is so effective, he'll think you've discovered the fountain of youth!"
My son turned toward me with a funny look on his face and said, "Fountain of youth - what's that?" I told him that for nearly as long as people have been around, they have been searching for the one magic drink, food, pill, potion or lotion that will keep us looking and feeling young forever. He replied, "Well, that's silly - why doesn't everyone just take care of themselves and have fun? That way they can get bigger but still be a kid just like you! Besides, what's wrong with getting older anyway? I can't wait until I'm old like you - I'll get to drive and buy things and do whatever I want!"
What ever happened to that magical feeling we had when we were young as we contemplated growing up and getting older? At what age does getting older start to become something we no longer look forward to but begin to dread? Why do kids squeal with delight at their birthday parties when we tell them they really look older, but people run away crying if we tell them that as adults?
That's the first thing to notice about my son's comment. Now, let's get to the second point. He asked me a question. He wondered, "Why doesn't everyone just take care of themselves and have fun?" What an awesome question! It is so awesome because he expressed a knowing that as long as we take care of ourselves, our bodies will be there for us in whatever way we need them to be.
You may not know it but the "life force" inside your body is constantly being directed by your innate intelligence to replace your body as parts wear out. This is a continuous process and is happening simultaneously all over your body. Just about each and every cell, tissue, and organ is replaced by a new one as necessary. Some tissues wear out more quickly than others and so they are turned over more rapidly.
For example, you are making eight million new red blood cells every second. Think about how amazing that is - EIGHT MILLION EVERY SECOND! You are creating a new stomach and intestinal lining every three to five days, a new liver every six weeks, and you literally replace every single atom in your body every thirteen months! And, you do all of this without ever thinking about it!
The key for continuing this renewal process is that you must have two very important things in your life. First, you must have a healthy lifestyle to supply your innate intelligence with everything it needs to continually make the new parts and effectively dispose of the old parts. This includes having a happy and peaceful mindset, breathing clean air, getting enough clean water, eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies, getting a balance of movement and rest (including enough sleep) and exercising regularly. These are all things you can control and do for yourself.
The second thing that is necessary is that you maintain a clear pathway between your brain and your body. I am talking about your nerve system. This is the pathway your innate intelligence uses to send and receive messages so that it can understand and respond to everything that is going on both internally and in your external environment.
This is why regular chiropractic care is so crucial to you being able to live a happy, healthy and vital life. It allows your intelligent life force to be expressed fully and to continually recreate you anew! So, search no more for that fountain of youth! Everything you need to be continuously young is right there inside of you! Decide to be a kid no matter how old the world says you are. And ask yourself this question - If you didn't know how old you are, how old would you be?
Human life requires the interrelationship of three critical components: the innate intelligence, force (or forces), and the most obvious, the matter. In the philosophy of chiropractic, we refer to these three components as the Triune of Life.
While the intelligence, the principle of life, is perfect in every living organism, the matter or the material substance of the body, that which we can see and feel, can be and is less than perfect in everyone. We are born with hereditary deficiencies from our parents and grandparents. Some are born with congenital deficiencies due to environmental trauma, some type of birth trauma, or trauma even prior to birth. Because of this there can never be a perfect triune -- that is perfect intelligence expressing itself perfectly through perfect matter.
Most health-care professions direct their efforts toward changing the matter of the body. This makes some sense since the matter is the one part of the triune that can be less than perfect. If it is working too fast, they would attempt to slow it down. If it is working to slowly, they would try to speed it up. When all else fails (and sometimes before all else has been tried), they may resort to deadening the nerves so it does not feel as if there is anything wrong or to cutting out the offending part. All of these can be legitimate approaches to treating disease and sometimes they are even effective. Yet, because they involve the matter, none of them address a unique problem that is the sole objective of the chiropractor.
Consider the triune of life again. First, the intelligence, which is the perfect aspect of the triune. Since it is already perfect, we would not want to change or affect that in anyway. Second is the matter, which no doubt can and often is less than perfect. But there is a third aspect which is often overlooked and yet is a significant factor in people's ability (or inability as the case may be) to express life fully.
The problem of a lack of life expression is not in the intelligence, it is the matter of the body but a unique part of the matter, that is its ability to transmit forces.
When a physical bone, a vertebra, misaligns it can put pressure on a physical nerve and interfere with the expression of the information of life. This is called a vertebral subluxation and it refers not simply to a misalignment but more importantly to the disruption in the nerve system and with the messages that make and keep us alive.
When vertebral subluxations are present, cells, tissues and organs of the body begin to die and the body works at less than its full potential. We are less than we should be physically, mentally and emotionally.
The triune of life is less than 100% because less than 100% of the force required is being transmitted. Consequently, the matter that should be expressing it is also less than 100%. The innate intelligence of the body is perfect and still capable of carrying on the activities necessary to life. It is just that its messages are not getting through.
A simple solution to this predicament is to remove the interference which would allow the body to again express 100% of these life messages. In fact, nothing else will do. Chiropractors and chiropractors alone address and correct vertebral subluxations.
There is one final and important point to note. Because these nerves that carry the life messages are made of such delicate material, long?standing vertebral subluxations are likely to permanently damage them, rendering them incapable of ever again properly carrying the messages, even if the vertebral subluxation is corrected. How long does it take for permanent damage to occur? Well, we really do not know and it is probably different for every person. That is why it Is important to have your spine checked on a regular and frequent basis. It is not just a matter of how long you want to walk around with these vital life messages being interfered with. It is a matter of how long you can walk around before irreversible damage begins to occur. It is wise to be checked by your chiropractor so that you are able to be as full an expression of the triune of life as you should and can be.