JULY 2006

The Meaning of L.I.F.E.

Everyone has asked him or herself the question, "What is the meaning of my life?" In fact, we all ask ourselves that question many times throughout our lives. And, while no one can tell you the meaning of YOUR life specifically, many philosophers (including the crew at Monty Python) have offered their ideas as to the meaning of life in general, especially for human beings.


The forefathers of chiropractic were no exception to this rule. This may sound a little strange to you since chiropractic has been come to be known as a healing art, but the truth is that the founders of our profession's principles had ideas as to the purpose and of chiropractic that were FAR beyond simply helping people get healthier and feel better.


Chiropractic's 33 Principles begin with a major premise that states, "A Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence." Basically, this rule is completely in agreement with quantum physics which says that there is only ONE THING anywhere in the universe - ENERGY! If we put these two ideas together, we come to the understanding that there is only ONE THING anywhere in the universe, the ENERGY that is Universal Intelligence.

If the energy that is Universal Intelligence is all there is, then it follows that EVERYTHING MUST be an individuation or EXTENSION of this Source Energy. We in chiropractic call the individual extension of Source Energy that is YOU, your INNATE INTELLIGENCE.


This understanding is necessary in order to fully comprehend the bigness of the second of chiropractic's 33 Principles. It says, "The expression of intelligence through matter is the chiropractic meaning of life." Do you see? It says that the whole reason life exists is so that the non-physical Intelligence that makes up the universe may be expressed and experienced through the physical - including our bodies! Is there any idea anywhere that is bigger than this?


So why is the word LIFE in the title above written the way it is? I wrote it that way because it helps me to remember the meaning of life. L.I.F.E. is an acronym for Letting Intelligence F reely Express. And how do we allow Life to freely express Itself? By remembering that three things are necessary to live from wholeness. The first is a healthy lifestyle that supplies your body with everything it needs to function properly, heal, and continue growing. Second, you require a clear CONNECTION between your brain and the 70 - 150 trillion cells that make up your body. This is where visits every week or so to your chiropractor come in. The third thing necessary to fully express life is a deliberate focus on moving toward what you want as opposed to simply trying to eliminate or prevent what you don't want.


Many people find that third thing (what has been called intentional living) to be the hardest of these three things to do. But now that you know chiropractic's idea as to the importance of everyone on the planet, the next time someone says to you, "Hey! What's the big idea?!" You can tell them all about Letting Intelligence Freely Express and say, "That's L.I.F.E.!"


Life Is All About Choices

Roger is the kind of guy some people love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Roger was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.


So one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood." Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.


Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life. "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."


We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.


I saw him about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.


"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. He continued, "the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."


"What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Roger. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'." Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."


He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. Your attitude about health and life will make a huge difference in every area of your life. Choose to either be subluxated and living life at less than your potential or ... choose to be under regular chiropractic care and living life as close to your full potential as possible.

--Thank you Joe M. for the story.


The Rat Race


"Hurry, hurry; get what you can! There's only so much to go around and only so much time to get it, so you'd better get your share before someone else takes it!" This kind of urgency and "lack" mentality is typical of anyone who finds him/herself in the middle of what has been called the "RAT RACE." And while people in this mode of thinking may not consciously be aware of these short-term, destructive, and isolationist thoughts, they are nonetheless the beliefs and emotions that drive their decisions as they make their way through each day.


This kind of existence is what is known as "survival mode." Survival mode is unfortunately very common in the world today. How did so many people get into this mode of thinking and living? How can they possibly believe that this incredibly vast world we live in is so terribly limited? How can they think THEY are so limited? The answer may be simpler than you think. It is well known that our thoughts (our psychology) affect our physiology (our bodies). After all, we can tell when people are "down" by looking at them - their entire posture is down! And, it is just as easy to tell when their mood is "up!" It's not as well known that the reverse is true too - our physiology also affects our psychology!


So where am I going with this? Well, if your body is physiologically in survival, it will also cause your MIND to be in survival mode. How does your body get into survival mode? It happens every single time you develop a neurological misconnection between your brain and your body - what we chiropractors call SUBLUXATION.


Whenever interference exists in your nerve system, the body uses its energy very inefficiently and your energy stores are used up at a much greater than normal rate. When the innate intelligence of the body recognizes this rapid depletion of energy, it sends the body into survival mode and shuts down activities that are not necessary to survival. This shut down is both physical and mental, and since psychology and physiology both affect each other so intimately, a vicious cycle results. We call this downward spiral in your health and vitality the SUBLUXATION PROCESS.


A SPECIFIC CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT PROCESS gradually restores the neurological CONNECTION between your brain and your body, takes you out of survival mode both mentally and physically and allows you to once again begin expressing fully in the world. And, because psychology and physiology so intimately affect one another, an UPWARD spiral in your healthy and vitality is the result - INCLUDING YOUR LEVEL OF THINKING!


No longer do you think strictly about selfish and short-term solutions to immediate problems. Rather, a gradual awakening to the whole picture of your life and the direction the world is moving drives all of your thoughts, words and actions, so that your choices begin intentionally and deliberately creating the kind of world you wish to see in the long run. You also begin to become aware of the incredible abundance that our Creator continually sends us.


The end result of this shift in your thinking is that you finally, once and for all, purposefully take yourself out of the rat race. And this is a great thing because the problem with the rat race is; even if you win the race... YOU'RE STILL JUST A RAT!


The Orchestra

Recently, a practice member brought in her cousin from out of town along with her to talk to me about chiropractic. He was a very, very sick young man. He has been told by his doctors that if his colon is not removed in a few months, he may die. His mother heard from a friend that chiropractic may be able to help him with his problem and so asked his cousin to bring him along to talk to me before having surgery. His main question to me was how in the world lining up his vertebrae could make his intestines work more normally and heal. This young man is a musician, so I decided to explain it to him in a way he could easily understand.


An orchestra is made up of a multitude of people playing a multitude of instruments. When they are all working together, following the same conductor, the result is a beautiful sound that we call HARMONY. However, if even one member of the orchestra is off, it affects the harmony of the entire orchestra. The result is that the song being played comes out sounding like something other than what was intended to be heard.


What if one member of the orchestra was given ear plugs and a blindfold so that he could no longer see the conductor or hear what was going on around him? What if he lost communication with the leader of the symphony? Not only would he not have any feedback as to how he sounded by himself, he would also have no way of playing his part harmoniously with the rest of the orchestra. The result would be that the entire song would suffer. No one in the orchestra would be happy, and no one listening would be happy.


It would be possible to give him a drug to shut him down and temporarily restore harmony, but it would wear off and be necessary to continually repeat the medicine. You could also remove him completely from the orchestra, but the song would never be played the way it was meant to be played without him. There is a much simpler way to deal with this problem - restore the CONNECTION between the musician and the conductor!


Interference in your nerve system (a subluxation) acts just like the ear plugs and blindfold in the example above. It causes a disconnection of part of you (or lots of you) from your conductor (the nerve system) -- resulting in you not being able to fully express your symphony (your Innate Intelligence). And, when one part of you is not in harmony with the rest of you, it affects all of you! The specific chiropractic adjustment gradually restores the CONNECTION between your body (the orchestra) and the nerve system controlling it (the conductor) allowing the innate intelligence of your body to be fully expressed (the symphony).


You see, your spinal bones (vertebrae) are actually the frame over which your nerve system is stretched. Your nerve system is meant to vibrate at its own specific frequency or tone. If the frame is out of position, the nerve becomes either "too tight" or "too loose" and cannot vibrate at the proper tone. It is just like a guitar string that is too tight or too loose. It will still play a note, but not the note it was MEANT to play. The adjustment process slowly brings your skeletal frame back into alignment, allows the nerves to vibrate at the right tone, and allows you to play YOUR OWN song.


A fellow chiropractor, once said: When you are subluxated, you are an orchestra out of tune - there is no conductor to direct and cause harmony."

We have been talking here about seeing you as an orchestra, where all of your parts work together as a whole to bring harmony. But remember, you are also part of a larger symphony! You have a vital role to play in the world, even if you aren't yet sure what that is. But how will you ever be able to identify and play your own beautiful piece of the song if all of your parts aren't working together harmoniously? It is necessary to first tune your own instrument before you can effectively express your part in the symphony. By living a healthy lifestyle, focusing on playing the song YOU want to play and keeping a clear neurological CONNECTION, you will be ready to play your part in the symphony of life!

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