MARCH 2006

The Big Idea

VALPARAISO, Ind. (Feb11) - A Valparaiso house mistakenly valued at $400 million is to blame for huge budget shortfalls in municipalities and school districts in northwest Indiana, officials said. An outside user of Porter County's computer system triggered the financial chaos by accidentally changing the value of a Valparaiso house from $121,000 to $400 million in early 2005. Porter County Treasurer said the home usually carried about $1,500 in property taxes. But this year, it was billed $8 million. The $8 million was then added into the estimated revenue for the county as well as the budget projections for 2005 and was used accordingly. Most local officials did not learn about the mistake until Tuesday, when 18 government taxing units were asked to return a total of $3.1 million of tax money. The city of Valparaiso and the Valparaiso Community School Corp. were asked to return 2.7 million. As a result, the school system now has a $200,000 budget shortfall, and the city loses $900,000. Meanwhile, county and Center Township officials have struggled to figure out how the mistake got into the system and how it could have been prevented. Officials now believe that an outside user of the county's computer system tried to access a real estate record display by pressing R-E-D, but accidentally pushed R-E-R, which brought up an old assessment program written in 1995 that is no longer used, and officials were unaware that it could still be accessed.

Isn't it amazing that something as small as pushing one wrong key on a computer could escalate into something so large? This story seemed unbelievable when I first read it, but then I remembered the last time I tried to go to sleep with one little buzzing insect in the room. And, I remembered one day when I was trying to call a friend in New York but accidentally replaced one digit in the area code and ended up reaching a business in Oklahoma. These were little things to be sure, but they definitely had BIG consequences.


The Developer of Chiropractic, B. J. Palmer, once wrote about this subject in a piece entitled, "The Big Idea." In it, he talked about a man who had a small slip and how it initiated a problem in that man called a Subluxation. This began causing interference in the man's nerve system and, since the nerve system is the means through which the intelligence that runs the body communicates, a series of reactions occurred that resulted in a downward spiral of the man's health and vitality. Then, since everything we do affects everyone else in some small way, the cascade of negative reactions continued to spread until the entire world was affected.


Dr. Palmer continued the story by following the man as he went to his chiropractor and received "one small adjustment" which restored the connection between the man's body and his innate intelligence and began an upward spiral in his health and vitality. And, because we are all connected to each other, this positive trend continued until the whole world ended up moving toward a far better end than would have occurred without the "small input" from the chiropractor.


Now, you may think this scenario is far-fetched, but ask yourself if your level of health and well-being affects YOUR attitude? Now, think about all of the people you interact with on a daily basis. Can your attitude affect THEM in some small way? Last, how many people will THEY interact with? You see, it's not that far-fetched at all. Something as small as hitting one wrong key on a computer caused Valparaiso to move$3.1 million in the wrong direction in one year's time. How far toward health, wellness and wholeness will you and your family move over the course of this year? How important is your connection between your body and the intelligence that runs it?


As you think about it, you'll realize that it's PRICELESS!


Avoid Pain At All Costs?

"To avoid pain at all costs forces us to reject half the lessons life can teach." - Jan Pishok


Pain hurts. No kidding? Who would want it?


We do all kinds of things to avoid pain. For most of us it is one of our strongest motivators. The other being pleasure. I tell patients all the time that pain is usually there for a reason. It is not God trying to punish you. It is a sign.


Isn't it ironic that in this society we aren't conditioned to listen to our symptoms? We are conditioned to be afraid of them. That's like teaching people to be afraid of fire alarms going off instead of teaching them to be afraid of fires. What is their body trying to say? "HELP!" or "SLOW DOWN!" When we live our lives in fear of symptoms we become afraid to live.


It makes me so sad when I see people that have pain, symptoms, and often no vision left in life besides their health problems. They sit around and wait for their next symptom. They then become more afraid. They then focus on their pain and symptom and their fear and we all know that we get more of what we focus on. They then feel like they are a victim of their symptom and their life becomes a journey of trying to remove their symptoms by trying to find a Doctor or anyone that can convince them that they can remove their symptom. I have found that even more important than a reassuring word is telling them the truth.


Unfortunately, many other "health" care providers address symptoms as a disease entity in itself and try to "treat" the symptom. It always hits me in a funny way when a new patient asks me "How did this happen?" My first thoughts are usually, well, I haven't really known you that long. Nor do I know which of the thousands of the emotional, chemical, or physical stresses you've experienced your whole life have contributed to this process that has led to your lack of health that has now reached a point to cause symptoms. Of course I don't usually say all that because they would take it the wrong way.


I listen to my body when it gives me pain or symptoms as an indicator that I have over stressed myself. If I didn't have pain I would probably keep going to the point of doing more severe damage. If we don't listen to our bodies when they are trying to tell us something then they will probably tell us louder and louder until we are forced to listen. Or even eventually shut down that signal and cause another, usually more serious problem.


I have learned a few things about being a good doctor. One is empathy and another is patience. I have to quiet myself long enough to listen and understand. We all want to be understood, especially when we have a symptom and we are in a state of fear. Once I listen to them hopefully they will listen to me.


When symptomatic patients come in to me they usually want me to "fix" them right away. The little voice inside of me is saying it took many years of neglecting your spine and nervous system to get to the point you are at today. Do you honestly expect me to help you with one adjustment? Then I remember things like: we are self-healing organisms, so I don't even do the fixing. Well they are self-healing but they probably wouldn't have gotten in their car to see me if they didn't think that I can help them.


My main job is to allow the body the best opportunity to do its own healing. I also must remind the patient that health is an ongoing process that you need to be an active participant of from birth until death.


Hopefully, they'll understand that my focus is not in treating symptoms, but in helping to make the body work better and restore health and life by removing interference to the nervous system. When that is done, the body can function more optimally and do what is necessary to heal and hopefully get rid of any symptom.


Another thing they must know is that I (nor anyone else) can't definitively know if their symptoms are bad or good for them to be expressing right now. For example, if they are vomiting or have diarrhea as part of the bodies reaction to eating spoiled food, trying to stop those symptoms would probably cause more harm then good. What about fevers, coughs, runny noses, other aches, pain, and symptoms? Should we really interfere with what may be normal body responses? What about just doing what you can to be healthy and letting the body express what it needs to?


Now that I've touched on physical symptoms, let's briefly talk about emotional ones. Someone once told me that in relationships we always get boo-boos. It is part of being in a relationship. I know there could be a ton of positive stuff but if we hang out with a person long enough we will get to see the other side too. I am not only talking about the relationship you have with your spouse or significant other. I am talking about all relationships at all levels. When we allow ourselves to open ourselves up enough to be in a relationship with another person we are opening ourselves up to possible emotional pain. Of course this varies depending on how much we trust this person and how close we allow them in. We open ourselves up a lot when we give love but even more when we accept love. That is why for most of us it is easier to give than to receive.


My goal is to make Chiropractic part of someone's lifestyle for their lifetime. When they leave the practice it could be considered a form of rejection of chiropractic and me at some level. There are some valid excuses that I can understand like death or that the patient is moving. I don't take that personal. I realize and have come to terms with the fact that people are in different places in their lives and some people aren't going to keep going to the chiropractor when they no longer are experiencing pain or symptoms or when their pain has lessened and they think that they can live with that much pain. The more new patients that I see the more vulnerable I become to other people's choices. I can't control them nor would I want to. I am here to live God's will, not mine. They aren't here to live my will either. I have become incredibly efficient and try to do my best at giving them the opportunity to choose chiropractic for their lifetime. I do this because I have enough experience and have seen enough lives changes to make me realize how important this is. Yet patients will still come and go. Oh well. As long as I can keep my eye on my mission than any pain that life presents itself will be secondary to my goals and vision.


It is still great to know that if someone has a subluxation I can help him. I can help anyone that has a subluxation even if they don't have a symptom from it. Some people choose lifetime chiropractic care because they are afraid of pain or symptoms. Maybe that is a good use for pain. It has been said by some chiropractors that any reason a person chooses to receive regular chiropractic care is a good reason. However, my biggest wish for all people under my care is to choose chiropractic because they understand it and realize the incredible impact it can have for them.


For me my job is to stay open. To keep my heart open. With this understanding I am willing to expose myself to people and to do my job, which is to teach people the importance of chiropractic and to put my hands on them and release the interference to their expression of life.


Coming or Going?


"Winter is on its way out," said the weatherman, "but that doesn't mean we won't still see some pretty cold temperatures each night as darkness comes."


You may not have noticed anything peculiar about that statement, but let's look a little more closely. Winter and night are the names we have given to a season of the year and a time of the day. But what are these named for? In other words, have we named winter and night for what is present...or for what is absent?


A very basic teaching of quantum physics is that there is energy everywhere in the universe. And, energy can be present in varying degrees. For example, if light energy is fully expressed in a room, we say the room is brilliantly lit. If we have a lot of light energy but not as much as when the room is brilliant, we say it is bright. If there is a little less we say it is dim and if there is no light energy at all, we say it is dark. There is no actual thing called darkness, it is simply the name we give to how we perceive the decreased presence of light energy.


As the Earth rotates each day, there comes a point when the light energy from the sun is blocked and cannot reach us. Again, we have named this time of the day when we perceive less light energy night. The same is true with winter. It is the name we give to the season of the year when we perceive the decreased presence of heat energy as the position of the Earth changes in relation to the sun. Because the Earth tilts on its axis, there comes a point each year where the heat energy of the sun is blocked from reaching us.


How can the absence of one thing seem so much like the presence of something else? It is because your neurological system is only designed to allow you to be aware of what is present, not what is absent. As a result, it changes your perception of what is missing into an idea that something is actually present, but it is an illusion! Why is this important?


It is important because the same thing happens in your body. When you are fully expressing your innate intelligence, we say the body functions with EASE. If less innate intelligence is being expressed, we say you are in a state of DIS-EASE (incoordiantion/dysfunction). As you know, a vertebral subluxation is when an abnormal position of your spinal bones causes an interference in the function of your nerve system and does not allow the innate intelligence of your body to be fully expressed. This state of decreased expression of innate intelligence may manifest itself in a nearly infinite number of ways. The vast majority of the time there may be no obvious symptoms or signs. However, it may show up as dysfunction in cells, tissue, or organ systems, pain, inflammation, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, the inability to think clearly or just about any other way you can think of.


But again, IT IS AN ILLUSION! Your nerve system has simply changed your perception of a decrease in the expression of innate intelligence into an idea that something is actually present. Because of this, we have given names to all of the different ways this decrease in the expression of innate intelligence can show up. This is a crucial idea for you to understand, for you see, most people think that what we call health is the absence of something. But in reality, HEALTH IS THE PRESENCE OF SOMETHING!


So when you ask, "When will my _____________ go away?" You really want to know when you will begin noticing your expression of innate intelligence increasing again! And, as you express higher and higher levels of your innate intelligence, you will move from dis-ease, to ease, to wellness, to wholeness! It is a continual process of more fully expressing your purpose and potential in life!


So remember what your Mommy and Daddy told you...There is NOTHING to fear in the dark! Winter isn't on its way out...spring is on its way IN! Let's all go play in the LIGHT!


What If?


What if people knew what you and I knew about chiropractic? What type of decisions would they make? Would they follow the necessary recommendations for care? Would they bring their children? Would they continue care for a lifetime - regardless of finances? Would they refer others?


Success in health and life can fundamentally come from people understanding the unique service of chiropractic. Once people understand chiropractic, they would make the best decisions for themselves and their family. Telling the story is the key.


There are many topics to discuss when explaining chiropractic but fundamentally there are four concepts that need to be covered with friends and loved ones.


First is the concept of "Health." Our society has a perverted viewpoint of health. Most people view health as an absence of obvious symptoms or management of symptoms. They may also think that health can be purchased in a health food store or a health care providers office. In reality health is a birthright. It is an internal job of the body working properly. Dorland's Medical Dictionary states that: "health is a condition of optimal physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmities." The absence of disease is what many of our patients believe is a condition of health.


Health is a body that is FUNCTIONING properly. It may or may not have a symptom. The key to health is function. Whereas with our current technology we have no way of measuring "optimal function" it is important that we take steps to care for our health by being responsible to all parts of our well being, physically, mentally and emotionally.


Second is the concept of innate intelligence. Innate intelligence has been described as the principle of organization that results in the ability of a living organism to organize and reorganize its physiology in order to adapt and survive in an ever-changing environment. The concept of innate intelligence may be the single most important factor in chiropractic and in all of health. People need to develop confidence and faith in their bodies. By understanding the magnificence of the bodies design, taking responsibility for ones body becomes a natural process. Our body makes every drug and every chemical it should need in a lifetime. It makes an entirely new human being in a matter of nine months from two tiny cells. It needs no help just no interference. Gaining the appreciation of that concept (reducing and eliminating interferences) is one of the single greatest gifts we can give people. The magnificence of life's design does not need to be helped - it only needs to have interferences removed from it.


Third is the concept of vertebral subluxation. The innate intelligence of the body uses the brain and nerve system to control the FUNCTION of all the organs and systems of the body. This system is very delicate it has the consistency of wet spaghetti or Jell-O so nature protects it with bone (the vertebra). The delicate nerves make a connection directly or indirectly from the brain to every cell in the body. If there is damage to any part of that system, the brain cannot control the function of the body properly. A condition of the spine exists when the vertebra have lost their proper alignment or motion and place an irritation on the delicate nerves and reduce the FUNCTION of the body - a vertebral subluxation. The causes of vertebral subluxations are in multitudes. Any stress, physically, chemically, mentally, or emotionally that the body cannot fully adapt to can create vertebral subluxation. The causes of subluxation are too numerous to try to figure out and this must be made very real. They begin with the birth process and continue throughout a lifetime.


The fourth and final concept is Chiropractic. Chiropractic is the correction of vertebral subluxations so that the innate intelligence of the body can be more fully expressed. The unique service is to analyze the spine and provide a specific force to the body to reduce the vertebral subluxation process. When this occurs the body can now function at a more optimal level. You now become a better expression of life.


With this basic understanding, people have a foundation upon which to understand the miracle of chiropractic. People are then given the opportunity to participate in chiropractic care for a lifetime. Introduce them to these concepts. Share with them material you have been given from this office, introduce them to our website, or have them call or email me to learn more.


If people knew what you knew about chiropractic, what type of decisions would they make?

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