THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Regular exercise is essential to maximum health and overall well being. Some insurance companies have financial incentives for their customers encouraging them to exercise. Some businesses provide facilities for their employees to exercise. They know that not only will there be less lost time because of sickness but when the employee is at work, he or she will be more alert and able to focus on their job tasks. They are beginning to realize something that chiropractors have been saying for years, that the human body cannot be divided into the physical and the mental. Everything is related.
The brain is an organ like the heart. If exercise is good for the heart, then it is good for the brain. If it helps the heart work better, it will also enable the brain to work better. Will exercise make the difference between having a heart attack and not having one? Authorities say that is a distinct possibility. Well then, it logically follows that it could make a difference between being able to use your brain effectively for the entire day rather than only three or four hours. Would that greater efficiency benefit you in your job? That also is a distinct possibility.
If exercise is that important (and it is), then it is equally important to consider things that significantly impact your exercise. Chiropractic is such a thing. There are two ways in which chiropractic directly affects your exercise. First, some people just do not have the energy to exercise. It is true that exercising regularly will enable your body to work better, which results in more energy, but it is difficult to break the negative cycle to get motivated to get up off the couch and exercise. Chiropractic enables your body to work better by removing interference in the nerve system. Often that is just enough motivation to allow you to get into a health routine.
Chiropractic can also help motivate you by helping you to understand more about the human body, what benefits it, and what does not. As you become more appreciative of the wisdom of the body that has the ability to take what you eat, as well as the exercise and the rest you get and make you all that you can be you cannot help but be motivated to take better care of your body.
Besides motivation, chiropractic affects your exercise by a physiological factor. For your body to benefit from exercise to a maximum degree, you must have a good nerve supply. You could exercise the parts of a corpse and it would not be one bit stronger, healthier or have more tone to its muscles. It needs life to get any benefit at all. In order to get the maximum benefit, a body needs the maximum amount of life, that is a full supply of mental impulses flowing over the nerve system to all parts of the body. That can only occur if you are free of vertebral subluxations.
A paralyzed person can have their muscles exercised and receive therapeutic movements but it will not benefit them because the vital life energy is not flowing over the nerves. Similarly, if a vertebra is subluxated, it interferes with some of the vital mental impulses that enable an exercised muscle to get stronger.
If you are going to exercise and you should, be sure to not waste your time and energy. Make sure your muscles have all the energy they need to maximize their potential. Make sure that your spine is regularly checked for these life-robbing vertebral subluxations so that you get the most from your exercise program.
Last week I got an email from a patient who was very excited. She finished reading my new practice member packet and watching my PowerPoint show called Chiro-Talk. She was going to tell her family "everything she had learned about how the body heals itself."
I wrote back a one-line response to her, "I am sorry to tell you, but the body most certainly does not heal itself - you will need to tell your family something else." Needless to say, she was more than just a little shocked at my statement. I purposely left my reply short because I wanted her to write back to me again - she did just that.
"What do you mean the body doesn't heal itself?! That is the whole idea that chiropractic is based upon - that the brain and nervous system control everything in the body and that by making sure they are functioning without interference, the body can heal itself!"
I wrote back to her once more. "Does a dead body have a brain and a nerve system?"
nce again, she answered me quickly, "Yes! Of course! But what does that have to do with anything?! Please respond right away!"
My answer was as follows. "Yes, it is true that the nerve system is the master control system of the body and that no activity takes place without the impulses that move over the nerve system between the brain and body and back again. But I have another question for you - What controls the brain? Where do the thoughts, ideas and other impulses come from?"
She answered me back again saying that she now understood exactly what I meant and that I could rest assured that she would be telling her family something different than what she had originally planned to say.
he difference between chiropractic and other healing professions is that we recognize the intangible within our bodies - our innate intelligence. You see, there is no difference between a recently dead body and a live one except for the presence or expression of innate intelligence. This is the most important idea in all of chiropractic.
There is only ONE reason to get a chiropractic adjustment - to allow for the most complete expression of your innate intelligence as possible. And, in understanding that, we can even see that chiropractic is not really even a healing profession - it is something that is necessary to all people who want to have the best chance at fully expressing their purpose and potential in life!
When we talk about the miracles that occur in our health and in our lives with chiropractic care, don't forget the most important part of you that makes those miracles happen. Realize that it is the innate intelligence that is doing the adapting, the healing and the growing, and that your body is simply the amazing vehicle you have been given through which to express your highest self.
If you go to your local health club you will often see rather well-conditioned men and women wearing a shirt with bold letters on the back that says, "TRAINER." If they are walking around, there is usually an out of shape person with a water bottle and notebook following them around like a puppy dog.
Apparently, many of us need a trainer for a number of reasons. Perhaps most of us need one. A trainer does things you really cannot do yourself. He or she can point out areas of weakness that you might not see. After all, they have had education and training in areas that you probably do not. They have experience that you lack. They are able to point out poor form which could lead to injury. And they can surely motivate you and push you to do better and ultimately become better.
I have decided that in the coming year, I am going to become a trainer ... of sorts. No, I am not going to meet you at the health club or prescribe a nutritional regimen for you but I am going to "train" you in a chiropractic lifestyle. I want you to understand that chiropractic affects, directly or indirectly, every aspect of your life. I hope to motivate you so that having your spine checked regularly becomes a normal, natural part of your life.
Going to the health club sporadically or whenever you feel like it would not make your trainer very happy. Coming to the office only when you hurt doesn't make me happy either. That is because, like your trainer, I recognize that you really cannot get the full benefit of what you are doing with regard to any health?producing measure by doing it irregularly or just whenever you feel like it. This is true for anything you do for your health. Yes, chiropractic but also diet, rest, and exercise to get the full benefit they must be done regularly.
Even if your trainer is doing the best for you when he or she sees you, if he is conscientious about his work, he will feel like he is failing you if you are not following his training schedule faithfully. I feel the same way. Checking your spine regularly produces the maximum benefit. Anything else is less than the best and you will not express the best of health. How do you think your trainer would feel if you were not any different after being a client for years? That is how I feel if you are not expressing more life and you just cannot without regular chiropractic care.
So in the coming days and months I am going to push you to expand your understanding of chiropractic, strengthen your appreciation for how fantastic your body is and its ability to heal itself and keep itself working at peak efficiency. Those of you that already know and are experiencing the benefits of regular care - keep up the great work. It is an honor to work with you.
A trainer realizes that his or her days are numbered, that at some point you become as well-educated as the trainer himself. I am hoping that you do not need me as a trainer forever either. When you come to the realization of what regular chiropractic care can do for you, the important part it plays in your life, your health your well?being and that of your family and friends, and you are regularly availing yourself of that care, then you will no longer need me as a trainer. Then I can just be your chiropractor. Which is what I really want to do. But until that time I will continue to push you, encourage you, motivate you and generally try to train your thinking to see chiropractic for what it really is, an attitude toward life and health that far surpasses the efforts you have made in the past.
With few exceptions, all of us would like the opportunity to add years to our life, especially if they were quality years in which we could be productive or enjoy the activities of retirement. While it is true that people are living slightly longer than they did a century ago, it is debatable whether the quality of that life is better.
We know though that it is possible to live a longer life, even to live a good, long life. There is an old adage that says, "If you want to live to a ripe old age, choose your grandparents wisely." The point being that there are some things that are out of our control. We have a genetic "shelf life" built into each of us and that varies widely from one person to the next.
Yet, generally speaking, experts suggest that the human body was designed to live 120-150 years. In fact, some scientists believe the human body was created to live a thousand years! Even taking the lowest figure, 120 years is still far more than most people live, although there are people who do live well over 100 years demonstrating that it is possible. If it is possible for one person to do it, then the body is designed to live that long.
Still, it is unusual enough that if someone does live to be 100, the local newspapers want to do an interview and ask him or her what the secret to longevity is. Some of the "secrets" these centenarians give are quite amusing and often contradictory. One will say he drinks alcohol every day, the other says he never touches alcohol. One says hard work, the other says no work! But of all the questions asked, one question is never asked. Why does less than only one in 1,000 live past the age of 100? What is keeping the rest from reaching the century mark?
Honestly, none of the 100 year olds seem to have a "special secret," and there is no secret to longevity common to them all. As much as diet and exercise are important factors, they do not seem to be the secret. Many of them do not have diets different from the average person and many of them do not regularly exercise. Conversely, many people who eat well and regularly exercise all their lives do not live nearly as long. Does that mean you should ignore good eating habits and regular exercise? Of course not. But there must be something else, some factor that is common to everyone, that prevents 99+% of the population from reaching 100 years of age.
While not claiming to have the answers, I have a suggestion. The ability of your body to generate life, the vital mental impulses to all parts of the body enabling them to work in a coordinated manner, is essential to a long and healthy life. Some people may have naturally better functioning nerve systems, more powerful generators if you will. Clearly, the ability to get these vital messages through to all organs, tissues and cells is as important a factor as the ability of the body to generate them in the first place.
It's no coincidence that people who do not live to be 100 have bodies that quit working properly. The heart is the most common factor but we also blame pre-100 deaths on problems of the lungs, kidney and liver.
Here's another question no one seems to be asking. If the body is designed to last 120 years, why do some of the parts break down along the way? One factor definitely is a lack of vital life energy from the brain to the parts over the nerve pathways. That is where the chiropractor comes in, correcting vertebral subluxations that deprive the body of life-giving, life-extending, vital mental impulses. Does that mean that going to a chiropractor will guarantee a longer life? No, there are no guarantees that you will not be hit by a truck tomorrow. But we can say just by sheer logic that, all things being equal and barring unforeseen trauma, if you have a good nerve supply, you have to live longer than if you do not. Just as, all things being equal, exercising and eating healthy will extend your life. Chiropractic enables you to have a good nerve supply.