THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Some people are always looking for a miracle. It may be a miraculous cure for a disease from which they suffer, or it may be to win the lottery or it may be for something that seems impossible to take place. That's what a miracle is, something that occurs without any natural explanation. If you drop a quarter, it hits the ground. There's a natural law called gravity that causes it to fall. If that quarter stays suspended in air, that would be a miracle!
The working of the human body, in a sense, could be described as a miracle. It happens for what seems to be no apparent natural explanation. There is something more than just flesh and blood that makes us alive. A corpse has all the parts that a living human being has, but it does not have life. It is missing something, something that cannot be seen under a microscope, measured or evaluated by science. It is so difficult to explain that "something"; scientists do not even try. They leave its explanation to the theologians and the philosophers. I am not going to try to explain that phenomena called life either but I will examine some of what seems to be its miraculous manifestations. Let's look at life as it relates to the human organism.
Let's start our discussion with what is easily the largest organ of the body. Can you guess what that is? Most people guess the intestines, but that would be wrong. The right answer, while it's only 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch thick, is your skin. Yes, it may sound strange, but it really is considered to be an organ of the body.
Every day billions upon billions of skin cells die and either just fall off or come off when we wash. Your body will slough off or discard about 40 pounds of dead skin in a lifetime, much of which will end up in your vacuum cleaner. Not a pleasant thought, but nonetheless true. In the city of New York that amounts to around 2,000 tons of dead skin every year! No wonder they have a pollution problem! Your body replaces old cells with new skin cells about every 2-4 weeks. No one knows exactly how. Oh, we know the scientific mechanism, but how the body knows how to create just the right cells in just the right amount year after year after year is still largely a mystery.
We do know where those cells come from and that's a miracle in itself. The millions of cells that make up the skin covering your entire body are actually formed from the food that you eat. That's right! Everything from an apple to a carrot, a cheeseburger or pizza is transformed into living tissue. The skin cells, as well as all the other cells in your body, are made from the more than 40 tons of food you will eat in your lifetime. You heard correctly. Your body will digest over 40 tons of food. That's about 6 tractor trailers full of groceries! To do that the stomach produces as much as 2 1/2 quarts of gastric juice, including hydrochloric acid every single day, 15,000 gallons in a lifetime.
Speaking of miracles, did you know that the gastric acid your body makes can eat through metal yet in a healthy human body it doesn't disturb the stomach's lining in the slightest? A drop on your skin would raise a painful blister but it does not harm the stomach. The truth is, the body replaces the cells that make up the lining of your stomach every two days, sometimes even sooner, like when you eat Mexican food!
Let's look at some more manifestations of this miracle we call life. Your body has over 600 muscles. By the look of some bodybuilders, you would think they exercise every single one of them. Yet the strongest and toughest muscle in the body is never seen. That is your heart. We all know that it acts as a pump, pumping blood to the lungs to get needed oxygen and then to every part of the body that needs that oxygen. It pumps that blood every day, 24 hours a day, never stopping. That's about 40 million times a year and we never give it even a single conscious thought. We don't wind it up, plug it in or change the batteries--it just keeps working.
Not only does it work every minute of every day but it also beats faster when we exercise and more oxygen is needed by the body and slower when we rest and sleep. It does this under the direction of an unseen, unfelt, unexplained principle.
Science, in its attempts to describe this phenomenon, calls it such things as the wisdom of the body, nature at work in the body, or the innate intelligence of the body. Granted, they are not very scientific terms, but then, this mysterious something is beyond the understanding of modern science. Whatever we call it, it causes the heart to pump 2 1/2 gallons of blood per minute and moves that blood through 12,000 miles of blood vessels in that sixty second period.
One more example of this miracle called "life," and perhaps the most phenomenal one, is the human brain. The modern advances in computers have been absolutely amazing. They have more and more storage capacity, work at greater speed, and can perform more functions than most of us can ever use. Yet with their portability, microchips, and numerous features, they cannot come close to the miraculous working of the three-pound human brain.
The brain performs millions of functions a second sending messages to parts of the body at a speed of about 270 miles an hour. A baseball player can see a ball being thrown to him from 60 feet away at 95 mph. And in a split second the 130 million light receptors in his eye see that pitch, send a message back to the brain, which determines whether it is one to hit. The brain then sends messages to hundreds of muscles, which will move the arms, shoulders and body to swing the bat to connect with the ball.
We know that the brain produces electrical energy in the form of nerve impulses, usually two to 50 impulses per second. But under certain circumstances, it can produce 2,000 impulses per second. However, what science is unable to figure out is why the brain works, what causes it to function. It is another one of those miraculous mysteries of the human body.
When it comes right down to it, we understand very little about this phenomena called "life" or how it causes the body to work. But we do know a few things. We know that the nerve system is the principle system used for controlling and coordinating the function of every one of the 10 to 100 trillion cells that make up your body. We know that the human body cannot work when the nerve system shuts down. In fact, an individual is declared legally dead when the brain stops generating energy over the nerves.
We also know that if damage occurs to the nerve system, to the brain or the spinal cord, complete shutdown or paralysis of part of the body can occur. We have all seen examples of athletes and celebrities, Christopher Reeves for example, who have been paralyzed by an injury.
Lastly, we know that a slight interference in the nerve system can cause the body to work at less than its fullest potential. We conclude that a body working less than its fullest potential is a body not fully alive, not all that it could and should be.
What would happen, for example, if the nerve supply is diminished to the stomach? You may have too much or too little digestive juices created or you may not have those cells that form the stomach's lining being produced in sufficient quantity. As a result, digestion is not occurring as it should, your body is not receiving proper nutrition and every cell suffers. Cells responsible for other functions will not work at their fullest potential either, which compounds the problem. Life is not expressed as it was intended.
I could go through the body and show how every organ and system is affected by interference in the nerve system. However, I hope by now you understand that the simple fact is, when you have interference in your nerve system, you express less than the full miracle of life and every aspect of your very existence is negatively affected. To what degree depends upon your body and how much interference you have.
But tell me, how much interference is an acceptable amount and how long would you want to carry it around? Until you feel bad? Until you are sick? Until you are really, really sick? Or until you die, until life is no longer being expressed at all? If you said yes to any of the above, well, we can only wish you the best. But, if your answer is that you would like to have the interference removed as soon as it occurs, I have some important information for you.
You can join the millions of people who want to express more of life and to get the most out of life. These people are turning to chiropractic, that's right, they are going to chiropractors because they have found that chiropractic isn't really about your back, its about your life.
Chiropractors are the only professionals trained to remove nerve interference as it occurs in the spinal column, what are called "vertebral subluxations." Because these subluxations occur in the spine and the spine is in the back, some people have mistakenly concluded that chiropractic is about back problems. This could not be further from the truth. If your spinal cord was located in your right arm these people would probably refer to chiropractors as right arm doctors.
Chiropractic is about expressing life to the fullest. Each of us has been given a certain amount of this miracle called life both in quality and quantity. How much you get out of life and the length of your life depends on how well and how long this miracle within you is expressed. Chiropractic can help you express your life to the fullest.
The above statement is the essence of chiropractic philosophy. Chiropractic bases its practice on clear, logical reasoning. While there must be a reason, or perhaps many reasons for disease, it is more important to find the logical, reasonable and consistent reason for health.
Addressing health is far more important than addressing disease. If you get rid of a disease but do not restore health, a void remains. Into that void will come another disease or perhaps the same one will return. You must have health; it is prerequisite to getting well and to the prevention of disease.
The logical reason for a lack of health is that the body is not functioning as it should. In fact, that may very well be the true definition of health, a state in which each and every cell in the body is working as it should. If we follow the logic of this thinking, it would make sense to examine the body and determine if the body is working properly and if it is not, why it is not.
We in the chiropractic profession believe that we have found a cause. We admit that we have not looked further for other reasons why the body may work at less than perfect efficiency. There may be others; we just have not looked for them. The reason is that the cause we in chiropractic have found involves the nerve system, the master system of the body, which is concerned with the organization of every activity, the production of every chemical, and the running of every cell. Further, we have found that interference in this nervous system occurs in just about everybody and occur at the level of the vertebral column. This is enough to keep us busy.
What is the reason for sickness? That is the job of the medical doctor to determine that reason or reasons. It may be that one of the reasons for a disease, a major one, is a lack of health. The problem is that medicine is not looking for a lack of health, which is inside the person. They are looking for outside causes, bacteria, viruses, the environment, the weather, stress, as well as things you put into your body.
It may be that there is some importance to those things but a lack of health, a body not working properly, is present in every situation. The medical doctor does not look for that. He cannot be expected to. He was not trained to do that. That is the role of the chiropractor, to find that one cause, an interference in the nerve system at the vertebral level. In correcting those subluxations, the body will work better in all situations under all circumstances. That is a prerequisite to a healthy body.