THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
This is a phrase that is read on a poster or heard spoken in many chiropractic offices. Chiropractors have used this example in nature to describe to parents what can (and probably will) happen to their children's posture if a spinal distortion in childhood is not addressed as they grow. Many children have benefited from the care they have received as a result of chiropractors telling their practice members these words. Indeed, many lives have probably even been saved. At the very least, the quality of these kids' lives has been improved, and this is a crucial understanding for all parents to gain.
But when Emerson first wrote these words, he was actually referring to how a child sees the world. He knew that the thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes we develop in childhood determine in large part how we will see the world and respond to it as adults.
We chiropractors see that children who believe that a drug, remedy, surgery, or any other kind of treatment from the outside is necessary for them to heal, will continually look outside themselves for help, and they will live in a world where they are constantly trying to eliminate or prevent something they don't want in their lives. At first, this may not seem like a bad thing. But, if all our time is spent working on getting rid of what we don't want, we have very little time or energy left to give to creating what we do want!
But, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the kind of thinking that develops in individuals who are brought up in the medical mindset. Not only do they think this way as far as their health, they also learn to see themselves as imperfect at EVERY level! Since we all learn at a very early age to identify ourselves with our bodies, being told how imperfect our bodies are on a regular basis (i.e., you need these shots, this medicine, this operation, etc.) causes many of us to develop and carry over these attitudes into every aspect of our lives.
In contrast, kids raised in the chiropractic mindset grow up understanding that we all express a principle or organization within us called "innate intelligence" that runs, regulates, heals and grows our bodies. They are taught that we have perfection within us just waiting to be fully expressed! And, because we identify who we are with our bodies, these kids grow up believing that we all have a vital purpose. And, more importantly, we have everything we need already inside of us to actualize that purpose!
There is yet another aspect of chiropractic that is of supreme importance in understanding what Emerson was saying. We perceive and interpret everything we encounter as a result of impulses we receive through our nerve systems. If we lose the CONNECTION between our brain and our body, we cannot receive or interpret the information from our senses in a way that is most useful to us. In other words, our view of the world and how we fit into it will be distorted! And, as a result, we will not respond in the way that will best support our own growth or the growth of those around us.
The problem is not how much of our connection we lose; ANY loss of connection has the effect of distorting our view of the world!
Understanding this is critical! This means that even if children are brought up with empowering belief systems, they may not be able to gain the desired lessons and therefore will not benefit the way someone with a fully functioning nerve system will. The result will almost be the same as if that child were brought up in the opposite belief system!
And, the same loss of nerve connection that causes a child to grow up with a distorted view of the world will cause an adult to misinterpret the world too! Will this affect your performance at work? Can you be the parent you want to be and teach the lessons you want your children to learn if you aren't at 100% yourself?
So I ask you, how important is it for everyone to maintain the function of their spine?
The way I see it, without chiropractic care and a fully functioning nerve system, the world will end up with an awful lot of crooked trees!
Invariably when we get a spurt of mild weather during the winter, and people begin to manifest the symptoms of colds and the flu, the conclusion is that the warm weather is not killing off the germs and there are too many in the air.
The germs that supposedly make people sick are only a small percentage of the millions of varieties of germs that exist in the world, the vast majority of which have no affect on the human organism. The reason they do not is that they do not like the environment of the human body and its temperature of about 98.6° F. Some prefer the 50° F temperature of the soil so they live there. Clearly, when the temperature in the middle of January rises to 50° F in New England it is not going to make the environment any more hospitable to a germ that likes 98.6° F. That's like saying you can prosper better living outside in 0° weather than you can in -25° F. Frankly, you will pretty much die at either temperature.
So where do we get these ideas? How have we come to believe the germs make you sick? It's all the fault of the microscope! We weren't afraid of them when we couldn't see them. Actually, many people are still not afraid of them.
The "germ theory" was first put forth by Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). He had a contemporary named Claude Bernard (1813-1878) who said it was not the germ but the body's internal environment, the resistance of the person that determines whether a germ makes one sick or not. The argument between these two men lasted throughout their lifetimes. It is said that on his deathbed, Pasteur admitted that Bernard was correct, it was the body's internal environment that was the factor.
A modern microbiologist, Rene Dubos agreed with Bernard. He said, "most microbial diseases are caused by organisms present in the body of a normal individual. They become the cause of disease when a disturbance arises which upsets the equilibrium of the body."
There are many things that can upset the body's "equilibrium." We usually refer to equilibrium as resistance. It is determined by the amount of rest you get, how good your diet is, all those things that you should be doing to stay healthy in the first place. That is why some people donut think about or worry about germs. They keep their body healthy to begin with. If germs in the air were the cause, everybody would be sick all the time, unless there are people out there who have figured out how to walk around without breathing!
There is one more factor that affects your body's resistance, a very important factor-that is how well your nerve system is functioning. Every other aspect of your health is dependent upon your nerve system. You need a good nerve supply to receive the maximum benefit from your exercise and the food that you eat. Our immune system is very closely related to the nerve system. In some ways it is difficult to determine where one ends and the other begins. The proper function of the nerve system is what ultimately controls the body's equilibrium. Anything that compromises the body's nerve system either directly or indirectly affects the body's resistance and our ability to be resistant to the germs in the air and in our body.
Vertebral subluxation interferes with the proper function of the nerve system and that is why chiropractors address their attention toward helping restore and maintain normal alignment and function in the spine. This allows your innate intelligence to be maximally expressed which leads to your nerve system and body functioning at its greatest potential. If you are doing common-sense things and you do everything you should be doing for your health, including seeing your chiropractor regularly, you need not be worried about the germs in the air or anywhere else.