THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
Did you know:
-our body pumps approximately five liters of blood through it every minute?
-every 3-5 seconds nerve impulses stimulate the breathing process?
-there are over 30 major hormones in our body produced by more than a dozen separate glands?
-several times a day food is ingested, broken down into molecules that can be absorbed and utilized, and waste eliminated?
-we filter toxins all day long in our liver and kidneys?
-we regulate our temperature by releasing heat in our sweat when warm?
-we have little cells in our blood that go around gobbling up invading organisms?
-we are constantly replacing old worn out cells?
All this, and much more, is happening in our body every minute - without us thinking about it!
Just what is "in charge" of all these many processes without our conscious thought? Let's back up a little...and cover some basics.
One of the most basic concepts of chiropractic philosophy, is the principle that we call the 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. There is evidence of a universal intelligence at work all around us. Some examples of its organization include:
-the regular rotation of the earth giving us predictable days, nights, and seasons.
-the precise formation of atoms, each slight variation giving a substance its unique characteristics.
-the predictable rotation of the planets around the sun.
-the effects of gravity on this planet.
-the awesome power of natural phenomenon such as wind, fire, and rain.
In addition, there are countless ways that the world inside our body mirrors the larger world around us. Therefore, in chiropractic we recognize a portion of that intelligence which resides within us! It is called innate intelligence or the wisdom within.
Innate intelligence is 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. Innate intelligence, or the wisdom within, is universal intelligence at work in all living things, including us! It is pivotal to the mission of chiropractic!
A gardener does not worry about how to place seeds in a hole when planting. Those seeds possess innate intelligence, which will direct them to grow with the roots down and the leaves up...every single time. No one tells geese to fly south for the winter, or salmon to swim upstream to spawn the next generation, or bees to build the hive or plants to use the sun. You get the point.
Innate intelligence is responsible for the care and perpetuation of living things in our world. It is innate intelligence that tells each living thing how to function - including human beings.
How Innate Intelligence Works In The Body
As with an orchestra, giving us beautiful music without us thinking about it, innate intelligence is responsible for keeping our body functioning in perfect harmony.
Good music begins with a single musician (similar to one organ or part of our body). That single musician must first be sure their instrument is in tune. Then they must play the correct notes at the correct time. They must also know to play the notes loud or soft, fast or slow, and when to stop playing or rest. Not focusing on any one of these spoils the harmony of a musical piece.
When you add more musicians (the rest of the parts of the body) all of the above becomes even more critical. This is why a conductor is needed. The conductor holds the score or master sheet of music for all the instruments and parts. The conductor directs the orchestra, telling the musicians who needs to play what, when and how. Innate intelligence is the body's conductor.
Innate intelligence coordinates millions of functions, movements and chemical reactions every second. Thankfully, the innate intelligence of our body knows exactly what to do to take care of us in every moment and heal us when we are in crisis.... EVERYTIME!
We have possessed innate intelligence since the moment of our conception. It has programmed the function of every cell of our body since we came together as a sperm and an egg. Each cell carried the genetic information from our parents to determine our physical characteristics. AND each cell contained the genetic blueprints for us to grow into a perfect baby human being in approximately 240 days.
When those cells unite, they begin a division process that causes them to double for a few days creating more cells that look exactly like the cell that produced it. Then, after just a week the cells begin to specialize. They become nerve system tissue, skin, eyes, bone, and heart. All this is done under the direction of innate intelligence.
We are fortunate because innate intelligence is with us until we draw our final breath. It works continuously to care for the many changes we have to adapt to as we live, love, grow and age. It takes care of our daily needs to live, heal and thrive...without us ever once thinking about it.
Chiropractic focuses on correcting interference in the spine that impedes the work of innate intelligence. Chiropractic adjustments keep the channels of communication open between innate intelligence and the body, ensuring that we can live our life to the fullest.
We were born to express the potential for physical, mental and social wellbeing. It is our right and responsibility. We need to do it for ourselves and others. We can manifest that potential for the rest of our lives with regular chiropractic care.
This time of year I get this question from some of the newer parents our office. In order to answer it, we need to be clear of both the dangers and benefits of a fever.
Some of you just did a double take when you read that fever can have a benefit.
There is plenty of scientific evidence validating the benefits of fever in fighting viral/bacterial infections and it's important role in the healing process. Fever increases survival rate during infectious diseases - basic information that has yet to reach the majority of people who remain misinformed and misled by pharmaceutical and medical propaganda which still shamelessly advocates the use of antipyretic drugs at the first sign of fever. The myth that untreated fevers will lead to seizures and brain damage is perpetuated ad nauseam. Fever is maligned, misunderstood and seen as an enemy to be feared rather than an ally that signals the immune system gearing up for action.
The Benefits of Fever
-More antibodies -- cells trained to specifically attack the exact type of invader that your body is presently suffering from -- produced more specific to that bug than any pharmaceutical.
-More white blood cells (the good guys) produced, circulating, mobilizing and armed to fight off the invading bugs specific to the general category of invader.
-More interferon produced (another immune system good guy, which blocks spread of viruses to healthy cells).
-Walling off of iron, which bacteria feed on.
-Increased temperature, which directly kills microbes. (Most bacteria and viruses actually grow better at temperatures lower than the human body, which is why they like our cool noses in the winter.) Parents, it's not your kids begging for fever-reducing drugs; it's the germs. When many people go camping they boil water from rivers and streams before drinking it to kill off germs. This is the same principle that occurs in the body.
A study published in the February 2004 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that children who ran a fever during their first year were less likely to develop allergies later in childhood than children who did not have fever.
More importantly, according to the AAP, a fever can help your child's body fight off infection. Many illness-causing microbes do best at the body's normal temperature. A fever raises the temperature beyond which certain microbes need to reproduce. A fever also kicks your child's immune system into high gear, spurring the rapid production of bug-clobbering white blood cells. A small but growing body of research shows that letting a fever run its course may reduce the length and severity of such illnesses as colds and flu.
Aspirin was once commonly used to suppress fever until it was linked to Reye's syndrome when given to children with viral infections like influenza and chickenpox. Reye's syndrome is an often fatal disease affecting the brain and liver, a primary reason doctors switched to acetaminophen, which we now know to be the major cause of liver failure. One disaster after another!
According to a 1992 brochure published by the makers of Tylenol (acetaminophen), fever is a very important thing for your body to be able to produce. It helps the body prevent or clear infections, whether they are viral or bacterial.
This same publication states that fevers are generally not dangerous until they reach a temperature of 106.3 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, it says that there is not really even much danger of a seizure from the fever until it has been at 106 degrees for 3 days or more. Furthermore, it states that, "even if a seizure does occur, there rarely is any residual effect at all."
Acetaminophen is such a common ingredient used in both over-the-counter and prescription medications, people may be unaware of its presence in the many popular brands of fever, pain, colds and flu medications. Health Canada issued an alert a few years back cautioning that the overuse of these over-the-counter remedies can lead to serious liver toxicity and death.
Parents should be especially cautious when giving children any products containing acetaminophen. For example, the parent of a child with a flu-like illness may use one product to treat the child's fever and another to treat a runny nose, without realizing that both products contain the same ingredients. Acetaminophen overdose as the number one cause of acute liver failure in the US, and most of these overdoses were unintentional. Often, several preparations of the same brand (e.g. Tylenol Pain and Tylenol Sinus) or several medications for the same symptoms (e.g. Tylenol Cold, Neo-Citran and Sinutab) are found in the same household and, when used together, can result in an overdose."
Now, this is not to say that we want to let a fever get to the point where a seizure or any damage could occur. Nor does it mean that we should not make sure something more serious isn't going on. What it does mean is that we should be acutely aware that the body has a specific purpose for producing a fever, and we should respect that and not automatically try to reduce it.
But as for the concern among parents that fevers can have harmful effects, these instances are very rare. The brain has an internal regulatory mechanism that prevents fevers caused by infections from getting higher than 105 or 106 degrees. Body temperature must get above 108 degrees to cause damage. Temperatures this high are caused only by exceptional circumstances, such as central nervous system disorders or heatstroke.
"Doctors do a great disservice to you and your child when they prescribe drugs to reduce fever" said the late Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, pediatrician and author of How To Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor. "Fever phobia is a disease of pediatricians, not parents, and to the extent that parents are victimized by it, doctors are at fault." Parents are left to fear that their child's temperature will keep rising unless measures are taken to control it. "They don't tell you that reducing his temperature will do nothing to make the patient well or that our bodies have a built-in mechanism, not fully explained, that will prevent an infection-induced temperature from reaching 106 degrees F."
This is a very important thing to understand, and while many adults can now grasp this concept, many kids have grown up believing that fever is a bad thing and must be reduced as soon as it starts, especially if they watch TV. I have an explanation for fever in the office that I would like to share with you here. It is the way we explain fever to a child, and it usually helps clear it up for adults as well. It goes something like this...
"Hi Timmy! Your mom told me you're not feeling quite the way you would like to, and that you have a fever, is that right? Well, do you remember how I tell you after your adjustment that your Power is on now? You know Tim, that "Power" is just like a light! Have you ever touched a light bulb when it's been on? It's very hot isn't it? Well, sometimes, when your body needs a little more Power to help itself get or stay healthy, it turns its Power up, and you get hot...just like that light bulb! That's what we call a fever, and it's a very good thing for your body to be able to turn its power up if it needs to. My job is to adjust you and make sure that your Power gets turned up as high as it needs to go to get you well again, but only as high as it needs to go and no higher! Your adjustment also helps to make sure that your Power is only turned up for as long as it needs to be and no longer. Pretty cool, huh?! Isn't it great how your body knows exactly what to do to stay healthy?! Come on, let's get you adjusted and make sure your Light can help your body be the best it can be!"
This kind of explanation from you can help your children understand the incredible miracle they have within them. It will also help them to grow up knowing that health does not come from drugs, but that it is our natural state. And, by keeping our spines aligned and functioning properly so that our brains and bodies are fully connected, we all have the best possible chance of staying healthy and moving toward the full expression of Life. This also means that we all are more likely to reach our potential in life. And after all, isn't that what life is really all about anyway?