THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER
What if you knew you were not expressing your full potential for health and well-being?
What if there was a way to correct that?
What if it was easy, fast, and affordable?
Would you do it?
Right now you are most likely experiencing at least one vertebral subluxation in your spine. Don't worry...it's not life threatening. Yet. But if you allow it to remain, it will slowly rob you of your health, your happiness, your life energy, and you will be moving more rapidly toward death than you should be.
What is a vertebral subluxation?
Vertebral subluxation is a reason why the chiropractic profession exists. It is the term chiropractors give to a specific situation in the spine. It has four distinct components.
The first component of vertebral subluxation is MISALIGNMENT. The spine is composed of 24 moveable segments called vertebrae. The fact that it is 24 small bones instead of one large bone gives us incredible freedom and mobility. But this very mobility allows some of the bones of the spine to become out of proper relationship with the vertebrae above and below. And they can become fixated or stuck this way. They lose their normal alignment and function.
This misalignment leads to the second component, which is OCCLUSION. This means a subluxation can narrow or partially block the passages and canals found between the vertebrae. No big deal, right? WRONG! Since the spinal cord and spinal nerves pass through these openings it IS a big deal!
The occlusion of these passages and canals leads to the third component of vertebral subluxation, which is PRESSURE. A vertebral subluxation places pressure and tension on those tender and vital parts of the nerve system. Sounds like it would hurt. Not always, in fact, not usually. So if it doesn't hurt, what is the big deal again?
The big deal is this. Our nerve system is in constant communication with the various parts of our body in order to properly coordinate our body's functions. What do you think is happening when the nerve system experiences this pressure?
Right! The messages the brain is sending to the body AND the messages the body is sending to the brain are not being conducted properly. INTERFERENCE is the fourth and final component of a vertebral subluxation.
What causes subluxation?
Vertebral subluxation occurs when our body cannot adapt to the stresses it encounters. The spine is located in the center of the body and is designed to absorb and adapt to stresses and trauma.
We experience many kinds of stress on a daily basis, partly because our lifestyle has become so artificial. The kind of stress that people associate most with chiropractic is physical. This may include falls, long car rides or carrying children. The very first physical stress the spine is subject to is the birth process itself. Even a good and easy birth is very traumatic to an infant spine. While physical stress is the most obvious, it is usually the least common.
The spine is also affected by mental and emotional stresses that cause the spinal muscles to tighten as the body engages in the stress response. Many of us have worries about finances, challenging relationships or work situations that may be less than ideal.
And don't forget chemical stresses. These stresses are often overlooked because we don't necessarily see the outward effects. They include smoke, fumes (from painting for example), food additives, air pollution, and many of the close to 20,000 harmful chemicals we encounter almost daily.
There are countless ways the body and spine are challenged everyday. Needless to say, it is a wonder how our body manages all that stress. It does an amazing job for us most of the time but it does become overwhelmed in specific ways. One specific and significant way is vertebral subluxation.
What do we do to get rid of vertebral subluxation?
Fortunately, Doctors of Chiropractic have recognized the detrimental effects of vertebral subluxation since the inception of the profession. We are the only health care providers who are trained to locate, analyze, and bring about the correction of vertebral subluxation. The practice of chiropractic is dedicated to this purpose. Correction of a vertebral subluxation is accomplished by introducing a specific force to the spine called an adjustment.
Chiropractors realize that a world full of people who regularly have their spine checked for subluxation is a world full of people functioning with a clear nerve system. And people functioning with a clear nerve system are healthier, happier, and more well adjusted (pardon the pun).
Chiropractors also realize that a world full of people under regular chiropractic care will make a huge difference in improving everyone's health and well being. This is the vision we hold for one and all.
Americans don't talk much about honor anymore.
I'm not referring to awards bestowed for exceptional merit, but rather honor itself. At its simplest, honor is merely the good opinion of others, the natural consequence of character, integrity, and fair dealing.
Yet the word sounds musty to some, old-fashioned. Or, worse, judgmental. In "Honor: A History," author James Bowman even argues that we live today in what he calls a "post-honor society." He may be right. But let's hope not.
Wealth, fame and reputation are things that must be won. Honor, by comparison, must not be lost. This has been widely acknowledged throughout history. More than two thousand years ago, the Latin writer Publilius Syrus asked, "What is left when honor is lost?"
Yet over the past fifty years or so, the culture has changed. Some people feel justified in doing their own thing, even if it means being rude, unpleasant, or disrespectful. They imagine this is a show of strength - that it warns people they can't be trifled with. More often it demonstrates nothing more than boorishness.
An NBA star, for example, pushes a man through a plate-glass window and proudly proclaims that he is "not a role model." Corrupt and dishonorable politicians believe they can rehabilitate their careers with nothing more than a confession and public apology.
And then there is scoundrel supreme Bernie Madoff who lived high on the hog while bilking his clients out of their life savings, even stealing $15.2 million from the charitable foundation of Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel. You can't get much lower than that.
Columnist George Will once remarked that parents used to raise their children to adopt the values of the culture. Today they struggle to keep them from adopting the values of the culture. That's unfortunate, especially since the country was founded by men and women who sought - not wealth and celebrity above all else - but something very different.
In letters to one another, the Founding Fathers often wrote, "Act well your part." This was shorthand. Classically educated, they were referencing Alexander Pope's famous lines, "Honor and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part, there all the honor lies."
These weren't just words, but ideals. Alexander Hamilton, who fought a fatal duel with Aaron Burr in 1804, described honor as "the ruling passion of the noblest minds." John Adams called the desire for distinction the "great leading passion of the soul."
In many ways, this thirst defined them. In the Declaration of Independence, they famously pledged not just their lives and fortunes but their sacred honor. Personal integrity wasn't just essential. It was hallowed.
This is not an exclusively American quality, of course. The same sentiment echoes down through history.
Nineteenth-century German statesman Otto von Bismark said: "Gentlemen, my honor lies in no-one's hand but my own, and it is not something that others can lavish on me; my honor, which I carry in my heart, suffices me entirely, and no one is judge of it and able to decide whether I have it."
Honor means standing up for the right principles both personally and as a nation. Yet pacifism and misplaced idealism have eroded the value of honor in some quarters. You hear this clearly in the absolutist slogan, "War is never the answer."
Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King were successful in their non-violent campaigns for justice precisely because they were dealing with humane, democratic governments.
Under ordinary circumstances, non-action in the face of evil is cowardice... or suicide. You can be sure that Hitler, Stalin, and Mao loved pacifists. (Perhaps especially with lemon and butter.)
Who we are still depends a great deal on what we are prepared to stand up for - and our willingness to stand up for it. We should never cease to honor such sacrifices.
Aside from patriotic honor, there is the everyday matter of personal honor.
Do we treat others fairly? Do we carry ourselves with dignity? Do we speak respectfully of those people and institutions that deserve respect? Do we act with courage and personal integrity? Do we do what we can to be as healthy as possible in body, mind, and spirit?
At FreedomFest in Las Vegas a few years ago, psychologist Nathaniel Brandon gave a talk about one of his favorite subjects: self-esteem.
Self-esteem, he said, is not about looking in the mirror and saying, "I'm so special, aren't I wonderful?" Nor, he argued, is self-esteem something that is a free gift of nature. It has to be cultivated - has to be earned.
To illustrate the point, he told a story about his friend and fellow libertarian Charles Murray.
On a trip to California to visit Branden, Murray - an avid wine collector - was shown a rare and exorbitantly priced Cabernet at a local wine shop. He looked at it admiringly but told the owner the cost was prohibitive.
When he arrived at Branden's home, however, he discovered that the storeowner had mistakenly sold him the expensive wine at the price of the more modest bottle he had selected.
So he rode back into town to return it. Upon his arrival, the storeowner was both relieved and astonished. He had quickly recognized his mistake, but since Murray was an out-of-towner and had paid in cash, he felt certain he would never see him again.
Back at Branden's home, Murray conveyed his own disbelief. "I don't understand his surprise," he said. "If I had kept that bottle of wine, I wouldn't have liked the way that made me feel about myself."
Finishing the story, Branden paused and looked at the audience. "That," he said triumphantly, "is self-esteem."
Perhaps. But I prefer to think of it as honor.
In a few days we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of this nation. Let's take some time to think about honor and how we can be
better examples for our family, community, and the world.