THE SPINAL COLUMN
ALPHA CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER

SEPTEMBER 2011




Two Questions

       When a person with any type of symptom enters a chiropractic office for the first time, there are two questions that person needs to consider for the chiropractor to be sure that the person understands the chiropractic objective.  This is important so there are no misconceptions or failed expectations on the part of the person seeking care. 
       The first question is: What will you do if following the chiropractic adjustment your symptom(s) do(es) not go away? 
       If the answer is that they will seek care elsewhere, further clarification is required.  If a symptom of a medical problem does not disappear under chiropractic care, it may be a wise decision to be examined by some other professional.  It is critical for people to understand that chiropractic does not provide treatment for medical conditions.  It corrects vertebral subluxations so that the body can work closer to its maximum potential.  The hope is, of course, that in so doing, the body will have a greater ability to heal itself, enough so that the cause of the symptoms will be in part, or wholly resolved.  While that is something everyone would like to see happen, it is not the chiropractic objective, simply because it is something your chiropractor has no control over.  It is up to every individual body to heal itself. 
       Here is the point: if the symptoms do not go away, the body still needs a good nerve supply and it still needs to have a full complement of vital mental impulses, life’s information traveling to all the parts in order to function at its best. 
In other words, regardless of whether the problem goes away, improves, stays the same or even gets worse, everyone still needs to have their spine checked and subluxations corrected. 

       Subluxations decrease everyone’s quality of life.  They cause the body to work at less than its intended level.  If someone has a medical condition that needs to be treated, he/she still needs (maybe especially needs) the body to work at its highest level possible.  So the answer to the above question should include continuing under chiropractic care.
       The second question is: What are you going to do if following a chiropractic adjustment your symptoms do go away?  
       It is interesting that both questions address opposite circumstances but both should elicit in part, the same answer.  Again, everyone would like to see symptoms go away while under chiropractic care.  However, there is no way to know whether that is a direct result of being under chiropractic care.  We do know that by being under chiropractic care the body can work better than it would if it were subluxated.  But the chiropractor’s real interest and objective is making sure the body works at the highest level it is able to at all times.  That necessitates having your spine checked regularly regardless of how you are feeling or whether any particular symptom has gone away. 
       When it comes down to it, the answer to both questions is based upon the fact that the chiropractic objective is to enable your body to work better and that is important for all people, under all circumstances, at all times.
 

SiCKO Showed Us a Problem—Now Let’s Look at the Solution 

       It’s been a few years since Michael Moore’s movie SiCKO excoriated the U.S. health care system, but I still think about how insurance companies put saving money above the needs of those they insure.  Whether you like Moore’s sarcastic style or detest him for it, or for his politics, you have to admit the man knows how to stir the pot.   Many applaud him for bringing a truth to light and demanding a dialogue about the important issues we face.
       How can we not recoil at SiCKO’s depressing anecdotes about a woman whose health insurer denied treatment on the basis she was “too young” to have cervical cancer and about a man who died from kidney cancer after his insurer deemed his treatment options too “experimental”?  Clearly, one of the failures of the current health care system is that it is so big and impersonal and so driven by the profit motive that the individual is lost, sometimes crushed, in the process.
       When you think about the path so-called “health care reform” has walked since the 1990s, you realize that the reform actually has made it more difficult for us to manage our health, both individually and collectively.  As has long been the case, the individual who abuses himself with junk food, smoking and a couch-potato lifestyle, and inevitably has health problems, expects a doctor to magically make it all better.  So the individual, ignorant of his own health needs, shifts the responsibility for his health to a physician.  Then, especially since the 1990s, to reduce the cost of doctor visits, medication, hospitalization and surgeries, the doctor finds himself under the supervision of an insurance overlord.  The responsibility has shifted ultimately to insurance companies or HMO stockholders, whose only motive, of course, is the health of their portfolio.
       Government run health insurance is no better.  In fact, check out this quote from Medicare Guidelines, Section 2251.3:
 

"A treatment plan that seeks to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong and enhance the quality of life; or therapy that is performed to maintain or prevent deterioration of a chronic condition is deemed not medically necessary". 

 
       In other words they won’t pay for it.  Sorry people... Medicare and the Government DO NOT CARE if you are actually "Healthy" either.  Maybe our government "health" agency should call themselves "Medi-don't-care."  And then people wonder why I don’t deal with insurance in my practice.  The truth is, they shouldn't have to care about your health, they are merely systems of financial exchange.  YOU should care about your health, and not for anyone else's reasons but your own. 
 
Side Note:  Be sure to check out 20/20’s John Stossel's report Sick in America: Who’s Body is it Anyway?.  Do a search for it on Youtube.com.  Be sure to watch all 6 parts to see what a free market might produce in health care.  Part 6 is actually pretty cool.
 

       So, here’s a radical thought. What if we were to walk back along the path and assign the responsibility where it belongs at each step?  For instance, let’s discuss the origin of the word “doctor.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word derives from Latin meaning “teacher.” Interestingly, it was first applied to “doctors of the church, meaning learned men in the scriptures” and only half a century later applied to those who treat illness. The point is that the doctor’s first responsibility ought to be to teach those who come to him about the ethics of healthy living, or as one of my friends phrases it, “about the sacred value of this temple we call the body.”
       This is the profoundly insightful perspective of chiropractic. The doctor of chiropractic doesn’t believe he can heal the person of anything but rather that the person heals himself.  The role of the doctor is to remove interferences to that natural process of healing and to teach that practice member what he himself can do to further reduce those interferences.  Regular practice member education such as these Newsletters and my Monday Morning Motivations are important facets of chiropractic practice.  Thus the doctor takes on the role of educator and adviser, not “Mr. Fix-It”, and medications and surgeries are viewed not as first response but as last resort, if even needed. And costs are reduced from the start.
       In fact, as I had shared with you a few months ago, people who used chiropractic care were sick less and spent less money on hospital visits, surgery, and drugs.  This equates to lower costs, better health, less work missed, lower medical expenses, and higher productivity.  A study showed that those adjusted by a chiropractor have benefited from:
 
1.       60.2% decrease in hospital admissions*
2.       59.0% fewer hospital days*
3.       62.0% less outpatient surgeries and procedures*
4.       85% less pharmaceutical costs*

 
        (* All of these savings were when compared with conventional medicine independent physician association (IPA) performance for the same health maintenance organization product in the same geography and time frame.)

       These are not paltry numbers, yet these were a result of sporadic (irregular) chiropractic care.  Imagine what occurs when you get checked and adjusted regularly -- as chiropractic is practiced in this office.  This is so HUGE, yet for some reason some people just don’t get it.  
       Maybe we can talk Michael Moore into making a documentary about that. I guarantee you chiropractors have plenty of uplifting anecdotes to share.



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