Sunday, July 18, 2010


Have you ever wondered what keeps some married couples together for decades? Surely, mutual love, respect and shared spiritual beliefs are important to a lasting relationship, but possibly the most important factor is communication. Without communication neither person can learn about the other nor can they share their hopes and dreams for the future.

If communication is not the most important factor, then it is at least the most popular. Browse through any large bookstore and you will see titles promising to help improve your relationships by teaching you and your spouse to better communicate with each other. Regardless of whether you are from Mars and your spouse is from Venus or vice versa, if the two of you don’t communicate well, your life and your relationship are going to be challenging. If you do not believe me, try going a few days without communicating with your spouse. Can you think of all the disorder this could cause in your life? Who is going to pick up the kids? What time will dinner be ready? What ballgame does little Johnny have this week and where? Did anyone call and leave an important phone message? And these are just a few of the potential challenges you may incur.

The success or failure of any sports team is largely due to its ability to communicate. In baseball for example, teams have developed their own type of sign language for communicating the managers’ instructions to the players. All that flailing of the third base coach’s arms and brushing the bill of his cap is his way of communicating to the batter to take the pitch, lay down a bunt or swing away. While that is going on, the pitcher and the catcher on the other team are communicating in their own sign language deciding which pitch to throw. If the batter misses the signal from the third base coach and takes the pitch when he was supposed to bunt, he could cost his team the game. On the other team, if the pitcher mis-communicates with the catcher, the results could be equally costly.

Imagine if the quarterback for your favorite football team were to give his teammates the silent treatment in the huddle. How would any of the players know where to lineup, which routes to run, which direction to block, who the ball was going to go to or even what the snap count would be? This lack of communication would obviously reduce the chances of this team winning or even performing at its best. Obviously, communication is important in our relationships with others, both on the field and off. But there is more, communication is also an important factor in the quality of our internal relationships as well.

For your body to reach optimal physical and mental harmony (what some refer to as “health”), you must have good communication throughout your nerve system. For your internal environment to function properly, your brain and body need to “talk” to each other via signals sent over the nerves in your body. Much like a failure to communicate with a friend or your spouse can cause disorder in your relationship, failure to communicate the signals between your brain and body leads to disorder in your body. Interference to the communication lines of the nerve system leads to this “failure to communicate.” One such type of interference is vertebral subluxation. Vertebral subluxation is the name given to a spinal bone that is misaligned and interfering with the nerve system. Chiropractors assist your body in correcting vertebral subluxations, thus restoring the communication between your brain and your body. While the chiropractor cannot help you with your communication with others, he or she can improve the communication that takes place within you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Life's Blueprints

DNA, three little letters that no one ever heard of a century ago yet today almost everyone has heard of. Although most people do not know that DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid we do know that it is the blueprint for the human body. Within the genes of a fertilized egg are the plans for everything from the color of your eyes to the maximum amount of time you have on the earth. Scientists have even identified many of these genes and determined what their responsibility is in various functions within the body. Their desire is to alter these genes and to repair damaged ones that may lead to medical conditions. Genetic altering and cloning are just part of this entire concept that sounds very much like science fiction. But then who would have thought 75 years ago that we would be talking to each other on phones without wires!

The discovery of the genetic code was truly a great event, worthy of the Nobel Prize that it gained for its discovers. But in all the hoopla and attention paid to the genetic code we have lost sight of the fact that it is just a blueprint. First, a blueprint does not create itself. It is the result of thoughts of an intelligent person. The architect or the designer makes the blueprint. The blueprint may say your eyes are going to be blue but it did not design the thousand parts that make up the eye anymore than the blueprint grew the wood or made the bricks that will go into the building. That too took intelligent actions on the part of brick makers.

The major area where the genome discovers went wrong was to assume that the DNA makes the body, that it creates new cells to fashion the organs and tissues of the human organism. That would be like setting down the set of blueprints at the work site, dumping the bricks, cement, steel and wood next to it and saying “go ahead blueprint, construct this building.”

Blueprints are great, even necessary to the success of the building and perpetuation of any structure. (If a building was just thrown together without a design it probably would not last very long). DNA is necessary for the design and perpetuation of the human organism, but it is only a blueprint. The architect and the builder of the human body is a principle placed within all living organisms by the Creator of the universe. In chiropractic, we call that principle the innate intelligence of the body. It even repairs and makes changes to the blueprint. It then takes the blueprint and creates the organs and system of the body. It will even make changes when the blueprint is not quite what it should be. The innate intelligence can compensate for weaknesses in our DNA. For example, just because you have a genetic tendency toward a condition like diabetes does not mean you will necessarily have the disease. The innate intelligence of the body can overcome certain genetic predispositions. It can do it a lot better if it is free to express itself. That is where the chiropractor comes in.

The innate intelligence uses the nerve system to cause function, adapt the body and compensate for genetic weaknesses. If there is an interference in the nerve system due to a vertebra being subluxated (misaligned in such a way that it interferes with the nerve system), the body just cannot adapt and compensate as well. Your DNA is important. But remember a dead body has cells all with DNA and it does that body no good. Only the life-giving, life-enhancing innate intelligence of the body can direct the DNA to benefit you, your life and that of your family.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chiropractic Success

There is an old saying, success is a two-edged sword. It is especially true in the entertainment industry. Many an actor has lamented over being “type cast.” As much as he or she might want to play more serious roles, if the public sees the person as a comedian, a serious part might be pretty hard to get. Some actors are okay with that. They resign themselves to play the part that the public expects of them and if they do it well, they will probably make a good living. Yet, I cannot help but think that deep down inside, they suffer some feeling of frustration or unfulfillment. When it comes down to it, there are probably millions of people in all walks of life in the same situation. There are many stories of people who gave up successful careers because all their life they wanted to be an artist, a musician, or a farmer or to drive an 18-wheeler across the country.

There is no doubt that chiropractic has achieved a level of success. There are over 50,000 chiropractors in the United States alone. It has been estimated that as many as 68% of the public have been to a chiropractor. The medical profession has begun to acknowledge the value of chiropractic. We have “arrived” as part of mainstream health care. But you know what? Many chiropractors feel unfulfilled. You see chiropractic has been “type cast” as a treatment for bad backs and stiff necks. The public, for the most part, thinks chiropractors are doctors who take care of musculoskeletal problems and there is good reason for that perception. Millions of people with those types of problems have been helped by chiropractic, many of whom were unable to receive relief anywhere else. Chiropractic can help musculoskeletal conditions. Consequently, the medical community and even some in our own profession want us to fill that niche. They figure the public knows us in that role and we have achieved success in that role. Why disturb the status quo?

Many in our profession, however, are not satisfied with that role. It is not that we think we can do more and it is not that there is anything demeaning about helping people with bad backs. It is just that chiropractic is so much more. Chiropractic is not about your back, it’s about your life. The correction of vertebral subluxation to restore the integrity of the nerve system is a service vital to every man woman and child on the planet. Every function, every activity, every aspect of one’s life is improved and enhanced by having regular chiropractic adjustments, keeping the nerve channels open to all parts of the body. A chiropractor who understands that and the importance of that service, would feel unfulfilled even as the most successful back doctor in the world.

Chiropractic, like the “type cast” comedian, is a victim of its success. But more important, the public is a victim of that success. The only way to change that is to change people’s perception. That will take effort by the profession and by people who know chiropractic is not about your bad back, it is about getting more out of life and expressing more of life. Help your chiropractor by telling someone the truth about chiropractic

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recognizing Your Potential

What major league pitcher in 1916 won 23 games while only losing 12? He had an American league leading earned run average of only 1.75 and led the league in shutouts (9). During the second game of the World Series that year he pitched 14 innings of Game 2, giving up only one run and six hits. With a season like that you would expect that this pitcher would be one of the great pitchers in the history of baseball. If you had to guess, you might say it was Walter Johnson, Christey Mattheson, Cy Young or Grover Cleveland Alexander. Whomever it was, you would conclude that he must have had a great pitching career. Yet while his career lasted 19 years, despite those 23 wins in 1916(and 24 wins in 1917), he only won 94 games. The reason his total was so low was that from 1920 to 1933 he only pitched in five games (winning them all). Had he pitched more, he may have been one of the all-time greats. But in 1920 the New York Yankees changed Babe Ruth’s position from pitcher to outfielder. One thing is certain, playing in thirty or forty games a year as a pitcher, Babe Ruth would not have become associated with hitting homeruns. He would never have reached his potential as a hitter. He had to focus on hitting rather than pitching, to be all that he could in the game. What about other athletes, such as Aaron Caldwell? A college friend who gave up his college basketball career that was destined to be above average, in order to recognize his potential as a college football player and developed into one of the greatest pass catchers in school’s history..

How many other people, for one reason or another, never recognize their potential? Not necessarily as a baseball or football player but in other areas of life. How many potential concert pianists never sit down at a piano? How many great statesmen never enter politics? We could speculate forever about lost opportunities. But the one I would like to address is the person who does not recognize his or her potential because of a physical problem. Wilma Rudolph, who passed away sometime ago, was an Olympic track champion. But she had to overcome a physical problem, polio, as a child. She had to recognize her potential despite her childhood disease and then have the wherewithal to pursue that goal. It is not enough to recognize it, you also have to realize it. There are so many factors in both of these areas, factors such as inspiration, willpower, desire, motivation, and natural ability. There are many gifted people who recognize their potential but because of lack of motivation, desire, or willpower, they never realize their potential.

Chiropractic plays a unique role in this entire concept. The chiropractic adjustment removes interference in the nervous system and allows the entire body to work better. The individual’s mental processes work better, allowing greater recognition of potential. The individual’s physical processes work better, energy level is improved, coordination is better and stamina is increased. Everything works better with a good nerve supply. All of us will not be great athletes or concert pianists. But we all have the potential to be great at something. Whether it is a business executive, an employee, a house painter or a portrait painter, a college professor or a college student, a housewife or an auto mechanic. Whatever your role in life is, be excellent at it. Whatever else it takes, it starts with a properly functioning nervous system, free of vertebral subluxations. Chiropractic doesn’t have all the answers but it has something to offer everyone. You must recognize chiropractic’s potential for you before you can reach your potential for yourself.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Have you ever noticed how some words just have a negative or bad sound to them? “Disintegration” is one. Even though it means, simply, to break into small bits, we rarely see it used in a positive way. Sometimes it is used to describe an organization, company or even a relationship that is “falling apart.” Even in science fiction movies, we have seen aliens shot with a gun that breaks it up into bits and leaves nothing but a small pile of dust. Did you ever think about the fact that our bodies are really nothing more than that small pile of dust? What makes them appear like and act like more than dust? The fact is that they are INTEGRATED. All those molecules are forming cells, tissues, organs and systems. The body is acting as a whole. When the body stops acting as a whole, it loses its integrity. We even use terms to describe this situation like, “I feel like I’m falling apart” or “my body’s falling apart.” The body in actuality is not falling apart as much as it is breaking apart.

What is it that keeps us whole and maintains our physical integrity? It is what chiropractors call the “innate intelligence” of the body. This principle controls, integrates and coordinates the function of billions of cells every minute. Thousands of chemical reactions occur simultaneously at just the right instant to carry on every function of the body. All these functions are integrated without any thought on our part. To accomplish this task a complex coordinating system is needed. In the human organism this system is the nervous system. It integrates all these functions and probably many others about which we currently know nothing. However, for the nervous system to function as it should, its integrity needs to be maintained. When a vertebra in the spine becomes subluxated, the integrity of the nervous system is compromised. The result of this is that the cells that the nerves supply can no longer work in an integrated manner. The entire body is affected by this because every cell is dependent upon every other cell for the well-being of the whole. That’s what integration is. It is 25-30 quadrillion cells working together in harmony for a single goal, to keep you alive and healthy. That was the weakness of the attempts at racial integration in this country. We tried to integrate the races without replacing the hatred, animosity and resentment with love, respect and a desire to work together for the good of the whole. The human body is integrated, each cell working for the good of the whole under the direction of the body’s innate intelligence, which utilizes the nervous system to control and coordinate all of the parts. Vertebral subluxation interferes with the function of the nervous system and thereby causes the body to begin to disintegrate. Unfortunately, we do not often notice this disintegration right away. Just like in companies, organizations or relationships, the disintegration may not be obvious at first. If it was, perhaps we would be more likely to address it. That is the purpose of regular chiropractic adjustments, to maintain the integrity of the nervous system so that all the cells of the body will be integrated thereby successfully preventing any disintegration.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Less Stress

Research studies have shown that people perceive their stress levels to be quite varied. On a scale of one to ten, respondents run the full range for what they believe their stress levels to be. Sadly most people see themselves in the higher ranges rather than the lower ones. Why is there such a wide variation and more importantly, why is it that most people perceive their stress levels to be high? Is it the economy? The world situation? Life in general? We really have no way of comparing the stresses of life today with 100 or 200 years ago.

It has been suggested that stress is not caused by the events or circumstances of life but by how an individual responds to those circumstances. Unpleasant events and circumstances have been described as adversities which when not dealt with result in stress. Hans Seyle, PhD, a world famous neurologist who did work in this area over a generation ago, described adversity as stress and the inability to handle that adversity as distress. He theorized that stress was good. We all need some adversity in our life in order to grow, to adapt, to be able to handle greater adversities as they occur. In the area of health, developing permanent immunity is merely a matter of handling the adversity of a disease so the body can learn to fight off the microorganism every time it comes in contact with it in the future. Permanent immunity makes you a stronger person. (Perhaps artificial immune procedures, while often making one immune to that disease, weakens the overall function of the body’s immune system by not subjecting it to adversity.) Lifting weights is a stress but if done properly with the right amount, this adversity can make a person stronger. Even emotional stress, if overcome, often makes us stronger. People even say, “Well if it doesn’t kill me, I’ll be stronger for it.”

We realize that certain adversities just cannot be overcome. They are just too overwhelming. Whether it is emotional, physical or chemical, if any given adversity is too great it will result in stress and that stress will reduce the quality of your life. Yet between insurmountable adversity and that which no one would even give a second thought to are the vast array of circumstances, events, and situations in life that cause tremendous stress in some people and do not affect others. From that we must conclude that there is a factor or factors inside of people that makes one person better able to handle adversity and not allow it to become stress and others less able to handle it.

One of those factors is the vertebral subluxation. How well you adapt to all types of stress is dependent upon the proper function of your nerve system and vertebral subluxation not only reduces the ability of the nerve system to work as well as it should but it is another stress upon the body compounding the stresses that you already have. In this day and age when people are constantly faced with adversity and potential, stress-causing factors, why would you want anything like a vertebral subluxation that can reduce you body’s ability to handle the adversities of life. Further, if you do have a vertebral subluxation would it not be wise to have it corrected as soon as possible? That is why regular chiropractic adjustments are so important.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The smarter side of you

Did you ever stop to think that you are a genius? You may not have always viewed yourself as a genius, but you really are one! Everyday you do things that the smartest scientists cannot do. Do you realize that your heart pumps 2,100 gallons of blood through 62,000 miles of blood vessels everyday? Every second 8,000,000 red blood cells are produced. Forty-five miles of nerves send impulses as rapidly as 325 miles per hour. You breathe one pint of air 17 times a minute; about 78 million gallons are taken in during an average life span, enough to fill the Hindenburgh airship one and half time. The brain a three pound organ stores 100 trillion bits of information over the course of 70 years, equal to 500,000 sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica, which if stacked up would reach 442 miles high.

You do these things and millions of other things because there is a genius inside of you, and everyone you know. This genius that is inside of you is called the innate intelligence of your body. This incredible creative wisdom that is inside of you is on the job 24 hours a day, it never sleeps even though you are sleeping. Could you imagine having to mentally control all of the functions of your body at any given moment? You could never manage all the functions that your body naturally knows how to keep balanced. The body does everything that the innate intelligence tells it to do, but how does it get these messages from one part of your body to another.

The body gets its messages from one part of the body to the other by the brain and spinal cord. In order for our bodies to function at their optimum and constantly heal and regenerate new cells, our brains have to be sending messages throughout the internal telephone lines of our bodies (our nerves) and those messages must properly reach all of our tissues and cells. The brain uses the nervous system as its vehicle to communicate to all the parts of our body, and the body then continues that conversation by sending messages back to the brain.

This delicate internal nerve network in the body is protected by bone. The spine and its movable vertebrae protect the nerves in the body, and the spine protects the spinal cord, which is the main message delivery center for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. It is essential that we keep our spines healthy and flexible so that our bodies can adapt to stress, and so that the messages of our brains can reach our bodies. A happy and healthier spine contributes to a happier, healthier, more energetic, and successful life! No matter what kind of exercise you do, diet you eat, or restful activity you take part in, if the messages from your brain do not properly reach each and every cell of your body, then you will never be all you can be in your lifetime. Any interference in your spine directly interferes with the life energy and information channels in the body. Interference results in a less flexible spine and nervous system, and blocks your ability to be happy and healthy. People of all ages and all positions in life have interference in their spines at one time or another.

Chiropractors are the only health-care professionals who are dedicated to the detection of these spinal interferences called subluxations and who correct them gently and with ease, so that you can experience more living in your life, and more energy in your living! Get your spine checked on a regular basis, so that the genius within you can let you experience a greater body and life!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Intervention vs Non-intervention

When it comes to a health care professional addressing the health care needs of a person, there are essentially two approaches. The first and most common is intervention care. In this approach, the doctor or health care professional intervenes in the function of the body. That intervention may be as minimal as giving over-the-counter medication or as drastic as major surgery. The assumption on the part of the one who is intervening is that their professional expertise has given them the ability and the right to determine what is best for the body. There are, no doubt, occasions when intervention is necessary. First-aid measures save lives that would otherwise be lost. However, there are other situations when the need for intervention is not so clearly demonstrated. In these situations, the health care practitioner may or may not be doing more harm than good. In still other situations, intervention is clearly NOT called for. Whenever there is intervention, harm is done to the body, even if it is only taking an aspirin for a headache that will be gone after a good night’s sleep. You can see that intervention may be dangerous, that it takes great knowledge (perhaps more than any human being has), often is an educated guess and is always accompanied by an uncertain outcome to some degree.

A second approach is non-intervention. It involves doing something FOR the body rather than TO the body. Its objective is to remove an obstacle or interference to the proper function of the organism. With this approach, the practitioner does not determine what the body needs, how much or in what quantity. He/she only determines what the body does NOT need and seeks to remove that interference. The desire is not to add anything to the body nor to take away anything that it was designed to have. Practitioners of non-intervening approaches believe that the less that is done to the body, the better off it is. They acknowledge that on occasions it may be necessary to intervene, to do something to the body, but that is not their objective.

Chiropractic is a non-intervening profession. The chiropractor recognizes that vertebral subluxation interferes with the function of the nerve system and as such, causes a lack within the body-that of proper nerve flow. He does not intervene in the function of the body. He does not try to increase or decrease its function. He does not try to add anything or take anything away. His sole objective is to introduce a slight force which the body can use to correct its own subluxation. In this day when there is so much intervention, so many people trying to run the body, trying to supersede nature, trying to alter physical function to conform to their idea as to what it should be, it is nice to know that there is another profession that wants to do nothing more than remove interference impeding the function of the body.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Present vs. Future

Have you ever asked yourself where you want to be with your life in the future? In these instant-gratification, quick-fix, drive-thru days in which we live, people tend to focus on what is happening and how they feel right now. Not feeling good? Pop a pill to ease the pain. Hungry? Grab some fast food. Bored? Turn on the television. Tired? Get a cup of coffee. So many people make decisions and take actions based on a current event, without looking at the possible consequences. Let me ask you, have you ever known a very happy, healthy and successful pill-popping, fast food-eating, 10-hour-a-day television watching person on a constant caffeine high? Me neither. Quick fixes maybe comforting in the moment, but they rarely provide long-term solutions.

I am asking you to think about what you want to be, not in the present moment, but in the future. Let’s take your health as an example. Your health is based on many factors: exercise, diet, nerve supply, rest, genetics, etc., but the key thing to understand is your health today is the result of actions you took (or failed to take) in the past. You may think that how you are today is just a current event, but in reality it is the result of a process. This may sound elementary, but if you take this concept to heart and put it into action, it can literally be life changing. Everything you do today is going to determine how you will be in the future.

This concept of looking at life as a process and not just a single event has been discussed in chiropractic for decades. In chiropractic there is a concept of “survival values.” Things that we do each day are either positive or negative towards our health and function in the future. Positive activities, such as having a proper nerve supply, eating nutritious foods, resting, etc., are known in chiropractic as “constructive survival values.” On the other hand, negative events like vertebral subluxation, injuries, drugs, toxins, emotional stress, watching 10 hours of television a day, eating fast food, etc., are known as “destructive survival values.” In this model, your life and health are determined by the accumulation of both constructive and destructive survival values over time. When you look at things such as health as a process and not merely an event, you begin to realize the importance of constantly and continually striving to add constructive survival values to your life.

Since health is just one aspect of human performance and human performance is in large part regulated by the nerve system, chiropractic plays a key role in your health over time. By having vertebral subluxations adjusted (spinal misalignments that interfere with nerve function), you allow your body to better express information through the nerve system. This leads to better performance and better health. Each time a vertebral subluxation is corrected, you accumulate a constructive survival value towards your life and will be better for it in the future.

If you want to be better in the future than you are today, one step in the process is regular chiropractic spinal checks. Having your spine checked only when you have a symptom simply shows that you are not interested in improving your life in the future and that you are only looking for a quick solution to a current event. While it is true that the adjustment may provide you with a quick-fix, that is not the intent behind chiropractic. Chiropractic is about adding constructive survival values to your life so that you will be better in the future.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Emotional Stress

Chiropractors have been talking for years about the fact that physical, chemical, and emotional stresses can cause the spine to subluxate and interfere with proper function in the body. People have no problem understanding how a physical stress, such as falling, lifting, or repeated motions, can cause subluxations. While chemical stresses may be a little more difficult to understand, after a little explanation people see how chemicals and poisons in the body affect the spinal musculature and can also cause the spine to subluxate. Today, more than ever, we are hearing about the effect that emotional stress can have on the body. People understand the link between emotional stress and ulcers, heart disease and headaches. Similarly, emotional stress can result in subluxation. There are probably a number of mechanisms but research done at Ohio State University has recently demonstrated some interesting results.

A group of college students repeatedly lifted 25-pound boxes while a special measuring device calculated the pressure on the students’ spines. During the first half of the experiment researchers offered words of encouragement to the participants while they were performing their tasks. In the second half of the experiment, the students were criticized, sort of like having your boss yelling at you while you are doing your job. While some of the students were not bothered at all, others, particularly introverted students who did not handle criticism well and who dislike repetitive work to start with, demonstrated an almost 27% increase in pressure on the spine. Clearly, a 27% increase of pressure on the spine could subluxate a person. William Marras, professor of industrial engineering at OSU said, “What this shows is that there is a body-mind interaction that manifests itself as pressure on the spine.” Of course, if a person is already subluxated, then the spine is weakened and this stress can have even greater repercussions. The researchers were limiting their research to job-related pressure but they concluded that the same findings could occur “anywhere exertion and stress combine.” That could be the pressure of athletic competition or even non-physical stressful situations like talking on the phone with the head titled at an angle, sitting at a computer, or any kind of repetitive work while experiencing the pressures of your job. Except for major physical traumas, it is likely that almost all subluxations occur as a result of a combination of physical, chemical, and emotional stresses upon the body. Clearly, if you are subluxation free you will be better able to withstand those forces. Yet, in this stressful world even the strongest spines will subluxate given certain circumstances. That is why it is important to keep your spine adjusted, so that you can withstand stress and so that when it does cause a subluxation, it can be corrected as quickly as possible. See your chiropractor regularly.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What Are Symptoms?

No one enjoys feeling poorly, or suffering and experiencing pain. Symptoms are unpleasant. We have been taught to view them as bad and we seek ways to alleviate them as quickly as possible, but it is often without regard for our health or without understanding their role in our health and well-being.

It is important that we understand that pain and symptoms are not always bad. Our body was designed with an intricate warning system in order to make us aware of injury, harm and danger. Pain tells us to avoid hot stoves, remove the pebble in our shoe and in a hundred other ways, how to prevent injury and harm. To cover up pain in these types of situations is not only unwise, it is dangerous and often invites further serious injury. It is like having an expensive fire alarm system in your home and disconnecting it before going to sleep so that it does not awaken you in the middle of the night. That is its job! Further, symptoms can possibly be an indication that the body is doing its job perfectly. Eating tainted food could precipitate a bout of vomiting and diarrhea. While they are admittedly two of the most unpleasant symptoms, they could save your life as they rid your body of unwanted toxins. Trying to prevent these symptoms could be harmful to your body.

We must understand that the service the chiropractor provides is not related to symptoms. This is what makes chiropractic different from therapeutic services like medicine. The vertebral subluxation, a misalignment which interferes with the proper functioning of the nervous system generally has no symptoms. That is what makes it so dangerous. It can occur in anyone and give no indication of its presence. But when the spine is subluxated, the entire body is being deprived of its ability to function at its fullest potential. That is a serious matter. To wait until symptoms appear, as a result of perhaps months or years of improper function, it not the best approach to maintaining one’s health.

While chiropractic is not a treatment for symptoms or their cause, the person receiving chiropractic must have an understanding of the role of pain and symptoms so that he or she can make intelligent decisions regarding matters of health. Dr. Brittian, as always, is happy to explain to you further our role in your health and well-being so that you can be a better informed person and a better expression of life and health.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Status of Healthcare

There is a real problem blooming in what we call our health care system. No, I am not referring to the widely debated legislation passed a few weeks ago, but rather a problem that is frightening to those of us who are involved in the delivery of health care. The problem is that as much as individuals like to attack medicine along with its shortcomings and dangers, the fact is that medical practice is becoming more effective every year. Now, the question may arise; how is that a problem? If drugs are becoming that much more effective and that less harmful, isn’t that a good thing? It is safer today than it was 10 or 15 years ago to have heart bypass surgery, something that today is considered routine, isn’t that a good thing? If traditional medicine is able to develop new drugs that can relieve people’s ills for longer and longer periods of time, then aren’t we making progress? When all we are doing is relieving certain symptoms and allowing individuals to feel fine and not making them healthier, are we really making a difference? To feel more comfortable until you die may be a benefit to some but not for the many who are still years from their deaths. Let’s not mistake comfortable deaths with the full expression of health. If we have virtually wiped out smallpox and developed a new vaccine for chicken pox but AIDS is growing every year, have we really made any progress? A recent study has shown that if cancer was completely eliminated today (which is highly unlikely in as much as the incidence of the disease is increasing), the average life span would only be increased by less than 1.5 years.

Here is the danger--medical advances may lull us into believing either that we are healthier or that being healthy is not important as long as we are disease-free. Yet, ridding the world of a disease like cancer will only increase the lifespan at best by 1.5 years and perhaps not that much if other diseases take its place as the killers. Medicine’s progress is like the individual who cannot seem to live within a budget and is constantly using his credit card until it is “maxed out.” Then the credit card company tells him not to worry because his limit has been increased by $2,000. That is the worst thing that could happen to him. It will treat the symptom for a while longer, delaying the ultimate which will be worse; he will have $2,000 more debt! But saddest of all, it will prevent him from addressing the real problem. His lifestyle and budget need to be altered so he can live without running to an ATM every day.

Correspondingly, the greatest danger of medicine is that it works. It relieves symptoms, treats disease and makes you feel better to the point that you think you are better. Unfortunately, it has little to do with health. Mastering bypass surgery will not encourage us to live healthier lives which may lead to healthier hearts and thus prevent the very need for the surgery. Health is the real need. People need to know that true health comes from within. It consists of doing those things necessary to be healthy including eating right, getting proper rest, exercising, keeping the body from pollutants and maintaining a positive mental attitude. Most importantly, it includes visiting the chiropractor on a regular basis so that nerve interference at the spinal level is removed and the body’s nervous system is free to coordinate the function of every single organ tissue and cell in your body and allow your body to express optimum health.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chiropractic and research

Chiropractic as a way of healthcare is based on the connection and advancement of three things. Just like any structure of importance, its strength is based on having a strong foundation. A common support system that stands strong is pillars. Chiropractic as a practice is made strong itself by three pillars. One pillar is through the philosophy that the body was built intelligently enough to adapt to environmental stresses and express health when there is nothing impeding its function. The next pillar being the Art of the adjustment, is a skill learned to deliver a specific thrust, with calculated force, in a predetermined vector to reduce and remove the subluxation. The final and just as important pillar of the trio being the science, the science that is driven by research aimed to advance our knowledge as we gain more information in delivering chiropractic care.

As the past year has come to an end, a review of the chiropractic literature revealed promising advances in our understanding of the benefits of regular chiropractic care. A study published by Zhongguo Gu Shang in June of last year reported that spinal manipulation may cure Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Researchers in China did an analysis of 82 patients with irritable bowel syndrome who received spinal manipulation to the mid and lower spine regions. The outcome revealed that 91 percent of the patients were cured and the others remaining showed significant improvement. The study concluded that unstable vertebrae caused pressure compromising nerve and blood supply to the affected area resulting in irritable bowel syndrome.

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complement Medicine suggests that chiropractic care and resistance training is extremely effective in the functional quality of woman with fibromyalgia. The experiment done at Florida State University, separated 48 women suffering from fibromyalgia into two groups, both groups completing 16 weeks of resistance training with one group receiving chiropractic care as well. The study showed improvements with the fibromyalgia in both groups, but the women in the chiropractic group showed greater results. In concluding, “the addition of chiropractic treatment improved adherence and dropout rates to the resistance training and facilitated greater improvements in the domain of functionality.”

The studies discussed above are only a few of many done in 2009. However, these studies are crucial in the advancement of chiropractic as we gain modern information. As mentioned in previous discussions, chiropractic does not search for a specific symptom or disease process, but removes the pressure on nerves and allows the body to manifest health regardless of the ailment. Keep your spine checked regularly by your chiropractor.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Have you had your artichokes?

It is important that when we speak of embracing a healthy lifestyle we incorporate optimal nutrition into our lives. A balanced diet is an essential part of the chiropractic lifestyle. This lifestyle is centered on disease prevention that includes regular chiropractic care, active living via exercise, and many other preventive measures.

One of the biggest health concerns in society today is the booming rate of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease may in part be related to our genetic make-up, but an overwhelming contributor is lifestyle choices such as nutrition. Providentially, recent studies indicates that artichoke enriched diets may keep cholesterol levels within the normal range. One study published in 2008 in the journal Phytomedicine contrasted a group of adults with elevated blood cholesterol. One group of the study participants was given artichoke leaf extract, while the other group a placebo. The study concluded that the artichoke leaf extract consumption group displayed a positive statistically significant difference in total cholesterol after 3 months.

Along with its ability to decrease cardiovascular disease, artichokes may also promote liver health, primarily amongst individuals exposed to toxins, have compromised liver function, or are heavy drinkers. In addition, artichokes have been shown to weaken irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems. Recent research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complemintary Medicine discussed the effects of artichoke leaf extract on over 200 adults who were suffering from IBS. The results showed a greater than 26% decrease in incidence of IBS amongst the group.

Artichokes contain many nutrients that are effective in promoting a preventive environment from such diseases as cardiovascular, irritable bowel syndrome, and those affecting the liver. They contain elevated levels of fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. They also provide an avenue of potassium, phosphorus, chromium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Artichokes have all of these benefits contained in a small amount of calories and no low density lipoprotiens (LDLs) that causes high cholesterol.

Living a healthy lifestyle requires more than just the occasional run in the park, or a bi-weekly visit to your chiropractor. An optimal healthy lifestyle consistently needs to include an appropriate activity level, regular visits to your chiropractor to remove or reduce subluxations, and a diet that is rich in nutrients that embeds preventive measures.