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.