Sunday, December 13, 2009
I am interested in providing the best care for my patients, and I am obligated to address the issue of nutritional deficiencies and the effect it has on their well being. Until recently, it would not have mattered to me whether vitamins were food based or synthetic. The only thing I looked for in a supplement was how many milligrams of a given ingredient it had. I soon came to realize that in fact quantity does not equate to quality. What we should be focused on is effectiveness and potency – two things that set whole food nutrition apart.
The issue of nutrition has fascinated me and it is clear that food is medicine, and conversely, food can be poison. What we put in our mouths is as important as the thoughts we put in our heads. It is easy to show that modern food sources are deficient in life-sustaining nutrients and that if we want long-term health, we must be diligent about what we choose to put inside our bodies.
As a chiropractor I will be a healer, a communicator, and a teacher. And with the position of being called “doctor” comes a great deal of responsibility. My experience as
President of the Applied Kinesiology Club at NWHSU has helped open my eyes to the importance of being balanced – structurally, chemically, and emotionally. The triad of health is a way to understand and correct the source of the subluxation using adjustments, nutrition, and a compassionate heart. Since receiving a Standard Process® test kit, our club has been able to branch out drastically, investigating how different whole food nutritional supplements can change the energetics of the human body. All of this has served to expand my awareness of the energetic effects of the different foods and supplements we put inside our bodies.
I believe that treating the subluxation, while ignoring the underlying causes of neuro-musculo-skeletal stress is not doing enough. In the most general sense, stress causes disease - with much of that stress coming from the food we eat. Personally, I view the subluxation as multifaceted phenomenon where visceral dysfunctions, caused in part by a lack of adequate nutrition, are capable of causing subluxations that chiropractors discover in their spinal exams. Our nutritional health is directly related to our skeletal health. From that perspective it is important to aid the body's self-righting mechanisms with correct nutrition. By addressing patients nutritional needs along with their structural and emotional concerns, I firmly believe that chiropractic is more effective. I have an obligation to patients to get them well as quickly and as efficiently as possible, and whole food supplementation is part of that process.
If we accept our responsibility as doctors to “first do no harm”, then we must be certain that our nutritional therapies are supportive of health and do not cause secondary issues of their own. Nutrition is a very popular topic today and there is no shortage of products on the market. On some level most people accept that adding nutritional supplementation to their diet may benefit them. The real question is which supplement and in what form should it be taken. It comes as a surprise to many that not all vitamins are created equal.
The difference between synthetic and whole food supplements could be likened to the differences between symptom-based and wellness-based healthcare. Both approaches to healthcare are interested in getting the patient well. However, just as symptom-based approaches will miss the underlying causes of disease, synthetic vitamins will provide a narrow-range of nutrition that may be lacking in other critical factors necessary for health. This happens because every synthetic vitamin must first be extracted or created chemically, and in doing so it enters body without natural co-factors and usually in high doses.
Whole food nutrition is important because the human body is designed to get all its necessary nutrition from the diet – i.e. food and drink. Everything that cannot be created internally must be accounted for in the diet. The benefit of whole food nutrition is that only the water and fiber has been removed, leaving intact the other known and unknown life-sustaining nutrients,. This means that the original energy of the food is preserved, along with low doses of specific vitamins. The idea is that it is easier for the body to optimize nutrition if it is given in a natural food-based form. Providing the body with a vitamin complex, with original food source still intact, yields a potent supplement that heals both nutritionally and energetically.
Another reason whole food supplementation is important is that science has not identified every part of the food that is beneficial. So by providing only select nutrients and discarding the rest of the food source, synthetic supplementation may create deficiencies as the body attempts to metabolize high doses without accompanying food factors. This concept is important to me as it would be difficult to explain to a patient that the vitamins I suggested had actually created a new problem of their own. I also believe that because of the fact that science hasn't uncovered every necessary co-factor for a given vitamin, that it is more conservative to provide said vitamin intact with the food source. Being conservative with my chiropractic treatment is essential for patient health, and it is the same for my nutritional therapies
Given that whole food nutrition addresses patients needs holistically, with food sources intact, it is a perfect tool for chiropractors. I will use whole food nutrition in order to help my patients heal their visceral dysfunction while I work diligently on their structural concerns. I will use Applied Kinesiology techniques, lab testing, symptom surveys, and patient histories to guide my nutritional therapies. Most importantly, I will use my knowledge of why whole food supplements are effective to give me the confidence that my patient's are getting the best nutrition available.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Chiropractic exists as profession both at the cutting edge of holistic treatment and at the center of controversy. There are those who say it is just a bunch of quackery. However, the fact that chiropractic endures today, without mainstream sponsorship and subsidization is a testament to the effectiveness and importance of adjustive therapy. The free market has carried chiropractic along from its inception to where we are today. The free market is the ultimate test of any product or service. It represents the combined decisions of millions of people over a long time period. We are here today because chiropractic works. Now it is question of communication and education of why it works, and why it is necessary for long term health.
Chiropractors treat the subluxation. It is a complex phenomenon, and one that unfortunately does not yield to simple definition. It is better to consider the subluxation an energetic phenomenon with distinct physical manifestations. Those familiar with this idea will use terms like "sticky" joint, dysfunctional motion segment, restricted motion, tissue abnormalities, etc. to describe their physical palpation findings. We are speaking strictly of joints, for those who are not familiar with this idea. More specifically, the subluxation is when spinal vertebra (or other joints like the elbow or ankle) become dysfunctional and cause system wide adaptation patterns as the body is forced to make changes to survive.
At this point it is important to emphasize several critical concepts that will be necessary for understanding health and chiropractic.
1) The Body Never Makes Mistakes
It is a fact that every action taken by the body is to survive by maintaining homeostasis. Loss of homeostasis means loss of life - its that simple. Every cough, sore throat, allergy, and yes even cancer is an adaptation forced upon the body by some kind of stress (see below). It is hard to believe that the person dying from cancer still has a body making correct decisions, but it is true. When we sneeze, or get a cold, or get a disease, the body is attempting to deal with something that is threatening its survival. The common cold is natures way of getting rid of trash accumulated inside our bodies.
Have you ever realized that a cough, runny nose, and fever all act to remove or destroy microbes inside us? The body raises its temperature to destroy pathogens, then the cough and runny nose, or diarrhea, serve to excrete the toxins effectively. But what are we told by medicine? That these symptoms should be suppressed! How insane is it to think that by stopping the body's natural process of getting ride of trash that somehow we are healthier for it? Remember this always - the body doesn't make mistakes. Those who understand health will support the body's innate intelligence, which is far superior to any doctor, and allow the body to cleanse itself naturally. We can support this excretion/detoxification naturally by stimulating and supporting organs like the kidney, liver, and lymph tissues with chiropactic adjustments and targeted nutritional support.
2) Treating Symptoms Will Never Cure nor Prevent a Single Disease
What passes for healthcare in America is really no different than a teenager who cleans his room by throwing all his junk inside his closet. His room looks clean from the outside, it even feels clean, but just under the surface all the trash is piling up. But hey out of sight, out of mind! The pharmaceutical industry makes ridiculous profits selling us proprietary products (read unnatural) designed to suppress symptoms. The fatal flaw, the source of rampant disease in America, is the widespread use of this symptom-suppression model.
The real price we pay for suppression of symptoms, while never addressing the underlying cause of disease, is that our bodies accumulate toxins and begin to toxify, inflame, and breakdown. Continued suppression of symptoms, which are the body's perfectly intelligent responses to rid itself of disease-causing agents, forces the toxins to go deeper into our bodies. If the body cannot excrete/detoxify itself it is forced to fight the toxins locally. This is inflammation. Inflammation is like wagging a war. Unfortunately for us, like all wars there is collateral damage. And as the body slowly builds up with toxic matter, the body is forced to deal with it by fighting in its own backyard. Think about what war does to picturesque towns when bombs are dropped from above and tanks role through the streets. The same thing happens to our own tissues at a microscopic level. Over time this leads to diseases that are far more serious than just a common cold.
Most every culture on earth utilizes some form of detoxification to aid the body's natural mechanisms. Whether we are dealing with sweats, saunas, mineral waters, clays, etc. each is designed to draw out toxins which helps to lessen the energetic burden on the body. American culture today is arguably the most toxic in human history. Simultaneously we are living without widespread detoxification methods being practiced. This is a major contributor to our epidemic rates disease.
3) Stress is the Ultimate Cause of Disease
While this may seem oversimplified, it is in fact an excellent model for conceptualizing what is going on in the body to produce disease. It is hard to believe that the body doesn't make mistakes, yet we are are collectively a very sick society! Something must explain this discrepancy and stress is the concept that is able to connect the dots into a cohesive whole of wellness understanding.
D.D. Palmer, the founding father of chiropractic, understood that disease was a result of three main ideas: trauma, poisons and auto-suggestion. We can refer to these as physical, chemical (toxic), and emotional stress. This is a common concept in applied kinesiology where patients are treated in regards to the triad of health - structural, chemical, and emotional stress. D.D. Palmer recognized that disease has more than one origin, but the effect is still stress on the system. This stress creates dis-ease in our body by using up and consuming the fuel, or energy, necessary for maintaining homeostasis.
Consider that while energy in the universe is infinite, each one of us has a bucket and that bucket represents our energy account. Our body has a finite amount of energy and must live within its means and budget accordingly (which it does superbly). When we are on a stress-free vacation, enjoying life, feeling great our bucket is leak-free and full. This abundance of energy is perfectly spent by the body on maintaining a "tight ship" and keeping all systems robust, clean, and maintained. We experience low stress and the body spends its energy currency on growth and repair - and we feel great!
Yet for most of us, the majority of our lives are more stressful than we would like. It is the nature of our world today and must be dealt with proactively. That bucket that was full while we were on our care-free vacation now has a leak. Actually it has several leaks. Instead of putting its energy income into savings, for future enjoyment i.e. Health, the body is forced to adapt to the stress by spending energy fixing holes in the bucket. The more stress, the more holes, the more energy spent. This is all fine and dandy as long as the energy coming in is greater than the energy going out. People will have colds, maybe the flu, allergies, and mild symptoms of all kinds in this phase of dis-ease. The body can manage the stress, but at the expense of the immune system working top notch. Unfortunately for us, the immune system is the first thing to weaken when we start to experience stress. It is difficult to guard against outside invaders when there is chaos inside the castle walls.
A critical point is reached when the body is forced to dip into its energy savings to take care of all the energy requirements of dealing with stress. Remember stress is structural, chemical, and emotional so the body is working on many fronts simultaneously. Before this critical point, income was greater than expenses. And just like any business enterprise, when the body must dip into savings to continue to operate, it is operating at a loss. This is an unsustainable course.
As the body dips into energy-savings, it is forced to breakdown less-critical tissue in order to maintain homeostasis. As stress increases, holes in the bucket multiply, and the body must begin to use energy, vitamins and minerals stored in the body to keep up with demands. As the expenses for dealing with stress grow uncontrollably, the body breaks down its own tissue in order to stay alive. The body is still acting correctly, it is just in such a difficult environment it has no choice but to shift into catabolism or tissue breakdown. If calcium is needed to fix the holes in the bucket then osteoporosis results as calcium is taken from bone, where it is stored long term. If cholesterol is needed to reduce oxidation, then hormones are reduced because cell repair is more important than a good sex drive. Continual stress on the body will cause disease as there is no other choice but for the body to start to break itself down to stay alive.
To Be Continued...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
1) the nervous system controls the body.
2) nerves must be balanced/healthy to correctly carry out important functions
3) the body heals itself, when properly maintained and corrected
4) the skull and spine are the most complex and critical bony structures in the body
5) our brain also lives inside our spine, irregularities and subluxations interfere with nervous system function
6) chiropractic care is preventative care, designed to keep the body "tuned" much like an automobile
7) investing money today in prevention will save large amounts down the road ("an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin)
8) health isn't free, but it is a lot cheaper than disease
In the end chiropractic is all about LIFE, quality and quantity of LIFE. We study LIFE to learn how to better live it. We study HEALTH to learn how to better create it. We study LOVE to learn how to better give it. We study WEALTH to learn how to better grow it. All of this is self-evident, logical, rational, based on science (asking questions and observing), and firmly grounded in reality. It is what being HOLISTIC is all about.
Chiropractic is all about focusing on what you want more of - LIFE and HEALTH - while avoiding things you want less off - DEATH and DISEASE. Yet despite the self-evident truths above, many in the establishment have yet to embrace the truth that focusing on something will inevitably bring about more of that same thing.
We still invest massive sums of research dollars into studying disease, thinking erroneously that such efforts will yield magical results that can alleviate the chronic diseases that are literally plaguing our society. Would it make sense to study poor, gambling-addicted citizens who have wasted all their resources if we are trying to learn about saving and growing our wealth? What good will it do us to understand mechanistically how all kinds of diseases happen while ignoring how to create health and vitality? We do not want more disease. Yet by focusing on disease and ignoring health, we are getting tons and tons of disease in return.
The Universe works on the principal of electro-magnetism, aka the law of attraction. Basically it should be obvious to everyone that the more we focus on something, the more we will get of that thing. For example, if we go around feeling like we "want" things, the signal we are sending out is that "we don't have enough". Sure enough, the universe oblidges us and will give us situations were we don't have enough. It may not be true in the fullest sense of the word, but our perception of the world will have imprinted the "wanting" feeling which inevitably leads us to live a life of "not enough, not ever enough". You can imagine people who live this way. If they don't have enough, don't expect them to share!
If we expect to get out of our current crisis then my money is on the holistic, vitalistic, quantum energy based healing sciences. Medicine has to shrink....way down. It must be reserved for emergencies, where it is most effective. For most of us we won't need it. Instead we will pay for a service from a chiropractor or other holistic healer who will teach us how to be healthy, grow healthy, and stay healthy.
Friday, August 28, 2009
As we transition from summer towards fall there is a good chance the fires of fear will be stoked to a frenzy. As I have pointed out before, the "normal" flu kills about 36,000 people each year. That's right, each year an entire small city-sized portion of our population passes away because of the flu. Yet this flu, which is part of our world every year, is taking a back seat to the propaganda espousing that Swine Flu / H1N1 is the real danger. Common sense would suggest that the illness with a confirmed yearly kill rate in the US of 36,000 would gain more attention.
The Mainstream Media, er propaganda machine, that consistently blasts its fairytale version of reality out to the masses clearly is not interested in the scientific facts underlying this entire episode. For example, just today on the CDC.gov website anyone who is interested can clearly find the following facts:
1) The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was below the epidemic threshold.
2) A total of 7,983 hospitalizations and 522 deaths associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been reported to CDC.
3) The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was below national and region-specific baseline levels.
Now I am not an expert on communicable disease but it appears that the CDC's own fact sheet shows that the H1N1 Flu is not a serious and widespread illness that is consistent with the word epidemic. But if using the word epidemic is more profitable to the media networks and their big-pharma advertisers (who by the way will be in line for as much as $50 billion in yearly profits) then we are just going to have to get used to it.
Only 522 people have died in the US from H1N1 since its appearance in the media during April 2009. So in the five months since it began, we have an averaged monthly total (including August and excluding April) of 130 deaths each month. Now if we take the "normal" flu and compare we come to a figure of 3,000 deaths each month on average. So H1N1 Flu is killing people at a rate of merely 5.0% of the typical flu. Yet despite this mathematical and scientific disparity, it remains on the front page of media outlets worldwide.
Maybe the real epidemic we should concern ourselves with is that of misinformation and lies being promoted as journalism. It will be impossible for us as a society to move forward, with meaningful change, if we remain subject to a fantasy world painted for us daily by the powerful industries behind our media networks.
When faced with a world that seems full of danger and chaos, that doesn't seem to make sense, remember to follow the money. If you follow the money you will then be pulling back the veil and can more easily identify those who stand to gain from the hysteria and chaos. People don't make the best decisions when they are hurried and stressed. If you wish to profit from people making poor decisions, it is in your best interest to maintain an atmosphere of fear and danger to ellicit the behavior that will make you rich.
Lastly we should all remember to ask the question, Cui bono? In latin this phrase is meant to ask "to whose benefit?". Clearly big pharma gains financially. And the federal juggernaut gains more direct control over what goes into our bodies. But faced with several innoculations that contain such toxic substances as mercury and squalene what benefit, if any, is there to subjecting oneself to a vaccination program that hasn't proven to be safe or effective? And when you consider that makers of the H1N1 vaccine have been granted complete legal immunity for any damages that will arise from the use of their product...how could anyone willingly go along with this scheme?
Ultimately it is a choice about freedom. The freedom to be healthy is at the top of that list. When a government no longer protects its citizens from the predatory practices of powerful organizations, and in fact enables their behavior through legislation, then it is up to the people to stand up for themselves. We might remember it is "government for the people, by the people", not "government against the people."
Stay positive, healthy, and strong. These are interesting times and those who remain cool, calm, and collected will surely do the right thing.
Yours in Health,
Friday, July 24, 2009
- Main Entry:
- Late Latin pandemus, from Greek pandēmos of all the people, from pan- + dēmos people — more at demagogue
H1N1 Flu is now considered to be a pandemic. We can all rest assured, however, that the powers that be are "on top" of the situation. The CDC, the government-sponsored disease authority, has posted the total infected and the total deaths so far in all of the United States (all 50 states plus territories) due to the H1N1 virus. At this moment there have a grand total of.....303 deaths in the USA. Hmm...303 deaths total since this whole scare began back around mid-April during Obama's trip to Mexico. Thats roughly about 3 people per day since the outbreak in the USA. 303 people have died out of a population of over 300,000,000! This breaks down to about 0.0001% of the population of the United State that has died from H1N1 flu virus. Does this data support the use of the word Pandemic (see definitions above)?
Compare that number against the "normal" flu. According to the CDC each year in the United States over 36,000 people die from the "regular" flu. That works out to around 0.12% of the entire population that dies from the flu each year. If we multiply the 3-month outbreak of H1N1 by 4 we would then have 0.0004% of the population (assuming similar death rates for the year). Looking at H1N1 against the "old, not-headline-worthy" flu, we can see that the "boring, business-as-usual" flu that has been with us forever is actually 300x more deadly than H1N1. Does this data support the use of the word Pandemic (see definitions above)?
Suffice it to say that the results as of July 24th, 2009, just don't seem to justify the alarm. Some have suggested that by increasing the amount of panic and fear in the general population that we are being distracted from other things - wars, unemployment, destruction of the middle class, the rise of facism, etc. Clearly there are many things we would be better served to pay attention to than the hysterical propaganda coming out of the government-sponsored disease center.
The Associated Press recently broke a story regarding the H1N1 flu, vaccines, and immunity. Except that upon reading the article one quickly realizes that immunity is not being offered for sick and suffering Americans. No, legal immunity is being given to makers of H1N1 vaccines. It must be nice to offer a product for sale, have the government demand that everyone has to purchase it, then to be granted immunity from damages should the product forced down everyones throat actually turn out to be harmful.
Remember that in the 1970's there was a swine flu outbreak. And over 300 deaths occurred - from the vaccines themselves. History doesn't always repeat, but it usually rhymes. Things are coming to a head, a sort of crisis on many levels - economic, ecological, and spiritual. Staying healthy is the best defense against whatever "bug" is out there.
Click here to learn about a petition against mandatory vaccination. Mandatory vaccination by the federal government would be taking another gigantic step down the road towards a fascist dictatorship. When we are no longer free to say no to being injected with dangerous, experimental vaccines.....what are we then?
Yours in Health,
Monday, July 13, 2009
Staying centered is crucial. From the center, all things are possible and all information is equally within reach. It is here, in the center, that athletes break records, that musicians record masterpieces, and that philosophers uncover a new way to look at the world. The center is akin to the singularity that all great religions seek - some have called it peace, love, zen, happiness, etc.
In the center there is unity - oneness. Struggle doesn't exist on its own. Neither does pain, or hate, or even death. All these negative, death-energy concepts rely on a splitting and dividing. All things are connected in the center, and when we are consciously present there, we too benefit by sensing the connections all around us.
In order to heal others its important to realize many people, structurally, chemically, and emotionally, are way off center, lacking balance. Its important for those doing the healing to know where the center is and how to get there. If they are successful in placing their self into a grounded, open-minded, and empathetic posture, then they will have access to intuition and insight that will greatly benefit the healing process.
While talk is cheap and its easy to point to where one wants to go, taking the steps to get there will challenge everyone who dares. The point is that we will all be challenged. Those who challenge themselves as they attempt to grow will be paying their fees upfront and enjoying dividends down the road. However, those who avoid being tested and take the easy road will simply be using their dividends today and will suffer with more serious challenges and consequences down the road.
Find the center and all things become possible...What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Yours in Health,
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The necessity of chiropractic can be found in these seven words. Who will step up to take care of the sick and diseased in our society? If humans are viewed as machines, then medical doctors are simply mechanics. Swap a part here, drain and change some fluids there. Viola modern medicine at its best. Perhaps only in todays post-modern, post-human world of concrete, glass, and steel did we as a society somehow forget that humans, and all life, are filled with a powerful force. It is the same force that causes trees to grow, to fix their roots deep into rich nutritious soil and to send their branches skyward. Trees like all life seek fearlessly to deploy material and energetic resources in the most efficient manner possible. Roots do not hog nutrients to spite the needs of the leaves. There is no such thing as self or ego or possession - in nature all things are united. There is just the driving force to grow and succeed that permeates each and every cell of every living creature on earth.
Medicine works on the assumption that the suppression of symptoms is an effective way to treat disease. Its akin to saying the person who never cleans their house and lives like a pig can just spray air-freshener over everything and then claim it to be clean because it doesn't smell dirty. We have learned that symptoms are a latent sign of dis-ease and patho-physiology. Yet since the symptom is usually the first sign of illness, it is erroneously assumed that the symptom IS the sickness. When the winds blows and leaves tremble we can say the wind is blowing. We cannot see the wind, but we can see the effect of its passing. Disease and illness works in much the same manner. If we are trying to understand what is afflicting a patient, it would be a disservice to focus on the symptom (the leaves) while ignoring the causative factors (the wind).
It should be clear at this point that a superior health-oriented paradigm is greatly needed. Chiropractic is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this leadership void. We are learning that adjustments open up the body's intrinsic pathways of information and energy resulting in a being living at a higher level of functioning and integration. We are learning that proper alignment of the skeletal system, specifically the vertebral column, is vital to health. The brain and spinal cord are integrative, information processing centers that are interdependent upon the structures through which they travel. So by focusing on adjustments and corrective structural intervention, chiropractic has the answer for many in our society who are seeking a better way. We should remember that chiropractic is perfectly capable of taking care of itself and its patients without changing who and what we are. Treat people as a whole entity instead of treating symptoms as an isolated incident.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Consider then the community of cells we call the human body. Our cells respond to toxic food, excessive stress, and emotional suffering just like human beings respond to fear, violence, and poison. Lets consider what would happen to normal, healthy individuals in the following scenario:
Imagine a dense urban environment, called "Toxic Town", where we remove all the nutrition from the food supply and replace it with processed sugar only; place drugs into the drinking water; pollute the air; tear down the lines of communication to the rest of the world; and finally wall off that part of the city. What do you think the health of those citizens would be like in a few days? A few weeks? A few months?
We took normal, healthy people and changed their environment. In this walled-off part of the city people suffered greatly from dis-ease as they were unable to escape the health negative effects of their environment. Anyone subjected to the above reality would likely experience degeneration and dis-ease. Without the ingredients for health available in the immediate environment, and without the ability to flee, is there any doubt as to the fate of these imaginary people?
Keeping with this train of thought, how might today's medical authorities deal with this situation? If we follow the orthodox medicine point of view then our remedy would be to send in ANTI-BIOTIC foot soldiers to "wipe the floor" with these sick people. Or perhaps a SURGICAL air strike would effectively wipe this dis-eased Toxic Town right off the map. When we consider that cells are like people, orthodox medicine becomes violent very quickly. And how are we going to heal each other, if we practice violence against ourselves?
The citizens of Toxic Town didn't do anything wrong and obviously don't deserve to get obliterated by medical intervention. They became victim to their environment - an environment that made it impossible to experience health. In our own bodies it is not the fault of our cells that they become diseased, anymore than it is the fault of the people in Toxic Town. And like the people stuck in this toxic part of town, our cells cannot up and move to a cleaner part of our body.
We should consider then how vitally important is the environment. Whether we are an individual human being or an individual cell, our health and our fate is fully dependent upon the support of the immediate environment. Mother nature has made it simple for us to keep our cell environment healthy. All that is required of the average person is to avoid things which are made by people in labs and factories and to eat fruits, veggies, and meats growth in an organic and sustainable manner. By selecting foods rich in vitamins and minerals we will be assuring that our cells are awash in the biochemicals they depend on to function at their best.
We have all heard that the body is our temple. That means that if we respect, cherish, and love life that we will keep that temple clean and healthy. No one benefits from living in a Toxic Town. And no cells can thrive living in a toxic body. We can change cars when we wear them out. We can move into a new house if we wreak the one we have. We have but a single body and it needs our love, respect, and attention.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
At this early stage already there is much alarm and dread in the media. While these swine flu deaths that have taken place are unfortunate, we must be aware that every year in the United States over 36,000 people die from the flu. That is around 100 people each day! These flu deaths are just "normal" flu and are not afforded such frenzied media coverage. Clearly seasonal flu is an ongoing issue every year. Even at 9:00 am on April, 26th, 2009 there are only 20 infections so far in the United States. We are talking 20 infections out of 300 million people! Compare 20 infections, not fatalities, to around the usual 100 deaths a day. Obviously we are not at a point where our fear and hysteria are justified. We should keep asking questions and think for ourselves. Below I have attempted to highlight a philosophy of health that suggests what we call cold and flu symptoms are actually correct responses by the body to a viral infection. Rather than take medicine to suppress the symptoms, aren't we better off allowing the body to do what it needs to do? Hopefully we can all learn that symptoms are tools used by the innate intelligence of the body to restore health. We should not fight that. The body is fully aware of what to do and we should simply nourish it and get out of the way.
According to the CDC, the swine flu we are dealing with today is a "new" variation of swine influenza A. The fact that it is new should not alarm anyone. It is critical to understand that viruses change all the time. Science and medicine cannot even cure the common cold, one of the most simple sicknesses that we all encounter. The reason is not for lack of trying but rather that the virus is constantly in a state of evolution. Its like an ancient game of cat and mouse. The cold virus gets into our bodies and attempts to replicate. Our immune system is designed to monitor and remove such threats. So the cold virus is the mouse and the immune system is the cat so to speak. In order to make this point clearer, please consider the following point of view.
Each one of us has the cold virus inside our bodies. I understand that to mean at all times, even during times of great health, there is some cold virus within us. Its just that during those times of immune strength our bodies are doing an excellent job of keeping the growth of the virus down to minimum levels. Constant vigilance is the name of the game for our immune systems. Our immune system defends us all day, every day without us being aware of it at all. Such is the beauty and power of the human being. We could conceivably enjoy this period of health and immune wellness for many months and even years. There is no reason to believe we cannot live in such a state for long periods of time.
Now lets say for this exercise that we have become overly stressed, we found ourselves eating poor food, and we haven't been getting a lot of sleep lately (sound familiar anyone?). Remember that our immune system is always working to keep the cold virus, or any virus for that matter, under control. But when we experience stress - emotional, physical, and chemical - our immune system is the first thing to weaken. Now instead of having a virus under control, we have a virus that spreads systemically.
At this point we are not aware of being sick. Keep in mind that what we call sickness is actually the intelligence of the body responding to the threat. We call our symptoms the sickness. In fact, the real sickness is the fact that the cold virus has spread throughout our bodies due to the weakening of our immune function. We probably would not say we feel sick at this point. We might feel something coming on, but it would be too far in the background of our awareness. We just can't tune in at that level.
So now we are at a point where our body recognizes intelligently that the cold virus has spread to unsafe levels. The initial immune response was unable to keep it in check due to stresses placed upon the body which drain the vital energy needed by the immune system. But the body fights back at this point. This is the critical point in the process where most would now say we feel sick. The body knows that the virus lives and proliferates only in very precise environmental conditions. In other words, in order for the cold virus to spread it needs to have just the right temperature, pH, etc. Lucky for us the body can alter these factors and thus cause the virus to stop spreading and cause it to die off.
As mentioned the body fights back and it does this one way by raising the internal temperature. This occurs with an increase in immune cell activity and creates an unfavorable environment for the virus. By elevating the temperature the body causes the virus to slow down and denature, while at the same time giving the immune response added energy to disable and remove the virus. The fever is a natural intelligent response by the body. It should be seen as such. It is the correct response in order to remove the viral infection from the body. Yet this perspective is not widely acknowledged. We are raised to think that feeling sick is "bad" but in fact the sickness we feel is just Mother Nature doing her best to keep us alive.
After altering the internal environment and energizing our immune system our body fights off the virus and we are again returned to health. Of course during this period of fever, loss of appetite, and low energy we certainly didn't feel good. But that is the price we had to pay for returning to health.
We have established that the body's response to the cold virus is not really "sickness" but is an intelligent method of riding the body of an infection. While it is unpleasant to undergo these experiences, we should support the body's efforts by eating the most nutritious of foods, usually soups in this case, and provide it with ample clean water. We must acknowledge that the sick feeling is actually the curative process. It has to hurt if its to heal. Covering up the pain with drugs and poison is working against the body. Sometimes a fever is necessary. It may be uncomfortable to cough and feel sick but the body is working intelligently, flawlessly, perfectly the whole time.
The cold virus is always changing. Other viruses like the flu are always changing as well. It is just a fact of life. By always morphing into something new the viruses are constantly challenging our immune system. Our bodies are perfectly capable of keeping us healthy for extended lengths of time. But when we are down, our immune system is one of the first things to go. And like the old saying goes "when the cats away the mice will play". The viruses spread quickly when the immune system is weakened. Keep the body nourished, keep the spine healthy, and keep the body energized and we will all reap the benefits.
Yours in Health,
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Now consider that the human body is like a very, very complex garden, replete with varieties of micro-organisms which all seek harmony and homeostasis. The body needs a wide array of support from nutrition to emotional well-being. It makes no sense to limit the care of the human being to two tools - drugs and surgery. All too often we become biased by the tools on our belt. Remember, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!
The consequence of the narrow approach, of using emergency intervention in the majority of cases, is a misdiagnoses of the needs of patients. Patients may needed emergency care and medical crisis management at certain points. Yet what is need by the patient, and lacking in the medical model, is a holistic, patient-centered approach. The missing diagnosis in the surgery/drug model is the realization that the patient is a whole person, with all the qualities and complexities inherent in an individual. Patients are people with symptoms, not symptoms with people attached.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
While those are big questions, I believe chiropractic philosophy can help find an answer. I believe that chiropractic care is the key to unlocking your body's potential. Think of your dream home. Now imagine it has caught fire. Do you call the architect or carpenter? No, you call the fire department because that is an emergency. It is the same with your body. If you find yourself in a health emergency, you need to go to the hospital, to the emergency room. But lets say your dream home has a cracked foundation, some walls and door frames are not square, and a little water leaks in during rain storms. You wouldn't call fire fighters. You would turn to experts who deal with structure and function.
Now it is the same when we talk about chiropractic and health. Chiropractic is to you what an architect or carpenter is to your house. You can live in a crooked house, but would anyone recommend it? You also can live with chronic subluxations (spinal misalignments), but would anyone recommend that? Now consider the human body, its a little more complicated than a house. And if structure is important for your house, imagine how important it is for your health. Proper alignment of the skull and spine allows for proper functioning of the nervous system, which in turn increases health across a broad spectrum. Chiropractors use their hands and simple tools to move bones and tissues back into proper alignment. We don't use drugs, and we don't use surgery. Your body knows how to heal itself, and we respect and understand that.
Health is really a direction. Everything we eat, drink, think, and do affects our health. Chiropractic helps people of all ages, from all walks of life, to deal with the challenges we all face living day to day. Its all about your quality of life, and with chiropractic, you receive care that enhances your overall well-being.
Yours in Health,
Sunday, April 5, 2009
It was demonstrated that vertebral misalignments of the thoracic spine (what chiropractors would refer to as hypokyphosis or akyphosis) were present in 98% of a total of 1028 patients who suffered from allergic disease. Now this is interesting on two levels. First this study clearly looked at the spine from a structural point of view and found a very high correlation between disease and what they call "spinal curvature disappearance". Next the researchers go on to reveal that the misalignments were very consistent in each individual, occurring at the T8 - T10 level of the thoracic spine. This is important because it links a specific area of the spine with a given disease process and set of symptoms.
What we have at this point is a set of symptoms or allergic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and bronchial asthma, that are shown to directly correspond with what the chiropractic sciences term a subluxation (flexed or laterally flexed vertebra) of a hypo-to-akyphotic thoracic spine. That is, asthma and auto-immune inflammation is directly related in this study to subluxations of the thoracic spine. For chiropractors and students everywhere, this is an important reinforcement of the importance of chiropractic coming from scientific research. But wait, we are not done yet.
[Note: the term subluxation has been substituted for the original phrase "chronic vertebral misalignment" used by the researchers. The study clearly identifies flexed and laterally flexed vertebra of the thoracic spine and associated disk narrowing as the cause for vertebral misalignment. This definition is congruent with this author's understanding of the term subluxation.]
The question we need to ask now is how does a subluxation in the spine cause things like bronchial asthma and atopic dermatitis? The researchers in this study addressed this question well when they state:
"When the intervertebral disk is compressed forward and downward by changes in the vertebra, further downward pressure will thin the front area of the disk [subluxation]. The direction of the spinous process becomes horizontal due to the inclination of the front side of the vertebra in a downward direction. The upper articulating process that is causing the changes in the vertebrae is pushed forward and can penetrate the intervertebral foramina in the upper part of the changed vertebra" (emphasis added)
The important piece of information here is that the superior articulating process encroaches into the foramen and it is here that nerve interference is present. The sympathetic nerves of the autonomic nervous system originate from the T1-L2,3 level of the spine. It is through a disruption of these nerves at the T8 - T10 spinal segment level which causes altered adrenal cortex function which the researchers claim is related to allergic disease. Thus it now makes sense how a compromised thoracic spine can inflict changes to the body in areas far removed from the site of the subluxation.
Another impressive aspect of this study concerns the treatment of 906 bronchial asthma patients. In particular these scientists highlight the T2-T4 thoracic segments as being directly related to bronchial asthma. They pointed out that the more severe subluxations at the T2-T4 level resulted in more severe asthma. There appears to be a connection between not only the presence but also the magnitude of the subluxation and the severity of the symptom. These patients were treated for their chronic vertebral misalignments [subluxations] and reacted very well, with improvement rates ranging from 80%-93% over a four to ten month period. Clearly such high numbers suggest that treating the spine for allergic disease yields beneficial results. Chiropractors have long claimed that adjustments help with allergies and asthma, and here is a study that is in complete agreement.
What this study has shown is that chiropractic is an important tool in all of our lives. This was one study looking at just a small area of the spine. Yet despite the focus upon small areas of the spine, the researchers were able to connect the dots and clearly show the complex, integrative, big-picture effects of spinal problems. This is suggestive of a more holistic approach and less reliance upon over-specialization and myopic thinking. I believe it is this broader focus that is lacking in our health care system today. This study out of Japan is encouraging to the entire profession of chiropractic. There is one thing we need more of and that is independent, peer-reviewed science to validate the clinical and case-study data gathered over decades by the chiropractic profession.
Here you have it - structure and function cannot be separated and they play a role in all of our lives. Finals begin tomorrow and there is much work to be done.
Yours in Health,
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Love and Gratitude,
PS - Don' forget, HEALTH is our greatest wealth...
original article here
"To begin, I would like to introduce a book to you, titled Creating Affluence by Deepak Chopra. I found it, informative, inspirational, spiritual and concise. It came into my experience at an excellent time. I hope you’ll give it a read because I think we can all benefit from this kind of thinking.
Richard Carlson author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, penned the forward and I’d like to share a small portion of that with you. Mr. Carlson states: “Wealth consciousness is so much more than simply having the ability to make money. It's a mindset that involves seeing life, not as a struggle, but as a magical adventure where our needs are met with grace and ease. Wealth consciousness is a state of mind, a sense, not of believing, but of really knowing that what we need is available to us”.
There is one lesson which is very difficult for many of us to integrate into our lives although we do comprehend its meaning on an intellectual level. John Lennon expressed this lesson beautifully when he sang "the love you give is equal to the love you get". If you want to acquire knowledge, love, and wealth, it is necessary to learn how to give the same.
I realize how difficult that can be when you're trying to pay the bills and everyone from Uncle Sam to Aunt Suzie is after you for one thing or another. But giving does not have to be about dollars and sense. There are many ways we can give: every day, all day.
Americans and western civilization in general have been programmed to always be doing something. Movement is equated with success and not moving is equated with laziness. Perhaps we need to stop, listen, and be quiet. “Doing nothing” for 20-30 minutes a day can be as difficult as finding that 30 minutes a day to exercise. But it is important stuff. The crazier this financial/geopolitical mess becomes, the more we will need to find a way to earn money in order to survive. We will need to be creative and often times that creativity emanates from that whisper in our minds that comes when we are quiet.
One final idea from the book and I'm going to paraphrase this concept so as not to get lost in detail. And please think of these “goddesses” as metaphorical entities or whatever best coincides with your belief structures.
A student asks the spiritual master what is the secret to creating affluence?
“The Master answers that there are two goddesses that reside in the heart of every human being and everyone is deeply in love with these entities. However, there is a certain secret that you need to know and I will tell you what it is. Although you love both goddesses, you must pay more attention to one of them. She is the goddess of knowledge. Pursue her, love her, and give her your attention. The other goddess is the goddess of wealth. When you pay more attention to the Goddess of knowledge the other Goddess will become extremely jealous and pay more attention to you.
In other words the more you seek the goddess of knowledge, the more the goddess of wealth will seek you. She will follow you wherever you go and never leave you and the wealth you desire will be yours forever.
There is power in knowledge, desire, and spirit and this power that lies within you, within all of us is the key to creating affluence. Are you still with me!?"
This simple yet elusive question is one I often return to in order to re-center myself in this effort. Is health a measure of the “absence” of something? Or is it better understood as the presence of something? In terms of absence, we refer to symptoms as a guide. We reduce the human organism to a series of histological, microscopic, and physical findings as to whether dis-ease is present. Orthodox medicine doesn't know what health is, only what the presence/absence of symptoms can tell them. This reductionist approach has resulted in a medical culture seeking methods to remove symptoms, and in their eyes, restore health. But what if there is more to the picture? What if removing symptoms results not in health, but merely the removal of outward signs of disease and dysfunction?
It must be said that symptoms, as commonly recognized by orthodox medicine, often occur near the end of the disease process, preceding many phases of dis-ease and dysfunction. It should be clear then that the removal of symptoms through pharmaceutical drugs or surgery (remove a wounded part of the anatomy and the symptom disappears...) is not what can be described as “health”. Rather, being symptom-free is just the beginning of the journey towards health.
Now if we consider health as the presence of something, a new paradigm of understanding is available for us to utilize. Instead of poking, prodding, and turn-your-head-and-coughing to find symptoms, health professionals with a vitalism approach will have a very different perspective. Looking at health through the lens of holism, determining health would involve gaining an appreciation for a person's physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. A passion for life, loving nature, kindness, generosity might be looked for in the healthy person. Instead of stating what is missing, doctors might diagnose and treat based off a person's energy level, range of motion, cranial symmetry, breathing, and/or spinal structure.
The crux of the matter is that orthodox medicine thinks in terms of what is NOT present. Following that line of reasoning we can view the allopaths as “taking away” symptoms or tissues (often times they take our immune strength and well-being instead). D.C.'s and other holistic healers view the patient in terms of what IS present. They look at the whole person, looking for avenues of giving, seeking ways to give more to the person so that after treatment the person is more “whole”. The underlying reality to this additive, whole-person model is the understanding that within each of us are better, more healthy versions of ourselves. More specifically, the goal of treatment for the chiropractor is to give to the patient in such a way that the patient's own body can more fully express health. This giving often comes in the form of adjustments, using bare hands or simple tools, which help alleviate disturbances in the body's nervous system – the body's master control unit. Chiropractors can also utilize advances in our understanding of nutrition and detoxification, which can help cleanse and nourish patients bodies, giving support to the fuller expression of health.
Health can then be better understood as not only the absence of symptoms but a more complete, full expression of the innate intelligence of the human body. To many this will be easy to understand, as the same forces which create health in our body create balance and plenty in the world around us. To many this concept is too large and too powerful to fit into their narrowed world-view. Health is a journey as we living beings are in constant motion. Health is not some tangible “thing” but a direction toward a better future for humanity. Relieving pain and symptoms is part of this healing process, only it is just the beginning. The destination is not the absence of symptoms but the presence of the innate intelligence of the universe through the human body. This is the foundation of chiropractic.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
We feed our bodies processed, reduced foods and toxic substances, we stress, and we are in general an ill bunch. In the same manner, we feed each other toxic thoughts and processed ideas, ideas and thoughts with all the nutrition removed, so that we are left starving for meaning and truth in our lives. Our bodies are burdened by toxins and lack of real nutrition just like our hearts and minds are collectively looking for a rewarding path to follow, something that will nourish our mental and spiritual bodies. We pray upon the weaknesses in our fellow man while we worship the morally corrupt. We suffer from physical cancer and emotional cancer. The two are self-reinforcing, increasing the disharmony between cell-to-cell, person-to-person, and people-to-planet communication and understanding.
If we are looking for a solution to our circumstances today, it would serve us to look in the mirror with an open and forgiving mind. Whether it be at the cellular or societal level, there are consequences for greed and sloth, for corruption and lack of leadership, for malnourishment and stress. Health permeates all levels of existence -- as above, so below say the alchemists. When we return to principals of vitalism in all areas of our lives, then the world will start to change. Change will happen across the entire spectrum, micro-to-macro, since in fact it is all ONE. There is hope in the realization that it is not the people or the cells, but the environment into which we place ourselves and our bodies that is the problem. Cells want to be healthy, but in the presence of abuse and stress they can become diseased. People raised with fear and hate are no different. There is no way to peace, peace is the way just as there is no way to health, as health is the way.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
The study was conceived after a local MD in Chicago was sending his patients with hypertension, or high blood pressure, to a chiropractor. It was reported by this MD that after receiving chiropractic care, the hypertension appeared to normalize in his patients. It was this anecdotal evidence that prompted the study. It is interesting to note that according to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the number one killer in the United States with over 650,000 deaths a year (iatrogenic death is the number one killer in the US, however that data is not published by the CDC). Hypertension is related to heart disease or dis-ease as the increased pressure damages the heart and can lead to more serious and deadly complications.
In the future it would useful to have much more peer-reviewed science available to chiropractors. Clearly science is a tool and can be used positively or negatively. If chiropractors are able to devise and fund studies concerning the myriad benefits of chiropractic care, then we would be able to more clearly communicate to the world what the profession has known for decades -- that chiropractic works!
Yours in Health,
Monday, January 19, 2009
In a future where patients seek to minimize invasive and dangerous medicine, chiropractic will lead the way.
Yours in Health,
Chiropractic doesn’t need fanaticism, chiropractic doesn’t need gimmicks, chiropractic doesn’t need dogma masquerading as philosophy and chiropractic doesn’t need medicine.
We don’t need medicine’s approval, permission or their misguided suppressive, mechanistic philosophy and belief system.
Chiropractic’s expressive, empirical (vitalistic) philosophy is far superior to medical thought and is far more effective in helping patients.
We don’t need students in chiropractic colleges confused about their philosophy, but we have that. We have students who don’t know what they can do for patients. We have students who don’t know whether or not to vaccinate their children, don’t know about natural childbirth or the subluxation or their place in the world as chiropractors.
If we are to be a light amongst the confused we need to have schools that give students the big picture, the big idea, as BJ used to say. To heal our professional schism we must understand the roots of the philosophy, art and science DD Palmer taught and let that guide our practice.
What chiropractic does need is to get sick people well, no matter what the condition, and keep them in tune with their innate expression, as much as possible.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
It was an excellent seminar for all of us, esp. so for myself and three other classmates who were given some very practical information re: chiropractic, nutrition and health. Our curriculum at Northwestern Health Science University is very academic at this point, as it must be, in order to prepare us for board exams. However, it is inspiring to get hands on instruction about real-world chiropractic issues. It was a valuable experience, the best so far, and one that I look forward to continuing in the future. The science behind Applied Kinesiology (AK for short) is fantastic and in the months ahead the topic will be explored with more detail right here.
Yours in Health,
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Yours in Health,