Sometimes I use analogies to help individuals further their understanding of chiropractic care. Analogies are great because you can take something that is complicated and break it down into a more understandable comparison. Nothing is more rewarding then when a practice member shares with me an analogy they developed on their own to help describe chiropractic. I’m going to share one of those analogies today.
Life is an experience for each and every one of us. Let’s compare going through life to traveling down a river. We are all tossed into the source of the river when life begins and washed out the mouth of the river when our life ends. Everyone is provided a boat (our bodies) to keep us afloat throughout our life adventure, but if that boat sinks unfortunately we cannot survive the river waters without it. Now some individuals were provided strong and durable boats that float slowly down the river, others have been given light and fragile boats that float fast down the river, others some combination of the two (genetics). Regardless of the boat we are equipped with, improvements to the boat can be made to make it stronger and healthier. When we choose healthy lifestyles we are rewarded with healthy boats/bodies. For example, if you choose to regularly exercise, your boat now has a motor to power you against the current that brings you down the river. Start eating a healthy diet and your boat now has a continued supply of gas for that motor to operate. Suddenly boats that choose this healthy lifestyle, which may have originally been light and flowing fast down the river, are maintaining a slower drifting speed and watching other boats float by that are not practicing healthy behaviors. Not only are they extending their time on the river, life experience, but they are further enjoying the experience at the same time, because who doesn’t like cruising around on a motorboat?
Floating down a river is tough on our boats and stress is constantly wearing on them. At some point this stress can spring a leak in our boat. Small leaks can be hard to notice until water begins to pool up in our boats (symptoms) at which point we decide to do something about it. Medicine is a good way to remove the sensation of a symptom, much like a bucket is a good way to bail water from a boat. Chiropractors work to stop these leaks at the source. Vertebral Subluxations in our spine compare to the leaks in our boats. When subluxation is present our nervous system cannot function to its full potential limiting our body/boats potential. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper spinal relationships and remove the interference from the nervous system allowing our boats to again float free from leaks. We need to be maintaining our boats and continually patching up leaks, or our health will always be leaking.
I went deeper into the analogy then what was initially shared with me from my member, but it was fun to chew on it and tie more and more life attributes into it. In the end, remember life is not determined from the boat we are provided, but by the care that is put into our boats. We are all floating down the river of life and one day your boat will reach the rivers end.
How are you choosing to ride the river? By simply floating downstream, or by powering your boat upstream against the current?
Average is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “A single value (as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values.” This often times is confused with the word normal which is defined as: “According with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle.” Average is a single value determined with the educated mind, whereas normal occurs naturally. This is important to consider when evaluating your own health.
Today we stress average and try to apply it to as many aspects of life as we can. For some things in life that is a good thing. Speed limit is determined by average and keeps us safe on the highway, but is average a good idea for health? Weight is an important topic in health today and we have used our educated minds to determine a proper average weight for everyone today. The idea of every female that is 5’8” to weigh the same seems strange to me! We are all individuals and unique, because of this we should not strive for average, we should strive for our normal.
Normal, when applied to health, is taking a common sense natural approach to feeling and functioning to your fullest potential. How do we do that? It starts by providing your body with the proper environment. Exercise, nutrition and rest should be a part of every lifestyle, this is normal. There is no average that explains the amount of sleep you need, the amount of exercise you need, or the proper nutrition you need. These answers will come to you naturally if you listen to your body and respond accordingly. Living a healthy lifestyle is difficult in society today; as a result our average society is not healthy. You need to take pro-active steps to improve your health, health does not come free and it is not given to you. Once you implement a healthy lifestyle, who cares what average is, you will be normal for you!
How is chiropractic a part of a healthy lifestyle? Chiropractors realize health is achieved from within our bodies, not from outside of our bodies. Your nervous system is the instigator of every healthy function in your body including breathing, digesting, everything! Only your body knows what is normal for you at any moment of any day. Innate performs its various functions over your nervous system, so chiropractors work to keep that system free from interference, so your body can keep you at your normal.
As 2020 arrives we reflect on the past year. How did your 2019 stack up? Did you make positive changes to your health physically, mentally, and spiritually? A lot of individuals are going to make the same mistakes they did last year when it comes to improving their health in 2020. They will jump on board with a new fad for a month or two before drifting back into their old ways. Don’t take that route this year. Instead, recognize negative health aspects in your lifestyle that you can improve upon and then make simple goals to change them in a positive way.
One important aspect to a healthier lifestyle you can include in 2020 is regular chiropractic care. How much attention did you give your spine and nervous system health in 2019? The nervous system is the one system that controls every function of your human body and it happens to be protected by the spine which also is the framework for your entire skeletal structure. Keeping your spine free from subluxation and your nervous system free from interference allows your body to function and perform to its full potential. Everyone could use a good spinal health clean in 2020!
Life flows from the above-down-inside-out (ADIO). This statement is rooted strongly in chiropractic philosophy. It is referring to the function of your control center, the brain, which sits above the rest of your body. Life originates here, flows down the spinal cord to the inside of the body, before emanating out to the world around us.
Chiropractors work to remove interference from this flow of life energy, also known as mental impulses. Spinal vertebrae house and protect the spinal cord and the numerous nerves which carry these mental impulses. Misalignment in an individual spinal bone places stress on the soft tissues in the surrounding area. Among this soft tissue is the extremely sensitive nerve tissue. Chiropractors locate misaligned spinal bones, analyze their displacement and apply a specific force to correct the misaligned vertebrae. We simply restore the flow of the energy, the energy does the incredible healing and regulating of your body.
I get asked this question all the time from fellow chiropractors as well as from friends and family. The answer is simple really; I practice this way because I’m able to take care of the public the same way I take care of my own family. In my eyes that defines the highest quality of care anyone can offer. Imagine if your insurance agent, car repair man, financial advisor etc. all cared for you as if you were a part of their own family!
Also, it makes sense when you look at what chiropractic is; chiropractic is healthcare, whereas medical care is sick/injury care. Insurance was created for medical care, not chiropractic care. The care you receive at my office is not based on what your insurance covers, it is based on what your body needs! Today we live in a world with high “health” insurance premiums or high deductibles, making it difficult for families to receive routine chiropractic care. Membership care makes chiropractic affordable for everyone so we can all experience the benefits of chiropractic care. Chiropractic is no longer only for those that can afford it; it is for those that want a higher quality of LIFE!
On Halloween this year I'm sure you'll see some kids dressed as zombies staggering about your neighborhoods, but what is really scary is how often we act like zombies in our everyday life! Going about our day feeling lethargic, head in the clouds, not interested in much of anything. It is common for an individual with vertebral subluxation to experience a zombie like attitude. If these subluxations go on undetected that individual will be living life more zombie like rather than at their full potential.
Vertebral subluxation occurs when stress creates a misalignment within the spinal column that results in nervous system interference. A nervous system experiencing stress interference cannot properly conduct the life vital mental messages between the brain and body of the individual. This results in an individual not functioning and performing to their full potential, a modern day zombie among us!
Every ghost and goblin this Halloween season should have their spine checked by their local chiropractor who is trained to locate and correct vertebral subluxations. Experiencing life subluxation free is living a life full of potential!
“If we take apart a pocket watch and then put it back together properly, it will once again function. If we disassemble a living human being and were able to reassemble it, all parts in the right place, it would never work again.” –Strauss
This is a great statement from Dr. Strauss because it is so simple to understand, common sense really, yet it requires a deeper understanding at the same time to truly appreciate it. We deduct from the statement, which is a truth, that there is more to life than simply observing individual pieces.
Mechanism and Vitalism are two separate philosophies in which an individual can view life in general and living things. Mechanism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “A doctrine that holds natural processes (as of life) to be mechanically determined and capable of complete explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry.” The true mechanist rejects any idea of a vitalistic concept that he cannot empirically demonstrate through science. Vitalism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “A doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some parts self-determining.” Chiropractic approaches an individual’s health with a vitalistic approach, which includes recognition of principles such as innate intelligence.
There is an unexplainable concept to LIFE that cannot be seen or created in a laboratory. Chiropractors recognize this concept, innate intelligence, and observe it as the best doctor any individual can ever have, the doctor inside of YOU! Provide this doctor with the proper environment, including routine chiropractic adjustments, and it will do its job to keep you healthy.
A vertebral subluxation is a misaligned spinal bone that interferes with the function of the nervous system which carries vital information to every cell of the body. This is what I address as a chiropractor. We were provided a bony structure to protect and house our central nervous system, but that structure is extremely mobile and becomes misaligned from everyday stresses we endure.
The twenty four spinal bones in your back are stacked up like donuts, when one of these donuts becomes misaligned disharmony within the body ensues as a result of nervous system interference. Chiropractors locate these misalignment's, analyze their displacement, and provide a gentle adjustment to assist the body in correcting their location. As a result, stress is removed from the nervous system, a state of harmony returns to the body, and you express more LIFE! Sounds pretty great to me…
“The educated brain of man can build a skyscraper out of wood and steel, bricks and mortar. The innate intelligence of the body can make an educated brain cell out of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In which should our confidence lie?” –Strauss
Educated intelligence is the intelligence that we develop from our life experiences. From the moment we were born our educated intelligence has been developing. It is formed and influenced by the people in our lives, the experiences we have had, and the observations that we have made. We use it as an additional tool for adapting to the environment around us. A human can learn to adapt to a life in the frozen tundra or to a life in the hot and humid tropics. If you try to take a polar bear to the tropics you will have a sad result, the same result as moving a monkey to the tundra.
A chiropractor uses their educated intelligence to locate misaligned vertebrae in the spine which place stress on the nervous system. They use an adjustment to introduce a force into the misaligned vertebrae to correct its location, allowing the innate intelligence (see prior post) to be more fully expressed. The chiropractor then steps back and allows the innate intelligence to go to work. Rather that work is healing injured tissue, shivering in the tundra, or sweating in the tropics; it is work that is done more efficiently with a proper nerve supply.
What does not vary is the level of innate intelligence in our bodies. Everyone is provided the same innate intelligence! It is the same in an adult as it is in a newborn baby, it is the same in a doctor as it is in a heroin addict, and it is the same in a human as it is in a polar bear. Everything that expresses LIFE does so because of the innate intelligence residing within it (see prior posts). It is doing everything it can to make us as healthy as we can be, but it is limited by the capabilities of the physical matter it resides within. The innate intelligence of the iguana, dropped into the tundra, is going to want to heat up the matter which makes up the iguana, but unfortunately the matter that makes up the iguana is not capable of that activity. And the real kicker on top of that? The poor iguana does not possess the educated intelligence to put a wool coat on either! The human from the tundra, dropped into the tropics, is going to strip down and start sweating profusely. The educated intelligence realizes it would be cooler without the clothing on and the innate intelligence instructs the matter to cool itself.
“There is a universal intelligence in all matter, continuously giving to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence, and giving this intelligence its expression.” -Stephenson
The above statement is the major premise of chiropractic, the big idea, what all chiropractic principles are derived from. In layman terms it states that the world we live in is not compiled of a random jumbled mess of matter (stuff), but rather that the matter of this world is highly organized and therefore is an expression of intelligence. This intelligence is the principle of universal intelligence, the principle of organization. Principles are difficult for individuals to comprehend, because principles are intangible laws. They cannot be touched, tasted, heard, or seen. Much like the principle of gravity; you cannot touch gravity, taste gravity, hear gravity, or see gravity; but you will certainly acknowledge it if you slip out of your tree stand in November!
We can acknowledge a presence of universal intelligence by observing the structure of an individual atom in an electron microscope, or to a larger degree by noting the intricate orderliness of the planets in our galaxy. Both examples are extremely complex and highly organized expressions of matter. The movement of our own planet is so highly organized that we use it to keep track of time. Days, months, years, and seasons are all determined by the earth’s movement.
Thoreau gave a great example of the existence of universal intelligence. Imagine you came across a pocket watch lying on the ground. You have never seen a watch before, or even heard of the idea of time itself. As you study the watch you observe it makes a rhythmic ticking sound, soon you determine the pattern of the watch hands, and then you take it a part to observe the complex organization of gears which make up the watch structure. After learning all of this, would you guess that this device you found happened by accident? That it randomly came together without any thought or intelligence required? Of course you would not. The pocket watch is an example of human educated intelligence; the atom, the universe, and the human body are more highly organized in comparison to a pocket watch. Therefore, we deduce the reasoning that intelligence was also required when creating those forms of organized matter, the principle called universal intelligence.
Now you're asking, that is some crazy cool stuff Dr. Zach, but what does it have to do with my health? Well, innate intelligence (view previous blog post) is the expression of universal intelligence within living matter. It is the principle of LIFE. Chiropractors remove nervous system interference to increase the expression of innate intelligence in living matter, or the expression of LIFE in your body. More LIFE in your body, the more health you can expect to have!