Over the past few months, I have had some very near and dear interactions with the “western medical” health community. First, my puppy, Soli, was struck with a bout of the very deadly parvovirus in puppies in which medical intervention was necessary to save her life. She is doing great now, back to her puppy self, and chewing on anything she can get her teeth on. Later that month a close chiropractic colleague had pregnancy complications in which an emergency C-section was performed to ensure the mother and child got through with no further complications. They are both at home, healthy, and enjoying this thing we call LIFE. Lastly, my grandmother, who I am extremely close with, had a very large medical procedure to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm. She is still recovering, and making slow gains to get back home and regain her daily schedule.
All of these events have made me look very closely at what I do, and how forever thankful for what emergency medicine does. There is, however, a distinct difference in what we do, and also what our ultimate goal is.
The traditional medical community is amazing at emergency situations. They are well trained in saving lives and dealing with crisis situations. In their bag of tools, they utilize drugs, to change body physiology in a crisis mode, or in worse case scenario, surgery to remove masses, abnormalities, or saving a life from infection or preventing something from going systemic. They first identify the condition with a diagnosis and then treat it.
The chiropractic community takes a holistic/vitalistic approach at restoring LIFE to your body by changing physiology in your nervous system and reducing stress in that system.
This Innate Life Force that we were born with is able to function optimally without stress or interference in our nervous system, thus allowing the body to grow, heal, adapt and perform the best way it knows how.
I’m not saying one is better than the other, but rather illustrating how our approach and methods are different, with a different GOAL in mind. Granted, both disciplines are looking to improve quality of life of the folks that walk into their office.
The problem comes when we equate our HEALTH to our SYMPTOMS, and this is where chiropractic and traditional medicine are vastly different. Symptoms are our body’s amazing warning sign that something is going on in our system and needs to change. Let me give you a few examples of why symptoms are NOT a good way to evaluate our health. Let’s say that I go out and eat some bad sushi with my friends. Later that night, I may experience vomiting or diarrhea in attempt to rid the bacteria from my body. Is that smart of my body? Does the vomiting and diarrhea mean I am unhealthy? Now, another example may be someone who has absolutely no symptoms and is walking around one day and drops dead from a heart attack. Was this person healthy?
If you have watched the television lately, you may see that there is a medicine for every kind of condition out there—if your legs are restless, if you sneeze, if you’re anxious, if you can’t sleep, if you cant get an erection, if you’re in pain, if you’re skin itches… I’m sure you could think of many more, but the bottom line is that all of these are treating symptoms.
My question is why are you having these symptoms? What in your lifestyle is causing you to have symptoms? I’ve said this before, but I still haven’t found a pill on the market that will make you HEALTHIER or give you HEALTH.
Before I continue, we should probably define HEALTH, as described by the World Health Organization: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
So where does HEALTH come from? As I understand it, true health comes from within; from the Innate Intelligence that created us. Every choice that we make brings us closer to or further away from health. It’s a lifestyle; taking care of ourselves while we are experiencing symptoms, and taking care of ourselves when we are not experiencing symptoms.
Many people look at chiropractic and say, “I’ve been lucky enough throughout my life that I haven’t needed to see a chiropractor,” or, “My back doesn’t hurt, so why would I need to go to a chiropractor?” As I have touched on in previous blog entries, you do NOT need to have symptoms or a diagnosis to see a chiropractor. I simply assess the function of the spine and nervous system (the master control system of the body) to give the greatest chance for mental impulses exiting the brain and communicating with each and every cell in the body, thus allowing one’s physiology to function properly and LIFE to be turned ON. Who doesn’t want that? Wouldn’t you want that for your child?
Ultimately, I am not trying to do the work of a medical doctor. I have a deep gratitude for how they handle emergency situations. Trust me, if I were to break my arm, I am not going to rush to my chiropractor. I’m going to need some heavy pain killers and my arm fixed by a medical doctor.
My personal chiropractic vision is to increase the consciousness of my community. Through education and balancing of the nervous system, I have an intense desire to facilitate the recognition of the Innate source within each persons healing.