Preparing For War


Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

                                                   -Sun Tsu, The Art of War

 

Disclaimer: The conflict in the Middle East is serious business. This post is in no way an attempt to compare or capitalize on that engagement. This post is a metaphor about the very personal challenges we can expect to see in the coming months.

Later this year, my family will be enjoying an active Halloween celebration. After that, we will probably travel with three small children to Tuscaloosa or Wetumpka for Thanksgiving, making a few extra stops to visit along the way. And once that’s done, preparations for Christmas will begin with shopping and travel (or hosting) times with loved ones. All along there will be sugary sweets, rich food, long travel times, disrupted schedules, strange beds, very little rest, and lots and lots of stress.

Maybe this sounds a bit familiar. You may travel farther or host bigger. Or perhaps you struggle with being alone. Maybe your loved ones are not getting along, which can add to your own anxiety.

Here in Alabama, we can also add nearly every Saturday in between to the list. We tend to get worked up over some college boys in ridiculous outfits trying to steal a $10 torpedo-shaped ball from another equally silly looking group. Part of this ritual includes sausage, chicken wings, cheez curlz. And of course, smack talk. Roll Tide/War Eagle.

Fall is football season, holiday season, and flu season. It’s no wonder that people struggle with their health throughout. Every year I see people start dropping like flies the week after Halloween (and the requisite sugar overload). As people get sick, they tend to turn to any and every thing they can to try to maintain some semblance of function in the midst of so much activity. To make matters worse, even if you follow the strategy revealed in this article, the sheer volume of people in your environment that are actively sick and contagious will further tax your ability to resist.

It is a war you prepare for. The battle is for your health and happiness. Fighting this war will, and I emphasize, WILL, sap your strength and ability to resist. It is not hopeless though. You have the luxury of time right now to prepare for this war, to store up reserves, and give yourself every advantage to resist, bounce back, and most importantly enjoy the festivities of life!

Here is the strategy: your immune system is a defensive system. It must be well prepared if you expect it to perform well. How do you prepare an immune system?

Do the things you would ordinarily do to bounce back from an illness. I trust you have found strategies that work for you. This can be as simple as mindful eating. When we get colds, we profit from nutrient rich foods, like chicken soup. Healthy or sick, we benefit when we ensure adequate rest and hydration. Another huge component is an attitude of hope and faith. Individually, each of these strategies will help. Together these components synergize to even greater effect.

Tying these strategies all together is the ability of your body to receive, process, and assimilate their yield effectively. All of this happens through and by the nervous system. Interference at this level (via vertebral subluxation) will handicap all of your other efforts, even if you aren’t aware of it at the time. The structural and functional relationships between the central nervous system and the spine are well established. You cannot experience optimum performance at any endeavor, including immunity and resistance with vertebral subluxation affecting your master control system. For those who want the best opportunity to survive, thrive, and enjoy this upcoming season, a chiropractic check-up is in order.

INTACT

Let me touch on the flu shot for a moment. Whether you choose to get one or you choose to decline, the strategy above will benefit you. The flu shot, if it’s to be effective, relies on a healthy immune system. If you are like me, and choose to forego the shot, you will also be relying on a healthy immune system.

My hope is that everyone spends this the time between now and Halloween making sure that you’ve done all you can do to ensure a healthy, happy holiday season and set yourself up to step into the new year on a high note. Does it seem a little early to be thinking that far ahead?

Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.

Be the victorious General. Be Your Best!

AUG to OCT

US Boasts 51st Highest Life Expectancy


For falling to the 78th percentile, the US gets a:

C

It’s time to take a hard look at the “Health Report Card” of the US. According to the CIA World Factbook, the most recent data ranks the US behind 50 countries, including South Korea and Puerto Rico, in life expectancy. In 46 countries, including Kuwait and Croatia, mothers are more likely to survive birth. There are 50 countries, including Cuba and Guam, where babies are more likely to survive their first month.

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2011’s Life Expectancy Estimates

We are the 18th fattest country in the world, twice the rate of Switzerland.

Alabama is the 47th healthiest state. When we compare just Alabama to the above charts, the results get even worse.

There is hope. Shortcuts like low-fat, trans-fat and artificial sweeteners are being exposed as frauds. We are, as a nation, realizing that good health is a direction and not a destination. Fads and cheats do more harm than good. To have a strong body, each part needs to be strong and all of those parts need to work well together.

Nutrition, exercise, and sleep are most affected by our daily decisions. There are apps and pen-and-paper charts that can give you a report into what you are really doing and how often.  Attitude is a crucial component, too. These things are all interdependent and synergistic, building on each other for better results. That’s good news.

To get the most out of efforts in these areas, it is vitally important that your body be able to function without interference. The part of your body that manages and coordinates all function is the nervous system. Most people are unaware that they live with nervous system interference, called vertebral subluxation.

Vertebral subluxation is “silent” the same way that hypertension and early cancer are. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get it specifically checked. The same is true for vertebral subluxation. Your chiropractor is specifically trained to check you.

Living with subluxation limits your potential to heal, to regulate and to thrive. In my practice, I’ve seen it result in agonizing headaches, chronic ear infections, and asthma, as well as body aches and pains. I’ve seen families who had trouble having kids, become fertile. Chronic conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) respond and quality of life is improved without the nasty effects of toxic and dangerous drugs. When correction is applied, many of these conditions improve or resolve without any other treatments.

You were made to be healthy. No matter where you are today, you can move in that direction!

Fear and the Spark


When you’re surrounded by the truth, you can either surrender to it, or keep tilting at windmills. Don Quixote did it for whatever reason his insane mind could muster, but most of us do it out of habit. And who could blame us? We’re surrounded by microwaves, high-speed internet streaming movies and Facetime. Which reminds me, I’m confused and a little disappointed that Facetime doesn’t have some cutesy i-name. I just needed that off my chest. Thanks, I feel better now.

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Back on task: we are a generation that gets quick. The youngsters have never known anything else, and even the aged amongst us have witnessed an unprecedented acceleration of how quickly things can go from desired to delivered.

We are easily distracted. And we are most easily distracted when we come upon something difficult. It’s often because we are afraid. Seth Godin, a best-selling author, illustrates this eloquently:

The self-defeating quest for simple and easy

Bullet points, step by step processes that are guaranteed to work overnight, proven shortcuts…

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Worth noting that surgeons don’t sign up for medical school because they’re told that there is a simple, easy way to do open heart surgery.

It’s not that we’re unable to handle complicated problems, it’s that we’re afraid to try. The Dummies mindset, the get-rich-quick long sales letters, the mechanistic, industrial processes aren’t on offer because they’re the best we can handle. No, they sell because they promise to reduce our fear.

It will take you less time and less effort to do it the difficult way than it will to buy and try and discard all the shortcuts.

Marketing in healthcare works the same way. If we can be distracted by fear, then a market for a fear reducer is created automatically. This cycle is repeated across the healthcare landscape, because no matter what is being sold, the underlying fear message is that your body is inherently weak and perpetually broken. So we shortcut and “temporary-relief-of-symptoms” ourselves into more and more unhealthy methods to try and be healthier. It will never work.

The truth we seem to be missing is that you were born to be healthy and that by eating real food and working and playing and sleeping and praying you give the little miraculous spark of life inside you the tools to remake you in the best way it can. It is going to remake you anyway, all the time, every day. Why not give it everything it needs including a clear neurological, brain-body, connection? Fear causes subluxation and subluxation destroys any chance at a clear connection and optimum spark expression.

Optimizing Your Genetic Ability


Genetic PotentialIn 1975, Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventive Medical Institute and Professor of Medicine in Environmental Health at New York University, began developing scientifically valid ways to estimate individual susceptibility to various chronic diseases. Pero and his colleagues found strong evidence linking immune system responsiveness and the absence of certain DNA repair enzymes to disease susceptibility and limited lifespan. At the same time, he followed his fascination with the relationships between certain hormones and carcinogenic agents. The nervous system is responsible for regulating hormone balance, so it is necessarily involved in cancer susceptibility.restoring the balance

This reasoning led Pero to investigate chiropractic as a means to affect the risk of immune system breakdown and disease. A small group of individuals who had received chiropractic care for a period exceeding 2 years were studied. All chiropractic patients studied were labeled ‘genetically normal’ and showed no genetic reasons for increased susceptibility to disease.

In addition, the long-term chiropractic group demonstrated a 200% greater immune competence than those not receiving chiropractic care and 400% greater immune competence than those with cancer or other serious diseases. Surprisingly, this improved immune competence was uniform across age groups, not declining with age. He concluded that “chiropractic may optimize whatever genetic abilities you may have.”Neurobiology

STOP. Some of you may be reading this and wonder how we got from the back pain relief that chiropractors are famous for and all of this genetics and hormones and immunity stuff. While it is true that Chiropractic is well established as an effective means of addressing back pain, what most people do not realize is that those results barely scratch the surface of what people are experiencing in Chiropractic offices all across America.

The human body is self-healing and self-regulating. At our very best, chiropractors act to honor and restore this Law of Life by adjusting the spine to correct vertebral subluxation. Subluxation interferes with the restoration of the maintenance of health by interrupting active organization at the level of communication through the nervous system.maximizing human potential

We must face a stark reality. “Health Care is going to change from treatment-based to prevention-based discipline,” says William Haseltine, Chairman of Human Genome Science.

This means that we are going to have to recognize that our reliance on crisis-based strategies is too little, too late. Western medicine is too often helpless in resolving the high number of chronic and disabling conditions including cancer, various syndromes and other instances of poor health. We treat disease as an entity that must be choked with toxins or cut and burned away in the hope that our body will survive the assault. Certainly battles have been won, but the war is being lost.

Short-term strategies will have to give way to long-term strategies that are congruent and free of contradiction. The nervous system is the conduit of environmental comprehension and change. The endocrine system, controlled by the nervous system, functions to activate or deactivate genes based on environmental factors and response. The genes contain the parameters through which adaptation can occur. All of this happens in an ongoing process we call life.

Chiropractic has been at the forefront of this idea long before birth became an automatic emergency med   ical procedure, long before antibiotic abuse had created the very thing it set out to destroy, and long before “a pill for every ill” meant that 1 in 2 adults in the US is on a prescription along with 1 in 4 children. Give your body a fighting chance to heal and thrive. Make the most out of your genetic potential and seek to truly be your best.

Crockpot Healing


When you cook in a frying pan or in an oven or on a grill you have a lot of latitude with heat control. Many of the things we cook in these devices are very heat dependent and if you get the heat wrong, you can ruin the meal.

Crockpots do not share this hazard. In fact, the simple crockpot is a cook’s best friend because you can use it to cook an entire, delicious meal with virtually no oversight all day long. It can do this because the way it cooks is intentionally slow. That slow and steady pace is why everything inside is nearly perfect, no matter how big the pieces are or what they are made of.

Your body works in the same way. Healing is a process not unlike a slow-cooker. Everything gets taken care of all at the same time. New cells are created, old cells are eliminated, repairs are made, growth is managed, and defenses are mustered.

Like a crockpot there are two main cooking settings, “hi” and “lo”. Low is where maintenance and repair happen. This is the ideal cooking temp. High is where defense is engaged, things are more urgent, and the edges may get a little crispy if it goes on too long.

According to estimates, your body is composed of somewhere between 70 and 400 trillion cells. Imagine taking every person from 10,000 earth-identical planets and putting them on the phone all at the same time. Everything they do or don’t do affects the environment and action of every other. Each one needs a specific thing at a specific time. Have you ever been on a conference call when someone forgot to mute? It’s distracting!

When you are dealing with a system of such enormous complexity, it’s comforting to know that the details are handled. We are endowed with an innate intelligence that handles all of the details of our bodily mechanics. It even auto-adjusts the “hi-lo” setting for us. Our job is to control what goes in the pot, allot the proper amount of time for the process to occur, and keep it connected to the power. Because “warm” doesn’t cut it, and “off” is the end.

My Head Is Killing Me – Part 2


The first installment of this series, My Head is Killing Me, centered around observations and the structural portions of forward head carriage and osteoporosis. Now we’ll dig into the science and function of the elements involved in the causes of these changes. The keys are physical bone remodeling, chemical calcium exchange, and nervous system stress.

Physical Stress and Bone Remodeling

Wolff’s Law states that healthy bones are being constantly reshaped in response to the physical stresses they are subjected to. Osteoblasts are special cells within the hardened substance of bone that produce the basic structure of bone. Osteoclasts, on the other hand, are responsible for destroying (resorbing) bone. Thastronaute less physical and mechanical stress your bones have placed upon them, the faster resorption happens. This leads to weaker bones. This is why space-induced osteoporosis happens. In the absence of earth’s atmosphere, astronauts can lose up to 2% of their bone mass per month. It is also a huge problem for those who have forward head carriage, as this multiplies the stress of carrying the weight of the head.

Osteoclasts, the destroyers, are created from a particular type of white blood cell. Thus, they are not only involved with this bone remodeling, but in the immune system as well. If you read your prescription inserts carefully, osteoporosis medications will often have immune system suppressing characteristics named in their side effects. This is important because it shows how intricately the immune system is tied into other various systems and functions of the body.

Chemical Stress

Several common substances have an adverse effect on bone health. Millions of people take corticosteroids for conditions such as asthma, arthritis, shoulder and back pain, lupus, and inflammatory diseases. Research clearly shows that corticosteriod use is a contributing factor to osteoporosis.

Other common sources of chemical stress that affect bone health:

  • The risk of spinal osteoporosis with vertebral fractures is significantly greater among people who drink alcoholic beverages than among those who do not, according to the American Journal of Medicine.
  • Beverages such as coffee, tea and certain colas increase the loss of calcium in the urine.
  • Cigarette smoke affects the liver by causing it to convert estrogen into a compound in women that is different from the normal estrogen used in the bone formation process.

Nervous System Stress

Dorland’s Medical Text states, “An intact nervous system will lead to optimum functioning of the human body.” The nervous system controls the endocrine glands, which secrete hormones into the bloodstream to regulate body chemistry. This naturally includes the process of bone remodeling. “The key to stopping osteoporosis lies in balanced body chemistry and a delicate balance of minerals in order to maintain a calcium homeostasis in the blood,” states Dr. Nancy Appleton, writer of Healthy Bones: What You Should Know About Osteoporosis.

The nervous system is vulnerable to interference at its protecting structure — the spinal column. The spinal vertebrae are susceptible to certain stresses and forces which can jar them from their proper position. These minor misalignments of the spine are called “vertebral subluxations.” The presence of vertebral subluxations can often be detected by examination of a person’s posture. There is ample research which shows the relationship between poor posture and numerous health conditions such as osteoporosis.

“The beginning of the disease process starts with postural distortion.” -Dr. Hans Seyle, Nobel Laureate

The science of Chiropractic is founded on the premise that an optimum spine and a proper nerve supply are essential in controlling and regulating bodily function.

Chiropractic care is an excellent approach to preventing osteoporosis and other health conditions. Chiropractors are experts in spinal structure and body mechanics. Chiropractic adjustments are aimed at maintaining sound structure of the body by correcting spinal and postural distortions and preventing functional and structural health problems. Doctors of Chiropractic detect and correct vertebral subluxations by physically adjusting the spine. This restores the nervous system to an optimum level of function, which maximizes the body’s inherent healing ability.

POSTURE AND HEALTH

  • Posture and normal physiology are interrelated.
  • Posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production.
  • Abnormal posture is evident in patients with chronic and stress-related illnesses.
  • Homeostasis and nervous system function are ultimately connected with posture.
  • Despite the considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians.

(from the American Journal of Pain Management)