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.


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!



Choice and Chance in the Land of Healthcare

For thousands of years, coughs, fevers, throwing up, and other disgusting symptomatic expressions have served as a stark warning of the presence of sickness. Unless you have specific training, signs like these evoke a visceral, stomach-turning response that is impossible to miss. For these thousands of years, infectious disease has been the number one threat against the individual. Infectious disease takes advantage of every other kind of hardship to break us down and destroy us.

To avoid that destruction, we have learned through these long generations to avoid any possible sign of sickness and to assume that the lack of symptoms means “no news is good news.” We have come to view sickness and disease as the result of an outside agent that steps in and robs us of our health. The proposition and subsequent discovery of micro-organisms solidified this idea firmly in the mind of those disposed toward rational, scientific thought.

In the early 20th century, this led us to seek to eradicate microbes by any means necessary. Antibiotics, a major medical advancement, showed tremendous promise as a capital weapon in our war on germs. This promise was relatively short lived though. We soon became aware that the very weapon we wielded with impunity against our foe was creating a new generation of germ that thwarted our every attempt to contain it. Instead of eradicating the foe, we were causing it to become only more dangerous and deadly.

Predictions as recently as 1955 painted a very rosy picture of the upcoming new millennium and beyond. Women would appear forever young. Man would live well into his 2nd century. Infectious diseases were to be eradicated. Cancer would be contained. The common cold a distant memory. And so on. Meanwhile, diseases that had previously been conquered are showing up as superbugs, including tuberculosis, staph and the latest, gonorrhea.

According to the CDC’s Top Ten Leading Causes of Death, the only infectious disease that still makes the top ten is the flu. Flu makes the list only when exaggerated and combined with pneumonia. Almost none of the diseases and conditions on the Top Ten list are likely to have early symptoms or to be infectious. Why do we use a healthcare strategy, based on the chance that we can use the presence of symptoms to protect us from the things that aren’t our primary threats? It is a systemic and cultural failure to adapt. In nature, failure to adapt is lethal.

What has become clear is that the primary threats facing American health are related more to choice than to chance. We choose to value a lifestyle and pace of living that require our bodies to be in top condition to keep up, while we choose to neglect or abuse our body at every turn.

Take another look at the diseases and conditions in the Leading Causes of Death and see if you don’t see a rampant pattern of abuse and neglect.   Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems related to chronic organ dysfunction of the lungs and kidneys. (Not to ignore suicide, which could be the poster child for abuse of the self.) We can’t legitimately claim that consequences of long-standing physical and emotional abuse happen by chance.

Why do we sit around and do stuff we know is harmful to our health? There are three main reasons:

  1. The consequences aren’t immediate and there’s no “one thing” we’re doing (or not doing) that is the cause of the problem. It’s just not that simple. The cause is cumulative, just like many other modern problems.
  2. The incentives to be healthy contradict cultural norms and values. Our culture values convenience, sensuality, and time efficiency. Natural, healthy foods, as an example, can be convenient, but that limits variety. Variety is one way we satisfy the sensuality value. They are also commonly less time efficient because you are left with ingredients requiring preparation instead of pre-packaged ready to eat items.
  3. A false sense of security when it comes to healthcare.guardrailWe tend to think of the healthcare system as a safety net, because in a way it is. It is a great system for helping someone avoid death in a crisis. But when the crisis arises from a long series of choices we make as individuals, it is limited in how it can help those who choose not to help themselves. It can no more protect you from the cliff than a good guardrail. It may give you a second chance, but it will eventually fail.

We have to realize that the steering wheel is in our hands and that with planning and action on our part, we can make a big difference in our own health outcomes. Right now, we’re #50 in the world. I know we can do better.

This is why the message of Chiropractic is so important. Health and healing come from within. You were made to be healthy. When you disturb normal function, you necessarily disturb the natural ability of the body to express health. Nowhere is this more true than in the nervous system. It is the master control system of the body. It is the part that gets disturbed through vertebral subluxation. That is why Chiropractic exists. That is why Chiropractic saves people money on their healthcare expenses. That is why you should make the choice to get checked and improve your chances.







Why I Study the Vaccination Issue


The immune system is complex. 
Almost every organ in your body, from your skin and hair to your bones, is involved either directly or indirectly with immune function. Therefore, any part that is distressed becomes a weak link.

There have never been any medical studies that have been performed that clearly demonstrate that vaccines increase the immune system competence of the human body.
While antibody levels (titers) are an accepted measure of vaccine effectiveness, there are some inherent issues with this assertion. It does not explain the lack of resistance in individuals with high titers or the resistance of those without detectable levels. Titers measure only activity of a limited portion of immune system activity.

Vaccines effects are measured on a relatively small portion of the immune system.
The adaptive portion of the immune system is divided into humoral-mediated (antibodies) and cell-mediated (white blood cells, including T-cells). Vaccines effects are measured only through the humoral portion.

Many vaccines are targeted at viruses (e.g., measles, flu, chicken pox, polio, HPV).
The portion of the immune system that arguably does the lion’s share of the work is not the vaccine-targeted humoral-mediated division, but the general, non-specific immune system. Toxic interventions, including vaccines and antibiotics, risk weakening this barrier and lowering general viral defenses.

Vaccines are credited with the near eradication of many diseases, but incidence rates for infectious diseases were already in decline prior to the introduction of the vaccine. Are vaccine effects overstated?
Advances in infrastructure, like sanitation, our understanding of how the body works, the availability of adequate nutrition, and non-vaccine medical advances have all played a role in eliminating the environment necessary for infectious disease to gain a foothold. Giving credit to vaccines makes pharma companies and government policy-makers look good.

The Greater Good vs. Individual Rights
Recently, States, like California, have begun limiting the parental option to opt out of vaccines due to religious or philosophical convictions. At the same time, arguments have been made in medical-ethical circles that the liability and blame for infection of the vaccinated should be shifted to the unvaccinated. Both of these trends erode the protection of the individual from the government and set disturbing precedents with regards to the establishment of informed consent.

A lot of money is attached to public vaccination.
This, by itself, is not especially problematic. But profit incentives are not balanced by responsibility for the methods of achieving profit. Neither manufacturers nor providers have any specific liability incentives for securing best practices.

All liability lands on the shoulders of the parents.
Much of the time, parents vaccinate without legitimate informed consent. Risks are minimized, benefits are exaggerated, and strong-arm tactics are employed to achieve compliance. As a healthcare consumer, I believe that my questions need to be answered and my concerns addressed to MY satisfaction, before I can consent in a truly informed manner.

There is mounting evidence that the current US vaccine schedule is associated with rising incidence of lifelong debilitating conditions, ranging from neurodevelopmental disorders to autoimmune and allergic conditions.

In Prog Health Sci 2012, Vol 2, No 1, “Neurologic adverse events vaccination”, the Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation of the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland makes the following statements:

 “Reports in many Polish and foreign medical journals lead us to conclude that postvaccinal complications among children can be observed in sporadic cases and that they are disproportionate to the benefits of vaccination in the elimination of dangerous diseases in childhood.”

 “Notably, other than not providing an effective stimulus for proper immune system development, recent research has shown that vaccines are actually capable of disrupting it.”

The vaccine issue is not as simple as “vax vs. nonvax.” Nor is it as simple as vaccinating or “doing nothing.” In fact, there are many more issues than the ones I bring up today. I would encourage each parent to investigate the matter for yourself. Emotions have a tendency to run high on both ends, because each believes that lives of children are at stake.

Parent Pro-tip: Don’t wait until your well-baby visit to talk to your pediatrician. Appointment time limits may not allow for an adequate conversation. Let them know ahead of time that you have questions, and they can help guide you. Also, do research on your own. The more specific your questions, the more specific the answers are likely to be. A good starting point is the National Vaccine Information Center. No matter your decision, the risks and consequences lie with you and your child, alone.

My family utilizes a sensible, logical, scientific strategy to boost immune function. And yes, specific subluxation-centered chiropractic care is a big part of that strategy. I invite you to learn more about how a strategy that includes chiropractic care can benefit your family, no matter what your ultimate decision regarding vaccination is. We have a number of different opportunities for you to see for yourself.
Email us at,and we’ll help you find the right fit.

How to Get Sick and Stay Sick

  1. Overextend. Some stress is good for the body. We all know that. That’s one of the reasons exercise works. But we all have limits, and pushing it too far has consequences. Overextend yourself – body, mind, or soul – and you are setting yourself up for injury or sickness. Your body will eventually force you to quit abusing it, one way or another. Wouldn’t it be better to treat yourself with kindness to save yourself the pain later?
  2. Undernurture.  Nurturing comes in different forms. Your body needs healthy nutrients, rest, and activity. Your mind needs to be given challenges to overcome. You need other people, love, affection, and meditative (spiritual) time. Good food, a date with your spouse, a game of tag with the kids, a time to pray. These types of things are essential to your physical and mental well-being.
  3. Increase the toxic load. Eating junk, exposing yourself to negativity, letting someone “have it” because they are getting on your nerves, getting a little bit drunk or popping a few pain pills can all seem like comfort mechanisms. In the short run, you might feel a little less miserable, but are you really doing anything but adding poison to your already stressed system?
  4. Ignore, mask or treat symptoms. Another problem with those pain pills is they can fool you into thinking everything is a-okay, and then you overextend yourself, and the cycle continues. Same thing with ignoring symptoms – if your body is trying to alert you that something is off, shouldn’t you take the time to take stock of what is going on? And that doesn’t mean just taking a pill to stop the pain, or the trips to the commode, or the sneezing. That means getting to the root of what is going on with you, and working towards optimal function.
  5. Remain ignorant or superficially informed. A lot of us have a tendency to ask around for opinions until we get one that matches what we really want to do. Some of us are quick to rely on the advise from a doctor, no questions asked. Even worse is getting health advice from the talking points on the commercials on television that promise radiant health with just one dose! Many people don’t even bother to read the booklets on the prescriptions they get, preferring to stick with just reading the dosage information on the bottle. As long as you are willing to turn your healthcare and other decisions to other people, expect to stay sick.

There is an alternative to sickness. You were born to be healthy, not sick. Chiropractic is not modeled on the sickness model. We want to help you reach your potential.