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!



Restoration – Relief – Healing

“Doc, I need you to fix me.”

I hear this all the time. It’s usually accompanied by a nervous chuckle. I think it’s because people instinctively recognize the same thing I do:

You aren’t broken.
(No matter how much pain or dysfunction you are experiencing.)

When you take a step back and look at health and sickness in the human body through a lens of objectivity, you come to realize two truths:

  1. No one can begin to articulate how truly wonderful the human body is.
  2. Every bit of healing that happens in a human body happens from the inside-out.

The maintenance of life (the healing process) is handled through a mind-boggling series of processes controlled by a signaling system that handles at least 80 billion signals every second.  Collectively, these processes are either producing a net result of growth and repair, or they are not keeping up with the demands of the environment. You are literally either growing or dying.


When the healing process is disturbed, it becomes more difficult for your body to keep up with the demands of life. This is the state where disease and dysfunction become more common, more severe, and more apparent. Whether you feel the symptoms or not, this is actually where “sick” lives.

It is from this disturbed state that all manner of disease processes – anything from chronic infection, to cancer, to heart disease – can take hold more easily and do damage at an accelerated rate. The amount by which the healing process is disturbed can be the reason that some individuals progress through a disease process rapidly, while others move much more slowly.

One approach would be to try and combat each form of specific dysfunction individually. This is what a diagnosis/treatment model attempts to do. Another approach is to address the cause of general dysfunction and correct what has disturbed the healing process.

This is the essence of the idea of restoration. Restoring the body’s inherent healing ability is like the tide that lifts all boats, regardless of their specific nature. Through restoration it is possible to achieve not only relief and healing results, but at the same time you are creating an atmosphere where those results and relief are more likely to last.

This is real hope. And it is real Life.

Dr. Robert Johns is a chiropractor serving the greater Birmingham area from his office in Mt. Laurel, AL.

Martha’s Mother

Several years ago, I was taking care of a family who had been under regular chiropractic care for many years. By this time, the focus was almost entirely on maintenance care. Symptoms were rare, and usually resolved very quickly after the subluxation had been located and a specific chiropractic adjustment delivered.

One day the mother – let’s call her Martha – came in complaining about a sudden and unexplained onset of low back pain. If there is anything that the medical literature is in agreement on, it is that chiropractic gets great results with low back pain. So, I checked and adjusted her. She felt better, as usual and returned home. In two days she returned with the same complaint, and added that she really needed to see it resolve because Grandma (her mom) was coming to stay with her family for several months and she had to get the house ready in the next two weeks. If I said that this was a strained relationship, it would be an understatement.

This sudden-onset affliction persisted in ebbs and flows for several months even with a more intense chiropractic schedule. It turns out that the pain began the very day the grandmother called to announce her visit and it ended just as abruptly on the day she left. Afterwards, we were able to put her back on her previous maintenance schedule without recurrence. Coincidence?

To me, this clearly supports the idea that emotional stress has an impact on our ability to adapt and thrive. It’s not usually as obvious as this, but we are more prone to get sick, be injured, and simply feel bad when we are under stress. Stress is a major factor in weight gain and many lifestyle diseases. And yes, there are some people who can literally be pains, whether in our necks or lower.

Making changes in your life to include more alone time, to meditate or pray more, to play and laugh more often are important. We need to manage our stress, just like we manage our diet and exercise. All of this is interrelated. And of course, chiropractic plays a big role in making sure we live up to our potential. Leave me a comment, or visit my website to learn more.