I know that chiropractors often get bad reputations for thinking they can “cure” everything. Not all of us are into vitamin and supplement crazes or diet fads that have nothing to do with nutrition. Chiropractic adjustments help your body in a lengthy list of ways. All of these other ways of making a quick buck off of patients are unnecessary and can be harmful, especially in the longterm. If you read my blogs on a regular basis you know that I love to embrace these topics that surround chiropractic care. Why do chiropractors get this reputation? Where does this basis of thinking or philosophy even come from in the chiropractic field? Hold onto your hats and I will try to explain in a short version the philosophy of chiropractic care and how it relates to better and improved health, not just less back and neck pain.
Building off that last thought, chiropractors are best known for treating back and neck pain, headaches, sciatica, numbness and tingling, and even some gastrointestinal issues. It makes sense that your body is a machine and will perform better with proper alignment when you are an athlete. I like to use the example of the tires on your car needing to be aligned. We all have a basic understanding that the brain and the spinal cord are the Central Nervous System of the body. The CNS controls literally everything that we do during the day and night. Every signal in the body goes through your spine; every kiss from your spouse, that punch in the arm from your stupid brother, your reflex to swat away a mosquito, and even automatic reflexes. For instance, did you know when you fall face first your arms automatically extend to protect you?
Let’s build off of the concept that everything going in and out of your body communicates via your central nervous system and therefore the spine. When you have a sore throat your body has been exposed to a bacteria or a virus, not a germ. There are no such things as germs. The reason you have a sore throat, head cold, runny nose, etc. is because your body was not able to recognize the bacteria or virus that was introduced into your body and it could not fight it off.
When a pathogen (bacteria or virus) enters the body you have marker cells that signal to the brain that there is a foreign object in your system. Your brain, via your spinal cord in your spine, communicates with your immune system to release white blood cells that then attack the pathogen and destroy it. This is your immune system in action. Let’s say there is an interference in the way your brain is able to “talk” to your immune system. If the nerves that are used as highways to communicate are impinged, impaired, or functioning improperly, your message gets jumbled.
I played a fun game over the weekend with friends that was like the old game of Telephone we all played as kids. Someone started with a word, it was passed on around the group, and by the end the message was totally screwed up. This is the same thing that happens in your body when you have subluxations in your spine. When your body is not able to recognize and adapt to its environment you get sick. You did not catch anything because you held hands with a “sick” kid or went to school and somebody coughed next to you. You got sick because your body was impaired by bad nutrition, lack of exercise, and a poor central nervous system communication.
So how do we prevent getting the seasonal head colds? First and foremost you need to get adjusted. I get adjusted once a week, some people can go as much as 6-8 weeks between adjustments, I suggest once a week or once every two weeks, but that is not set in stone. You should eat healthy foods that provide nutrition (i.e. not Twinkies and McDonalds), you should use caution when buying into or participating in any diet program that suggests you should severely limit calories and/or that you do not need to exercise. You need food and you need exercise. Period. Starving your body weakens your immune system. A multivitamin is a good idea since the American diet is seriously lacking in nutritional value. Finally, get better sleep. Sleep is when your body heals and repairs.
If you would like information about nutrition that will accomodate your family’s busy lifestyle, or a more specialized and personal program for yourself, feel free to call the office and I can direct you to someone who can help. If you want to find out how chiropractic care can benefit you and make you healthier, you have found the right guy!