say it ain't so
Happy Friday, my fellow health seeker.
These newsletters are different, very DIFFERENT. Here's how I would like you to use them. Please make a folder in your email and save these emails in that folder. Technically these aren't your typical "newsletters" they're like a small gem, a diamond in the rough, foghorn in the mist, you get it, they have SUBSTANCE and a whole lotta soul.
Some topics will directly impact and touch you, others will not.
But, but, BUT... here is what is going to happen. I will write a newsletter on migraines (headaches), let's say you've never experienced one. Now I don't expect you to read the whole newsletter but if you save it in your file and a month later a friend or coworker says "ahh, this migraine is killing me" you can say "hold on one moment I have a "resource" for you".
You may just change someone's life! And what's the point of walking around on this earth if we're not looking out for our fellow humans.
This week I have a very interesting story that happened with a patient in our office.
A few years ago, I had a lady come in as a new patient. She was in her late 50's, well-dressed and cultured. The exam went well, we conversed, she explained how she was referred to me and I proceeded to evaluate her. Nothing out of the ordinary. We scheduled her for a follow up appointment and ROF (report of findings).
After going over her findings and discussing her x-rays we discussed the true Chiropractic philosophy. The true Chiropractic philosophy is considered both art and science. I explained the (science) of Chiropractic was finding spinal misalignments (subluxation) that interfere with the body's innate ability to heal. The (art) is understanding the components needed to keep the body well.
I will NEVER forget what she said to me.
She said, "I spent 12 years in Japan and in Japan the healthcare philosophy is, you pay your doctor to keep you healthy, you want to learn their knowledge before you're sick". Then she said, "In the US people don't pay their doctors until they are already sick".
She finished by saying "of all the doctors I've ever seen in the US, you're philosophy is the closest to the doctors in Japan. They have great knowledge of healing, wellness, neurology, biomechanics, nutrition, supplements and human structure. Plus you have a real interest in your patients."
Her words will always stick with me. She is right, that is who I am. I teach people everything I know and everything new I learn that could drastically improve your life. The hard part is in the US many people don't listen (we're conditioned to wait until we're sick or hurting) or far worse, don't care (don't value their health).
Just because we live in the US doesn't mean you have to buy into the current healthcare philosophy. You can be very proactive with your health and adopt a more Japanese style philosophy to your health.
For the patients that have been with me for a long time, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cherish your trust, and love being a part of your healthcare team.
For the new(er) patients, I look forward to gaining your trust and building a relationship centered around health and wellness.
If you missed last week's newsletter, (a lot of people loved that one) you can find it here. Click here.
P.S. Check the list below, Japan ranks in the top 5 every year.
P.S.S. Say it Ain't So! The US ranks 69th on this list.
Celebrating 19 years!
Welcome to our pretty awesome newsletter. Why do we send most newsletters on Friday? Ahhh... because who doesn't love Friday?
Maybe you've been a patient for a few months or like many of our patients, maybe even a few years. Or maybe you're not a patient yet and you're just checking us out. Either way thank you for (reading) being part of our tribe! We are happy you're here.
I could go on and on about how great we are, how we invest tons of money into the practice and money into improving our knowledge or that we have state-of-the-art digital x-ray and 3D scanning technology.
But this isn't about me (us). It's about YOU. It's about serving you and making your life better. As your doctor, giving sound advice is imperative to trust and improving your life.
These emails are filled with real world, practical advice. You'll get the TRUTH about life, healing, struggle and pain.
This year we celebrated 19 years in practice! It literally feels like we just opened our practice. If you didn't know our oldest daughter is graduating high school this year too. (yeah I know) times flies...
Some fun facts after 19 years in practice...
Did you know?
Dr. Mike and Dr. Kallie (husband and wife) moved to Petoskey and didn't know a soul.
Did you know?
They started this practice from scratch, so if you were baking bread that would be flour, yeast, and a pinch of salt.
Well for a brand-new practice (office) the ingredients were a vision, a lot of hard work and a pinch of luck. We had TWO (yes 2) patients our first month!
Today we serve hundreds of patients every week. We do this in two unique ways, fabulous patient results and killer education.
Feeling great and being healthy is one of the GREATEST things in the world, but learning how to do that can be overwhelming. Our job is to help you through the ups and downs, motivate you and walk with you. So, with that...
I (we) want to hear what is truly important to you. What areas of health and wellness are our patients interested in?
Is it weight loss, exercise, supplements, blood pressure, spine health, bone health, scoliosis, stress management, or personal growth? Please take 3.1 seconds and let us know. Click here.
P.S. Read our most LOVED blog article last month. Check it out here.
how much dirt?
Ok, so one time at a seminar I told this story I'm about to tell you and man were people "digging" it. (the pun is coming)
This next story is one of my favorites. It illustrates how incredible life really is.
Did you know...if you wanted to build a human being from scratch you could easily find all the physical elements (oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, calcium, and phosphorus to name a few) in about a $20 load of dirt. I know, crazy to think about.
The two other “priceless” parts would be much harder to come by, they are force (life) and intelligence (innate). Think about it, they are the things that animate matter.
We're talking about the energy that creates life. So... if I lay down next to a corpse, what animates my body that is not in the corpse? That's it! That is what we're talking about, life, energy!
“The Triune of Life” describes the living human as the union of 3 things: matter (dirt) with force (life) all controlled by inborn intelligence (innate).
Consider this, your body is going to build 100 billion red blood cells TODAY and you don't have to tell it how to do that. This is incredible.
So to achieve balanced health, we have to do more than just treat the (matter) but rather there must be an effort to preserve the dance which occurs uniquely between your dirt, your life, and your innate.
Chiropractic is primarily concerned with preserving the connection between the brain and matter. The brain communicates with matter via the nervous system. And all of this communication is protected by the spine.
Now here is the $1 million dollar question, how much do you think the value on one person is? This should be interesting, leave a comment here.
5 challenges for new parents
This blog post is dedicated to our patients that are having babies! Parenthood is an exhilarating and transformative experience. However, it also presents its own set of difficulties. Here are some of the most common obstacles faced by new parents, along with some strategies for overcoming them:
1. Lack of sleep is one of the greatest challenges faced by new parents. This can have a substantial impact on physical and mental health. To overcome this difficulty, it is essential to prioritize sleep whenever possible. Consider establishing a sleep schedule and taking turns caring for the baby with your partner. Consider hiring a babysitter or nanny to assist with nighttime feedings, in addition to accepting assistance from family and friends.
2. Often, becoming a parent necessitates the adoption of a new routine. This can involve alterations in sleep, meal, and daily activity schedules. To overcome this obstacle, you must establish a routine that works for you and your baby. Determine your daily priorities and plan accordingly. Be adaptable and willing to adjust your routine as necessary.
3. Postpartum depression is a common and serious condition that affects a large number of new parents. Depression can result in feelings of sadness, anxiety, and a lack of interest in daily activities. To overcome this difficulty, it is essential to seek professional assistance. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor or a mental health professional and develop an effective treatment plan.
4. Adapting to changes in relationships: Becoming a parent can also affect relationships with partners, family members, and friends. To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to communicate openly and truthfully with those around you. Communicate your needs and concerns and be willing to listen to those of others. Consider seeking assistance from a couples therapist or a new parent support group if problems arise.
5. Financial stress is a potential consequence of becoming a parent. This can include costs associated with child care, medical bills, and income loss. To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to develop a budget and financial plan and savings account to mitigate and offset the new expenses.
Overall, becoming a parent requires patience, resiliency, and the ability to adapt to change. You can successfully navigate the challenges of parenthood and create a happy and healthy family by employing the aforementioned strategies.
This blog post is a continuation of 5 Elements of a Gorgeous Life. This is element #1 Relationships: and how they can enhance your health.
As a doctor I have talked with many experts in the field of health and wellness, and the importance of relationships is something on which they all seem to agree. Having strong and healthy relationships, whether with friends, family, or romantic partners, is essential for our mental and physical health.
Grace is essential to a relationship because it enables both parties to extend kindness, forgiveness, and understanding. When we exhibit grace, we are willing to overlook our partner's flaws and shortcomings and to extend mercy and compassion in trying circumstances.
Grace in a relationship can foster a sense of safety and trust. When we know that our partner will extend us grace, we are more likely to be vulnerable and open with them. This can then lead to a deeper emotional connection and intimacy.
Grace can also help reduce relationship conflict. When we extend grace to our partner, we are more likely to approach disagreements with empathy and tolerance, as opposed to hostility and defensiveness. This can contribute to a more harmonious and positive relationship dynamic.
Grace is important in relationships because it enables us to treat our partner with kindness and compassion, even in challenging or difficult circumstances. It contributes to the creation of a more positive, loving, and supportive relationship atmosphere.
There are numerous positive effects of relationships on health. Studies indicate that people with strong relationships are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. In addition, they experience less stress and are better able to handle difficult situations. Having a support system can also boost our immune system and speed our recovery from illness or injury.
However, why are relationships so vital to our health? They provide us with a sense of belonging and social connection, which is one reason. Humans are by nature social beings, and we thrive when we have meaningful relationships with others. Isolation and loneliness can have detrimental effects on our mental and physical health.
Additionally, relationships provide us with emotional support, which can assist us in managing stress and difficult emotions. Knowing we have someone to talk to and who will listen to us without passing judgment is incredibly reassuring. It can also help us gain perspective and find solutions to our problems.
Relationships can also provide us with practical assistance in addition to emotional support. For instance, a spouse or family member can assist us with tasks when we are ill or injured. In addition, they can provide financial support and help us navigate difficult situations.
Obviously, not every relationship is healthy. Indeed, toxic relationships can be detrimental to our health. It is essential to surround ourselves with supportive, respectful, and uplifting individuals. If we are in a toxic relationship, we must seek assistance and support to leave it.
Relationships are an essential component of our overall health and well-being. Having strong and healthy relationships, whether with a friend, family member, or romantic partner, can improve our mental and physical health. Therefore, make the effort to cultivate your relationships and prioritize your social ties. Your health will appreciate it. And always remember to approach your relationships with an abundance of GRACE.
The Three T's
Chiropractic is a holistic healthcare discipline that focuses on the innate recuperative healing ability of the body, especially those involving the spine and nervous system. Chiropractors understand that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself (innate) and that by addressing three key factors - thoughts, trauma, and toxins - they can assist patients in achieving optimal health and wellness. This blog post will examine the relationship between the three T's in Chiropractic and health.
Thoughts are the first T talked about in chiropractic. Chiropractors know that the mind and body are interconnected, and that one's thoughts can have a substantial effect on their physical health. Negative thoughts and emotions, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, can cause physical tension in the body, which can result in pain and discomfort. Chiropractors seek to address these mental and emotional issues in order to assist patients in achieving mental and physical equilibrium.
One of the techniques Chiropractors use to address the impact of thoughts on the body is mindfulness meditation. This technique involves focusing one's attention on the present moment and observing one's thoughts without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, patients can learn to control their levels of stress and anxiety, which can alleviate physical symptoms such as headaches, neck pain, and back pain.
Trauma is the second T in Chiropractic. Trauma refers to any physical injury or damage to the body, such as those caused by accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Misalignments of the spine and other parts of the body can be caused by trauma, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Spinal adjusting is a technique used by Chiropractors to treat the effects of trauma on the body. This procedure entails applying controlled force to the spine and other joints in order to realign them and improve their function. By realigning the spine, chiropractors can alleviate nerve pressure, reduce pain and inflammation, and restore the body's natural healing ability.
Toxins are the third T in chiropractic. Toxins are any substances that can enter the body through food, air, or water. Over time, these toxins can accumulate in the body and cause a variety of health issues, such as headaches, fatigue, and joint pain.
By addressing the root causes of toxins in the body, and cleansing the body of toxinx Chiropractors can help patients achieve optimal health. One way they do this is by recommending dietary modifications that reduce the consumption of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol, or liver cleanses to assist the body's detoxification processes, Chiropractors may also recommend supplements and other natural remedies.
In conclusion, the three T's in chiropractic—thoughts, trauma, and toxins—are interrelated and play an important role in a patient's overall health and wellness. By addressing these factors, Chiropractors are uniquely positioned guide patients in attaining optimal physical, mental, and emotional equilibrium. Consider consulting a Chiropractor if you are serious about optimizing your health and wellness.
A herniated disc, also known as a ruptured or slipped disc, occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc protrudes through a tear or crack in the outer layer. This can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the affected area by putting pressure on the spinal nerves. Most frequently, herniated discs occur in the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine).
Among the most frequent causes of herniated discs are:
Trauma or injury
It is important to note that a herniated disc can occur without any apparent cause, and sometimes the cause is unknown. Not all symptoms are caused by a herniated disc, and not all symptoms are caused by a herniated disc.
Chiropractic Treatment For Bulging Discs
Our Chiropractors at Discover Chiropractic treat herniated discs with a variety of techniques, including spinal adjusting and spinal traction. Spinal adjustments, also known as manual manipulation, involve the application of precise, controlled force to realign the spinal vertebrae and relieve nerve pressure. This can help reduce pain and enhance mobility.
Spinal traction is a non-surgical treatment that stretches the spine and creates negative pressure within the disc using a special device known as a Y-axis traction strap. This can help to reduce disc protrusion and relieve pressure on the nerves. Spinal traction may also facilitate the reabsorption of the herniated material into the disc.
Spinal adjustments and traction are both safe and effective treatment options for herniated discs, and they can be combined with other therapies such as physical therapy and exercise.
If you or a loved one suffer from a herniated disc, please contact us immediately at (231) 348-5980 to schedule an exam and consultation.
In the 1980s, an organization called The Partnership for a Drug-Free America aired a TV commercial that intended to deliver a message; with maximum shock value (relative to the era) that drugs are bad. ”This is your brain on drugs” was so well-known, it eventually became a favorite parody for comedians and others in Hollywood, poking fun at its over-the-top message.
Nearly forty years later, the importance of brain health is centered more around how to take care of your brain, to improve brain health, rather than attempting to scare you into holding onto your brain cells by refusing to take drugs. When it comes to what you should feed your brain, are there foods that are considered “bad” for the brain? Yes. What about foods that are considered brain health foods? Well, yes to that too. Foods that are considered harmful to the brain, can create an unhealthy inflammatory response and can be responsible for other detrimental health effects. But there are also foods that provide the brain with particular nutrients that help it function optimally. When it comes to brain health, eating for a healthy brain is crucial, especially as we begin to age.
Let’s look at how to eat for your brain along with other, proven, brain-health tips such as engaging in regular exercise, how brain games can help keep your brain sharp, and the critical role supplements can play in keeping our internal computers operating without a glitch.
Brain Food: The Good and the Bad
Quite a few foods make the list of not-so-good for brain health. Here are some to avoid:
Foods containing trans fats. Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat. During a process called hydrogenation, a trans fat is created. Hydrogenation changes a liquid vegetable oil into an (almost), solid-at-room-temperature oil, a state known as “partially hydrogenated.” This is an artificial process (though hydrogenation can also occur naturally in meat and dairy products.)
Trans fats can make their way into brain cell membranes, which can disrupt the ability of neurons in the brain to communicate, interfering with mental abilities. Consuming trans-fat in the diet has been associated with a risk of depression and has also been shown to negatively affect heart and blood vessel function.
Foods containing trans-fat include:
The Impact of Trans-Fat
Not all studies have found an undesirable connection between trans-fat intake and brain health. It’s critical that you avoid trans fats due to their negative impact on heart health and ability to increase inflammation in the body. It probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that alcohol is not a brain-healthy choice. While a glass of wine here and there is not likely to have a detrimental effect on your health, alcohol affects specific areas in the brain that are responsible for motor control and mental function. With regular alcohol use, these areas of the brain operate more slowly. Alcohol interferes with judgment, affects memory and coordination, and disrupts sleep. Used in excess over a long period of time, alcohol can even cause permanent brain damage.
A prominent Nutritionist once said, “you can eat any food in moderation but there are two foods you should never eat; trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)”. Sugary drinks, sodas, and many processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a specific type of sugar. HFCS may cause brain inflammation and can impair memory and learning. Drinking lots of sugary drinks can increase the risk of dementia as well. This artificial, chemical concoction is also associated with obesity, diabetes and mental decline and it may be responsible for damaging memory capability in the brain.
HFCS is made by breaking down corn starch into molecules of glucose. Glucose is a basic sugar. Then half of those glucose molecules are chemically altered to become fructose. Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar contained in fruit. However, without the added glucose and chemical alteration, pure fructose is entirely different from high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has also been shown to be damaging to the liver, contributing to non-alcohol fatty liver disease.
It’s a good idea to check your labels. Foods containing high fructose corn syrup can be hidden and may include:
The Dangers of Processed Foods
Most people realize that eating a lot of fried and processed foods is bad for their health. But did you know that eating a lot of fried, processed food can cause you to score lower on tests that measure cognitive or “thinking” ability? Fried and fatty foods could be the culprits here as these foods are pro-inflammatory. Meaning they can damage the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood and nutrients.
Processed foods may negatively impact the brain by reducing the production of something called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.) Found in different parts of the brain, BDNF is an important molecule that’s involved in processes like learning and memory. BDNF plays a role in a process called neural plasticity, where it supports the brain’s ability to change and adapt based on experience. It is important for long-term memory, learning and the development of new neurons. Therefore, any reduction can potentially damage these functions.
There are many fried and processed foods available to tempt us. Here are some of the collective American favorites:
Brain Health and Fish
Fish are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. But the kind of fish, matters. Salmon and other fish that contain a healthy fat called omega-3 fatty acids are best. Swordfish, ahi tuna, and other big fish tend to be high in mercury and that’s a concern. When someone ingests mercury, it spreads throughout their body, collecting in the brain, liver, and kidneys. Mercury is considered a heavy metal and a neurotoxin. A neurotoxin is a substance that is toxic to your brain. It can accumulate in body tissues creating long-term damage. Mercury poisoning interferes with the central nervous system, damages neurons, and fuels neurotoxins. All of which have a damaging effect on the brain. In pregnant women, it also concentrates on the growing fetus and the placenta. Mercury can disrupt brain development in fetuses and young children. This can lead to developmental delays and even to diseases like cerebral palsy.
High-mercury fish may include:
Foods Linked to Brainpower
Now let’s focus on the good foods and end on a good note. Some of the healthiest foods to feed your brain are fresh, delicious, and easy to incorporate into your diet every day.
Coffee. It’s been praised and it’s been vilified. Fortunately, there is more scientific research supporting the benefits of drinking coffee than reasons why it might be detrimental to your health (which mostly revolve around just drinking too much). Coffee is one of the richest sources of antioxidants you can find. This is great news for the brain, especially since most coffee drinkers have at least one to two cups of coffee a day. Again, when consumed in moderation, the benefits outweigh the risks with our favorite beverage. Researchers have identified over one thousand antioxidants in coffee including compounds that activate antioxidants, that also protect blood vessels in the brain.
Caffeine can boost alertness and may also improve your mood by increasing “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine. It can help sharpen concentration as demonstrated in one study that revealed participants completing a brain-function test, experienced improvements in alertness and attention, short-term. Long-term coffee consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (perhaps due to the caffeine and antioxidants). It is obvious, however, that many of coffee’s benefits can be canceled out by what you add to your daily Cup O’ Joe. You might want to consider trading sugars and high fat creamers for stevia and non-dairy coconut creamer.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain aging and improve memory. Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, salads or just have them around to snack on.
Fatty fish have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, a major contributor to brain health. Omega-3s play a role in improving memory and enhancing mood, as well as protecting the brain against decline. Omega-3s are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Nuts can improve heart health. Researchers have found that having a healthy heart has been strongly associated with having a healthy brain. So, the regular consumption of nuts is another good choice.
Nuts have been linked to a lower risk of mental decline in older adults. Nuts contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, all nutrients that have beneficial effects on the brain. Vitamin E, for example, fights free-radical damage that can contribute to mental decline. Walnuts are particularly beneficial as they contain antioxidants and also, omega-3 fatty acids which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
As with coffee, the caffeine in green tea can improve alertness, performance, memory, and focus in the brain -though with equal amounts of both beverages, green tea will have about half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Green tea also contains good amounts of L-theanine, higher levels in fact, than other types of tea. L-theanine is an amino acid that can improve the body’s ability to use GABA, a compound that helps to reduce anxiety and improve relaxation.
Strategies to Improve Brain Health
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, can be debilitating conditions. All involve brain function. Science is finding that the risk of contracting one of these devastating neurological conditions may be lowered with regular exercise, lowered about thirty percent -a significant number. Aerobic exercise in particular, has been shown to provide neurological protection though all types of exercise provide some benefit. The popularity of word games like Wordle and number games like Sudoku, show that Americans like a challenge. But what many people don’t know is that while they’re innocently struggling to find the right letter or, crunching numbers to complete a puzzle, they are training their brain. Brain games improve brain function by boosting short-term memory, through what is called the brain’s working memory. This part of the brain deals with understanding concepts and languages at a faster rate.
About the Author
Jini Cicero is a Los Angeles-based Strength and Conditioning Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. With over 20 years of experience as a health, fitness, and nutraceutical professional, Jini is passionate about advancing natural medicine and optimal health. Whether she’s working with Hollywood celebrities or cancer patients, Jini uniquely combines exercise science, sports nutrition, and corrective exercise. As a speaker, presenter, and writer, her work has been featured in numerous publications, such as Shape, MindBodyGreen, and The L.A. Daily News.
Pregnancy is a time of great and fast change.
The body naturally becomes more flexible, the abdominal muscles stretch and can weaken, our center of gravity shifts forward adding stress to the lower back and pelvis, etc. All of these changes can create discomfort, and besides lower back pain, round ligament pain is the most common complaint we hear from expecting moms.
Why is that?
Let’s do a quick anatomy review:
The uterus is anchored in the pelvis with an assortment of ligaments and soft tissue, all designed to stretch and support the baby as it grows. Majority of our ligaments are meant to hold two bones together, such as those in the ankle or wrist. Their job is to be stable and limit too much stretch or movement. But the round ligament is special. Outside of pregnancy, it’s only about 4 inches long, connecting each side of the uterus to the front of the pelvis and into the groin. Its function is supporting the uterus as it goes through the changes of pregnancy, therefore it has the unique capability of being both stable and flexible. As the weeks progress the round ligament expands both wider and longer, reaching about double its original size by the time baby is full-term.
Ideally, all of these changes will occur comfortably and unimpeded.
However, sometimes tension can develop, usually starting around the second trimester and worsening as the baby grows.
The most common symptom of round ligament dysfunction is a sharp, stabbing spasm (or cramp) in the bottom of the belly with quick movement, i.e. rolling in bed, standing from sitting, turning too quickly, sneezing, etc. Less commonly, symptoms can be described a “pulling” sensation, general soreness under the belly, and even groin pain.
Thankfully symptoms are generally harmless for both mom and baby, but they are certainly uncomfortable.
What can you do about it?
In the office:
Pregnancy biomechanically changes the way a woman moves, and any shift in the pelvis or sacrum (sometimes referred to as the tailbone) can impact the ligaments and the uterus. Using the Webster adjusting technique, we focus on balancing these structures. Improving pelvic mobility and removing the strain of the round ligaments allows the uterus to comfortably suspend within the bowl of the pelvis. We also release tension in the muscles allowing for smoother and more comfortable motion.
I hope these tips are useful, having the right tools and support you need during pregnancy are the keys to a comfortable one!
February 27th, 2023
Two Types of Chiropractors
Many people have a misconception about chiropractic and the critical role it plays in health and well-being. That misconception is that chiropractic care is limited to treating back and neck pain. Although many people have experienced relief from back and neck pain through chiropractic services, the foundation, intent, and vision of chiropractic is far beyond simply helping to reduce symptoms.
Chiropractic is the largest licensed, non-medical health-care profession in North America, with approximately 60,000 practitioners in the United States. Chiropractors are doctors. They earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree after completing three to four years of undergraduate study, and a four-year professional course. After graduation, they must pass further exams to obtain a license to practice.
There are basically 2 styles of chiropractic practice. One type of chiropractor is what we refer to as limited scope practitioner. These chiropractors choose to limit their practice to dealing with back and neck pain only. Such doctors provide specialized care to patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.
The other type of chiropractic doctor is a wellness chiropractor. This wellness chiropractor focuses on your general health and well-being, and that of your family. The objective of the wellness chiropractor is to work with you in maximizing your life potential.
In his book “The Wellness Revolution“, economist Paul Zane Pilzer predicts that wellness will become the next trillion-dollar industry. According to Pilzer, wellness is “not about a fad or trend, it’s about a new and infinite need infusing itself into the way we eat, exercise, sleep, work, save, age, and almost every other aspect of our lives.”
Pilzer succinctly articulates the difference between sick care and health care: “The sickness business is reactive. Despite its enormous size, people become customers only when they are stricken by and react to a specific condition or complaint…the wellness business is proactive. People voluntarily become customers — to feel healthier, to reduce the effects of aging, and to avoid becoming customers of the sickness business. Everyone wants to be a customer of this earlier-stage approach to health.”
As the culture moves in a direction seeking behaviors that enhance well-being, there will be those who attempt to fit old paradigms with new clothes. For example, some factions in medicine are promoting early detection protocols as “wellness” services.
Such services may include such things as screening for hypertension, cancer, or other medical conditions. While there is a place for early disease detection, it should not be confused with a wellness strategy.
Similarly, some medical and chiropractic practitioners employ fear-driven preventive strategies. People are encouraged to get their spines checked or control their blood pressure because they fear the consequences of not doing so. As with strategies based upon the early detection of disease, such approaches should not be confused with wellness care.
What then is wellness? The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines wellness simply: “The quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.”
Arizona State University has a more comprehensive definition: “Wellness is an active, lifelong process of becoming aware of choices and making decisions toward a more balanced and fulfilling life. Wellness involves choices about our lives and our priorities that determine our lifestyles. The wellness concept at ASU is centered on connections and the idea that the mind, body, spirit and community are all interrelated and interdependent.”
The National Wellness Institute definition is as follows:
“Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.
The key words in this first sentence are process, aware, choices and success.
Process means that we never arrive at a point where there is no possibility of improving. Aware means that we are by our nature continuously seeking more information about how we can improve.
Choices means that we have considered a variety of options and select those that seem to be in our best interest. Success is determined by each individual to their personal collection of accomplishments for their life.”
Finally, consider the elements of this definition proposed by Travis:
“Wellness is a choice — a decision you make towards optimal health. Wellness is a way of life — a lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for well being. Wellness is a process — a developing awareness that there is no end point, but that health and happiness are possible in each moment, here and now. Wellness is a positive acceptance of oneself. Wellness is the interaction of the body, mind and spirit — the appreciation that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an impact on our state of health.”
These definitions embrace a vision of wellness grounded in empowerment, choice, and awareness. The wellness concepts sharply contrast with those of the fear driven, patient passive, episodic strategies of early detection, prevention, and maintenance.
Chiropractic is based on the philosophy that the body is a self-healing, self-regulating and self-developing organism and that your nervous system is the master system and controller of your body. If you cut your finger, it heals. You don’t have to take anything or do anything to make that happen. If you were to cut the finger of a dead person, healing would not occur. Life heals, it is as simple as that.
You live your life through your nervous system. It is the master system and controller of your body. Right now your heart is beating, kidneys are working, liver is functioning, brain chemicals are flowing all without you having to think about it. This is because your nervous system is coordinating it all and making it happen. What would happen if there was interference with the function of your nervous system? It would interfere with you body’s ability to heal and regulate.
An important term and concept that every person should know and understand is vertebral subluxation. Vertebral subluxation, or subluxation for short, refers to a mechanical problem in the spine that relates to nerve interference. When a person is subluxated, it reduces their ability to heal, regulate and express well-being. Like cavities in teeth, subluxations are very common in our culture. It is the primary goal of the chiropractor to detect and correct subluxations so that you can improve healing, regulation, and general well-being
A limited nervous system means limited wellness. If we want to optimally create higher levels of wellness, we then need to remove nervous system interference as a part of the process. Chiropractors are uniquely trained to do this. Millions of people, from infants to seniors over 100 years old, benefit from chiropractic adjustments every year.
The chiropractic profession is perfectly positioned to lead the wellness revolution, and to reap the benefits, material and spiritual, of accepting that challenge. Vertebral subluxations affecting sensation may distort your perceptions of the internal and external environments. The inevitable consequence is a distorted world view. Furthermore, vertebral subluxations may interfere with our responses to internal and external change. Such subluxations compromise our ability to experience life to our fullest potential.
By addressing vertebral subluxations, and the physical, biochemical, and emotional distress that cause such subluxations, a person seeking wellness care enhances their life experience. A wellness patient does not seek merely to maintain the status quo, return to pre-injury status, or prevent illness. Such an individual recognizes that chiropractic care is a lifelong process — a way of life — that is an integral component of a global strategy for human empowerment.
Chris Kent DC Christopher Kent is a chiropractor and an attorney. He is the owner of On Purpose, LLC, and president of the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation. A 1973 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, he is a Diplomate and Fellow of the ICA College of Chiropractic Imaging. Dr. Kent is known within the chiropractic profession for his dedication to integrating the science, art, and philosophy of chiropractic for doctors and students of chiropractic. He was awarded Life University’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Dr. Kent is former chair of the United Nations NGO Health Committee, the first chiropractor elected to that office.
Dr. MJ Wegmann,