It is quite common for patients to seek out care from a Chiropractor for an ache or pain. It seems logical right? Patients come in thinking that as soon as their pain is gone, they will be better. The funny thing is, patients do not actually come in because of pain. They seek out care because pain is preventing them from doing something they love to do. So they aren't motivated by pain necessarily, they are motivated to get back to a certain quality of life. As the wellness revolution continues to expand, we deepen our understanding of human potential and the expression of life. Studies of isolated populations have found members in those societies living between 120 and 150 years without evidence of disease.
Dr. Eric Plasker said it best, "Many people spend the first 50 years of their lives ignoring their health while they accumulate wealth, only to spend the next 50 years losing their wealth to buy back their health. Knowing that your longevity potential is 100 years gives you an opportunity to place your health at the top of your value scale." Most people will spend more money on their "health" in the last two weeks of their life than they do their entire lives!
The drugs and surgery boat is sinking when it comes to pain management. As a society we are fed up with the helplessness often associated with pain. The medical profession leaves us feeling as if our hands are tied. Their stance is either live with the pain, take a drug to dull the pain, or roll the dice and have surgery. "Maybe" it will help you feel better. They miss a great opportunity to educate the public. Perhaps the medical profession "misses the forest for the trees" at times. Do not be confused, this is not a medical bashing article.
They do incredible work! There are many heroes in medicine. This article looks at the philosophies of two models of health care. In particular, we discuss the first branch of philosophy known as metaphysics. Metaphysics meaning what is the nature of reality? The medical study of the nature of health separates the human body into organ systems, cells, tissues, biochemical pathways and asks is there too much or too little of something? Their solution is often medication. They ask what can we put into this persons' body chemically, or remove surgically so that homeostasis can return?
The nature of the Chiropractic model of health is that the body is a self-regulating and self-healing "organism." We are much more than just a compilation of cells, organs and tissues. We are a thriving, complex and dynamic living being. Our nature cannot be reduced to a double blind randomized control trial. We do not fit into this paradigm because of the complex nature of our existence. We belong in a holistic model and for good reason. The very nature of holism takes into consideration the entire being.
Holism looks at the dynamic interaction of the body on a structural (cells, muscles, organs, tissues, nervous system etc...), biochemical (macro and micronutrients, enzymes, cofactors, air quality), and emotional level (thoughts, circumstances of life a.k.a. "stressors", 2500 words per minute running through our brain telling us who we are and what our potential is.) The health of the human body cannot be broken down merely into systems. One system cannot be considered without taking into account the other. They are one in the same and each system depends equally on the health and function of the other to maintain human life. When each system is doing its job appropriately, would you say that the organism is dying or thriving? Obviously thriving!
What happens when one of the three branches of human health becomes stressed (structure, chemistry or emotions)? Do you think it has a direct affect on another system? Absolutely! An EMPHATIC YES! Is it possible that emotional stress in the body can have a deleterious effect on the body and compromise the structure of the musculoskeletal system? You bet! Often this manifests as pain. The medical profession puts a band-aid on the pain metaphorically. They cover up said pain with anti-inflammatory pills, pain killers and life numbing, life robbing drugs. The root of the problem was emotional stress however for this example!
The drugs yank the batteries out of the smoke detector and make the patient believe nothing is wrong! Meanwhile, the house is still on fire! Any surprise why the pain keeps returning? The diagnosis was blown! The emotional stress was the real cause of the problem. Do emotions affect biochemistry in the body? Has anyone ever made you so mad that it felt like your blood was boiling? Does this raise your blood pressure? SURE! If an individual lives in a chronic state of emotional overdrive, is it likely they will have high blood pressure? YES!
Pain is NOT your problem! It is the title of this article and it is the fundamental answer to the confusion and frustration regarding the pandemic of chronic pain in this country. Pain is NOT the problem. Pain is a symptom and an invaluable protective mechanism built within your body to prevent further damage from occurring. Pain makes up a small percentage of the nervous system, roughly 10%. The other functions of the nervous system work silently and thanklessly. Pain is a warning to listen up because the health of the body is threatened. Because of the societal demand for productivity, we are trained to ignore pain, or to numb it so that we can continue to press forward. Our mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers, coaches, and big pharmacy have always taught us to "shake it off, don't worry about it, walk it off, don't rub it, be tough," etc...
We were LIED to! What if we were taught to be sensory acute to every little ache and pain and to question where they came from? Do aches and pains occur out of the blue sky? No way! They only seem to for an externally driven person. The externally driven person is always the victim. They blame circumstances, bad luck, bad germs and bad genes on the state of their health. Aches and pains are an expression of what is going on inside the body. They are progressive sirens that beep louder and louder the longer you ignore the primary cause of the alarm. If we were trained to appreciate and value pain from an early age, we wouldn't get to the point of chronic pain. By living internally and being self-motivated, we would now comprehend that everything we get in life is an outcome of our effort and investment. Good or bad!
If you are a person suffering from chronic and "unexplainable" pain, I would bet you have been poorly educated in regards to diet, proper exercise and the impact that emotional stress has on your body. You have almost certainly made a small investment and effort in accepting responsibility for your health. Most likely you live externally and have never recognized the root of your problems because nobody told you! I am telling you to start challenging yourself. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and make dramatic changes because you deserve to express life optimally just like your friends and family who do not suffer like you do.
Your pain is the wake-up call demanding that you change your life and take control. As you work to isolate the "why," you will be forced to change your environment and your behavior. In doing so, your understanding of health will expand and it will never be able to contract to its original size. You cannot un-ring a bell! You become a stronger and more internally driven person the more you choose to embrace the process. This creates knowledge. Knowledge plus experience equals personal power!
When you decide to invest in chiropractic care, this is a proactive and preventative action. You consciously choose to live internally and to break free from the belief system you used to cling to. When you pay for a gym membership, it does not come with a guarantee that you will get leaner and stronger by joining. You know that a clean bill of health doesn't come with purchasing the membership card. You intuitively understand that you have to show up, sweat and participate! Just like life! You are either the "observed" or the "observer." The "observed" live internally and consciously. 100% of my patients pay cash for their care for this very reason.
They value their life and choose to live optimally for as long as possible. No different than the gym membership, my educated patients appreciate that in order to get the most out of care; they must be committed to their health and to the journey of wellness. Wellness does not have a pinnacle. There is no point where you have "made it." The value and results last as long as you are on the journey. Only life has an absolute destination. What we do before our imminent demise is human potential. Whether or not we choose to live internally, and hold ourselves accountable to achieving said potential is free will!