True Health: You And Chiropractic – Medical Update

1-22-2016 11-21-48 AM

What exactly does being healthy mean? We use this term all the time. “I went to the doctor and she said I was healthy.” Or “My grandmother is very healthy and rarely has to visit the doctor.” Or “I wish I could get rid of these aches and pains so I could be healthy.”

Have you ever really considered what you mean when you say or think these things? Healthy is one of those words that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In general, the idea of health between the medical model and the chiropractic model of care differs significantly.

Ask a medical doctor what health is and they will likely say “a state free from disease.” This definition does not state what health is but what it is not. So, according to their definition, if you do not have a specific disease you are healthy. But what if you have headaches, stomach disturbances, body pain or fatigue? Unless there is a specific disease attached to these complaints you are still considered healthy. In pain, yes. Healthy, yes. How can a person be healthy if they have health complaints?

On the other hand, sometimes a healthy body does have health complaints. It’s true! At least, if you think of a body that is acting correctly as one that is healthy. For instance, if you have eaten food and now have food poison, your body will respond by vomiting and getting diarrhea. This means that your body is functioning in a healthy manner. Yes, you have symptoms. Yes, you feel terrible. But your body has recognized the “poison” and is working efficiently to rid the body of it. Other signs that some say show a lack of health that can actually mean your body is reacting in a healthy manner include vomiting, sneezing, coughing, and fever.

So what is health if it isn’t about symptoms?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as “a state of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Chiropractors understand the intimate relationship of a healthy body to the nervous system, which of course includes the vertebral column (or spine). The nervous system controls everything in your body. All your cells, tissues, organs, and body systems get information from the nervous system and learn what they are to do and not do based on that communication.

Since this is true, real health is about how well your nervous system can communicate with the rest of your body. This is why subluxations cause such big problems. Vertebral subluxation is defined as “an interference of the nervous system due to a misalignment and/or abnormal motion of spinal vertebrae which causes improper communication with associated organs, muscles, and tissues.” This communication block causes a variety of disease and illness.

It is amazing how many people come to the chiropractor with a spinal complaint, only to realize that chiropractic care has resolved not only their back pain, but other issues as well. Reducing subluxations creates positive results throughout the entire body.

Essentially, the medical model of health sees the body as a machine- a series of parts that need attention. That is why there are specialists: specialists deal with parts.
• Cardiologist: heart
• Gastroenterologist: digestive system
• Urologist: urinary tract
• Podiatrist: feet
• Orthopedist: bones
• Gynecologist: female reproduction
• Neurologist: nervous system

In order to “fix” the machine or “get rid of” disease, these specialists look to drugs to alter blood chemistry. In many instances, this approach does not address the root of the problem.

Those that see the body as a whole are known as vitalists. A vitalist doesn’t see the body as just a sum of parts, but realizes that the body has an “innate intelligence,” an ability to heal and desire to be whole and well. Chiropractors are vitalists, along with acupuncturists, homeopaths, and naturopaths, among others. The purpose of vitalist care is to restore your body to balance so that it can perform at the optimal levels. We do not merely mask symptoms and declare health when the symptoms are gone. Instead, we look for the root cause of the problem and work to eliminate that. Generally speaking, chiropractors are both mechanists and vitalists: they pay attention to the mechanics of the spine and look at a blocked nervous system and how it affects the entire body, understanding that correcting the subluxation can allow the body to heal itself.

What Healthy Feels Like

Most people have no idea what it feels like to be truly healthy. We may understand what it feels like to be free of illness or disease because most of us have experienced one or the other. The difference between having the flu and not having the flu is significant. We can definitely define what it feels like to not have the flu!

But what about true health? How does that feel? Did you know that it is not natural to get sick and take medications? Did you know that having any kind of pains, aches, or other complaints is not normal? Did you know that all the symptoms associated with aging do not have to exist? It’s true!

A healthy person has no sleep issues, skin rashes, dandruff, depression, colds/flu, heartburn, aches/pains, or immense stress. Instead a healthy person is full of energy, motivation, and vitality.

Chiropractic care allows true health to occur.
By: Dr John Boyle