Health has many connotations depending on the individual: For some it might mean being able to get by without having any symptoms, for others it might mean being able to run a 10k race or do 25 pushups. Dorland's medical dictionary defines health as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being” and the World Health organization takes this one step further by defining health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
In the many takes that I have given on health and chiropractic almost all say very similar things, yet most recognize that they seek medical care only when they develop a symptom. Even screening and preventative care is ultimately about detecting a symptom that would put someone at risk. If you look at health as a continuum, with one end 100% health and the other end 0% health, or death, all most of us are located somewhere in between usually closer to the middle as you can have 40-60% loss of function before symptoms show up.
The key to health then is to recognize the driving forces that move us along the continuum. Ultimately there is only one force and that is stress. Stress can be good, eustress, or bad, distress. This stress comes in tree forms: chemical, physical and emotional. Chemical are the things we eat and ingest in the form of food, liquid and environmental factors. Physical could be trauma, accident or exercise. Emotional takes in to count daily family, financial, and work stress.
It is important to recognize that the continuum is not static and we are always moving in one direction or the other based on how we manage stress. The asymptomatic person eating, exercising and thinking poorly will surely become symptomatic just as the person suffering from a condition can alter their situation by improving the way they eat, move and think.
How does chiropractic fit in. Ultimately it is our nervous system that controls every process in our body and allows us to respond to or environment appropriately. Without a properly functioning nervous system we struggle to maintain appositive attitude and healthy demeanor, digest nutrition and exercise with energy, stamina and coordination. Health is not about neck pain, back pain, headache, or any symptom for that matter, but more about physical, mental and social well being.
Do you know if you are as health as you could be? Let chiropractic maximize your potential. Get checked today at The Art of Chiropractic.
Yours in Health,
For the last ten plus years, more recently as a practicing chiropractor in Gresham, Oregon, I have had the opportunity to talk to many people who have just as many definitions of what chiropractic is. Ultimately, most associate chiropractic with neck pain and back pain and, although we are very good at the resolution of symptoms, that represents the side effect of what we do.
Chiropractic was first practiced in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, its founder, in Davenport, Iowa. Harvey Lillard, the janitor in the building he was working in was deaf and had reported some years previous he had stooped to pick up a box and felt a load pop in his neck, detected a bump that had appeared and shortly thereafter his hearing went away. DD palmer had postulated that if it was a bone out of place that had occurred during the lift, and this perhaps was the cause of his deafness, then moving the bone back into proper alignment would help restore hearing. It worked. Through a series of adjustments Harvey Lillard's hearing was restored. When news spread, people came from far and wide with the hope of curing their deafness. Of course most saw no change in their hearing but the vast majority noted changes in things like improved sleep and digestion and less general illness.
Though chiropractic was seen to be beneficial, it was during the flu epidemic of 1917-18 that chiropractic gained real recognition and licensure. When people had been turned aside by the medical community who couldn’t help them any further, they often turned to the chiropractor with great success. “Statistics reflect a most amazing, almost miraculous state of affairs. The medical profession was practically helpless with the flu victims but chiropractors seemed able to do no wrong.” http://www.danmurphydc.com/Rhodes_Flu.pdf.
It really wasn't until the ‘60s and ‘70s that, in trying to be included in the insurance coverages that the chiropractic profession began to adapt to more of a medical model. Since insurance was based on treating specific conditions and symptoms, treatment plans then were based on the resolution of symptoms.
There is now doubt that modern medicine is very adept at treating the crisis patient, conditions incurred by trauma such as that seen in warfare. In fact, warfare was really how many medical techniques were developed. Hippocrates is quoted as saying that ‘war is the only proper school for a surgeon’. Certainly, medical services have been associated with the military since the days of Ancient Greece. This relationship declined in the Middle Ages, but after a radical reorganization of medicine during the 1700s the links between the two grew stronger with each passing year. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/themes/war.aspx.
Where medicine struggles is with the chronic conditions that plague today’s society. Despite years of research, development of drugs and radical new surgeries, the health of today’s society continues to decline. This is where chiropractic has the opportunity to return to its roots and play a significant role in the return of health to our communities. Looking beyond simple resolution of symptoms by also addressing the underlying cause of dis-ease within the body we can strengthen the body’s ability to achieve health and limit the effects of our modern day environment that is incongruent with that which we were designed to exist.
Chiropractic in its true sense has never been about symptoms, but rather based on four simple concepts:
1. The body is self-regulating and self-healing.
2. The whole human experience is processed through the nervous system, the brain being master and commander.
3. Interference with the proper function of the nervous system can not only cause physical symptoms, but decrease our overall health potential and change general physiology not immediately associated with the problems of the spine.
4. Chiropractors detect and correct the cause of this interference,
Set an appointment today with our office and find out how we can help bring health and prosperity to the canvas of your life…
Yours in health,
Dr. Doug Davies has been practicing the art of chiropractic for over 10 years and brings his skills to the downtown Gresham, OR area focusing on achieving and maintaining the innate lifestyle...