Monday, March 10, 2014

Chiropractic is Like Driving

My dad taught me how to drive when I was in high school. That took incredible resolve and patience. Raise your hand if you've had the job of teacher while your inexperienced child stepped on the gas pedal.
     My dad gave me his tips and tricks. I had to use the front corners of the hood as reference points so I knew where my front tires were located. Then he used a wiffle ball to practice driving. He made me drive up and down the street and stop the car placing a tire right in front of the wiffle ball. I don't remember how many times I repeated the exercise but it took up most of an afternoon. At one point I parked on top of the ball and it was squashed. I think we quit for the day after that.
      I don't know if my dad ever saw the Brady Bunch episode where Marcia and Greg had a battle of the sexes to see who was the better driver. However, I knew my dad wanted me to be very precise when driving. The human body works in a very precise manner in response to exposures from the environment. These responses are determined by the nervous system as impulses are sent throughout the body. 
       One thing my dad kept professing during our driving lessons was that I would be making numerous subtle corrections with my hands on the steering wheel as I continuously assessed road conditions. It was this vigilance and correction that kept the vehicle moving safely down the road. This is similar to the body's nervous system that is always on duty assessing the environment. 
        A healthy body will be able to respond appropriately in good and bad situations. While we don't notice most minor corrections in the body, taking them for granted leads us to poor health. Back when my dad was reminding me to make continuous corrections while steering, he was helping me keep the car on the road. It only takes a minor distraction picking up the cell phone or changing the radio station to cause an accident. 
       Think of all the near misses you have had on the road. Injuries, toxins, and emotional upset can steer the nervous system off course like a ship on the ocean. If the body veers off course too many times, getting back on course can become futile. This is why we can benefit from chiropractic care. 
         Chiropractic provides the minor corrections that allow the nervous system to stay on track. Too many near misses in the nervous system is eventually exhausting and the next stressor could be more damaging. Chiropractors concentrate on the spinal changes that can set the nervous system off a normal course of regulation and healing. 
    While the spine can act as a shock absorber as we go about our day, the strain alters how messages are delivered between the brain and the body. Life can't always be a leisurely Sunday drive. And we certainly don't want to crash. Stay safe on your travels by getting your spine checked regularly.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Put Chiropractic on the Top of Your Prevention List

There is not enough prevention in health care. Physicians, dentists, social workers, physical therapists, and chiropractors all say it. We know prevention is a good thing, but road blocks can get in the way.

Primary prevention consists of activities such as proper diet and exercise to help the body avoid disease. Since most illness is life style related, this makes sense.

Another type of prevention, called secondary prevention, is early detection of a disease process. An early stage of treatment is preferred because it is usually less complicated with a higher rate of success.

Even the Affordable Health Care Act brags about covering prevention visits, so this is a good sign that decision makers realize it saves money and enhances life. But all good ideas have their problems.

For one, prevention is very personal. Some people breeze through life breaking all the rules, yet they seem to suffer no repercussions. Blame George Burns on that one as he smoked and drank to age 100.

People decide for themselves what they think is best for their own health. No one wants to be told what to do unless they get a paycheck for it. Doctors' instructions can seem to be very hard to follow.

I see it in my own life. When I am told how much work my car needs I begin to whine. Today of all days, really? I don't have time to replace nine things on my car. What do I need in order to drive it out of here? I promise I will come back to get the rest of the work done.

People also believe they have plenty of time to get to it later. I had one practice member tell me he was going to get healthy when he retired. Which he did, so I am glad for him. However, I've read too many obituaries that didn't work out that way.

In researching this article I came across a personal story in the Atlantic titled Why I Had to Close My Preventive Health Care Clinic. The doctor had great statistics on positive health outcomes. Numerous patients lost weight, improved their lab numbers and no longer needed medications.

Stories like these truly brought back quality of life for the folks who made the commitment to change their habits. But the owner relied solely on insurance and the reimbursements barely covered one fourth of his operation. His colleagues would not make referrals and hospitals would not partner with him.

That does not mean prevention is a lost cause. We will always encourage our practice members to strive to be their best. We can offer a helping hand by making prevention services as convenient as possible.

Routine chiropractic adjustments have been shown to keep people active which translates into many health benefits from pain reduction to more energy, better mood, and less sickness. This provides a nice ripple effect making other preventive practices more successful as well.

If you want to make important health changes, be sure to learn how chiropractic plays a unique role in prevention care.

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Hours: Open Monday Through Friday

Please note the new hours for the office: Mon. Wed. Fri. 9:30 - 12:30 AND 3:00 - 5:30 Tues. Thurs. 12:30 - 1:30

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Chiropractic and Disability: Let's Work Together

In this week's Citizen...

I work with many folks who are disabled. The stigma of disability is very painful on the emotional front due to isolation and loss of employment which complicates the ability to heal the physical damage.

It is quite a blow to self esteem when someone's pain keeps them from performing adequately at his or her job. Someone with multiple absences and a much lower level of productivity faces the difficult decision of leaving a job that was once fulfilling. For jobs that are physically demanding, it becomes unsafe to remain employed.

Insurance companies often put limitations on treatment. Because no one fits a textbook example, care is usually prematurely stopped even though published studies have shown a less intensive care plan leaves people in a state of chronic pain one year after a traumatic injury. Fair or unfair, patients need to do the best they can to remain consistent with strategies to assist their healing.

I have worked with people who have dealt with debilitating headaches, fibromyalgia, depression, post-concussion syndrome, herniated discs, severe fractures, arthritis and multiple sclerosis, just to name a few.

The most common goal is to help people have more energy so they can take part in family activities. For many of them, getting their pain to a tolerable level so they are not always in bed is a monumental improvement.

From a long term standpoint, disability accelerates aging. As much as I hate the word aging, I need to use it in order to help folks get the help they need. Disabling conditions have one thing in common, the body's reserves were so low at the time of injury or illness that healing became greatly impaired.

The chiropractic adjustment helps spinal joints release mechanical tension that disrupts messaging to and from the brain. This can have an effect on organ function and how well the immune system protects the body from pathogens.

When the spine is not moving, health deteriorates. Getting people to move as much as they can without causing a severe flare up is an important aspect of maintaining health. This takes quite a bit of trial and error to find the happy medium for each person's needs. Chiropractic certainly helps with the ups and downs.

Probably the most compelling aspect of care is looking back at the ways the body was already in a weakened state prior to the injury or illness. There may have been a destructive pattern going on for years. Recognizing this and reversing the behavior patterns can be an important stress reducer.

Another benefit of chiropractic care is mood enhancement because of the brain and body connection at the spine. The spinal cord contains limbic system cells just like the brain does and a greater feeling of well being can be achieved with spinal adjustments. Anger and grief from past events can be managed more effectively.

Dealing with a disability or similar crisis can be a disheartening experience. Adding a chiropractor to your support team can be of great help.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Buyer Beware?

This is what Health Insurance buys you.

This is the door way to actual health.

You're never too old to learn more about 
your body's greatness.
I am still learning and in awe. 

Coming Soon: Believe It Health Seminars.