I met Jim at one of those business networking functions a few years ago. Nice guy, one of those super-smart, driven executive types who knows what he wants out of life and has really strong opinions on a wide variety of topics from baseball to politics to cars. He was in his late 40s and had been physically fit all of his life. I thought I detected a little imbalance in his posture as we talked, and a little stiffness in his movements, but nothing too serious. Maybe he swung his golf clubs a little too aggressively that morning.
We got on the topic of health and wellness and he started talking about a specific issue he was having with maintaining his energy and mood. He asked if I knew anyone in town that I could refer him to. Of course, I know a wide variety of healthcare professionals in this area, but I suggested that he should schedule an appointment for me to give him a full chiropractic exam.
“Oh no,” he snapped back, “It’s not a back issue. I need a real doctor.”
Chiropractic Is Often Misunderstood
I’ve grown used to that response from people who don’t know how chiropractic works, which is about 95% of the American population. They think chiropractors are for backs (or they think we are all charlatans) and everything else belongs to the medical community.
That’s fair; that’s how it has been marketed to us since the 1920s.
Part of my calling in life is to be an educator. I educate people on how their bodies work so that they can maximize their functionality. That’s why I love teaching classes and doing workshops with some of my colleagues around Naples.
But a big part of what I do in public is correct common misunderstandings about chiropractic care, spinal health, the nervous system, and how it works with the rest of your body. If you’v been reading my “Wellness Wednesday” articles for very long, you know that we consider ourselves wellness coaches and we teach people to “Think Right, Eat Right, Move Right, and Live Right.” You also know that we view the body as a collection of interconnected systems, like the dashboard of a 747.
Healthy Spine, Healthy Body
That said, you might be surprised to find out that many of the health issues you deal with are connected to a healthy spine. More accurately, all of your internal systems are connected to a health nervous systemand your nervous system is shielded by your spine. When your medical doctor is turning to medicine, you should be looking inside. Your body was created to heal itself, and your nervous system is central command for the healing process.
Your nervous system is the electrical network that your brain and organs use to communicate with each other. The brain sends operational commands to the organs and the organs sends messaging back to the brain. If you pinch off that system, the signals get blocked and your brain is unable to respond to problems that arise with appropriate neurotransmitters. What you experience as gut pain might actually be a symptom of a communication failure due to a punched nerve.
Benefits of a Health Spine
So, the benefits of a healthy spine and nervous system are further-reaching than you might have thought. Some are obvious to most people:
When your spine is properly aligned:
- Muscles are free to move the way they were designed (by contrast, when you are out of alignment, muscles get over-tightened or over-loosened, which can lead to injury, joint pain, bad posture, and stiffness).
- Joints and connective tissues get the proper amounts of fluid to protect against arthritis.
- Your circulatory system flows more freely, so you don’t experience that tingling feeling of your extremities “being asleep.” It also carries in nutrients and carries out waste materials more efficiently.
- Your immune system functions freely, speeding up the healing process in your muscles, organs, skin, and bones. You also fight infections, viruses, and inflammation more effectively.
- The nervous system communicates more clearly to your muscles and organs, communicating movement commands and responding with pain and dysfunction signals.
- Improved blood flow increases the oxygen content to your organs, increasing your energy.
- Your brain can better communicate the neurotransmitters that facilitate better sleep.
- A hyperactive brain settles down and a depressed mind can enjoy more energy. You can think more clearly (also a by-product of better sleep) and manage stress better.
It’s Not What You Might Think
There are many ailments for which people take medicine that your body can fix itself…if it is communicating clearly with itself.
We have helped women manage the pain of menstrual cramping, child-bearing, and child-birth through proper alignment of the nerves and muscles of their pelvic area. Several times, we’ve helped athletes improve their performance. We have helped people lose weight, manage their blood sugar and insulin balance, and enjoy better elimination.We’ve helped people eliminate persistent, severe headaches. We have even helped people enjoy better mental concentration and emotional balance. It’s not out of bounds to suggest that I have helped people combat stress, fatigue, and even depression.
All by aligning their spines properly.
My favorite part is when they come in for help with one problem and leave with an entirely different one solved. Like the woman who came to my office to address her back and hip pain and ended up losing weight, coming off her diabetes meds, and controlling her headaches and wild mood swings. This kind of thing happens all the time. And I love the look on their face when they report back to me what their medical doctor told them.
Everything in your body is connected. Dysfunction in one area can affect all the others around it. In the end, everything connects back to a healthy spine. All your organs get the resources they need to function at peak performance when they can communicate clearly with your brain.
What To Expect Is Unexpected
Now, if you become my patient (my current patients already know this), you will quickly find out that my goal is not to have you come in for a chiropractic adjustment three times a week. My peers and colleagues in other practices think I’m nuts. That’s how a chiropractor makes money.
I’d rather see you learn to manage your own wellness effectively. That’s why I teach movement classes and have a whole YouTube channel full of “Move Right Monday” videos. First, we align your internal communication system and get it working exactly as it was designed. Then we teach your body how to keep it aligned so we don’t have to keep fixing it. We use a system some people call “muscle memory” or “pattern refinement.” In short, I want to teach you how to operate your body machine to get the most out of it with the least amount of realignment.
If you want to enjoy a body machine that keeps itself healthy, let’s talk. Stop by my office behind the YMCA on Pine Ridge Road in Naples and let’s see where you are and what we need to do to get you to full wellness. I look forward to meeting you.
And if you know you have friends who think chiropractors are just “back crunchers,” please take a few seconds and share this article on your favorite social media channel. Help me fight the good fight of correcting misinformation.
“At the end of your FEELINGS is NOTHING. At the end of your PRINCIPLES is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas