The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Healing from Within

Amazing Facts:new-cells-300x225

50,000 of your cells will die and be replaced with new cells, all while you have been reading this sentence!

Our bodies are recreating themselves constantly. We make a new skeleton every 3 months. Your skin is new every 5 weeks. The skin’s cells multiply every second to replace those worn away. A typical skin cell lives only 2 weeks. A typical cell in the lining of your stomach lives only a few days. Heart and brain cells apparently last a lifetime without reproducing.

The central nervous system is connected to every part of the body by 43 pairs of nerves. 12 pairs go to and from the brain, and 31 pairs go to and from the spinal cord. There are nearly 45 miles of nerves running through our bodies!

Messages travel along the nerves as electrical impulses. At speeds up to 248 miles per hour.

shutterstock_14167231-copyYour body has approximately 14 billion nerve cells and over 100 trillion other cells that provide the communication between all parts of the body.

The number of interconnections that can be made between each brain cell is equivalent to infinity, or the number 1 followed by 6 1/2 million miles of standard typewritten zeros.

A computer working at 400 million calculations per second, operating for one hundred years, would only accomplish what your brain can accomplish in a minute.

One human brain generates more electrical impulses in a single day than all of the world’s telephones put together.

The adult heart beats about 40,000,000 times a year. In one hour the heart works hard enough to produce enough energy to raise almost one ton of weight one yard from the ground.

The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot repair itself. Everything else in the body can self-repair.

Your ears and nose continue to grow throughout your entire life.

Your body has 206 bones, half of which are in the feet and hands.

The liver is often called the body’s chemical factory. Scientists have counted over 500 different liver functions.

                                    How Does the Body Manage All of this?!

Healing Manager:Family-First-Chiropractic-Innate-Intelligence_Blaine-Minnesota_Blog

Are you consciously controlling these physical processes or are they self-regulated by your body? What exactly is it that takes a turkey sandwich and turns it into hair cells, new skin cells, and fingernails? Chiropractors refer to this inborn, self-healing, self-regulating mechanism as Innate Intelligence. The word “innate” means inborn, so a child can have the same amount of Innate Intelligence expressing through their body as a Harvard Professor! The medium or pathway by which this intelligence travels from the brain to the rest of the body is the Nervous System. The nervous system acts as an “information superhighway”, allowing literally billions and billions of bits of information to travel from the brain to the body and vice versa.

This is not a highway that you would want traffic on. In other words, this is not something that you want interfered with in any way. How well your body functions is determined by the quantity and quality of your innate expression. Remember, the wrong message being transferred from one part of the body to another can be just as damaging as no message getting through at all! Our sole objective as Chiropractors is to keep the lines open and allow the “innate intelligence” within the body to express itself at the highest level possible! This is our noble mission here at our Chiropractic office.

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Guide to Whiplash Injury

post_accident_injury
No one asks for a whiplash injury-they are nearly always a surprise and rarely the fault of the victim. But they are very common. In fact, over 1 million rear-end collisions occur every year in the U.S. Most cases of whiplash are minor and heal within a few weeks with the proper care. Unfortunately, a small number of patients, about 20-30% with whiplash cases, becomes chronic and lead to long-term discomfort. Whiplash consists of some classic symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms occur immediately after the crash and other times they may take weeks or even months to appear. Common symptoms are the following:

  • A headache
  • Neck Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Jaw Pain
  • Arm Pain

Many people might think that they only had a minor car accident that was with speed of only 5-10 mph.

Dr. Cailliet stated:

“Simulated impacts have been studied extensively and essentially confirm that a low-speed impact with minimal or no damage to the impacted vehicle can and does cause significant musculoskeletal injury to the drivers or occupant’s head and neck.”

Dr. Macnab reported in his article, “Acceleration Extension Injuries of the Cervical Spine,” said:

“Acceleration depends on the force applied and the inertia of the vehicle that has been struck. The force is dependent upon the weight and speed of the striking vehicle so that a streetcar traveling at 3 mph can apply as much force and initiate the same degree of acceleration as a compact car traveling at 40 mph.”

car-accident11

The key to recovering quickly from your whiplash injury is to understand how this happened. It is hard to sort out the truth from the myth about whiplash. This guide is to help you understand how you were injured and how to get well again.

Your Spine: How it is built

Your spine supports your body weight, aids in movement, and serves as a passageway for your spinal cord and nervous system. The spine is made up of 24-26 vertebrae, that are individually designed for specific roles. Each vertebra is separated by a tough disc that cushions the bones and allows flexibility and movement. The spine as a whole, with many bones and disc, is capable of very large motions. But each individual joint by itself allows only a few degrees of movement.

Neck Movements

The neck is the most flexible part of the spine. It allows your head to move in practically any direction. But, its flexibility also makes it the area of the spine that is most vulnerable to injury.

In addition to the disc for flexibility and movement of the cervical spine (neck region) also has what is the known as the facet joint. The facet joint is the part of each neck vertebrae, and it allows the bones to glide smoothly over each other. All of these neck facet joints moving together making it possible for the head to nod forward or backward. In a typical segment of the neck region, the spine has 4 facet joints and two-disc joints.

How Collisions can hurt your body:

The bottom line on whiplash is this: your body was not designed for the abnormal motions that occur during a collision. Normally when your head moves forward and backward, all of the vertebrae participate equally and safely in the motion. Whiplash, however, is not normal motion. During a collision, which takes place in a split second, your head is thrown backward so forcibly and quickly that your body does not even have a chance to respond. As we mentioned earlier, the facet joints allow smooth, controlled forward and backward movement motion of the head and neck. And each joint moves equally to aid this motion.

Different Phases of Whiplash Motion:

Watching each spinal segment in a live human being during a whiplash type collision is not an easy task. What these scientists did was to subject a volunteer to a simulated rear-end collision, while videotaping the spinal motion with x-ray video camera at very high speeds (about 500 frames per second). Whiplash injuries occur in about a tenth of a second so that the entire occupant motion would take up just three frames with a regular video camera with a rate of 30 frames per second.

These researchers found that the smooth motions that they saw when looking at the overall motion during whiplash were much more complex when they examined and analyzed the motions of individual segments.

The Whiplash motion looks like the following:

Phase 1: Upright spine before collisionnormal-cervical-curve1

Phase 2: Immediately after the impact, the car seat pushes the torso forward while the head remains stationary. At the same time, the torso “ramps” up the seat, compressing the cervical spine.

cervical-spine-lateral2

Phase 3: Torso is accelerated by the vehicle seat and may start to ramp up the seat. The lower neck is then pulled forward by the accelerated torso/seat. The head rotates and extends rapidly rearward hyper-extending the neck. The vehicle seat begins to spring forward, and torso continues to accelerate forward.

whiplash2

Phase 4: The spine forms an S-shaped curve before the musculature of the neck has a chance to react. This S-shape curve results in bending and damaging ligaments in several of the spinal segments.motor-accident-2

Head and torso are accelerated forward. The neck is “whipped” forward rotating and hyper-flexing the neck forward. The head accelerates due to neck motion and moves ahead of the seat back.

neck

The latest study on this issue shows that the joint capsule and disc undergoes excessive stress in just a few segments of the spine. So much stress that the joint capsules and disc can be torn or the cartilage of the joint itself can be “pinched,” resulting in tissue damage and pain.

Why your body is in pain?

All of the most common symptoms of whiplash can be traced either directly or indirectly to the trauma in your neck that you experience the auto injury. There are 5 major types of injury that whiplash can cause, these are muscle, ligament/tendons, nerve, facet joint injury, and fractures.

  1. Muscle Injury:
    • Most whiplash pain involves muscle tissue since it is the easiest to damage in a collision. During the impact, the muscles in your neck are stretched beyond what they normally experience. Muscle damage is accompanied by swelling and tenderness of the muscles in the neck and shoulders. Fortunately, muscle injuries heal quickly and usually don’t require extensive lengthy treatment.
  2. Ligament/Tendon Injury:whiplash-injury-recovery
    • Now a new study has looked more closely at what happens to the neck, but this time by studying the anterior ligaments of the spine. Previous studies have shown that some patients experience injuries to the anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) after whiplash. This new report by leading whiplash researchers used a sophisticated mathematical analysis (based upon experimental anatomical and crash data) to see what happens to the ALL during a crash.The ALL runs along the front of the human neck, providing stability for the vertebrae of the spine. The added hypermobility may lead to spinal disorders such as early degeneration of the connected intervertebral disc or vertebrae. In addition, segmental hypermobility can lead to long-term instability. Catastrophic failure of the ALL in a whiplash injury will almost inevitably result in simultaneous injury to the intervertebral disc requiring Chiropractic intervention with specific and scientific analysis to prevent further damage and degeneration.
  3. Nerve Injury:
    • Just as muscles, ligaments/tendons are stretched during rapid motion of whiplash, so our nerves. Most nerves are able to handle such motion. But if your head is turned, head restraint wasn’t adjusted properly, having neck instability, to begin with, a nerve can be damaged and stretched too far or pinched. Nerve injuries can be slightly more difficult to heal than muscle and ligament damage. Nerves that are trapped by misalignment of the vertebra require chiropractic adjustments to restore normal functional capacity.
  4. Facet Joint Injury:
    • Facet joint injury can show itself in a variety of ways. Pain in the area of the joint is the most common symptom. Facet damage can also result in pain that is felt elsewhere in the body. Shoulder and arm pain are common whiplash complaints that may be related to facet joint injury.        Healing of joint damage can be more difficult for many reasons. First, the joint itself does not have a good supply of blood, which makes it hard for the tissues to heal. Secondly, the constant motion of the joint and swelling can irritate the injury. Thirdly, misalignment of the vertebra called subluxation is the culprit cause of this problem causing loss of motion in a damaged vertebra in the lower neck area and creating too much instability in the upper neck.
  5. Fractures:PE-SpinalFractures_Figure2b
    •  Fractures in the neck may also occur during motor vehicle accidents when the head is violently jerked either backward or forwards. The most common type of spine fracture is a vertebral body compression fracture. Sudden downward force shatters and collapses the body of the vertebrae. If the force is great enough, it may send bone fragments into the spinal canal, called a burst fracture. Abnormal slipping and rubbing motions can cause pain and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Stable fractures can usually be treated with bracing and rest. Unstable fractures usually require surgery to realign the bones and prevent spinal cord or nerve injury.when more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will break. People affected by osteoporosis, tumors, and certain forms of cancer that weaken bone are prone to vertebral compression fractures (VCF). The fracture appears as a wedge-shaped collapse of the vertebra.

Effective Healing Methods:

The goal of healing and stability is to help the damaged tissues from the injury. This may take time, depending upon the extent of the damage.

First, it’s very important that you stay active and continue to keep your daily activities. Don’t take excessive time off work or recreation, as this can make it harder for you to get back into the daily lifestyle. The more you make an effort to stay active, the easier it will be for you if you have a legal case later on.

Chiropractic with Whiplash:

Chiropractors work to correct the biomechanical problem causing the symptoms related to whiplash. An approach that will only emphasize on pain or other symptoms will not correct the problem. One report examined 10,382 articles on a neck injury and found traditional techniques for whiplash (collars, injections, ultrasound, medication) were largely ineffective. Several studies point to the success of chiropractic for whiplash sufferers. One found 26% were completely pain-free after chiropractic intervention and the other 74% were significantly improved. Another found 93% improvement.

Patients who undergo chiropractic care are found to have the natural curve of their necks restored, whereas patients who do not undergo chiropractic care tend to be left with a straightened or even reverse curve in their neck. Through research from the Cervical Spine Research Society conducted by Dr. Hohl, he has been shown that after an average of 7 years post-auto accident, an acceleration of degenerative disc disease following whiplash injuries occurred. By that amount of time, auto insurance will not cover the damage of auto injury.

spinaldecay

Dr. Gonstead’s Experience with Whiplash

According to Dr. Gonstead, whiplash usually causes a lower neck problem, but the gonstead and spinemajor problem is often the upper neck problem. He often found damage in the front of the neck bone in the case where a lower neck problem is involved. When there is a very bad whiplash case, he often saw atrophy of the thumb muscles and they couldn’t bring the thumb and index finger together. Dr. Gonstead always wanted to adjust the whiplash as early as possible after the accident. Dr. Gonstead used soft collars for TV and driving purposes if they couldn’t hold up their neck and also make sure that after the Chiropractic adjustment the neck will heal in the best posture as possible. Dr. Gonstead stated that traction for whiplash is to be avoided along with cervical collar. Ice will help reduce the sensation of pain but heat will make the muscle inflammation worse and increase the pain. Typically whiplash damages start to degenerate after 6 months of stagnant lack of care to the spine.

In the Future:

When the whiplash injury is cared for with Chiropractic adjustments, the whiplash will stabilize and heal properly with a series of Chiropractic adjustments. There will be no fear of reoccurring symptoms, a progression of degeneration, and less medical bills to pay for in the future. Not just any Chiropractic adjustment will do. The Chiropractor has to be specific, objective, and creating a future plan of how to keep their spine strong and stable. Dr. Gonstead had the most experience with all kinds of whiplash injuries and his Chiropractic system has been tested throughout time. There are all kinds of whiplash injuries that involve the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and bones so finding a good Chiropractor is very important and if they perform Chiropractic adjustment like Dr. Gonstead.


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Chiropractic Adjustment-Side affects, Reactions, Adverse Reaction

The chiropractic adjustment is a special procedure that a Chiropractor does to correct or relieve your underlying problem called subluxation. The Chiropractor spends years mastering to correct a subluxation. Subluxation causes pressure on your nerves and causes other symptoms health conditions. Some Chiropractors adjust many segments for up to 7-10 segments. Chiropractor with more scientific and specific approach adjusts fewer segments to get the most positive outcome. As an analogy, we say that adjusting the spine is like a hammer and a bent nail. We can quickly fix the problem by smashing the nail and bend the nail even more and we can never go back to fix it again. Or a more corrective adjusting is like gentle tapping and nudging can get the nail into the correct spot without bending the nail further. Here are following Chiropractor’s approach, who will be specific and scientific:

  • In which direction is the vertebra out of alignment?Spine
  • What is the minimal amount of force necessary for re-alignment?
  • Is it better to adjust facing down or on their side?
  • Are there any factors which would prevent the adjustment?
  • Is the client relaxed enough for the adjustment?

An experienced Chiropractor has a checklist in their mind and goes through them quickly. As Chiropractors are more experienced, as they go through their mental checklist another factor plays is their intuition after many adjustments they have done in the past. An adjustment from one chiropractor may feel different when given by another. Simply due to physical differences of the Chiropractor being short or tall, different hand sizes, or any other can make a different chiropractic adjustment.

Side Affect:

After an adjustment, some people experience a feeling of deepening peace and relaxation. This relaxed feeling may last for the rest of the day or week and may lead to deep, refreshing sleep. Others have at times felt warm feeling flowing to various parts of their bodies that are very soothing. Some feel very energetic and do all their chores and business that day with light, happy feeling.

Others may find that their symptoms have begun to disappear, that the problems that they came to the office for have begun to lessen after the first visit. This is never to be confused that the problem is gone for the rest of your life. Just like working out and building muscles, healing takes time. There are also some people who do not feel any different after an adjustment. People with chronic problems usually do not see the immediate results right away. This does not necessarily mean that they are not benefiting from their adjustments, an absence of no effect after an adjustment just means that they’re not feeling any external reactions.Ask-your-doctor-if-getting-adjusted-is-right-for-you

Reactions:

Another set of people, usually a minority, may feel discomfort, muscle soreness or even some pain and they may experience a headache or some other uncomfortable feeling. There are many reasons and they are the following:

  1. You may be experiencing a detoxification: Cleansing of your body starts to initiate after the adjustment. When toxins and poisons leave the body systems, there may be the increase in discomforts such as a headache, sniffles, a slight fever, strong feeling of drowsiness, lethargy or any similar reactions. There is an increase in blood flow to get rid of the toxins from the body systems, they tend to have an external reaction that is noticeable.
  2. The muscles are starting to realigning the spine. After a Chiropractic adjustment, often the muscles that haven’t worked for many years may be in a weak state. Now that the muscles are starting to work again they may become sore or “charlie horse.” This condition is temporary and will soon disappear after muscles have strengthened themselves.
  3. The nerves that were compressed for a long time are now coming back to life. Old injuries that haven’t healed completely may be reawakened in order for more complete healing to start. It is often times old memories and feelings associated with the original injury may also come to the surface.

Adverse Reaction:

There are claims online stating that there are severe complications such chirotable290x196as stroke, neck pain, bleeding in the brain, headaches. Most of these online articles do not have much evidence and objective facts that are only for shocking people in the media. Although, if a Chiropractor was not being careful and reckless with the Chiropractic adjustments, there can be problems that can be created. There are chiropractic offices that tend to adjust the same locations or adjust as many as 10 segments or joints each visit. Some are not utilizing any examination before they adjust or after they adjust. When Chiropractors are specific and scientific, the adverse reactions are less likely to occur.

“Any person can learn to hit the high spots, replace and displace vertebrae, relieve one disease and cause another. Let us as chiropractors, show the world that chiropractic is a science….Why not be specific….Why not combine the science of chiropractic with the ART of adjusting?” – D.D. Palmer (Founder of Chiropractic Profession)

“Chiropractic is not easy. It is a scientific approach. In order to get those things right, they have to be so right. None of us can be too careful. Too many of the chiropractors are unwilling to really study enough to truly understand spinal mechanics.” –C.S. Gonstead ( Known as “Miracle Man,” Founder of Gonstead Chiropractic Technique)


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Good, Bad, and the Ugly. Crack My Neck for Relieving Pain.

There are many situations where your spine will crack on its own or intentionally cracking them. The cracking of the spine in any different situations has an effect that can be good, bad, or ugly.

Good:

After a certain time period of a Chiropractic adjustment, the spine tends to realign the other vertebra on their own. Most likely the other vertebra was not in the right position are starting to go in the right position by themselves. When your body introduces any kind of force, such as when you are doing light stretching, turning, bending the spine realign. There is nothing to fear but to let your Chiropractor know what happened. Check out the former blog about this topic: https://zenchiropractic.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/what-happens-when-my-spine-goes-pop/

Bad:IMG_0006

When your spine pops and pain follows immediately then the joint became unstable and causing inflammation and muscle spasm. Even if you didn’t put much stress or any motion on the spine something pops and then the muscles around are creating spasms and sharp pain. Often times these situations are the vertebra was already starting to fall out of place and it was a matter of time when it went out of position. In this case, put ice on the area and get to a Chiropractor that will use x-ray, neurological exams, and education on what has happened and properly adjust that vertebra.

Ugly:

The unprofessional person intentionally twisting of the neck or low back of themselves or to others may create the cracking noise but then they will cause tendon and ligament to tear and create more instability. Over twisting the neck without proper examinations and professional skill then people are at risk possibly damaging artery integrity that is already weakened and may cause cardiovascular problems in the brain. The mistake is to think that by over twisting the joint the crack is more intense and the better you feel.

26real_450That cracking noise is not what Chiropractic is defined by but that is a very big misunderstanding. Cracking in your joints creates an endorphin response that gives you a euphoria for a moment but does not solve the actual joint problem. Properly correcting your spine takes a long training from a graduate level school and getting a state license. A grand total of 4485 hours of clinic hours with health science education. Many people attempt cracking their neck and low back themselves or ask others that are not professionals to crack their spine.

There are many other professional and non-professionals that try to say that they do chiropractic. Professionals such as massage therapists, physical therapists, sports therapists, and even some medical doctors to copy chiropractic because they know how effective Chiropractic care is. Non-professionals such as your friends, families, people you meet at the bar or parties, or any individual that offer to crack your spine or neck on the street. This is why people have an incidence of having a very bad experience with cracking their neck or back because they think it is just cracking is what helps the person. People could get damage to their muscles and ligaments, and damage to the artery structure in the neck.

gonstead and spine

Dr. Gonstead’s Story:

Dr. Gonstead once had a farmer couple come to his office. The wife of this farmer was in a lot of back pain. Dr. Gonstead found the problem after careful analysis and adjusted the spine and told them to come back next week. The former couple did not come back. In fact, they didn’t come back for months. Then the farmer couple came back and the wife of the farmer was in a lot worse back pain. Dr. Gonstead analyzed again and it was much worse condition than before, so he asked the wife what happened. The farmer’s wife confessed that her husband tried to copy Dr. Gonstead after watching him adjust his wife after they went back home. They thought they could do the adjustment themselves not knowing how much science and careful skill that Chiropractic adjustment involved.

Summary:

There are many occasions were your spine will crack on its own. Some are fine because it is the process of our body to correct and heal itself. Some are bad because the spine got very unstable and finally went out of place. The worse is just because you want to feel the euphoria and cracking your neck or low back and causing a major set back of unstable joints does not help yourselves or the person you are trying to help. You could even cause serious damage to yourself or to others. It is not about cracking your neck and it is not about being a crack dealer for people. If it is about helping people, you should become a Chiropractor or go seek one to help your friend. They will find the cause and stabilize the situation.


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Allergies

Allergies, this is a topic that I had struggled for many decades and suffered limits and restriction on what I can eat, what I can do, and where I can be. Only recently I have found a solution that I barely noticed my allergic responses. So I complied facts and ideas that have helped me over the years in Chiropractic Clinic.

Immune System:

The immune system keeps you to be 100% functional. This elaborate system recognizes, destroys anything that is not supposed to be inside your bodies, such as bacteria, virus, pollutants, dust, pollen, drugs, tumors, dead cells of your own, and even artificial hearts or donor organs. ( For some reason metal and plastic do not trigger the immune reaction.)

Many things influence how well your immune system functions: your nerves and hormones, your diet, your genes and your emotions. An unhealthy immune system may fail to recognize or remove cancer cells or any abnormal cells and may not protect you from all the infections. Sometimes the immune system will overreact to foreign substances such as bee stings, penicillin, foods or drugs. Or they become suppressed/depressed or even attack your body. This is called autoimmune disorders.

Allergen and Allergies

The most common immune system disorder is an allergy. Allergies are when the immune system overreacts to foreign material which is called an allergen. This includes dust, pollen, dog or cat dander, and many more. Our body overreacts by producing too many neutralizing chemicals such as histamines to counteract the foreign materials.

Medical Approach

Orthodox medicine has no cure for allergies, only treatment of symptoms. A common prescription would be antihistamines for drying mucous response from eyes and nose. An antihistamine can cause serious heart problems and should not be used with alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers. Also, steroid nasal sprays can damage the upper respiratory tract and also affect the adrenal gland.  The following websites are side effects of antihistamine affecting the heart:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10444238

http://www.jiaci.org/issues/vol16s1/3.pdf,

Chiropractic Approach

The immune system is highly influenced by the nervous system. This is called Neuroimmunology, a study that combines neurology and the immune system and how they intimately influence each other. Dr. Gonstead mentioned about allergies as a systemic chemical imbalance with the nervous system. Investigation of which internal organs and nervous system are causing this allergic response always depends on each person.

Allergic responses have been seen in the Chiropractic clinic with great success over the century. Although, Chiropractic is not a treatment for allergies. The most important approach to allergies with Chiropractic is finding the cause of the imbalance in the nervous system and immune system. For Chiropractors, the cause is most often to be subluxation. Subluxation causes stress and imbalance in the nervous system, which in turn to cause allergic responses.

By correcting subluxation and release the stress and imbalance in the nervous system, the immune system will function more effectively. It is important to have a healthy body that is capable of neutralizing these toxic substances such as allergens The emphasis on allergies must be on building a healthy and 100% functioning nervous system rather than trying to use evasive tactics by eliminating all the allergens or taking drugs to mask the problems.


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Health, Symptoms & Adaptation

Symptoms, although unpleasant, are signs that the body is struggling to adapt to stress and regain balance.

 

Disease is a lack of co-ordination between Innate, the source of power, and its expression. –D.D.Palmer, Discoverer of Chiropractic.

 

Adaptation = Health

To be truly healthy, you must be able to adapt to life’s stresses. As Nobel Prize winner Rene Dubos, Ph.D. says: Good health is a process of continuous adaptation to the myriad microbes, irritants, pressures, and problems which daily challenge man.

You’re Constantly Adapting

You must adapt to so many things: changes in the weather: the bacteria, viri and fungi that enter you as you breathe; cancer cells, with their deranged genetic instructions that constantly arise within; pollution and chemicals; cuts, bumps, and bruises; school, work, marriage, babies, bills, a mortgage—and you must deal with them all. For if you did not…

…a hot summer’s day would boil your brain; a winter’s night would freeze you solid; every inhalation would bring massive infection; tumors would overwhelm you; a small cut would drain your blood. Without adaptation alcohol and other drugs would never break down, a moment’s anxiety would not end…you’d remain intoxicated, or terrified, for life.

Shivering And Fevers

Thankfully, we usually adapt to life’s stresses because many mechanisms are built into us for that purpose. They’re as simple as shivering in cold and sweating in heat; as elaborate as our immune system engulfing a cancer cell or bacterium and a fever to “burn off” and infection; as dramatic as an adrenaline rush when confronting danger or as unpleasant as vomiting or diarrhea to discharge toxins.

They all say the same thing: Survive! What if we can’t adjust to change? As Hans Selye, MD, PhD, world-famous researcher on stress says: The secret of health and happiness lies in successful adjustment to the ever-changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process of adaptation are disease and unhappiness…many nervous and emotional disturbances, high blood pressure, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and certain types of sexual, allergic, cardiovascular, and renal derangement appear to be…diseases of adaptation.

For successful adaptation to life’s stresses, your body needs balance (homeostasis).

From This Perspective

Viewed from this perspective, symptoms such as fevers, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, skin eruptions, sneezing, inflammation and others—although unpleasant—aren’t a matter of bad luck or, as people once thought, curses from angry gods. Rather, they are signs that your body is struggling to adapt to stress and regain balance.

By lowering fever, preventing diarrhea or vomiting, pushing ourselves when we should rest, suppressing skin eruptions, fighting inflammation and in general not permitting the body to express symptoms, we interfere with the body’s adaptation mechanisms to reestablish our balance (homeostasis) and health.

An orthodox medical approach is often a suppressive form of healthcare. Medicine seeks to eliminate symptoms. Chiropractic and other vitalistic healthcare systems view symptoms as part of a healthy response to imbalance.

Empirical or vitalistic (natural) healers do not, as a general rule, suppress symptoms. Instead, they work with and enhance your body’s natural recuperative, self-healing and homeostatic (balancing) mechanisms. Vitalism is an expressive form of healthcare.

Medical care is, at times, necessary. Medicine has a place. But it must be seen as only one facet of healthcare, used when necessary and in conjunction with chiropractic and other natural health care systems.

Suppressing symptoms may cause chronic illness.

Imagine Three Dolls

One doll is made of glass. The second doll is made of plastic, the third of steel.

Strike each doll with a hammer (representing physical or emotional stress)—what will happen?

The glass doll will shatter. This represents those individuals who are unable to adapt to life’s stresses, get seriously ill and may die.

The plastic doll will scar. This represents those who will not be killed but who are hurt or damaged by the stress. They will recover, but will never completely heal.

The steel doll rings with a pleasant tone. This represents those who, when confronted by stress, adapt quickly and thrive.

Better Adaptation With Chiropractic

Your body’s wisdom uses your nervous system as a communications system to send messages between your internal environment (body chemistry) and your external environment (the world) to maintain homeostasis or balance between you and the world.

When the communications are flowing over your nerves without interference your body and mind are more sensitive and attuned to your life and your needs. You are a “steel doll”.

By keeping your spine and nervous system free of blockages you better adapt to life’s stresses and challenges.

Our Goal For You

Our goal as chiropractors is to keep your spine and nervous system free of blockages so your ability to adapt to life’s stresses and challenges is enhanced. You will be stronger, more stable and more secure; you will thrive, grow, better enjoy life and continue on your journey to be the best you can be. Life’s challenges will become adventures, stepping stones to help bring out the best in you so that you will be fulfilled, happy and in tune with the magic of life.

Every organ and system in your body works to maintain you in internal and external harmony.


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How does a Chiropractor know where to fix?

“The right number and right kind of adjustments can set the stage for nature to heal; too many adjustments in the wrong place can undo any good that was done and slow down the healing mechanism…..Chiropractic is not easy. It is a scientific approach. In order to get those things right, they have to be so right. None of us can be too careful. Too many of the chiropractors are unwilling to really study enough to truly understand spinal mechanics.” Dr. Clarence Gonstead

Who is Dr. Gonstead? For those who have not looked at my website, he is nicknamed as the “miracle man”. He is a Chiropractor that has developed a very detailed and specific adjusting system named after himself. The Gonstead technique is widely known to be very comprehensive and specific technique in analysis and adjustments with less force. He was so busy that he had to build an airstrip for people into his small town in Mount Horeb, WI, and a hotel to accommodate the clients that came to see him from around the world. After seeing 7 million people in his chiropractic career, he was well known to be a Chiropractor of Chiropractors. Dr. Gonstead passed away in 1978 and left an amazing legacy and many students to keep on his teachings.

Not everyone was fortunate to get see Dr. Gonstead for chiropractic adjustments. Most people who had chiropractic adjustments from chiropractors that did not follow to the level of specificity of the technique of Dr. Gonstead had mixed feelings or mixed results after chiropractic adjustments. Some felt nothing changed or worse for that matter.

As you read the quote from Dr. Gonstead in the first paragraph, there are chiropractors that adjust too many and in the wrong place. As a Chiropractor, practicing on each other during Chiropractic school is essential to be a better chiropractor. Also the price of paying with your own spine on getting adjusted on the wrong areas. There was one experience of mine where the student adjusted my spine with a huge cracking noise and he felt the adjustment went well. Although, I had great pain in my low back with radiating pain down my leg for 6 months. So hearing a huge noise does not mean the chiropractic adjustment is the right one, it is the results afterward that determines if the chiropractic adjustment is right or wrong.

Dr. Gonstead said, “…too many chiropractors are adjusting the wrong one!” What is the wrong one is referred to as a compensation for the real problem called subluxation? Subluxation is the misalignment of the spine causing impingement of the nerve that causes loss of function and healing. Compensation is misalignment that is caused by subluxation and creates symptoms like pain. Compensations are very misleading to people who have them and for people who are correcting subluxation. Many people think the most painful spot is the problem and most often times it is not.

“A vertebra which is misaligned because of a subluxation elsewhere is considered a compensation.” Roger W. Herbst D.C. Gonstead Chiropractic Science & Art

Many chiropractors adjust from 7-10 segments in the spine. The most common reason is that if the segment in the spine is not moving, let’s give it motion and then it will feel better. Motion is life! This common philosophy does not distinguish compensation and subluxation. Who has this idea typically adjust everything and anything?  Their thinking might be anything that is misaligned put it back so that the spine is in perfect shape.

Most chiropractors are trying to give everyone the perfect spine. In the Gonstead method, we only care about finding the subluxation and allowing the person’s spine adapt and heal on their own. Some spines look like a bad scoliosis curvature but it is not the Chiropractor’s job to fix scoliosis. Once the body is free from subluxations then the starts to change shapes or adapts better to the person’s stress levels. This may change the spine’s shape to the more efficient structure to the stress that is put on to the spine.

Dr. Gonstead made sure to find the right one and re-analyze after he adjusted a spinal segment. Just to check if the adjustment was enough or too much force. Dr. Gonstead was able to determine whether the disc was acute or chronic, the position of the disc herniation, and much more information on the condition of the nervous system. Dr. Gonstead also used radiological films, observed postural changes, skin inflammation analysis, and listened to your symptoms. Then he put all that information together to find the one or two segments that were the subluxation. This gave future generations of chiropractors that followed Dr. Gonstead to reproduce what he was able to do. That was adjusted about 7 million people in his life and help very difficult conditions that even medical doctors were not able to help.