Brain-Body Connection, Client Authored, FAQ's

FAQ’s: Can Chiropractic Help Me With…?

Barney Stinson awesome

We’ve spent the past week doing several public events.  Last Thursday, Dr. Jodi spoke about “How to have an Extraordinary Life” at the Jennersville Hospital Senior Circle.  Then on Saturday, Dr. Greg and Dr. Jodi spent all day at the Green and Healthy Living Expo at the University of Delaware.  We wrapped up our week of events on Wednesday at the Jennersville YMCA Wellness Wednesday.  When we do public events like this, we get the opportunity to meet and speak with a lot of different people.  Some people want to tell us their entire health story, some people skeptically and cynically try to debate us on the benefits of chiropractic, some people seem to take great pleasure in telling us that they don’t “believe” in chiropractic (This one cracks me up.  Chiropractic doesn’t require faith or belief.  It works whether you ‘believe’ in it or not.), and other people simply have questions for us.

After answering the same question and explaining the same principle for, like, the 15th time in 2 days, I got the idea to start a series of blog posts entitled, “FAQ’s,” during which I will address some of the most common questions we face in practice and in public.  I’m sure this is a series that will grow and develop over time as I a continue to add to it.  But for now, let’s start with the MOST common question we get; “Can chiropractic help me with…?”

Whenever someone asks me if chiropractic can help them with their {insert condition, symptom, ailment here}, my mind immediately flashes to one of my mentors, Reggie Gold, D.C..  His favorite answer to this question was, “How the hell should I know?”  But, me being me, I just can’t bring myself to be that blunt.  So, instead, I tell them, “yes and no.”

What do I mean?  Well, if you’re asking me if chiropractic can help you, my answer is a resounding YES!  The goal of chiropractic is to reconnect your brain and your body so that your inner power, wisdom and intelligence can resume the function of healing you and getting you healthier and stronger day by day.  It is ALWAYS a good thing to be checked for any partial loss of the vital brain-body connection.  It is ALWAYS a good thing to remove anything that could interfere with the brain-body connection. 

You were designed to be extraordinary, remember?  However, the key ingredient to an extraordinary life is a brain and a body that are in constant, clear, and precise communication with one another.  This is how we achieve 100% function.  And remember, health is defined as 100% function, 100% of the time.

However, if you allow physical, chemical, and/or emotional stress to interfere with your brain-body connection, you interfere with the flow of information from your brain to your body, or your body to your brain.  As a result of this altered communication, you lose function somewhere in your body.  Where?  I don’t know.  Will you experience symptoms?  I don’t know.  Will you be aware of this decreased function?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  That’s not really the point, though, is it?  It doesn’t matter if you know it’s present or not.  It’s there and it’s robbing you of your ability to be truly healthy.

As chiropractors, Dr. Greg and I have just one focus – to locate the areas of your spine that may be misaligned causing a partial loss of a clear brain-body connection.  We know and trust that your body will resume the task of healing you and making you extraordinary, once it gets “plugged back in.”  We also know and trust that your body will heal you in the order it sees fit and at the speed at which it sees fit.  Period.  End of story.  We trust that the power that resides within you that beats your heart, expands your lungs, digests your food, regulates you hormones, etc. is MUCH smarter than we could ever pretend to be.  So, who are we to tell it how to do it’s job? 

So, can chiropractic help you with your {insert condition, symptom, ailment, pain, etc. here}?  I don’t know.  But I do know that you will ALWAYS be better off with a clear brain-body connection, than you will without it.  If that happens to mean that you no longer experience {said condition, symptom, ailment, pain, etc.},  then great!  If not, that’s great, too.  You’re still better off.

Live life and THRIVE!

Dr. Jodi

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Brain-Body Connection, Client Authored

Learning to Trust

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In my last post I challenged you to examine who you’re trusting.  In chiropractic we have a saying, “The power that made the body,  heals the body.”  Are you trusting in that power to heal you and keep you healthy?  Or are you putting your faith and trust in man (your doctor, medication, surgery, chemotherapy, etc.)?

Listen, I know that for most of you, learning to trust your body’s ability to heal is a completely new concept.  For so long you’ve been told that your body is weak and defective.  You’ve been told that it doesn’t know how to fight an infection without medication, give birth without intervention, heal from injury without help, or digest your food properly.  I understand that for me to come along and tell you that your body is amazing, that you are extraordinary, that you were made for complete and total health, that when you experience a symptom it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is “wrong” that needs to be “fixed” may seem a little weird.  I get that.  I was there.  Totally.  Let me share a little bit of my story and maybe you can see where I’m coming from.

I was a fairly sick child – teenager, really.  I’m not really sure why (it doesn’t really matter, though, does it?), but I started to experience a lot of health challenges once I reached high school.  I would go from sinus infection to sinus infection, strep throat to strep throat.  In one winter I had walking pneumonia along with several bouts of sinus infections and strep throat, all of which I was given antibiotics for.  In fact, I was given so much penicillin and erythromycin that I developed allergies to both of them.  I’m pretty sure I had my first of 3 sinus surgeries during that year and I was told that I was one episode of strep throat away from having my tonsils removed.  As if that wasn’t enough, I got to begin my spring with mono.  Lucky me.  I missed so much school that year that they almost didn’t let me move on with my class.  And so cemented my high school saga.

My heart goes out to my mother.  I can only imagine how helpless she must have felt watching her child get sick over and over again.  She did what she thought was best for me.  With every fever, every cough, every white spot on my tonsils, every tissue full of green snot she took me to the doctor where they did what they thought was best for me.  They prescribed antibiotics and when that failed, they recommended surgery.  I can’t fault anyone for that period of my life.  Everyone involved in caring for me had nothing but my best interests at heart.  I truly believe that.  Unfortunately for me, there was no one in my life who really understood WHY I kept getting so sick, and more importantly, HOW I could support my body so that it could heal and keep me well.

The sad thing is that during this time I wasn’t getting adjusted.  My mom started taking my brother and I to a chiropractor when we were about 9 or 10.  After we’d been seeing him for a while (few years, maybe) he changed his technique and my mom didn’t like it (honestly, she didn’t understand it and he never took the time to explain it to her), so she stopped going, which meant we stopped going.  I truly believe that had I been getting adjusted during my high school years, I would have had a completely different experience.

Anyway, this pattern continued into college and early adulthood.  I would get a sinus infection and immediately treat it with antibiotics.  I would get a migraine and immediately reach for the Advil or Alleve.  I started getting adjusted again once I got to college, but only a few times per year.  You see, I played rugby in college and so I knew enough about chiropractic to know that rugby probably wasn’t all that great for my spine and I should probably be checked and adjusted at the end of each season.  Smart, huh?  NOT!

But then along came chiropractic school.  And I thank God every single day that I chose the school I did and that I had the teachers I did.  Wow!  What an eye-opener.  I FINALLY started to get a glimpse into WHY I kept getting sick.  I started to learn about the vital brain-body connection.  I learned how without that connection, it was impossible for me to be truly healthy.  If I wanted to function at 100% (as I was designed to do), then I needed to have that connection.  I also started to learn about how the body works.  I learned about fevers and their purpose.  I learned that a fever is my body’s first line of defense against a viral or bacterial infection.  I learned that it was my body’s good and perfect way of dealing with a stressful situation.  I learned about why we get stuffy and runny noses.  I learned that a cough was my body’s attempt to expel something that shouldnt’ be there (i.e. bacteria or virus).  I learned that I got run down and low-energy because my body was working really hard at fighting an infection.  I started to really gain an appreciation for just how amazing my body was.  All my life I thought fevers were something to be “fought,” not embraced.  I thought coughs were to be suppressed, not celebrated.  I thought mucus was to be dried up, not applauded.  My entire paradigm shifted once I got to chiropractic school.

I started to see all of my symptoms as my body’s attempt to restore balance and harmony, instead of as a defect.  I began to embrace my symptoms and started to see them as signs that I was alive, that my body was working and that it was doing EXACTLY what it needed to be doing in that situation.  Whenever I started to not feel well, I would stop myself from saying that I was “sick,” and began to say that I was “expressing health.”  That little shift in thinking made all the difference in the world for me.  Instantly, I would start to feel a little better.  I started to feel empowered and in control.

Trust Yourself

Then, my world really changed when I finally realized that I was in control of my health.  Once I started to realize that I could make choices every day that would make my body stronger and a more powerful fighter and better able to handle all types of stress, then I really turned a corner.  Every day that I chose to get checked by my chiropractor or not, every day that I chose to eat fresh, live, whole foods or not, every day that I chose to exercise or not, every day that I chose to go to bed early or not, every day that I chose to have quiet prayerful time or not, every day that I chose to focus on what was good in my life instead of what was wrong, were all days that I chose to get a little stronger and a little healthier.  Without even realizing it, I started to focus on adding in to my life was what necessary for my body to function optimally.  By making choices that were helping my body be strong and healthy, I was naturally displacing the behaviors and attitudes that were keeping me down.

I learned to trust my body.  I became so empowered.  As I started to add things into my life that were beneficial and that strengthened me, I started to experience fewer and fewer symptoms.  I had fewer and fewer sinus infections.  My migraines became a thing of the past.  I got more energy and more confident in my body’s ability to handle what came at it.  Most importantly for me, though, was that I learned to trust and appreciate my symptoms.  I no longer felt like medication was the only answer for me.  Instead, I would embrace the symptoms for what they really were – signs that my body was working as it should – and focus on giving my body what it needed to best do it’s job.  And really, that’s all it needed and all it will ever need.

What can you add to your life today that will help you Live Life and THRIVE?

Dr. J

Brain-Body Connection, Thrive Chiropractic Studio

Trust

Trust

One of the first verses I ever memorized (and subsequently one of my favorites) is Proverbs 3:5-6.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (NIV).  This particular verse has many meanings for me and I turn to it in many situations.  However, what I want to talk about today is the very first word…TRUST.

It’s hard to talk about this subject without talking about God.  I don’t want to sermonize, nor do I want to force my views on any of you, and I certainly don’t want to argue the Big Bang Theory vs. Intelligent Design, but to me, it’s an inescapable truth that we, as humans, were designed and created by a Creator and Designer.  For me and my family, that Creator is God.  It may be something different for you.  You may refer to your creator as Universe, Spirit, Universal Intelligence, Creator, Higher Power, or whatever else you can think to call Him.  I’m not here to argue with you.  However, the truth remains that unless you subscribe to the belief that we are merely the products of an accidental and random combination of elemental materials billions of years ago, you acknowledge that there was (and is) something or someone that created the universe (man included) and continues to bring order to it.

The same power that keeps the planets in their orbits, that created Earth with just the right atmosphere for life, and that makes sure that we have night and day and seasons,  is the same power that takes two half-cells and turns them into a human being.  It’s the same power that continues to beat your heart, expand your lungs, release just the right hormones and chemicals in your body at just the right time and in just the right amount.  The same power, and the same intelligence, that runs the universe, also runs you.

Do you ever question whether the planets will fall out of their orbit?  No, probably not.  You simply trust that they will stay in their orbit.  Do you ever doubt that all of a sudden the Earth’s atmosphere will change and will no longer be able to sustain life?  No.  You simply trust that it will remain.  Do you ever doubt that we’ll have seasons?  That we’ll have night and day?  And that there is a purpose for all that?  Again, I doubt it.  You simply trust.  Every night when you go to sleep you trust that the sun will rise in the morning and that there will be enough air to breathe.

So, if we can trust God with the big stuff, why can’t we trust Him with our own bodies?  If we can trust the design of physical world, why do we find it so hard to trust the design of the human body?

The fundamental belief and philosophy behind Life By Design and our office is that we were all designed to be extraordinary.  Very careful thought and planning went into building the human body.  It wasn’t a haphazard process.  The Creator (God) thought of everything.  He designed our bodies to run themselves, to be self-healing and self-regulating.  There are so many intricate relationships between hormones, neurochemicals, nerves, tissues, cells, etc. that we will probably never fully understand how everything works.  And I, for one, am okay with that.

What I’ve come to appreciate is that everything the body does is first and foremost for survival.  Your body is constantly sensing the internal and external environments and making accommodations to adapt to it.

A huge part of living an extraordinary life is trusting that it’s even possible.  As a society we are so inundated day in and day out with messages that our bodies are weak and defective.  We are told over and over again that we need this medication and that intervention to survive.  THAT’S NOT TRUE!  You are being lied to and if you believe those messages, you are believing LIES!  Your body is amazing and it knows exactly what it needs to do to keep you healthy and to heal you when you are less than healthy.  Contrary to the commercials, you don’t have headaches because you have an Advil deficiency.  Your heartburn is not due to a lack of Zantac in your system.  Your baby does not have acid reflux because it needs more Prilosec.  High blood pressure is not due to a Lisinopril deficiency.  And the flu shot is not a guarantee that you won’t get the flu, nor does it do anything to help your body fight the flu if you do get it.

If you want to have the extraordinary life that God designed you for, you basically need to do two (maybe three) things.  First, you must trust that it’s possible and that your Designer knew what He was doing when He made you.  You also need to be able to trust in the process.  Please understand, I’m not saying that it’s always going to be easy or fun or comfortable.  There is nothing comfortable about a headache, heartburn, vomiting, a fever, heart disease, cancer, and so on.  But, if you are able to trust in your body’s ability to adapt and heal, you can begin to look at those symptoms and diseases simply for what they really are – your body trying to adapt to internal and/or external stresses.

Secondly, you need to make sure you are giving your body what it NEEDS to work properly.  Even though our bodies have all the intelligence, power, and processes they need to be healthy, if we’re not providing proper building blocks, they are limited in what they are able to do.  A body that is fueled by quality protein, vegetables, omega-3’s, water and all other essential nutrients is going to be much stronger and much more capable of cellular repair and regeneration than a body fueled by McDonald’s, pizza, soda and sugar.  A body that moves regularly and has a demand placed on it in the form of heavy weights and quick, fast movements is going to be able to rebound from injury or illness much more effectively and efficiently than a body that sits on the couch all day or that participates in chronic cardio.

Most importantly, a body that has a clear neurological connection between its brain and all of its tissues, organs, and cells is going to be able to integrate, communicate, and bring harmony to everything.  For some, establishing and maintaining a brain-body connection is the first step to regaining health.  For others who are already Eating and Moving By Design, the brain-body connection is the missing link that brings it all together.  Regardless, a clear connection between your brain and your body is essential to living the life you were designed to live.

The third thing that needs to happen for you to be able to live the life you were designed to live is the removal of toxic materials and situations from your life.  As I mentioned earlier, your body is constantly trying to adapt to internal and external stresses.  If you give your body less to have to adapt to, it can spend more of its time growing and keeping you awesome.  The removal of grains, sugar, chemical additives, and artificial sweeteners (to name a few) from your diet leaves your body with less trash to have to deal with.  Removing harmful or toxic relationships and emotional/mental stress frees your body up to be even more amazing.  And, if your body isn’t having to constantly try to overcome your lack of exercise or improper exercise, it can express it’s incredible-ness even more.

I challenge you to look at your life and ask yourself what are you trusting?  Are you trusting the infinite wisdom that designed and created the heavens and the Earth (and YOU)?  Or are you trusting the pharmaceutical companies and modern society that are telling you that you’re weak and defective?  Are trusting that you are amazing, powerful and extraordinary?  Are you trusting that all healing comes from Above, Down and Inside Out?  Or are you trusting that you need this medication and that intervention to be well?

It’s our hope for you that you will begin to trust that you were made to Live Life and THRIVE!