Thursday, February 20, 2014

Intervention vs. Non-Interference

(Dr. Chad Note – This month’s newsletter was inspired by a message delivered by Dr. Robert Brooks in “The Power of Upper Cervical” documentary)

Have you ever been in a situation where you saw someone that you loved spiraling out of control?  Maybe it was one of your children when their grades started slipping or your spouse when he/she seemed to be frequently coming home from work acting as if it that day had been the worst in a series of horrible days in succession.  Maybe it was your college roommate going out every night and getting into a habit of addiction.  Do you recall when it was that you deemed it necessary to intervene?

It was a slippery slope, was it not?  Intervening in someone’s life should be a process of careful, calculated decisions.  You have to know when the right time to do it is.  At the wrong time, the “OK, look at what you’re doing to yourself” talk where you simultaneously offer your help might actually make matters worse.  Often, we choose a role of non-interference instead.  Non-interference ranges from stepping back and hoping that the person will recognize the area of his/her life that needs changing or subtly hinting in such a way that gets them thinking about it.  Intervention is a last resort.  Non-interference the preferred, first option. 

In modern healthcare, “when and when not to intervene” is a rare discussion.  More often than not, patients are categorized into a series of diagnoses for their various ailments and an intervention is offered.  While there is care taken to not misdiagnose, the evidence suggests that very little mind is paid to determining whether or not an intervention is necessary.  Go to the doctor with a chief complaint of pain, for instance, and you will likely receive one of many potential prescriptions for analgesics (painkillers), with often just the most serious/catastrophic reasons for pain ruled out in the “fact finding” process that leads to your trip to the pharmacy.  As a result, Americans consume 80% of the drugs produced worldwide.  In the vast majority of cases, health problems can be resolved through methods that adhere to the same principles of “non-interference” described in the life scenarios above.  If you have pain because your hips are out of balance, it is a signal alerting you to the fact that something needs to change (i.e. getting your hips rebalanced).  A foundational shift where the head and the neck converge around the brainstem causes a structural adaptation in the hips.  Identifying the fundamental discrepancy in physical health and making the specific correction necessary to return the body back to normal is more a case of, as Dr. Robert Brooks states in “The Power of Upper Cervical” documentary, “finding what’s wrong in my life and getting that out of my life” (non-interference). 

As my colleague, Dr. Tom Forest, states in the same documentary, “I wouldn’t go the dentist (for an invasive procedure) without Novocain.”  That would be an obvious example of when an intervention is necessary.  Failure to numb the mouth when a cavity is being filled would extremely painful and not worth the emotional turmoil, one could argue.  Most health related problems, though, are simple deficiencies in one or multiple areas that can be overcome through a non-interference-based approach.  Diagnosed with high blood pressure?  Your heart is working too hard, so find out what is causing it to work harder than necessary and remove it.  Intervening with a blood pressure lowering drug merely slows down the heart; it does not change the fact that your brainstem (which regulates your heart) may be pressured by the same foundational misalignment that caused your hips to be out of balance, creating for disruption of the signals down to your heart that govern your heart’s ability to function normally; nor does it change the fact that you might be too sedentary and/or eating poorly to cause you to gain weight and prompt your heart to have to pump more blood through your body.   

Too much intervention and not enough non-interference has been the primary culprit in the United States ranking 40th out of 40 amongst industrialized countries in the world in health statistics.  It is time to revisit the manner in which we make choices.  Far more scrutiny need be used.  As is frequently the case in life situations, intervention before the time has truly come to intervene can be a major setback in progressing toward the ultimate objective – and, it comes to health, the objective is to be well.  As of now, we’re being told to intervene at every sign of discord in the human body.  With deaths, hospitalizations, and the like from adverse reactions / side effects of medications and surgical errors at an all-time high, it is time to scrap the current model and build a new one from the ground up that deemphasizes medical interventions and stresses the importance of non-interference (getting things out of your life that stand in the way of health).   

Thinking good things for you,

-Dr. Chad

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