Thursday, November 30, 2017

How Do Chemicals Affect Your Nervous System?

I have often been asked, in response to my addressing the downsides to popular medical interventions (such as the flu shot or statins) in my Orientation Class or in an article that I have written, “Why does someone whose specialty is not medicine spend so much time educating people about different perspectives on it?”  My answer, in part, is “awareness.”  Doing what I do, I am exposed to the failures of the medical model and the statistics that showcase the reason why it so often fails; coming from where I came from, pre-Upper Cervical Care, I personally was a failure of the medical model; and knowing what I now know, I feel it is part of my calling to better inform you of the realities of healthcare in the midst of teaching you new, safer, and better ways to achieve health.  However, awareness is only part of the answer.

The primary purpose of Upper Cervical Care is to either awaken a depressed nervous system or calm an over-excited nervous system by facilitating the removal of any stress on the system’s hub, the brainstem.  Such is how a person with chronic Migraines or an autoimmune disorder like Crohn’s disease or widespread pain throughout his/her body gets well from having a bone in the upper neck moved into its proper alignment with the skull’s base; remove the figurative rubber band wrapped around the brainstem and the by-product is the gradual restoration of life to the body.  Medications either deaden or over-excite nerves, so the other reason for discussing them in addition to awareness is that medication fundamentally stands at odds with the primary intent of Upper Cervical Care.

Take, for instance, pain medications, the class of drugs known as analgesics.  To achieve their desired therapeutic effect, Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen, Celebrex, Aleve, et al block neurotransmitters, the substances between nerves that transfer electrical impulses throughout the nervous system.  Neurotransmitters are what allow for such conscious actions as typing and speaking, as well as for such subconscious, automatic functions as digestion and cardiac output; inhibiting such an important agent in your body’s ability to work normally is the main source of analgesic side effects.  The pain medications which have anti-inflammatory properties (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) also directly hinder the production of cells designed to help the body heal from injury and combat the invasion of bacterial or viral intruders.  Analgesics are, by nature, a double-edged sword, capable of making you feel better, but often at the expense of your true health.   

I know it can be strange to think of medication in that light – something that works against health even if it makes us feel better – but the reality is that all chemicals produce internal reactions that can be both positive and negative and it is important to contextualize the ratio between the pros and cons.  As a society, we have done that for chemicals like nicotine, which is a nervous system stimulant that constricts the arteries, causing increased blood pressure and heart rate and more rapid breathing patterns.  Like any chemical that affects the brain, nicotine (combined with the other additives in cigarettes) disrupts normal brain function, creating a unique biochemistry within the body that activates pleasurable feelings that are addicting and pattern your body into an altered physiologic state that must be re-stimulated to avoid easily acquired withdrawal affects.  Accordingly, we have classified nicotine as a drug to avoid in spite of its ability to make its users feel better.  Medications, however, have been placed in a higher class due to their association with disease management.  Considering that they are responsible for a comparable number of injuries and deaths per year, though, should we not talk about them in a similar context? 

It is important to remember that, in this discussion, the all or nothing mindset so detrimental to our society has been checked at the figurative door; there is no implication here that medicine is always bad or that patients cannot improve while both taking medications and going through the process of Upper Cervical Care simultaneously.  Yet, it is also important to have an understanding about the negative effects of chemicals such as medicine or nicotine – specifically the affect that they have on your nervous system – because, without that insight, there will be a missing piece of your understanding for how to get well and stay well. 

Life lives through nerves and anything that distorts their activity can prevent you from maximizing your health goals.  That means we have to pay attention to what we are putting in our bodies, including to what is currently found in our food.  Gluten (the protein found in wheat), for example, triggers a dangerous series of reactions.  Our bodies do not recognize gluten in its modified form the way that they recognized it 20-30 years ago before its mass hybridization.  Now our bodies recognize gluten as a foreign invader and react as if we had swallowed a spider – surrounding it with an inflammatory response to section it off so that the immune system is triggered to deal with it; all of these internal reactions are dependent upon a nervous system communication that is often already disrupted by other chemicals.  The prevalent consumption of gluten places our systems under constant stress, bombards our bodies with widespread inflammation, and overloads our immune systems.

This discussion unfortunately even extends to naturally occurring elements like aluminum, which we are exposed to in our water supply, in antiperspirants, and as an ingredient in several vaccines.  Aluminum reduces the electrical conductivity of your nerves, reducing their ability to properly transmit the impulses necessary for your basic functions to be optimally maintained; it also causes oxidative stress on brain tissue, meaning that it weakens the body’s ability to rid itself of harmful toxins.  Though we eliminate 99% of the aluminum we are exposed to through the kidneys when ingested orally, we unfortunately retain between 40-75% of it when it is injected or applied in other ways.  Accordingly, it has been linked to numerous health problems, including memory loss, brain fog, anemia (too few healthy blood cells), and autism spectrum disorders among others. 

In my decade-long career, it is no coincidence that the patients who got well the fastest on my watch were the ones on the fewest medications and who were subjected to the least amount of other kinds of chemical insults (cigarettes, alcohol, gluten, etc.).  Simply put, the Upper Cervical correction removes the number one cause of neurologic distortion in the body, opening the main channel for communication throughout, but the ensuing healing process is slowed by chemicals, which cause secondary neurologic interference.  So, please allow this information to both better inform and to perhaps also rekindle the desire to limit your exposure to chemicals proven to be counterproductive to your health goals. 

Thinking good things for you,

Dr. Chad 

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