Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Have Faith in Your Body

“Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.” – D. Elton Trueblood

Recent events have made one thing above all else abundantly clear: even some of the smartest disease experts in the world significantly underestimate the human body[i].   A basic comprehension of biological science offers mountains of evidence to the human body’s dynamic capabilities in the face of myriad daunting circumstances and potential destructive agents, yet the ratio of credit given versus credit earned is skewed so far that most people assume their bodies cower to microscopic invaders like viruses.  In the interest of public health and healthcare in general, a reappraisal of that common myth is in order. 

Look up at the sun for a moment.  Fascinating, is it not, that Earth, at roughly 93 million miles away from it, is perfectly positioned so that the sun keeps most of our planet at livable temperatures?  The moon is only 250,000 miles from Earth by comparison, but it features no signs of life.  Collectively, it would be fair to state that we take for granted our place in the solar system, primarily because we cannot comprehend otherwise.  Our minds are finite, but venturing outside Earth’s atmosphere takes us into the realm of the infinite; and it is in such situations our minds must accept that there are some things we cannot control.  Humans have been around a long time, so trust in our planet maintaining an ideal distance from the sun has been well earned. 

Equally as fascinating is what takes place inside the human body every day.  In reading the previous sentence, an infinite number of routine tasks just took place inside our bodies.  A common phrase uttered after a child’s birth is, “It’s a miracle.”  Indeed it is.  Sperm and egg combining and multiplying enough to produce in nine months an infant consisting of about two trillion cells, ready made to perform all of the infinite functions of life on its own beyond the need for a mere three contributions (food, water, and oxygen)?  No combination of adjectives does that justice, truly, but it never stops being miraculous when two trillion cells keep multiplying, gradually totaling and eventually maintaining an adult average of seventy-five trillion.  We take that for granted, as well, for the same reason that we do Earth’s distance from the sun: the body’s innate and infinite tasks are too much for us to comprehend, so we must trust. 

What fascinates does not always translate to trust, however.  When our bodies are exhibiting their inborn wisdom under circumstances that we consciously deem “normal,” then we take it for granted.  However, when an abnormal state sets in, trust in the infinite often takes a hiatus.  Humans like to meddle, which is a long-term risk vs. short-term reward proposition.  We exist in a delicate balance, both on our planet and inside our bodies.  Topics like climate change and the consequences of consistent exposure to low level radiation are the inevitable result of industrial and technological advancement and eventually we will have to reconcile nature’s corrections to the balance we have disturbed.  Certainly, healthcare as we know it has become a constant exercise of interference, surgically of course and mostly chemically through medication, one after another in a vicious cycle, each further disrupting internal balance and creating the need for an innate adaptation, which is – like nature’s inevitable corrections – merely the law of cause and effect in action.    

We were highly intelligently created, but it behooves us to remember that our creation was (and maintenance is) the product of an infinite brand of intelligence.  Ever stopped to think about the process of digestion and subsequent new cell production that takes place after each meal?  The human body takes largely non-living matter consumed as food and turns it into living cells.  Perhaps a statement of the obvious is in order: the infinite > the finite.  We are capable of brilliance, but the highest IQs in the world are not even close to that level of intelligence.  No scientist on earth can replicate the intricacies of human functions.  Quickly observe the room; the tiny hole in the electrical outlet represents what we know through education, whereas the rest of the room represents just a fraction of the infinite found in nature and the human body, which performed more chemical reactions just now than every experiment conducted by every scientist who has ever lived combined throughout history. 

Health is an optimized state in which the numerous organ systems in the body work harmoniously together at a level conducive to sustaining an innate adaptability capable of preventing sickness and overcoming the causes of various symptoms.  The importance of this revised definition cannot be understated, for it acknowledges what we have learned through the observations of biological science and deemphasizes the complicating factors introduced by laboratory science.  Individually, we were assigned at creation only two conscious tasks for survival, those being to drink water and eat food, so it is in our best interest to ensure the best possible quality of both; Upper Cervical Chiropractic and the various other holistic healing arts, sciences, and philosophies exist to eliminate variables to the full expression of the body’s infinite wisdom.  

To paraphrase a famous health quote, each of us carries our own doctor inside and we are our best when we give the doctor inside a chance to work.  In other words, we should have faith in the body and seek to support it rather than interfere with it.     

[i] Statistics from Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and the National Institute of Health

A New Definition for Health, and Why It Is Necessary

This will probably read as odd to many considering the economic strength of the pharmaceutical industry and the brand recognition that modern medicine has achieved, but healthcare has not yet truly had its revolutionary period.  When preventable conditions dominate the most deadly list, kids are sicker now than ever (despite our wealth and resources), our health system ranks last in the world amongst our industrialized peers despite being first in cost, and adverse reactions and deaths via medications are out of control, contemporary healthcare can hardly be considered revolutionary, with respect given to specific innovations.  Recent events and deeply troubling repercussions have magnified the long-standing problem with basing healthcare on the theories of disease.  The time has, thus, come to redefine health so that we can begin designing the blueprint for healthcare's future. 

A problem cannot be fixed if its fundamental cause is not identified.  Health has been poorly defined for most of our lifetimes and we have been given a cradle-to-grave indoctrination of a narrow viewpoint on it.  Just as you cannot achieve true freedom in a socialist state, you cannot change healthcare if the system that oversees it is philosophically rooted in sickness and symptom treatment.  For all its proselytizing on science, our healthcare system has failed to follow the basics of the scientific method, for though it may ask lots of questions that become theoretical constructs, it overlooks the laws of life. 

Thomas Edison was one of the greatest inventors who ever lived, using already proven laws on electricity to among other things light up our world.  “The doctor of the future will give no medicine,” he said in 1903, “but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”  Health history witnessed a revolutionary step-forward when it followed Edison’s lead toward disease prevention and developed modern sanitation, the unsung hero of and quite possibly the primary reason for plummeting rates of communicable disease in the mid-to-late 20th century.  Regrettably, healthcare has since remained stuck in a disease-oriented bubble, one failed theory after another, ignoring laws. 

Designing systems based on scientific laws is paramount to the effectiveness and safety of the systems.  Aviation, for instance, is based on the laws of physics.  Accidents happen, but they are so rare now that air travel is considered the safest form transportation.  If 250,000 people per year died in America of plane crashes like they do of adverse reactions to medications, would we not go back to the drawing board on aerodynamics?  Of course we would, but fortunately the laws of physics create an always sturdy foundation for future innovation. 

The first step in revamping American healthcare, then, is redefining health based on patterns that repeatedly hold up against scrutiny (i.e. laws).  An optimal definition would create a new baseline understanding of health and how each of us can achieve it, giving power and responsibility back to the individual body in which the laws of life are expressed. 

To that end, it is important to emphasize a forest instead of individual trees mentality as it relates to our bodies, that we are the products of intricate internal relationships neurologically (i.e. communication), psychologically (i.e. thoughts), physiologically (i.e. function), and anatomically (i.e. structure), not just a bunch of random parts to be studied and treated in sections. 

Optimizing the body – when the aforementioned internal relationships are the equivalent of strong marriages – is perhaps the ideal phrase to form the foundation for this revised definition because we know from meticulous study that the human body, when optimized, can overcome just about anything.  A symptom like fever or the symptoms associated with food poisoning will come as needed and go on their own.  They represent the body's ability to adapt when challenged by an aggressive foreign invader.  No interventions are required to deal with them unless the symptoms get out of control, which is very uncommon. 

Adaptability, therefore, should factor into health redefined as well.  The body's adaptability represents how efficiently it can sort through physical, chemical, emotional, or environmental stressors.  Generally, a proliferation of symptoms suggests, more than anything else, weakened adaptability.  A laws of life-based response to symptomatic outbreaks would be to address the various causes of weakened adaptability, as opposed to applying diagnostic labels and treating symptoms with chemical interventions, which only hinder the body's response because they interfere with innate adaptation, causing a second adaptation to be necessary (such is why side effects to medications dominate three-quarters of drug ads). 

So, here is a new definition of health:

HEALTH (noun) – an optimized state in which the numerous organ systems in the body work harmoniously together at a level conducive to sustaining an innate adaptability capable of preventing sickness and overcoming the causes of various symptoms

The future of healthcare may well rest in this philosophical and scientific shift; from studying, for instance, why the 1% are really sick or dying among the 8% expected to eventually be diagnosed with COVID-19 and instead focusing most of the research on the vast majority of that 8% who recover fully or, better yet, the 92% who never earn the diagnosis at all.  It would make sense to base healthcare research on how healthier people remain well and avoid illness. 

Based on the above definition, a revitalized and refocused healthcare system could make its primary objective to understand what takes our bodies out of an optimized state, building on established knowledge of such adaptability-reducing agents as physical trauma, chemical insults, and emotional stress and the holistic methods built to eliminate or lessen them.  After all, no more than you can learn how to float by studying how to sink, you cannot learn how to be healthy by studying sickness. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Guest Blog: TUCC's Emily Logsdon on Her Train of Thought Regarding the Coronavirus

January is always a time of reflection for me.  A time to remember the blessings of the previous year, and ponder the possibilities to come, to make goals and personal change.  My plans this year entailed further research of the many benefits of holistic methods - no resolutions but peddle at my own pace, making things a lifestyle rather than a box checked off. 

My personal experience with holistic practitioners has been very positive and beneficial, and back in February I was feeling confident in my choice to continue these methods.  By my late twenties and early thirties I had begun to feel less active, and the residual effects of multiple car accidents began to show up.  The effects ranged from sudden drops in blood sugar, light migraines progressing into debilitating bi-monthly episodes, and severe back issues preventing me from standing up straight.  My mother strongly urged me to come to an orientation class with Dr. McIntyre, which began my journey in holistic care.  Experiencing the benefits of being in alignment was amazing.  I had forgotten what it was like to function on such a normal level and it felt great! 

Through Dr. McIntyre, I was able to find other practitioners that have been equally instrumental in my holistic journey.  Being in proper upper cervical alignment, seeing a naturopathic practitioner, and the benefits of reflexology have been a gift.  Life couldn’t have been better.  I truly believed that the body could function as it should when in the proper alignment.  What could go wrong when you are structurally sound?  In the beginning structure was my main concern, but the more I worked with these practitioners I slowly found that structure and the immune system work together for benefit of the entire body.

Then COVID happened.

In late 2019, Wuhan, China debuted as the epicenter of a new super virus that was considered to be problematic for those in the East.  By mid-January, quarantine procedures were in place for China and other countries were slowly succumbing to this mysterious beast that was becoming less likely to be contained.  February produced more cases in Europe, raising questions and concerns in the United States of “what if?”  By mid-March the United States had set protocols in place to close foreign travel, and WHO officially stated that we had a pandemic named COVID-19.  A deluge of information began to flood media outlets.  With the death toll rising rapidly and information reporting to extremes of the pandemic of the previous century, COVID-19 had made an epic entrance.  Comparisons between Spanish Flu and COVID-19 were non-stop.  Reports began to circulate of Americans who were succumbing to COVID-19 ranging from health fanatics to the elderly.  Local panic erupted as grocery stores shelves were stripped of non-perishables.  State and local government officials were putting protocols in place. 

What is happening?  How severe is this virus?  What should be taken as facts? 

I began questioning the information that I had researched.  I understood the benefits of a good structural foundation through upper cervical treatments, but does that really mean my immune system works well under attack from a mystery illness?  I began to play Devil’s advocate.  The complete confidence displayed earlier was under attack.  Fear was paralyzing my beliefs in holistic methods.  For weeks I watched the news updates, and I began to reflect on own my journey and the progress made.  It was not a testimony of a stranger but my own.  It was the encouragement needed to back up my choices, allowing me to let go of the fear and look at the facts.  David wrote many Psalms that are encouraging, but Psalms 139 popped in my head during this time.  “I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works and that my soul knoweth right well.”  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  This was an amazing boost! 

Through the ages, scientists have tirelessly studied human anatomy to conclude that the body works as a well-oiled machine, unlocking core secrets that have been instrumental in understanding not only structural health, but how it impacts our immune health.  Armed with renewed hope, I went back to square one.  I began looking at the C-1, C-2 and how the brainstem is the main information feed from the brain to the body.  The benefits of removing the “squeeze” of the brainstem are immeasurable. When a misalignment occurs, the brainstem cannot deliver the messages through the body with the clarity needed to perform the task.  When the misalignment is corrected, the messages are received loud and clear, allowing the body to proceed with the efficiency it was designed for: a well-oiled machine from the Divine Creator.  

The immune system is an amazing defense system made up of multiple tactical forces programmed to defend our bodies.  Working feverishly behind the scenes deflecting colds, flu, and other illnesses that we may have inadvertently come in contact with.  A system that provides such protection needs our support.  A key component in supporting the immune system is incorporating water in your daily routine.  Flushing the body helps remove unwanted germs and waste.  Set a timer through the day to remind yourself get your water.  Make sure that you are sleeping well, eating good foods, reducing stress, washing hands, and maintaining a positive approach to your day.  These are some excellent ways to support your immune system.  As a patient of Triad Upper Cervical Clinic, make and keep your appointments.  During peak times of illness, keeping the brainstem in check allows the body to have maximum support as it fights with the ferocity of a lion on your behalf.