Chapter 5: NERVOUS SYSTEM SUPPLY
This is the most important chapter in this book, even more so than the previous chapter on positive thinking. Why? If your nervous system is compromised, even the most positive of thinking will not reach the rest of your body. The same goes for diet, exercise, sleep, and every other concept that relates to health. If the messages are not relaying back and forth from brain to body, and body to brain, it is all for nothing. You live your entire life through your nervous system, whether you realize it or not.
Enter chiropractic. Spinal misalignments (subluxation) can cause interference to the nervous system, which effects health. Sometimes subluxations are symptomatic, but often they are not. The chiropractor detects and corrects these misalignments using the chiropractic adjustment. The adjustment is like a “reset” button that gives the body a chance to adapt to the next stressor it encounters.
Most people think chiropractic is about back pain, but my personal experience goes much deeper and has revealed the true value of the adjustment. Since I made a commitment to getting checked for subluxation on a weekly basis, I have noticed a marked improvement in my health. Better sleep, more energy, and rarely getting sick top the list. I have also noticed that I am more in tune with my own body.
I wrote at the beginning of this book about my belief that you are your own best doctor. One of the benefits of regular chiropractic care is the reconnection that occurs between you and your body. When you are more in tune with how your body is functioning it can help you in your day-to-day life.
For example, I can be a bear when I am hungry, tired, or stressed. In the last few years, after getting reconnected on a regular basis, I feel like I am better able to recognize why I am feeling upset. Towards the end of the day when something rubs me the wrong way, I can quickly identify why I am reacting to whatever it is that has made me upset. In the past I might have let a little thing bother me for the rest of the day without realizing that I was just hungry or tired. Now I shrug my shoulders and smile, moving on and quite comfortable in my new reconnected self.
I have noticed similar changes in my family as well. As I began my journey into the world of chiropractic, I encouraged my loved ones to get checked for nervous system interference also. After about a year of care, something amazing happened to my father.
Dad is a world traveler, and he has been around the world many times over. Quite often upon returning from one of his globetrotting sessions he would be sick for at least a few days. Even more often he would return home with a tale of some weird stomach virus that he picked up on the trip that actually forced him to stay in the hotel for some portion of his vacation. Gradually this story began to change.
Recently dad went with a tour group to Vietnam. There were 30 people in the group, mostly consisting of people his age since they are retired and have more time to travel, with the exception of the tour guide who was 28 years old.
About a week into the tour, a terrible virus started making its way through the group. It was really bad; causing everyone that caught it to lie in bed for at least a couple of days to recover. The virus spread from person to person until it had infected every single person in the group except for two. Can you guess who the two people were that had immune systems strong enough to resist the virus? You got it! My dad (72 years old at the time) and the 28 year-old tour guide. There is no doubt in my mind that my dad was able to resist the virus because his immune system was functioning at a higher level. There is plenty of data that has proven the chiropractic adjustment improves immune function. Even more amazing is the fact that the tour guide was familiar with that environment, so his body could have already had an immune defense stored up for that particular virus. If that were the case, than my father would stand as the only person in the trip without previous exposure to fend off the attack!
While in school my classmates and I checked each other for subluxation on a daily basis. Not only did we need the practice, but we also knew that the stress of the program we were going through was likely to cause a weakened immune system. However, being adjusted by my peers wasn’t always peaches and cream. There were several days throughout the program that I walked out of the adjusting labs with a raging headache. Towards the end of the program I was tired of getting adjusted so frequently and began to question whether it was doing more harm than good. By the end of the semester I was ready for a break from getting adjusted so frequently!
In between the fall and spring semester, we had an extended three-week break from classes. During one of the breaks, about a week into it, I began having trouble sleeping. Another week passed and I continued to toss and turn every night, the entire time wondering why I was having so much trouble. I chalked it up to the fact that I wasn’t on a set schedule. Then I went to visit my chiropractor. You can probably guess how this story ends-I slept like a baby that night! In fact I slept for 19 hours straight! Improved sleep is just one of the many beneficial global affects that is commonly reported as a result of chiropractic care.
My father and I are not the only members of the family that have benefitted from chiropractic. My sister, my mother, and my kids have great testimonials to share as well. Aimee, my only sibling, is a high-school English teacher. She began suffering from migraines in her early twenties and had managed those terrible headaches using traditional means, i.e. medication. Often when she got a migraine she would be forced to leave work, lay in her bedroom with all of the lights off as even light aggravated her symptoms.
Early on in school I realized that migraines were one of the many conditions that have a plethora of studies and testimonials documenting the effectiveness of chiropractic care. I passed this information along to my sister, who was hesitant at first. I was sure that the adjustment could help her condition, so I went as far as to research chiropractors near her home. I found a doctor two blocks away who had a number of great reviews, so I called to talk to her. She was very nice, and when I told her about my sister’s migraines she was confident that she could help.
After much persuasion, my sister started to see Dr. Phan. I am happy to report she saw a reduction of symptoms immediately! In the past she suffered migraine attacks on average twice a month. The first month into her care she reported that when she felt a headache coming on she would go and get adjusted, which would keep the headache from getting worse. Not only that, she told me that she really enjoyed her weekly visits to the chiropractor because it was one of the only times she felt that she got to relax. I was happy to have helped my sister connect with Dr. Phan!
One Saturday morning a few months later, my sister gave me a call. A very weak voice came through the phone, “Daniel, I have a migraine and Dr. Phan is closed. Can you come over and check me?” “Of course!” I replied. I packed up my portable adjusting table and drove to her house. When I arrived I was shocked to see her condition. She was lying down in her bed with the lights off, covered in a blanket with a scarf wrapped around her head. She was wearing sunglasses and could hardly walk down the stairs. When I say this woman was in pain I am not exaggerating. You can imagine the concern on the faces of my brother-in-law and two nephews as mommy was out of commission!
As she wobbled her way towards the adjusting table I noticed that she was very pale. I checked her neck and found a major subluxation at the second cervical vertebrae. I adjusted the segment and helped her up onto the couch. What happened next blew my mind! We sat on the couch and talked, and I could literally see the color returning to her face right before my eyes. Within five minutes she took off her sunglasses and commented how the light was not bothering her anymore. Another five minutes and she took off her scarf, as she didn’t feel cold anymore. By the time I left she was back to normal, able to spend her valuable weekend time with her husband and two sons.
As an aside, I do not recommend using chiropractic as a band-aide or a method to treat conditions. You can choose to use it this way, but the real value of chiropractic is dependent upon regular care. Assuredly you will begin to feel better quickly, many people respond well to their first adjustment, but it would be in your best interest to make a commitment to get checked on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for at least a year. I understand that this can be quite a commitment in both time and money, but I am willing to wager that you will actually save both time and money by not missing work as often, not spending money or time in the medical doctor’s office, and feeling this great, as I can attest, is priceless.
In conclusion and in accordance with the theme of this book, I must ask the question: Should chiropractic be considered a part of the intended design lens that you now look through? Absolutely! Your body was designed to stand up straight with your head perfectly balanced over your shoulders; your spine should have nice curves from front to back and be straight up and down. Subluxations, although naturally occurring, should be corrected immediately. Any interference to the signals between the brain and the body can have serious detrimental effects to your health.