Archive for April, 2011

Journey of the Hesitant Healer

April 5, 2011

I’m a conservative kind of guy. I always have been. Many people would consider me downright dull. I’ve been a chiropractor for 28 years and have always been attracted to the more scientific and measurable approaches to chiropractic care. In chiropractic college, I shied away from techniques that weren’t easily explainable or clearly documented. I always wanted everything to fit neatly into a little box of scientific comfort. And yet, I still had unanswered questions. I have always witnessed instances of chiropractic doing so much more than relieving aches and pains. I have always taught the true potential of chiropractic as set forth by its founders. So from a medical mainstream perspective, perhaps I haven’t been so conservative. Still, I kept to the right wing of chiropractic and avoided the ethereal.

Having worked with many patients over the years, I’ve noticed how some people seem to attract illness or injury whereas others have an attitude of health that helps them recover more quickly and stay healthier. I’ve also learned more about how energy flows through the body. This includes the nervous system, acupuncture meridians, magnetic fields, etc. I’m also a believer that our bodies contain an eternal spirit. When we die, our spirit leaves our body. Or is it the other way around? Do we die because our spirit leaves? I truly believe that having a close association between the body and spirit is synonymous with life and disassociation of the two means death. Could there be degrees of separation? It’s an interesting question. It’s obvious that there are many degrees of health – not just alive or dead.

With all that I’ve learned and witnessed, I’m absolutely convinced that our mental state (primarily our emotions) affects our body, and vice versa. I have also seen that proper communication between the central nervous system and the rest of the body is critical to health, which is the basis of chiropractic. Life giving energy and unhampered communication is essential to the health of every part of the body. This is critical for every cell to function properly as a component of its own part of the body and for every part of the body to function harmoniously in order for us to live and be healthy. Chiropractic adjustments can be very helpful to regain and maintain this communication and coordination. But it’s just one piece of the overall puzzle. If a spinal misalignment (subluxation) is the primary issue that’s interfering with the proper distribution of energy and coordination of the nervous system, we see tremendous results occur from properly applied chiropractic adjustments. When it’s just one of the factors causing the health problems, the results are less dramatic.

The mind has a tremendous influence on the state of the body. Most, if not all, disease processes have some degree of psychosomatic component. Our emotions are reflected in our physical state. Intense emotions, especially those that are bottled up deep inside for long periods, have the greatest effect. Addressing emotional issues can have a significant impact on our physical health.

Functionally, the mind and spirit, which are inseparably connected, work together. There are many people who feel that the subconscious mind or spirit knows deep down what’s right and what’s wrong with the body. It just doesn’t have an effective way to tell us (communicate with the conscious mind) what’s going on, at least no method that we’re typically taught. It’s painfully obvious (pun intended) that symptoms don’t tell the whole story regarding the state of our physical being. Sometimes a physical problem will manifest itself in our emotions, such as anxiety or depression. That then adds to the psychological issues, which can lead to a positive feedback loop where both health and emotions take a spiral dive.

It’s been a long journey to get me to this point. The things that I’ve learned from a scientific basis were not wasted. They have provided a foundation that allows for a more thorough, educated approach to health care. However, I found that science and technology can only take you so far. If we were talking about a machine, something that man had created, man’s education and understanding through traditional scientific methods would be sufficient to fully understand and manage it. But when we’re dealing with the human body, which obviously man did not create, scientific methods fall short.

One thing I tried to do was to decrease subjectivity by removing myself from the equation. I tried doing some tests where I was not in contact with the patient or where someone else was doing the test. Neither of these things showed the same results as I was getting. In fact, they showed no result. Does that prove that it’s all in MY head? I would wonder about that if it weren’t for the results that I’m getting. I don’t think I can separate myself from the process. If that creates subjectivity, I can’t help that. I am a part of it.

In spite of my initial scientific approach to chiropractic and the desire to be grounded in well-established and accepted principles, I have never wanted to be a healthcare technician. It is one of my greatest desires to be a HEALER. That said, I fully acknowledge that I personally cannot heal anything. Healing comes from God and from the inherent abilities that God included with the gift of our physical bodies. For most chronic conditions where significant and immediate intervention is not required, the best that any doctor/healer can do is to remove interference so our God-given healing abilities can be fully active and functional.

Since we are spiritual beings, healing must have a spiritual component. If you believe that we are soul-less creatures who simply evolved from the muck and slime, you will not agree with my reasoning. If you feel that everything you need to know about the human body can be learned by dissecting a cadaver or studying physiology, you’ll think I’m just a crackpot. However, if you believe as I do, that we are spiritual beings, that our spirits are templates for our bodies and that the energy of our spirits provide life for our bodies, then what I’m saying should make some sense, even if it seems foreign at first.

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