Friday, September 26, 2008
How do you handle your health & wellness? Do you take a proactive stance & focus on prevention? Or, do you wait until you are expressing symptoms to take action? If you are having a health challenge, do you focus on treating only the area that hurts, or do you support your entire body so that you may heal more effectively? Your answers to these questions help identify which health care paradigm you value. There are two main paradigms within health care; vitalism & mechanism.
Vitalism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
is a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from physicochemical forces; a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining.
Vitalism stands in contrast to mechanistic thinking, which is the basis of traditional allopathy. Mechanists believe that life can be explained in strictly physical terms. Traditional medicine is based on the reductionistic approach, explaining health in terms of purely physical & measurable phenomena. When there is a problem within the body, the focus is on treating that one area & the approach is outside-in, meaning either you must take something (drugs), or you need something removed (surgery).
It is clear to see the differences in these two health care paradigms. Through understanding these differences we may better understand the application of chiropractic & how it can bring us closer to optimum health and wellness.
Chiropractic is a vitalistic approach to healthcare. There is more to life than simply the sum of all body parts & processes. The laws of science do not fully explain life. There is an innate intelligence that resides in the body. This intelligence is responsible for the organization, maintenance & healing of the body. The body is a self healing & self regulating organism. Healing is modulated through the function of the nervous system, the master control system of the body. Thus, healing occurs from inside-out. Vitalists recognize & trust this inborn intelligence of the body. They acknowledge that only the wisdom of the body can heal. Doctors do not heal. As chiropractors, we remove the interference from the nervous system, so that the innate intelligence of the body can function as intended & the body can heal itself.
An interesting fact to share is that the first object to form in utero is the neural tube, which develops into the nervous system (brain, spinal cord & nerves). The nervous system functions as the master control system of the body, through which all other processes are directed. It helps us to grow, repair & heal from conception to death. The innate intelligence of the body is able to communicate with the body through the nervous system.
I am reminded of the amazing innate capabilities of the human body in watching my 13 month old son. Since I learned that I was pregnant, I have been in awe of human development. Throughout our pregnancy, his body developed & grew at a remarkable rate. He was born a gorgeous little man, with every cell, tissue & organ functioning, perfectly. How did his body know how to do this? How do cells know how to replicate & differentiate into the heart, lungs, digestive tract, etc? From the moment he was born, this inborn intelligence helped him to eat, sleep & eliminate. Within a few weeks, he was holding his head up. By six months, he began crawling. We did not have to teach him how to crawl; he simply did it. This soon progressed to pulling up & eventually walking. If you have ever watched a child develop, perhaps you too have been amazed. These developments are not chance, rather they are the mark of inborn intelligence.
This intelligence doesn't leave us as we grow up. We may fail to recognize it as we grow older, but it is always there. Start trusting your body & its inborn intelligence. It was able to guide you through your life, to where you are today. Pretty amazing if you ask me. The body needs no help, just no interference. Think about this next time you are having a health challenge. Ask yourself, is my body functioning at 100% right now? If your answer is not yes, you may consider having a chiropractor check your spine & nervous system for interference. Why not support the system that constantly supports & regulates you?
Monday, September 1, 2008
In the past 2 years, I have read numerous books that have discussed vision. What is vision? It is our ability to see the future through our own eyes. To me it is a necessary part of every successful person’s climb to the top. Often times it is a key ingredient that is missing in every failure. We are born with 5 senses; touch, sight, taste, hearing, and smell. We are never taught about our 6th sense, the ability to visualize the future.
According to the movie The Secret “thoughts become things.” Napoleon Hill stated that, “All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination. Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.” Maxwell Maltz, a renowned plastic surgeon found that, “The human mind can not distinguish the difference between what is real and a thought imagined vividly and in great detail.” Henry Ford was quoted saying, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”
On our journey through life it is important to remember we will make mistakes, wrong turns, poor decisions or bad choices. Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he actually invented the light bulb. With each mistake or wrong turn, you are one step closer to inventing your light bulb. It is okay to make mistakes and wrong turns. However, it is a grave mistake to lose sight of your goals. When rockets are deployed often they are not aimed at a target, per se. They are deployed into the sky preprogrammed with coordinates of a target. If the rocket starts to veer off from its destination it corrects. Through a series of corrections, it finally reaches the target; its final destination. Without a vision of the final destination (coordinates), the rocket could have never left the launch pad and most certainly would have missed the target. The coordinates kept the rocket on a path to success.
Do you have a vision? The best world leaders have had a vision. Visualization is a mental exercise that some do more than others. The “dreamers” out there have a knack for this, since they use this skill frequently. But those like me, who may consider themselves a “realist” or “analytical,” may need some exercise to work out their visionary muscles. Exercises to enhance our 6th sense include, meditation, visualization, making a vision board or creative writing. When doing these exercises it is always important to be as descriptive as possible. Make your goals seem real and evoke emotion. Don’t just picture yourself reaching your goal. Use all of your senses, see it, smell it, hear it, taste it and touch it. For example, if a beach is involved, see the sand, bright sun and clear blue waters, feel the sand between your toes, smell the fresh air and sunscreen, hear the waves crashing, etc. Did you just get a feeling of being in a tropical paradise? Were your emotions stirred up?
Like all exercises, they must be done regularly to see the best results. In creating your vision remember, your thoughts are the limit. You govern how big or small your vision is. No one can tell you “no, that isn’t realistic.” No one can take your vision from you.