Why do you go to a chiropractor? Actually, let’s back up for a minute. Why did you first start going to a chiropractor? If you are like most people, you probably had some pain or symptom that you heard chiropractic could help with. And here you are, on board the chiropractic train; maybe it’s only been a few months, maybe years – either way, we’re glad you’re here. Now, let’s rephrase the original question: why are you still seeing a chiropractor?
“Because we love coming here!” Well thank you, we love you too. “It’s a part of my health routine.” Awesome! We love that too. “Adjustments feel great!” We wholeheartedly agree (our whole office gets adjusted regularly, even Dr. Rob). All of these statements are true and inarguable, but there is so much more going on thanks to your regular chiropractic routine.
In our last post, we discussed different perspectives of health, and how your choices today dictate your health in the future (read it here). You’ve made the choice to continue regular chiropractic care! Welcome to team salutogenesis! Since you’re here, we want to remind you of some core ideas.
Think of this week’s blog as a Chiro Refresher Course. We are going to cover the core ideas that we establish during each phase of care. Whether you are new to chiropractic, or have been a longtime devotee, this information is imperative to your health journey. Whether these concepts are new to you or you kind of remember Dr. Rob saying something about them during one of his “What does this have to do with your health?” posts that are displayed right in front of you at every visit, you may find it SUPER IMPORTANT to familiarize yourself again!
Restorative Phase Core Concepts
In the first phase of care, Restorative Care, we begin removing irritation from your nervous system and introduce the importance of a freely functioning nerve system. The three core concepts are:
- The Brain and Nerve System are the master system and control everything. Every organ, gland, tissue, cell, thought, feeling are controlled by your brain and nerve system. You have billions upon billions of nerve cells throughout your body that are in constant communication with each other and your brain. If one of these lines of communication is interfered with or interrupted, the messages from your brain will not make it to that organ or tissue, significantly contributing to malfunction or disease. Think about the last time your communication with a loved one was lacking, did that end up as a healthy thing for that relationship or a disastrous thing?
- There are 3 Stressors that cause subluxation (nerve irritation) and the problem is not the same as the symptom.What causes subluxation? There are three main stressors: physical, chemical, and mental. The problem is the stressor is the cause. The effect is symptoms. Stressors cause subluxation; subluxation results in interrupted nerve function leading to global internal miscommunication, which if unchecked will lead to a loss of health on some level. Subluxation is your body’s intelligent attempt to adapt to stress.
- The body is self-regulating and programmed for success. Our bodies are innately brilliant. We do not need to tell our lungs to inhale, or our heart to beat, or our cuts to heal. We do not need to tell our bodies to be healthy, they strive for it! Our job is simply to provide the right tools to allow our bodies to express optimal health.
Strength & Rebuilding Core Concepts
The Strength & Rebuilding phase builds on the concepts from Restorative Care. During this phase, you are strengthening the communication between your body and brain, and allowing for long-term healing to begin. Strength & Rebuilding is characterized by these core ideas:
- Subluxation changes the chemistry of the brain/body to adapt to stress. As we learned in the Restorative Phase, subluxation is our body’s attempt to adapt to stress. In order to make these adaptations, the body changes its chemistry; this is called Adaptive Stress Physiology. Your body essentially gets locked in a state of fight or flight. You are stuck in survival mode. When you’re in a chronic state of stress response, you see changes to basic functions like increased cholesterol and heart rate; decreased sleep, focus, digestion, and reproduction.
- Neuroplasticity: Better optimized, better organized, greater efficiency. Think of two forest paths. One is clearly well-travelled but longer, the other is covered in leaves and forest debris, barely visible but shorter. If you are like most people (or just less adventurous) you would probably choose the easier path. Your body does the same thing. In response to constant stress, in its brilliance, your body creates new pathways finding the easiest, clearest path – often at the expense of other systems. By providing your nerve system clear pathways, and regularly clearing away the leaves, you are allowing for greater efficiency and better optimization of your systems.
- There are 4 core requirements to thrive. We know that we all need things like air and water to survive. But who wants to merely survive, when we can thrive? These are the 4 requirements:
- Brain-body communication. Your nerve system is a highway. When there is no traffic, everyone can zip right along, arriving at their destination in a timely, efficient manner. Subluxation is like a giant tree in the road; cars can get by for a little while, one at a time, but eventually things will start to back up, then there will have to be a detour. Until that tree is cleared, traffic will be slowed or stopped. Until the subluxation is removed, communication will be slowed or redirected, resulting in symptoms and disease.
- Movement. Our bodies are built to move. Every organ, muscle, joint, and nerve thrive on movement. In fact, another word for this is animation; the Latin root, “anima-“, literally means: to give life. Your body is designed to feed your brain with the vital information it needs to perform every function through movement. Simply, you cannot be on a path toward greater health without regular movement.
- Nutrition. We said earlier that our job is to provide our bodies with the right tools to allow them to express optimal health. Nutrition is one of those tools. When you feed your body, you feed your cells. Healthy cells make healthy bodies. You don’t put low quality “regular” gas in a high performance sports car. Why give your body low quality sustenance and expect it to perform at the highest levels?
- Optimal Thought. Your mind is the most powerful organ in your body. There have been experiments done in which researchers plant two seeds. The first seed, they speak to with love and positivity, complementing the little plant regularly. The second seed, they pepper with insults and negativity. The first plant thrived and grew strong. The second plant grew slowly and spindly. Positivity begets growth.
Optimizing Care and Beyond Core Concepts
Optimizing Care and Beyond continues the healing that began during the first two phases, and allows you to intentionally and consistently increase your health and quality of life year after year. Our core concepts are:
- Greater expression of life in every way. By the time you have reached Optimizing Care, you are fully entrenched in the chiropractic way. You have no doubt seen result that are expected and unexpected. The single greatest “side effect” of chiropractic is a greater expression of life. In. Every. Way. Your body is able to express health in its innate, brilliant way. Your mood is improved. Your relationships have improved. You have no limitations! You are able to fully live your purpose!
- The body just works better and heals faster with no stress on the Nerve System. You are a well-oiled machine. Your nerve system is free of junk, rust, and build up. You’re firing on all cylinders. You are performing regular nerve system maintenance by getting checked and adjusted. Keeping your nerve system clear of stress allows your body to function at its best.
Everyone is seeking greater health. The problem is, very few people know what health, true health, really is. We hope that through the last few weeks we have helped to clear away some of the ambiguity around what it means to be healthy. Our goal is to quiet some of the noise and give you the information and tools you need to feel empowered to make the best decisions for your health. Trust your body. It knows what it’s doing.
The Foundation Chiropractic Team