Have you ever thought about health, what it is, and what our lives would be like without it? Is health simply the absence of sickness? The World Health Organization says no, but rather, “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” But what constitutes this level of well-being? Let’s take a look at what health really is and how we can take that first step on the journey towards complete wellbeing.
To begin to understand health, we need to start by asking a question: why is the concept of adaptation so important in healthcare? Our bodies are placed under constant stress every day in the form of chemical, physical, and emotional insults. We can not run away from this stress, so we must be able to adapt to it and not let it overcome us. Our bodies have an amazing innate ability to heal when injured, but only if they are running on factory settings which include normal structural integrity of the spine and smoothly moving vertebrae. Think about the last time you got a paper cut (sorry for that visual), how hard did you have to focus to make it stop bleeding and make the wound heal? Aside from the stinging sensation that alerted you to your skin being cut, you probably did not think about it for more than a moment or two. So this answers the question of why adaptation is important, but how do our bodies adapt and how can we improve their ability to do so?
In order to fully engage in this journey, there is one piece of information that it is critical for you to understand. “Every organ in your body is connected to the one under your hat.” But for those of you who do not wear a hat, that is your brain! We could not state it better than those famous words of BJ Palmer, the developer of chiropractic. Every single cell, tissue, and organ of your body is under direct control of your brain. Now science has come a long way, but we have not yet figured out how to get the brain to communicate with these organs via WiFi, for now it is still good old fashioned cables called the spinal cord and nerves. When primary structural shift is present, the nervous system is directly affected and impeded from functioning normally. This reduction in normal function interferes with our body’s natural ability to adapt.
Chiropractic focuses on removing primary structural shift and restoring the body’s normal function. This concept is known as salutogenesis, or a focus on health and how to become more healthy versus the conventional concept of pathogenesis, or a focus on disease and how to treat and prevent it. When we shift our focus on developing and maintaining healthy bodies, we naturally increase our body’s ability to adapt. When we only focus on treating disease, we might be able to get rid of one disease or another, but when the next ailment comes around, we are right back to step one. For this reason, chiropractors do not claim to treat or cure any disease or disorder, even back or neck pain! But rather, to restore the body to normal function, in order for the body to adapt and correct these ailments all on its own.