The following articles are a collection from Dr. Healey's regular submissions to the local newspaper. They are designed to be brief, valuable snippets of information about chiropractic and how Dr. Healey can help you feel better and live a healthy life!
If you have any inquiries regarding the information in any of our articles, please do not hestitate to contact Dr. Healey at 905-849-1400, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Alignment Each Day
You know the old saying “In alignment each day keeps sickness away”. Oh no, that’s not exactly it, but you know what I mean. Think of it this way. If the wheels of your car are out of alignment, what will happen to its tires? Of course… they’ll wear out sooner than their natural life expectancy! The same thing applies to your body. If it’s out of alignment, especially in your spine, it will wear out before it’s life expectancy. And then where will you live?
Please call today to find out how to get into proper alignment and live a healthier life!
Subluxation is a key concept in chiropractic. The traditional meaning derives from the Latin term "luxation" referring to a dislocated joint and "sub" meaning less than. So this refers to a spinal misalignment, less than a dislocation, but still enough to cause interference to nerve impulses that travel over the nerves that exit between each set of spinal bones.
In recent years, a new interpretation has arisen. Lux is Latin for light, a basic form of energy. So we may think of subluxation as less than normal light shining from the brain to the body.
Whichever way you think of it, the purpose of chiropractic is to remove interference to the flow of life energy within your body, allowing you to experience life more fully.
[top]Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) characterized by wrist pain and numbness and tingling over the palm side of the wrist and hand. Usually hand and wrist weakness develop, interfering with functions such as typing, pouring and gripping.
This is all generally well known.
What isn't so well known is the fact that most carpal tunnel cases begin with pressure on nerves in the neck causing functional weakness in the forearm muscles that leads to the chronic strain.
So if you are suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome, please be aware that chiropractic care is a primary help in healing from this condition.
Have you ever noticed how the ground cracks and crumbles when it dries out from lack of moisture during a dry spell? The same thing happens to your spinal discs if they lose their normal motion.
The discs are somewhat like the inside of a golf ball, with a gel centre and an outer fibrous mesh casing. Normal, everyday motion allows the discs to absorb moisture and remain hydrated and healthy. But, if two vertebrae become misaligned with each other, causing pressure on the nerve root between them, then the local muscles tend to go into spasm. This muscle spasm inhibits motion that is necessary to draw moisture into the disc. As a result, the disc begins to dry out and will eventually crack and crumble.
This process is referred to as disc degeneration. Disc degeneration is not a disease. It is not a normal function of aging. It is a process of wearing out that can be prevented by keeping the individual spinal bones in good alignment and motion. Chiropractic spinal adjustment helps to restore normal spinal motion and maintain the health of the spinal discs. This leads to less pressure on the spinal nerve roots and promotes better overall health. Chiropractic adjustments can help you live life to the fullest.
[top]Drugs are an Interim Solution
Drugs may be life-saving in the short term. They may buy you some comfort while you are sick and dying. However, in the long run, most have toxic side effects that will contribute to the malfunction and breakdown of your body.
A great long-term solution is to use health services that support our inborn power of health and healing. Chiropractic Care is one of the most essential of such services. It enhances your health power by removing interference from your nervous system. You don’t have to wait to benefit from this longterm solution. You can start today!!
[top]Einstein and Chiropractic
Here's something I bet you didn't know; the brilliant scientist, Albert Einstein, shared an important point of view with Chiropractic. Let me explain the connection. In 1905, Einstein proposed his revolutionary theory of matter and energy, which is expressed in the well known equation E=Mc². Essentially, Einstein's Theory of Relativity describes that matter is simply organized energy.
Like Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the fundamental principle of Chiropractic states that all living things are an expression of organized energy. Early in the 1900s, just around the same time that Einstein was proposing this scientific theory, the founders of Chiropractic were developing a similar philosophy that would help people better understand the fundamental way that energy functions in the human body.
Let's apply Einstein's theory to the Chiropractic model. If the flow of energy between the brain and the tissue cells of the body is disturbed, disorganization and disease result. Chiropractic adjustments keep the nerve pathways clear of interference so that energy can flow through the body. When energy passes through your nerves properly, your body remains in balance, and you experience better health and well-being.
So, the next time you hear someone refer to the famous formula, E=Mc², remember that Einstein and chiropractic have something very important in common. They share a fundamental understanding of matter and energy.
[top]Confidence in the Body's Healing Potential Versus Fear of Disease
If you stop to think about it, our conventional health care system focuses more on the treatment of disease than on the promotion of health. When do you go to the doctor or hospital? When you are sick! The proportion of the provincial budget in Ontario devoted to the health care system (48% or about 28 billion dollars) suggests that there is an abundance of sickness and a lack of health. The disease treatment system is a fear driven system that is actually leading to increased sickness.
For example, consider our reaction to fever, especially in children. Doctors and medically oriented publications lead us to believe that fever is a "bad thing", and that we should do something to lower the fever. The fear is that the fever will "get out of control" and become so high that it causes convulsions or brain damage. If you are afraid of fever, and take a chemical or cold bath to lower your body's temperature, you may be delaying recovery, and may actually be interfering with your immune system.
In contrast, those who have faith in the body's ability to look after itself consider fever to be a normal healthy reaction to an unwanted invader. According to this model, the fever burns off the excess number of unwanted organisms and brings the internal climate back into balance.
Recent studies have shown that fevers above 102.5F stimulate the production of a chemical called interferon, which is an extremely powerful natural defense against cancer. So just think of this: fever associated with a cold or flu may actually be cleansing your body of cancer cells. Therefore, it is much better to have confidence in the body's natural healing forces, rather than react in fear, and undermine the body's ability to heal itself.
[top]Don’t Reach For A Drug Every Time You Get A Headache
In case you haven't heard by now, most chronic headaches are caused by pinched or irritated nerves in your spine. This fact is often overlooked or unknown by traditional medical practitioners. Their solution is to suppress the pain with drugs. However, that can be very detrimental to your health.
A far better solution is to get rid of the cause of the problem. Chiropractic adjustment of your spine will release the pressure on your nerves and remove the cause of the pain.
There are two major aspects to healing. The first is tissue repair, and the second is the body's return to normal function . Both components of healing are initiated by the brain and coordinated through the nervous system.
Let's examine the process of tissue repair in more detail. First, sensory nerves alert the brain of injury, and the death of tissue cells. The brain responds, by sending a message to repair the tissue through the trophic nerves. As a result of this communication between the brain and nerves, the body is able to grow replacement cells, and ultimately heal damaged tissue.
Now, let's examine the second component of healing, which is the body's return to normal function. Just as sensory nerves alert the brain of tissue damage, they also recognize abnormal functions in the body, such as high blood pressure or excess stomach acid, and alert the brain of these problems. In return, the brain sends signals through the motor nerves to bring the body back to normal function.
These principles of healing apply to a variety of illnesses and injuries, ranging from such simple problems as common colds and muscle strains, to very severe conditions such as heart attacks. To ensure your highest healing potential, it is wise to visit a chiropractor regularly. Chiropractic adjustments remove interference in the nervous system, and make it easier for the brain and nerves to communicate signals for healing.
[top]Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Walk into any pharmacy and you'll see an entire section dedicated to digestive aids. Watch T.V. for an evening and you'll see several ads for the pink gooey stuff to soothe the lining of your esophagus or the cool blue icy stuff to put out the fire in your stomach or the amazing little tablets that will neutralize ten times their weight in acid. Fast, fast, fast! Glance through any popular magazine and you'll see ads for the heavier prescription-only drugs that will suppress your production of acid or digestive juices or speed up the emptying of your stomach so you won't feel the pressure of food producing heartburn. (You won't want to read the small print on the reverse side warning of the possible side effects ranging from stomach and intestinal bleeding, ulcers, anemia, kidney and liver damage and possibly even heart attack or death.) Tap onto a website relating to acid reflux and you'll find out the ultimate treatment is to have part of your esophagus stapled over surgically in order to diminish the likelihood of the acidic contents of your stomach from traveling backwards up your esophagus. (It might make swallowing a little difficult though.)
These common digestive disorders such as heartburn and acid reflux must be a big problem to require so much attention and treatment. But notice one thing about all these ads. Not one of them mentions a cause of the problem or promises any permanent cure. They all talk about ongoing treatment without dealing with the cause of the problem. Yes, you could cut down on spicy or irritable foods and sleep with two pillows to elevate your head and upper body (and maybe give yourself a kink in the neck) but that still doesn't change your internal function where the problem must ultimately be solved.
Main Causes of the Problem
Let me describe for you the three main areas where these functional problems arise and suggest a long-term solution that is readily available in our community. The first area is the lower part of the esophagus where the muscles around the food tube are naturally enlarged forming what is called the esophageal sphincter. When there is proper nerve tone in this muscle, the esophagus is kept closed preventing stomach contents from coming back up the esophagus. Normally this muscle only relaxes when we swallow something and then constricts again once the food has passed. But if we have interference to the nerve control of this sphincter, it may be slack or sloppy and allow acidic reflux when we have a relatively full stomach or when we bend over and put upward pressure on the stomach contents.
The second problem area is the hole in the respiratory diaphragm muscle where the esophagus passes through on its way to the stomach. The anatomical name of this hole is the esophageal hiatus and this is obviously the site where we may experience a so-called hiatus hernia. This refers to a condition where part of the esophagus or upper part of the stomach gets folded back up through this opening. Bits of food may get trapped up in this fold resulting in pain caused by gas or the acidic breakdown of the food, or just the unnatural pressure of the debris. The usual cause of the sloppiness of the hiatus is nerve interference.
The third area is the chemical function of the stomach where protein is digested by acid and enzymes that are produced by glands in the stomach wall. There are also glands in the stomach wall which produce mucous to protect the lining of the stomach and prevent it from being digested along with our food. If we get out of balance and produce too much acid and enzymes or not enough mucous, we may burn a hole in our stomach, which is called an ulcer.
These malfunctions are obviously painful and may require short-term relief measures such as antacids. However, doesn't it make more sense to try to correct the cause of the malfunction? The cause is usually nerve interference produced by pinched nerves in the spine, more properly termed VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION.
The four main regions of the spine where interference could cause hiatus hernia, acid reflux and heartburn are the upper neck (spinal cord interference), lower neck (phrenic nerve to diaphragm), upper middle back (sympathetic nerves to the esophageal sphincter and the stomach) and lower mid back (somatic nerves to the diaphragm).
Correct the Problem
So if you suffer chronically from these or other digestive disorders, please don't overlook the help of your local chiropractor. You can achieve more than just symptomatic relief, but rather a long- term correction of the cause of the problem.
[top] Preventing Hip Degeneration
Hip degeneration can totally destroy your quality of life, especially in the so-called golden years. The sad part of it is that it is a highly preventable condition.
In the majority of cases, the wear and tear in the joint is caused by tension in the muscles surrounding the hip. This tension is usually caused by pressure on the nerves in the lower back. So as soon as you sense a “hitch in your git-along,” get along to your chiropractor to release the pressure and prevent degeneration of your hips.
[top]How to Shorten your Waiting Time for Medical Services
There has been a great deal of discussion recently about the need to shorten waiting times for medical services. There is a simple solution to that problem. Don't get sick!!
Yes, prevention is the key that has been so overlooked.
Chiropractic care is one of the most powerful processes that you can do to boost your health power and prevent sickness.
Most people agree that taking care of infants can be very challenging at the best of times. However, when a baby suffers from colic, the caregiver's task can become exhausting. As a health care professional, many times I have witnessed the frustration and concern parents experience when caring for a child with colic. Excess crying, stomach gas, hic-cups, constipation and disrupted sleep are characteristic of this disorder.
These babies often need to be held for hours at a time to be comforted. This can become very draining, both physically and emotionally.
Many caregivers are not aware that colic is often caused by disruption of the nervous system due to misalignment of the spinal bones as a result of the rigors of the birth process. Several types of Chiropractic adjustments, which are especially designed for infants, and ranging from finger-tip pressure to very low-force impulses, may be used to release the pressure on the suffering infant's nerves. Once the pressure is released, the infant's natural healing force effects the cure.
Infant colic has caused discomfort for young babies and parents for generations, and many have experienced only limited success with traditional remedies.
Many of my colleagues and I have had the heartwarming experience of seeing many babies healed of colic, usually in a very short period of time. One particularly rewarding instance of such healing recently was that of my own granddaughter.
If you know anyone with a colicky baby, please let them know that chiropractic care may help their baby tremendously.
[top]It’s in You to Give
"It's in you to give". What a great slogan for the Canadian Blood Service!
What an encouraging message! We not only have the blood to give, but also the innate motivation to do so to help someone in need. We can do so with the confidence that our body will replenish our own supply of blood "automatically". Through our nervous system, our "innate intelligence" senses our loss of blood and sends out a message to our blood production tissues to replace the loss in exactly the right amount and type.
In fact, all of our repair and replenishment processes (healing) are managed through our nervous system. To ensure that your nervous system is functioning at peak capacity, it is wise to have your spinal nerves checked periodically by a chiropractor.
[top]Pain is Not the Problem
Pain is not the problem. It is only the evidence of a problem. It is our body’s way of telling us there is a problem. Should we hide the evidence by masking it with drugs? Not if we can cope with pain by using more natural methods while we search for and correct the cause of the problem.
A further consideration is that altering our body’s chemistry artificially can be a risky business, as evidenced by the recent withdrawal from the market of pain medications that were found to cause heart problems.
One of the most frequently overlooked causes of pain and other symptoms is pinched or irritated nerves in our spinal column. Chiropractic care focuses on the removal of such nerve irritation.
A refreshing sleep is one of the small pleasures of life which we often take for granted. An occasional disturbed or restless sleep we shrug off as a nuisance. But ongoing sleep disturbance is such a drain on our energy that it can be like a nightmare! In addition to chronic tiredness, it can cause loss of productivity at home or work, moodiness or depression, and even lowered resistance to infectious diseases.
Treatments for sleep disturbance range from "counting sheep", to a cup of warm milk, to narcotic sleeping pills that can become addictive and can cause unwanted side-effects. Usually, these treatments do not correct the cause of the problem.
Although many cases of sleep disturbance may have a psychological origin, often the cause is mechanical pressure on the brain stem at the base of the skull. Sleep cycles are regulated automatically in this core part of the brain, along with other basic survival mechanisms such as appetite, thirst and respiration.
Small misalignments between the base of the skull and the first neck bone often go unnoticed until detected by a chiropractic examination of the spine. Then a precise adjustment can relieve the pressure on the upper cervical nerve roots and brain stem, allowing better function in the basic regulatory functions such as sleep and wakefulness.
Many chiropractic patients have reported much more refreshing sleep as a benefit of care. If you suffer from sleep disturbance, please do not overlook this potential solution to your problem.
[top]Why Should You Stretch?
Some people practice a regular stretching routine to try to keep their muscles, tendons and ligaments loose. This may help to prevent athletic injuries. Others like to stretch because it feels good and may release tension.
But the most important reason for regular stretching is to help keep the nerve channels of your spine open and healthy. This goes hand in hand with regular chiropractic adjustments to allow you to express your full health potential through your nervous system.
[top]Where Will You Live if Your Body Wears Out?
Did you realize that parts of your body may be wearing out every day? In fact, millions of your cells are dying every moment of your life. Cells are dying in your heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach and every other organ of your body. Cells are dying in your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and every support structure of your body. If that is so, that means that you are developing diseases of your heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach and every other organ of your body. That means that you are developing arthritis, tendonitis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and every other sort of disorder of your structural support system.
Is there no hope of health?
Of course there is!!!
At the very same time that those cells are dying in your body, they are being replaced with new cells in exactly the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity.
This entire process of cellular replacement is controlled and coordinated through your nervous system. So, if you have interference in your spinal nervous system, your body cannot fully keep up with its repair and maintenance.
That's why it's so important to have your spine checked and adjusted on a regular basis by a Chiropractor to make sure that your repair and maintenance systems are working up to their fullest capacity at all times.
[top]Who Built Your Body?
Who built your body? You did; cell by cell, according to the plan of your genetic code.
Yes, you inherited your genetic plan from your parents, but the Creator of the Universe gave you the "breath of life", so that you could become a living being.
In Chiropractic, we refer to that breath of life as the "Innate ( Inborn) Intelligence of Life". Once the gift of life has been given, the Innate Intelligence then directs the assembling of atoms and molecules into cells, tissues and organs, and continues to direct the building and repair of your body for the rest of your life. Your Inner Intelligence uses your nervous system as the pathway of communication to direct the process.
This continuous cellular replacement, organized through your nervous system, is your Wellspring of Health, your Fountain of Youth from within.
Since you built your body in the first place, you have the capacity to repair your body throughout your life, and you do this best when your nervous system is free of interference. Chiropractic care helps you keep your body in good repair.