Everytime we read a label or look online, there’s someone threatening us about the next Big Disease — cell phones cause cancer, computers cause carpal tunnel, crossing the street can get you run over by a car, video games can make you psychopathic– or do they?
Of course we can’t live our lives in fear of statistical probabilities and the names of big diseases, so often we go through life doing nothing — until we’re hurt, sick or in pain. Then we seek treatment and wish something had been done sooner, and suffer through the guilt trips about it too. If only we’d eaten right, exercised, used a different computer keyboard, … but it’s not really our fault, is it?
Sometimes you don’t know what’s ahead, but the best thing to do is take the best care of yourself possible, based on the risks you know your body faces. If your parents have diabetes, you’re more likely to get it, and maybe need to watch your diet; if you get a twinge of wrist pain sometimes, listen to your nerves because you might be at risk for repetitive injuries or strains.
Western medicine is pretty narrow in its view of preventive care: according to Dr. James Gray, a chiropractor and health blogger, “the current medical definition of prevention consists of early detection of serious disease processes.” This means a serious disease might already be present, before doctors look into preventing it. So it is up to patients to look after their everyday health, and maintain their fitness and well being.
Dr. Gray advises his patients to get regular chiropractic care to help their bodies stay properly adjusted, because getting regular care helps the body function at its highest possible level. This advice makes good sense, but it made me wonder whether chiropractic care could be considered superior to–or just different from — other forms of alternative health care.
So I responded to the post and asked him a few questions in his comments list. His advice was both holistic and respectful of alternate forms of treatment, so I felt it deserved repeating. He identifies 7 categories of care for achieving optimal health:
Here’s the full exchange where he gives some greater insight into what medical and chiro care can (and can’t) do for you…
RSIHealer: I believe in the benefits of preventive care in general, and in the ability of chiropractic care to solve certain kinds of problems. As a consumer and health blogger I am wondering why chiropractic care in particular is good for preventive treatment, especially in comparison to other kinds of treatments consumers can get–like acupuncture, massage, etc.? Should the type of regular preventive treatment depend if the person is trying to treat a certain condition, or what their personal health quirks are for example? Do people’s bodies react to different types of treatments differently?
Good questions, Mrs. Hengst. Personally, with regards to preventive or maintenance care, I don’t consider chiropractic as a separate and distinct procedure. Merely an integral part of an overall healthy regimen designed to optimize the function of the body. A healthy diet, regular exercise, stress relief techniques, dental checkups, medical checkups, chiropractic checkups, and detoxification are all necessary aspects of a healthy lifestyle. These are things to be done without regards to signs or symptoms, male or female, or current expression of health.
When you begin discussing certain conditions or “health quirks,” you are beginning to address individualities between patients that should be addressed with whatever treatment or method works best for that patient. Sometimes that means chiropractic. Sometimes that means acupuncture. Sometimes that means meditation. Sometimes it means do nothing and let the body work.
For example, if you return from an evening out to dinner and rapidly begin feeling queasy followed by vomiting, are you sick? The average person’s reaction would be to interpret this as being sick and resort to Tums, Pepto-Bismol, or some other chemical designed to ease the pain and discomfort of vomiting. However, a thinking person would realize that they are not sick… their body is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. They’ve most likely eaten tainted or spoiled food, and their body is expelling the bad stuff. Slowing or stopping this natural process is the worst thing someone could do!
And, Yes. People respond to different types of treatment in a myriad of ways. There is no magic pill, magic adjustment, or magic whatever that will work for every patient in every case. However, there are reasons why I listed the things above as a necessary part of most everyone’s regular health schedule. A healthy diet and exercise is a no-brainer; we all know we need these. Stress relief because we are all exposed to stress on a regular basis, and we either deal with in a healthy manner or it will eat us alive. Dental, medical, and chiropractic checkups because early detection is the greatest factor in improving one’s ability to fight a body dysfunction (illness); and, each profession has a distinct specialty in which they are uniquely qualified to evaluate. Detoxification because we live in a toxic society, surrounded and infiltrated by chemicals, radiation, additives, preservatives, etc. If our body is too busy trying to clean itself out, it won’t have the extra energy it needs to truly express optimum health.
And now that I have posted this brief interview, I would also like to hear from readers. Do you go to a chiropractor or other health care specialist on a regular or semi regular basis, and how does it help you achieve optimal health?
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