Friday, April 22, 2011
The Body Knows Something We Don't
Here is my latest Citizen article in the April 19th edition.
Sometimes the results we want are not the results we need. I was reminded of this recently when my son was home from school recovering from an illness.
The parent in me wanted him to get over it quickly so he could be a happy energetic kid again. I also hoped I didn’t have to modify my work schedule too much. But as it is said, “Life happens.”
As a chiropractor, my hope was to adjust him so he could get a good night’s sleep and then wake up feeling better. When that didn’t work according to my expectations, I adjusted him again since he was still lethargic and tense.
Back in the early days of chiropractic it was very common for the chiropractor to stay up with a family in their home and adjust a sick person numerous times throughout the night. The purpose was not to provide quick relief, but to assist the body as it cycles through the immune response.
I remembered the paradoxical lesson taught to me by other chiropractors that an adjustment will lower a fever or do the opposite and bring it on if that is what the body needs at that moment. Waiting it out with my son, I adjusted him five times in five days.
When it comes to the nervous system, it just gets right to work summoning the glands and organs to get busy. It doesn’t ask our permission first. But, being sick doesn’t always mean we should impulsively respond to symptoms because we might interrupt an important function of the body.
It isn’t far fetched to hear of someone vomiting soon after an adjustment. When stress is removed from the nervous system a fast release of toxins can occur. Some people are so tired after an adjustment that they have to immediately take a nap.
At times it can be more impactful to reverse our thinking. We have become so technologically advanced that we want to use pills, injections, and therapy machines all the time. But the nervous system never needed upgrading and we’ve forgotten that.
Borrowing John Gray’s famous saying, health care can be like “Mars and Venus” trying to have a conversation. The nervous system has its priorities but our emotional side doesn’t want to sit quietly and listen.
Chiropractic can be the marriage counselor teaching us to be more patient. The nervous system is only as good as the messages it is communicating. Lifestyle stress can send the nervous system an overabundance of demands.
As in any relationship, the wrong things can be said at the wrong time causing irreparable damage. Or the opposite can happen. Sometimes the damage festers below the surface when there is no communication.
My son needed to have a stronger immune response. The fever was necessary so his body could keep pathogens from spreading through his body. The adjustment didn’t make it quick, but made it just right. It’s a good lesson for me as I help others manage their stress.
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