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Friday, December 22, 2023

Are You in an Empowering Partnership with Your Body?

I spent days writing the last blog about mind/body approaches to healing.  Then it occurred to me that I didn't fully explain what mind/body means.  And I bet there are multiple definitions depending on who you are talking to.

But first: What is the definition of non-mind/body? What is the opposite of "the mind/body connection?" To put it bluntly - a disconnection. 

The basic mainstream definition is that pain and discomfort can be alleviated with the application of a drug, supplement, surgery, hot or cold pack regardless of the cause.  The cause is not important.  Relieving is more important than understanding the cause. Pain is a problem and pain-free is the goal.  It's a quick fix.  The quicker the better regardless of the cause because it will happen again and you just get the quick fix again. It doesn't matter what the state of the mind is either.  The mind is a non-issue.  

Whether you agree or disagree, look at all the commercials for pain relievers.  There is typically one answer and that is to buy something from the neighborhood pharmacy. It's the plug-in approach.  If you have a headache, take a headache pill.  If you have knee pain, take an arthritis pill.  If you have indigestion, take a proton pump inhibitor.  Even the name inhibitor is telling you we can inhibit the body, whether it's logical or not.

Now, back to the mind/body definition: 

When I was stumped and demoralized after dealing with Dave during my time as a mental health therapist, I knew in my heart that his pain was emotional and his mind could be part of the solution.  We all know it.  We just don't really pursue it.  (Why pursue the mind's participation when we can just numb it?)

Dave had a hard life and a chronic mental health diagnosis didn't give him relief.  Being labeled with a mental illness doesn't make anyone feel good about himself or herself. Second, no one really has a helpful answer.  It's all guess work.  

In the early 1990s the biological theory of mental illness was a hot topic.  Prozac was the magic-bullet-drug in high demand.  It was like a fashion accessory along with a fancy purse or belt. 

The brain chemical theory which was never tested properly or proven (no one actually measures your brain chemicals), pushed the idea that replacing chemicals would cure depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, etc.  There was a lot of placebo effect going on here. 

I knew a drug would not change Dave's lot in life.  It did not change his past.  It did not change the stigma of his diagnosis.  It did not change how he felt about himself.  The drugs probably made him feel numb and tranquilized.  It did nothing useful for him. It just made him feel like a failure.  On top of that, he had physical pain that no one could authenticate with a medical exam. If a doctor can't measure it, then it's not real.  You've heard that before.  

I knew his mind played a role in his state of health but I felt inadequate to help him.  I also felt the silent, intimidating feeling that I needed to stay in my lane.  Don't venture out there with your own theories.  Heck, the crazy theories we're already pushing are enough right?

I had another client who suffered greatly under the mental health system.  She had undergone ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).  It forces your brain to seizure as an attempt to relieve severe symptoms of mental disorders. Makes so much sense just like blood-letting and mercury baths. 

She said the therapy erased some important memories.  She has no memory of childbirth, of any of her 3 children.  She knew her kids belonged to her, but she had no memory of their birth.  To me, this was terrible.  I had no idea how to respond to this. She was overwhelmed and I was overwhelmed.  

Having lost all faith in my college education based on seeing this kind of suffering in real life, I told her to do two things.  I suggested modifying her diet by reducing processed foods and caffeine. The other instruction was to sit quietly and meditate.  I gave her no real direction.  I said let's try things you can do yourself without drugs. 

She came back a changed person. She enjoyed doing something for herself.  She saw immediate benefits at her own hand.  This gave her a huge confidence boost.  I was flabbergasted.  I was working on a wing and a prayer.  I felt I had nothing to lose after she was fed up with the whole system.  I wonder now if she was so paralyzed by the system that she needed permission to try these simple do-it-yourself activities.  She was able to do these activities without an authority figure staring her down.  

It's mind boggling how we are conditioned to give up our own personal power.  It's happened to all of us at certain times in our lives.  It saddens me, but we can can get beyond it. 

How did I define the mind/body connection back then?   

#1- A calm mind can calm the body.  

#2- Self confidence can heal. 

#3- I also believed relationships were key to healing.  

I had nothing to back it up except my gut feelings. 

Today I understand how experiences mold the brain and impact how the body responds to stressful events. (Patterns/Programming) There is a subtle dance between the condition of the body and the mind's coloration of past memories.  

This is the uniqueness of the nervous system. 

No two nervous systems are alike. The mainstream treats people as if we are all carbon copies and that has been disastrous.  

I wish we could open up a medical textbook and find the answer as clear as day, but as we all know, that just doesn't happen because a medical text book does not capture the essence of our uniqueness, learned patterns, etc. 

Mind/Body approaches use the idea that self confidence and self empowerment are critical tools in recovering balance in someone's health status.  It can't be measured, so medical science pays little attention to it. 

Some might call it placebo.  But I don't care what "they" say.  You and I can clearly see two different people in similar situations.  One person with self confidence shows significant improvement while the other may not. 

Is it placebo or is it the brain-wiring? Yes we can measure brain waves.  We can discern quite a bit of physical and mental processing through brain wave recordings.  Chiropractic has been shown to improve brain wave activity.  This is amazing !!

Mind/body approaches allow you to work with your own nervous system in a harmonious way.  Drugs are not harmonious.  Perhaps drugs are necessary during life saving surgery, but they rob a person of self empowerment in day to day life.  A daily "maintenance" drug means you can't do it on your own.  It's the subtle message that you are defective  -- But you aren't -- You do have to accept that language about yourself. 

Is chiropractic a mind/body approach?  Yes.  But you can't give yourself an adjustment.  That's ok.  It is not a passive modality.  You are all in when you are laying on the chiropractic table, allowing me to re-set your brain with a gentle chiropractic adjustment.  Your mental presence matters.  You are still empowering yourself, because you know the non-invasive approach gives you so much mileage as it addresses the most important body organ, the brain. 

Chiropractic is a mind/body approach that honors the sophisticated relationship between the nervous system and every organ in the body. Your personality is an intricate part of your nervous system. You have the power to accomplish great things.  Your mind directs your body to meet your goals, live your purpose. Your mind also maintains your health.  You are not a victim to disease because we don't use that language in relation to chiropractic and your unique nervous system. 

You are already empowered as long as you accept it and allow yourself to thrive. 

The 7 Living Principles of Life are happening to your 24 hours a day whether you acknowledge it or not.  But if you acknowledge are quite the force in your world.  Your community needs your talents. 

Want to learn more?

Are you ready to get acquainted with your greatest gifts?

See you at the table.....the chiropractic table.

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The 7 Living Principles - Video

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