"Brain First / Body Follows"
Why is my body rebelling against me?
I asked myself that question in 2003 when I was pregnant. I had high blood pressure and the doctors (I had more than one) were freaking out because I was not interested in taking a blood pressure medication.
I don't typically get into a panic over my health, but the medical establishment has a one track mind. There is no room for discussion or different experience.
Why was my body rebelling against me? Already a chiropractor who understands the body is self healing, I needed to figure out where I was missing something. I was faced with a disconnection.
My searching on the internet helped me find the answer I was looking for. Now, you have to remember there is no single answer so I used that term loosely. A combination of new behaviors helps you feel more empowered. It requires sliding old stuff off your plate to make room for new and exciting activities in your life.
During my search I came across Dr. Tom Brewer and the pregnancy diet he focused on for his many decades caring for pregnant ladies. I purchased an ebook for $15 and printed it out. It was a thick tome, probably 50 pages of his published research and an easy to read how to manual.
I was totally immersed in his career. He used nutrition by prescribing everyday foods to help women avoid the problems of pre-eclampsia.
Sounds boring to most, unless you are the one trying to make sense of your body rebelling against you. I had such chronic fatigue my entire pregnancy that I thought it would never go away. I was laying on the bed crying one day to my husband. For someone who has tons of energy and never had a health problem, my pregnancy was kicking my butt. The leg pain, back pain, rib pain were tolerable, but exhaustion was taking over my mind.
Funny, nearly 20 years later I realize now that I had a similar course of intense tiredness when I was in my early twenties. Boy, if I had recalled that experience, I could have made the connection and taken better care of myself. I was disconnected.
Dr. Brewer had a list of 13 food groups. I hung it up on the fridge and wrote check marks each time I was successful. Eat something, then mark it off.
Next, I called him. He was retired in New England and his phone number was published on the website. He offered to answer questions. He was my lifeline. Sad to say it. When I didn't have confidence in my local doctors he calmed me down after each weekly OB appointment. Talk about an angel.
I kept meaning to call him back up after my son was born, but eventually found out he had passed away in 2005 from an Alzheimer's type of brain degeneration.
The diet kept my pain away. I was pleased. I was still tired but overall I felt better. My blood pressure remained high and that was the one problem the doctors couldn't get over. I had normal labs, normal urine, no swelling, no vision problems, no sickness, no palpitations, but my blood pressure was reason enough to receive weekly lectures.
It turns out my body wasn't rebelling. It was doing the right thing for the circumstance. Increasing your blood volume, due to a growing baby means increasing blood pressure. High or low....is a number. We can't forget all the other variables involved.
The whole point of this blog is not to discuss issues during pregnancy but to demonstrate that not everything is a dysfunction or a disease, or something that needs radical intervention. It's not a reason to berate someone for a naturally process. The blood pressure was serving a purpose. My high blood pressure was not a reason to yell at me during my doctor visits.
The healing response is a natural process, but I've spent decades calling what comes first a dysfunction with a complicated label called a diagnosis. And then if you don't heal properly, it is a chronic dysfunction with an even fancier diagnostic label. This, I believe now in my later years, is very detrimental.
I've learned through college courses and media repetition that a dysfunction of some sort comes first, then the healing kicks in. When I say that to myself right now, I cringe. What nonsense! It all is purposeful function.
We accept that a fever is purposeful. Swelling is purposeful. Vomiting is purposeful. Feeling tired and needing sleep is purposeful. We can support these purposeful processes or we can interfere with them. A lot of my training focused on overreacting to purposeful functions and then considering a radical intervention.
The chiropractic profession mostly works to assist the body's healing process, but the negativity of naming everything to label the body as faulty still creeps in to my dialog with folks. It's a bad habit that's well ingrained. I'm working hard on changing that.
That's why calming the fight or flight response is the first goal with chiropractic adjustments of the spine. The parasympathetic state of the vagus nerve needs to be focused on rebuilding or re-balancing.
We tend to disregard that parasympathetic/vagus process and keep overwhelming the body with stress. When we reach the point of the extreme stress response of "Freeze or Faint," it is strongly reinforced that we are chronically sick, it's very unlikely to improve and to get used to it. Not my cup of tea.
Our bodies don't rebel against us. We rebel against it. Everything the body does is correct based on the situation. We've taken situations and distorted them with bad thinking. It has turned into a very un-serving, terrible approach to health and we say it is backed by science.
Our worst enemies are (#1) toxins, and (#2) our erroneous labeling of normal and correct body response, and (#3) the unnecessary stress and self harm we put on ourselves.
Improving your health takes a "hard core hobby-like mind-set." Remember your favorite hobbies that put you in an intense and fanatic state because you were so self motivated? That's the best way to address your life style and self care needs.
With chiropractic, we calm the fight or flight and nurture the vagus (rest and digest) process so we can set the stage for new learning in the pre-frontal cortex. It's all brain. And if you're still preoccupied with your pain, remember, brain first, body follows.
Keep up the good work! You got this!
Look for Part 3. Find out why I say there is no disease.
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