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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.

* *  *  

The 7 Living Principles - Video

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Ugly Truth: We've Been Barred from Thinking Big

My Thesis: The Disease Model is Not Serving You but Serving an Efficient System that Makes Money at the Mercy of Your Diminished Quality of Life

Will we ever become mature health seekers? Or will we remain childish with the idea of the "quick fix?"

Chiropractic is not "the quick fix."  It is so much better than that.  However, we've been taught to think small. 

If you've been hanging around me long enough, you've heard me say I wanted to become a chiropractor because I wanted to stop people from falling through the cracks. 

Back in 1995 I wanted to learn more about the mind-body connection so I could help people see a way out - a newer option to health freedom.  

If you remember, I recalled how badly I felt about a client named David.  He represents just about everyone who has felt stuck.  He told the psychiatrist that he was in physical pain.  The logical thing for the psychiatrist to do was to refer David to his regular physician because physical pain was not in his scope of practice. 

David came back at his next appointment telling us that his labs were normal, all other tests were normal. He told it is all in his head. This doctor sent him back to the psychiatrist.   The shuffle game.  

He fell through the cracks.  Neither side could help him.

He still had pain.

Was it really in his head or not?

I felt really useless. There must be a better way to reach people.  

I learned that chiropractic had a huge effect on the nervous system.  I wasn't sure how, but I quickly learned that chiropractic hospitals back in the day were very successful with mental disorders. 

Chiropractic's Mental Illness Cure Part 1

Chiropractic's Mental Illness Cure Part 2

Once I made it to chiropractic college, I patiently waited to learn how the mind body connection worked.  I got bits and pieces, here and there.  The neurology was interesting.  As I said, bits and pieces with no real cohesion.  It was like talking about that crazy uncle.  People whispering gossip.   I was so hopeful.  I should have suspected something was weird back then. 

Now, that I think back, I probably shouldn't have skipped out on the psychology class.  I had transfer credit because I already had a master's degree in clinical counseling.  What did I do while my classmates were in the psych class?  I caught up on my sleep, of course. 

I wonder, now, if the instructor made any connections between chiropractic and mental wellness?  None of my classmates came to me with excitement over the class.  They only said, "Oh, Lisa, you're so lucky to get out of this class."

And then as it turns out.... I taught the class myself a couple of years after I graduated.  I was hired to provide counseling services to students and then I filled in when then there was an opening for a psych professor. 

Was I a good teacher?  I really had my doubts.  I provided the basics.  I taught the lingo of mental health disorders as they were classified in the Merck Manual.  I tried to give examples from my past experience.  I played a video about the limbic system, brain reward cascade, addictions and chiropractic.  This was information I learned on my own.  I went to a seminar after chiropractic college to further my knowledge on the mind/body connection through chiropractic.  And I enjoyed it. 

I brought in a guest speaker who spoke about domestic violence.  I also explained to my students that they were going to hear their patients speak about mental issues, family problems and they will break down and cry in their offices.  They needed to be ready for that without fear. 

My students did not hesitate to complain to me about the course, especially the writing assignments. Like me, they didn't want to do much.  While I slept during my class time, because I already earned the credit, they wanted an easy A.  I get it.  They wanted to let their hair down for a while. Every semester was hard work and the final semester was heavy burn out.  

Just prior to joining the counseling staff, I went through a ridiculous interview process with a room full of various teachers, admins and students who grilled me endlessly.  I thought it was a bit of overkill.  Then I dealt with the disrespectful rudeness of students.  I never went back after my son was born.  I washed my hands of it.  I thought it would be cool to teach in a college.  Turns out, it was a nicer thought in my head before reality hit. 

What really strikes me is the continued separation between physical health and mental health, still to this day.  Patients come to me and talk the typical talk of back pain, neck pain, sciatic, and sleeping wrong.  We have not really evolved.  The brain washing is thick.  Sorry for my sarcasm, but each new patient comes to me knowing the same language.  It's all about pain, stiffness, headaches with the typical terms: arthritis, discs, pinched nerves. 

I guess it's a good starting point, because I can then introduce to them a fuller understanding of their physiology.  But old habits are hard to break.  Very few people believe they can be better.  The negativity.  I'm so over it.  It's time time for people to become mature health seekers.  If you want to feel better, you need to think better to do better.  

We have to understand how body responses are interwoven with the brain's sophisticated sensory system.  It isn't that complicated once you break it down.  And it is very empowering.  But, you must step into this different arena.   And people just don't like different.  There is a very well fertilized and cultivated brain block. Each generation has beat it out of us. 

Why are we still on the short term relief band wagon?  People want the "one and done" quick fix....."Plug-In" one intervention and be done with it.  As if you are a car.....the parts are interchangeable but we are not cars! ....Nope.....Nope....Nope.

No One Is Interested in the Mind/Body Connection

Here's how far we've gotten with the mind/body connection: Meditation has been studied to see if it will reduce high blood pressure.  Here we are, at the disease mind-set (which actually takes away from the real gift of meditation).  Plug-in one approach, meditation, and see how it pans out.  (Here's a short article about it highlighting Dr. Herbert Benson.) This is how we purposely let the mind/body connection fall flat on its face and fail by reducing it down to a blood pressure remedy. 

It's a good start, right?  The article I posted above sounds so promising. No. The world wide market of blood pressure medications is huge!  It's mind/body thinking is deliberately set up to fail so we excise its possibility out of our medical tool boxes.  By the way, how many doctors have told you about the Herbert Benson meditation approach?  

Many of  the mind/body studies done at the Benson-Henry Institute (Massachusetts General Hospital) are very small, or the studies were incomplete for various reasons.  There is not a lot of steam pushing these studies to grow into major research efforts.

I used to think the mind/body connection was ignored because it takes more personal responsibility.  A lot of the approaches need to be applied daily, and require a change in someone's schedule in order to fit it in a busy day.  The time commitment to meditate is an excellent example.  Even Dr. Dean Ornish has to take his heart patients out of their living environments in order to have successful outcomes. 

Over time I see what's really going on.  People are unwilling to teach mind/body concepts.  It is deliberately swept under the rug.  It cannot be presented alongside the medical model because they are so opposed to each other that people would reject drugs and surgery once they experienced the difference.  

Mind/body approaches cannot be patented.  There is very little technology required.  People getting healthy on their own will undermine this massive health care assembly line.  

People will stop calling medical interventions miracles when they realize THEIR OWN BODIES ARE THE MIRACLES.  

 It's not a time management problem as I mentioned above.   Well, perhaps it seems to be too cumbersome in the disease model when we ask someone to take time away from their stress inducing activities to focus on something like meditation.  Mind/body approaches are fantastically successful when separated from the disease model!!

The real issue here is it is so widely successful that it is purposefully removed from our medical model.  If it doesn't exist in our thinking, then it won't replace the current offerings of drugs and surgery.  We wouldn't want to knock over the medical/bureaucratic apple cart.  

Mind/body approaches don't work in the algorithm model of medicine because it requires focusing on the individual's unique nervous system.  One size does not fit all, and that gets in the way of the assembly line. 

1- We can't take the extra time to teach people about their nervous systems.  It disrupts the flow of the clinic.

2- When doing so, there is a high probability people will improve without the use of drugs. 

3- People who feel more empowered will discard their fear and attachment to the authoritative model. 

Mind/body approaches require us to redefine disease because the approaches explain why the body is always correct.

Mind/body approaches will never be accepted in the medical model.  

I never wanted to duplicate the medical model, but the U.S. Department of Education has its own agenda. 

Do you want agenda care....or care customized to you?

Well, it took me a long time to get to this bottom line. 

You need to reject the agenda language.  And I teach that.  I teach you how to communicate the real language of body function. 

I have finally admitted that what I was looking for will never be taught in the traditional ways.  I am going outside the "social club" and creating my own path.  You're invited to join me. 

I am lucky that I can do that as a chiropractor.  No one can hide the benefits of chiropractic.  But they can try to limit our thinking.  They can box us into the soul sucking back pain treatment paradigm, but it won't work. Chiropractic is a mind/body reconnecting tool. It's unique and I'm here to tell you all about it. 

Free your brain and you will free the invisible shackles on your body.    Wow! Join me on a great adventure!!!

** No options - No freedom ** 

** No Awareness - No Growth **

Friday, December 08, 2023

You Can Get Over Your Trepidation of Arthritis

There is no such thing as traumatic arthritis.  Come to my office and I can explain why.  

Bone on bone is a myth. Visit my past blog posting here.

I'd like folks to give up the idea that there is a disease called arthritis.  

Let me tell you what these fancy words really mean to me.

Arthritis, as you have been taught, means painful joints. 

"Ar" is the root for "fit together."  So, it pertains to the bones that form moveable joints of the body. 

The word arthritis resembles, to me, "authority." You allow an authority to tell you how the rest of your life is going to be.  I've heard it too many times and I'm floored.  People are depressed over it.  People get really messed up with this authoritarian response from a doctor. 

Rheumatoid arthritis to me is ruminating arthritis.  This is a person who ruminates over life choices.  

"Rheum" means watery fluid, flow, pertaining to the inflammation of the synovial fluid of the joints.  Ruminate comes from the Latin for turn over and over in the mind.

Ankylosing spondylitis to me resembles: bending over to grab your ankles and let people talk down to you.  Maybe I'm grasping at straws.  Sorry, another pun there. You feel lower than other people.   

Ankylosis comes from the earlier words meaning fusing into one bone.  The spine becomes stiff and looks like one bone according to Xrays.  If you see someone with an advanced problem, they are so bent over all they can do is look at the ground.  Very sad.  Life is limited when someone feels so badly about himself or herself. 

("Spondylo" just means spine.  That's it.)

Psoriatic arthritis describes joint pain also paired with scaly itchy skin. "Psori" is the term for "mange, itch." 

As the letter p is silent, it sounds like "sorry" arthritis.  So to me it means a person is sorry and pathetic. Someone here feels sorry for himself or herself.  I understand that joint pain is not observable by others when they look at you, but the skin changes makes people feel very vulnerable and unattractive. Hence, the sorry state of their feelings.  What came first?  The lack of confidence or the skin rashes?  Do scientists study it that deeply before they create an immunosuppressive drug that carries many risks to long term health?

Also, when I was looking up these word origins I noticed "lepra" is another word for psoriatic arthritis.   The root is "lep," to peel.  (leprosy) Perhaps it's time to "peel off" the old you and recreate the new you? 

So, in conclusion, I know pain is not fun.  It hinders life enjoyment.  As chiropractic is enhancement of the brain through the spine's special extension of the brain, we can modify how you perceive pain.   But more importantly, we can modify how you look at yourself - as a person - as an intelligent body with intelligent body responses.  

Ask me how to customize your chiropractic care using the Brain First Protocol. 

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

Don't wait.