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.
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.
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 **