Occasionally I have patients ask me why I recommend continued visits once they are out of pain. I think that they wonder if I’m just trying to make a boat payment or something. I get it. Nobody wants to waste his or her time and money but there is a very important reason why I recommend wellness care. In order to answer that question we need to discuss two key points of reference first.
Why Do I Recommend Wellness Care?
There is a basic underlying belief that is held by the vast majority of humanity can be reduced to a simple equation: health = absence of symptoms.
For years I’ve asked people who’ve attended my seminars and classes what being healthy means to them. Invariably I get answers like, “feeling good”, “not having pain” or “being able to do what I want to do”. Unfortunately the answer is completely misguided. We have come to see health as merely the absence of symptoms but that is not the correct definition. In fact the World Health Organization defines health as: “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
You might say, “Well if everything was working as it was designed I wouldn’t have any symptoms” and to that I’d say, “wrong again”. Many times the symptoms that we express are indicators that your body is working exactly as it was designed. Fevers, runny noses, coughs, pain and swelling etc. are all the body’s innate intelligent response to a stress that it is facing. If we focus our attention on simply removing the symptom and not addressing the cause we actually get in the way of the body’s repair mechanisms and make the problem worse in the long run.
In addition, there are many chronic diseases that progress for decades before we experience any symptoms. The latest scientific understanding is that the average person with active Alzheimer’s disease has been developing it for 30 years without any noticeable symptoms. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases are all similar situations. “No symptoms” clearly does not mean “no disease”.
So What is Health?
When you really boil it down, true health = optimized FUNCTION of the body. We want every muscle, joint, tissue, organ, and cell to be working the way it was designed to work. Period.
Or to put it succinctly, most people come into a health provider’s clinic focused on the wrong thing – trying to get rid of something that they have, but don’t want (symptoms), instead of focusing on getting something that they don’t have, but want (normal function). That shift of thinking changes EVERYTHING.
We need to really understand what happens when we get an adjustment. In point #1 we discussed the goal of 100% function. So let me ask you, “what part of your body is responsible for maintaining normal function?” If you answered “your brain and nerve system” you would be correct. In fact, the brain and nerve system control and coordinate all other functions of your body and maintain it in a state of dynamic balance with it’s environment.
We want all of our patients to understand that chiropractors are “back experts” because that is one of the main areas that stress, trauma and poor lifestyle habits can affect your nerve system.
Spinal dysfunction = nerve system dysfunction.
The purpose of an adjustment, massage, taping, postural rehab, laser or any other modality that we provide isn’t to “fix your back” it is to improve spinal function and therefore nerve function and subsequently, improve overall health. Whether or not you are in pain makes little difference in that framework.
Each provider in our office is specially trained to analyze and correct the dysfunction that you have developed and assist your body in returning to optimal health. This approach makes sense for children as well as adults of every age.