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Un-Kinking your Hoses: Creating Health in a Stressful World

Dr. Brian Dower, DC

If asked what it is that keep human beings functioning smoothly, many today might answer that it is our Blackberries, Palm Pilots, and other wireless devices. But what actually knits our bodies into a smoothly functioning organism is the nervous system.

The human nervous system was created in a stressful environment. Our ancestors had to endure countless dangers every day from wild animals, marauding enemies, disease and starvation. In response to that environment, creatures evolved a mechanism called the flight or fight response: when confronted by danger, our bodies react very quickly with one of two impulses – turn and run, or stand and fight.

When stressed, our system is immediately flooded with adrenalin, our heart rate and blood pressure increase, blood sugar levels go up and digestion slows – very useful when quick action is required, but very unhealthy for your body if this becomes its normal state.

We're all under a lot of stress. Our bodies react to all stresses, whether chemical, physical, or emotional, by flooding the body with adrenaline, increasing the heart rate, preparing the body either for running or for combat. Many of us are flooded all day long with these neural chemicals – so much so that we are in a constant state of red alert.

Today, health care has become ‘crisis care’ – managing disease – as if treating the symptoms of a disease produces health. Chiropractic approaches health care from the philosophy that if you want to build health, you must treat the root causes of disease and restore equilibrium.

This is not the perception many have of chiropractic. Because chiropractic is so successful at relieving chronic pain, it has, not surprisingly, become associated with pain relief. Pain relief is a happy by-product of chiropractic care, not its only goal. And chiropractic is less about the skeleton than it is about neurology; the spine just happens to be the neurological information superhighway of the body. We all know that our organs are controlled by the brain and that most of those communications travel through our spinal column in the layers of nerves around our vertebrae. What we may not realize, however, is the slow erosion of health that occurs as those nerves become irritated by misalignment of the spine's joints.

Think of it this way: your lawn sprinkler is the 'organ' you depend on for a healthy lawn, and the garden hose, obviously, is essential for the sprinkler's proper functioning. If you've twisted that garden hose or parked your car on it, the sprinkler may still work, but not as well. Does the sprinkler need surgery? Do we need to pour chemicals into the water? Clearly all we may need to do is unkink the hose or move the car.

The same is often true of our organs. The weight of a dime on a nerve reduces its ability to communicate with an organ by 40%, and when that happens, the organs function less than optimally, sometimes completely. Yet often all it needs to be brought back to health is to have the smooth flow of information restored. That’s why chiropractic is about more than back pain. It’s about headaches, migraines, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow – because all of those can be caused by blocked nerves and misaligned joints. But even more, chiropractic is about healthy living and keeping your body in optimal performance by keeping your nervous system flowing smoothly – like tuning up your car or going to the gym regularly.

Chiropractic is not the cure for everything. Sometimes it is your sprinkler that's broken, or the hose or the water pressure. But in a life that has unlimited opportunities for twisting our garden hoses, it makes sense to use chiropractic to keep them un-kinked.

Dr. Brian Dower
Park Road Healing Arts



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