Hours of individual practice. Her nails are freshly polished, his shoes perfectly shined. Violin fresh out of it’s VERY protective case and fingers ready to dance on the piano keys. The crowd waits in anticipation, knowing their money’s been well spent. But wait, where’s the conductor? The best IS for last!
Keep Your Spine Balanced
Tying it all together. So far we have talked about creating peace, energy breathing, vital waters, high energy nutrition, dynamic movement & rest, and increasing your fitness. Doing these first six steps will help you to hold your upper cervical adjustments better which means a healthier central nervous system and better life as you well know, but did you know that chiropractic also helps you get more benefit from these activities?
Think about these six statements as they relate to the topics we’ve already discussed:
1. Create Peace –When your spine’s not on your nerves, other people and things won’t get on your nerves.
2. Energy Breathing –We’re all slouchers at heart, but upper cervical chiropractic will help you become more aware of your posture and make your spine more comfortable so that you can sit up for longer periods of time so that you can breathe from your diaphragm better.
3. Vital Waters –A balanced nervous system helps by re-aligning the spine so that the range of motion improves which allows for water to absorb into the discs which prevents spinal disc decay and promotes healthy joints.
4. High Energy Nutrition -Since you aren’t what you eat and you are what your body can use, chiropractic helps you absorb the nutrients better and eliminate the poisons through a healthier central nervous system.
5. Dynamic Movement & Rest –Upper cervical adjustments help to keep your biorhythms normal. That way, you’re not exhausted during the day and restless when you should be resting.
6. Increase Fitness –Resilience comes from habit, and proper C1 or Atlas alignment makes you tough and fit, just like a perfect keystone maintains a Roman archway for thousands of years.
If the first six steps are beautiful instruments, then keeping your spine balanced is
the conductor or orchestrator of the show.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic says the top of the spine is the KEY “stone”
in balancing the spine and keeping it balanced for as long as possible.
A balanced spine and nervous system is the best way to make sure you’re properly adapting to changes in the internal and external environment (like knowing just how much to shiver when it’s cold outside), healing from sickness and dis-ease (such as directing the clotting cascade after a paper cut on the finger) and growing (both physically and mentally) the best you can, and it’s the central nervous system that decides what normal is for any individual.
Here’s a further explanation: You have within you an inborn intelligence. This intelligence or “force” is constructive in nature and runs everything in your body twenty four hours a day, seven days a week whether you’re awake or asleep. Your central nervous system is what this intelligence uses for communication between your brain and body.
As long as this force can flow freely through your nerves, your body is able to adapt to most of the stresses you encounter each day.
Upper cervical adjustments help to restore the free flow of intelligence that was altered by the atlas subluxation (or body imbalance). This leads to a balancing of your muscles, skeletal system, and spine.
Whereas most forms of “healthcare” focus on treating disease or, at best, preventing disease, upper cervical chiropractic creates health. In other words, the intent of upper cervical chiropractic is to add light to the body instead of just trying to get rid of the darkness.
So what are you to do with all this information? Chances are, you agree with it, but it is very strange and new to you because most of what we ever hear is that health comes from the outside-in, that we must be dependent on drugs or even vitamins for that matter to be healthy.
I suggest that all you have to do is do what you’re supposed to do –no more and no less. Hopefully you will find rest and challenge in that statement. I will say it again. All you have to do is do what you’re supposed to do –no more and no less. What this means is that you shouldn’t feel negative pressure from not doing enough for your health (provided you’re doing well in the six checkpoints covered in the Creating Peace section) because you aren’t called to do more than you’re capable of. And it also means that you have a specific purpose that only you can achieve and, quite frankly, if you don’t achieve it you’re letting yourself and others down like a weak link of a chain.
Our universe is made up of highly interdependent parts –both microscopically and macroscopically.
From a statistical standpoint, one of the best coaches of all time said that what made him the best coach in college basketball history was his talent for taking good players who could fill specific roles and make a great team year after year. John Wooden of UCLA, who lived to be 99, won 10 national basketball titles over a 12-year stretch and won 88 consecutive games as coach, and once sank 134 straight free-throws over 46 straight games during his playing days. He defined success as “the peace of mind which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you made the effort to do your best to become the best you are capable of becoming”.
Performing up to our own capability allows for better interdependence and better interdependence is closer to the fulfillment of a higher purpose, according to the design of our Creator. Let me tell you a story to explain what I mean by “fulfillment of a higher purpose”. It is a story that brings the concepts of performing up to our capability and interdependence together.
It was early February 2005, three days before opening my practice. My very first patient called on a Friday to set up for the following Monday. His name was Frederick and he was a marine who had gotten one of my business cards from his friend who was working the Miramar Road gate at the military base. The funny thing is that to this day I still remember making a wrong turn and explaining why I made a wrong turn and I hoped that giving him my business card would make him see that I did have some business being in the vicinity.
Frederick came in on that Monday and he was a difficult case because he was leaning away from the pain. He was as close to crawling in as I had seen anyone for years entering my office. This was a problem for me because it was difficult to determine his true posture for measurements and taking X-Rays.
With a lot of grimacing on his part and probably a little sweat on my part, we got through the initial analysis. I gave him his first adjustment that same day. Afterward, he was a little puzzled over why I didn’t do more and treat his lower back since that was the area of his complaint but he did mention that he seemed to be standing up taller than he was an hour ago. I saw him a couple days after that and he was doing a little better yet.
Over the next couple weeks Frederick’s condition improved so much that he said he was ready for his deployment. You see, he could have taken medical leave with the condition his low back was in, but he sought my service which is not covered by military Tri-Care Insurance in order to get his function back so that he could put himself in harm’s way for his country.
Talk about living up to capability and teamwork! But the best part for me is what happened two years later. One morning before the clinic opened, I was going through some files at the front desk and someone came up to the clinic door. The doors were still locked so I was a little annoyed but I grabbed my keys anyway.
As I walked up toward the glass, this person looked familiar but his name didn’t come to mind. Even though he had a mustache, longer hair, and had put on a few pounds, I realized it was Frederick as soon as he said “Mr. Pietrek” like he always did, as if I was one of his officers. I told him to come in and he said that he just wanted to stop by to tell me something.
I don’t remember exactly what he said because my eyes were fixated on the two objects in his hands but I do know that whatever he said were some of the most endearing words that anyone could ever hear and I still get the chills just typing about it. He said something like “…I just wanted to let you know that if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have been able to go with my dog and sniff out bombs in Iraq for the past couple years. Here’s a flag that I flew for you and here’s a copy of a poem I wrote.”
Those two objects are easily some of my most prized possessions and they have their special place on a wall at our office.
The title of the poem is “Why We Fight To Die”. Without going into a whole lot of detail, in the poem he touches on the fact that he had seen some really bad things in Iraq and that the thing that kept him focused was not freeing oppressed people from a depressed country (his words) but it was for his family, friends, his God and his country.
Chances are, your purpose isn’t to lay your life on the line for your country and chiropractic isn’t a means to help maximize your servitude to the point of possible injury or death, but you do have a story and you do have a purpose. As a mother, brother, aunt, employee, employer, athlete, fan, worker bee or a leader –you do play an important role; and you’re more likely to meet the demands and challenges of that role when your spine is free from interference.
That is the simple message of Pietrek Spinal Care. The philosophy of chiropractic is logical and the science of upper cervical chiropractic is rock-solid. Do you believe that to be true? If so, then I believe you must make chiropractic the foundation to your family’s health and wellness plan.
Like dancing and clapping at a concert makes the band gladly play an encore; or reflecting and commenting on the beauty of a piece of art inspires the artist to inspire more people….you telling others about the reality that true health comes from the inside-out through a healthy central nervous system, and telling about the value of upper cervical chiropractic and the difference it makes in your life is what makes our hearts smile.
Thanks for reading.
The year was 1964. The Free Speech Movement had just started. Then the height of Vietnam, then Woodstock, then Forrest Gump meets President Nixon and witnesses Watergate. This leads to the popular bumper sticker in the late 1970’s reading “question authority”.
In healthcare, “question authority” means the power of “doctor’s orders” isn’t what it used to be. We now have the internet and we can easily do our own (although sometimes not the best) research and choose what we want. Patients often know more about their own condition than their own family doctor, and drug companies know this – that’s why they’re now marketing directly to the consumers and telling them to ask their doctor about it. The white coat of the family doctor has certainly lost its gleam – and not because it got mixed in with the reds on laundry day!
With the internet we have many more options when it comes to making healthcare decisions. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there, courtesy of “expert” bloggers and of course the popular media can’t always be trusted either.
With all the information available to us, it is imperative that we as individuals have a crystal clear mental framework on health, where it comes from, and how to get it back so that when we need it we aren’t swayed by every new fad or certain healthcare practices that are driven purely by economics. With choices comes responsibility. So congratulations to you for reading this so far!
Fast-forward fifty years from 1964 and we have ResWELLience. ResWELLience comes from deductive reasoning which requires starting with a major premise accepted by nearly everybody and narrowing it down to smaller truths until the point is made. The entire line of reasoning is either true or false. If one small part is false then the end conclusion is wrong. It’s not based on assumptions or unobservable data. It’s not as intellectual as it sounds; it’s just good common sense:
1. The human body is self-regulating and self-healing. It has a built-in immune system and it is capable of adapting to changes in the environment.
2. The central nervous system is the master system.
3. The purpose of the spinal column and skull is to protect the central nervous system.
4. Nerve interference due to a misaligned spine is bad.
5. The removal of nerve interference is good.
6. Freedom of nerve interference is even better.
“But Dr. Pietrek, isn’t it good enough to just try to be healthy? I’m already doing a lot of the wellness-type things. What’s with the new word that nobody can pronounce? Is it really necessary?”
Yes, because health and wellness aren’t what you think they are.
Health – The World Health Organization says that health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Under this definition, nobody has ever been healthy. Although it is a worthy ideal, it is unreachable. Entropy is constant and as long as there are physical, chemical and mental/emotional stressors to deal with, nobody can reach this level of perfection.
“Health”care and “health” insurance would be more accurately termed “sick care”’ and “sickness insurance”. Pharmaceutical chemicals and surgery can never create health. They can and do effectively treat disease. Like life insurance, health insurance is a misnomer and it only works if something bad happens.
If health is misunderstood, then sickness might be as well. If a bad thing does happen maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe a symptom isn’t a sign of sickness but it’s a sign that the body is getting well. For example, vomiting to eliminate a poison is a healthy thing. At the same time, the absence of symptoms doesn’t necessarily equal good health either. Cancerous tumors take about nine years to develop before they’re diagnosed. Heart disease sometimes has no symptoms at all – that’s why it’s called the silent killer.
Wellness – Did you know that wellness wasn’t even a word in 1971? At least according to the old 1971 College Edition Webster’s Dictionary / Pietrek family scrabble spell checker, anyway.
Now, it seems like everyone is doing the wellness thing. The gym, the chiropractor, the naturopath, the dentist, and even Kaiser Permanente. But if filling in a cavity, performing surgery, and adjusting a spine are all wellness, then wellness has lost its meaning and it’s already time for a new word.
Some view wellness as a natural way to go about treating or preventing a medical problem. Take calcium to avoid osteoporosis. Exercise to avoid being overweight. Breathing a certain way to fight stress. The problem with this is that we tend to get what we think about. It’s like trying to not think about the pink elephant in the room. Furthermore, disease isn’t some evil entity that needs to be gotten rid of. It is the result of the body’s inability to adapt and heal. Disease is an effect, not a cause.
Still, there are some who think of wellness as if turning on a light switch since turning on light automatically gets rid of the darkness. This is better than the disease prevention mental framework but it, like the meaning of health, doesn’t even acknowledge that there ARE destructive forces out there that we have to deal with. Only focusing on creating the positive health result is like sending your hockey team out onto the ice without a goalie. There is a better paradigm…
You need to have a clear mental framework or paradigm on personal (for lack of a better word) healthcare. It is your responsibility. If not for yourself, then decide on it for others because people DO depend on you.
I don’t make the rules, I only make the metaphors. It just appears that health success is a game. Not like bowling or golf but with offense and defense. Not like baseball or football, where it’s one or the other for a while and then you switch. It’s more like hockey. You want to be in the scoring zone as much as possible but you’ll have to be ready to play defense too.
Back to the spine. The dictionary defines resilience as the ability to come back to a normal position after being bent, stretched or compressed OR the ability to spring back from disease or adversity. Even though no two spines are exactly the same, there are some predictable consequences when the spine subluxates and misaligns:
1. Bending. The body goes off vertical. This is usually a relatively simple, straight linear misalignment.
2. Stretching. If left uncorrected, the head shifts back towards normal, sometimes beyond vertical either to compensate for OR to act as a counterweight to the thoracic, lumbar and pelvic deviation. With the neck going one way and the head going the other way, a stretching or tension is created in the cervical spine (neck).
3. Compressing. Left uncorrected, the body does its best to create an adaptive normal. The most efficient way to do this is to re-balance the bilateral weight. Since the spine and pelvis is more tension-based as opposed to compression-based in design (more like the sail on a sailboat as opposed to a brick building) the hips and shoulders begin to rotate in the front-to-back direction and the whole structure breaks down in a spiraling fashion. As an example, an empty soda can can easily be compressed if a twisting force is simultaneously applied to either end while the opposite end is held in place.
The resilience of your spine or your spine’s ability to come back towards a normal position and stay there as long as possible is in direct relation to your level of wellness. That’s why spinal problems are best addressed before symptoms start. An optimal spine allows for optimal function, adaptability and health.
1. level of wellness and resilience
2. level function and adaptability
3. doing the most good for the body by doing the least
4. an individual’s level of wellness as it relates to the
resilience of his spine
5. philosophy of individual healthcare in which the healing
potential of the body is the most valuable healing tool
1. well and resilient
2. high-functioning and adaptable
the reswellient student felt great, did well on her tests
and didn’t miss school for any sick days the whole year.