The World Health Organization’s definition of Health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Merriam Webster also adds the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit.
Dr. D. D. Palmer who founded chiropractic in 1895 wrote in his 1910 text, The Chiropractor’s Adjuster, the causes of vertebral subluxation were what he called the Three T’s— thoughts, trauma and toxins. A subluxation in simplest terms can be thought of as the misalignment that chiropractors adjust in your spine (though subluxations are much more complicated than a simple misalignment and can have far reaching affects on your body through their affects on the nervous system).
Considering the 3 Ts:
This means that what you think, your mental and spiritual health is important to your over all health. Stress is included in this category of things that can adversely affect your body.
Trauma includes severe injuries, moderate or minor bumps and falls we have all experience from time to time and microtraumas which are postural or muscle imbalances, improper ergonomics, or repetitive stress injuries.
Toxins can be pollutants in water and food such as pesticides and herbicides and chemicals and food additives; also food allergies and sensitivities; air borne pollution, and your body’s own waste products if not properly eliminated from your body.
All of these factors must be considered if you are to aspire to optimum health. If we pay attention to only one of the T’s and do not consider the others in our seeking for better health, we will not get as far in our efforts.
Here is an example: Susan would like to lose weight because she rightly knows that being 50 lbs overweight is adversely affecting her health. If all she does is exercise… she is not addressing proper nutrition or the fact that she has low self-esteem and copes with stress by eating a lot of high carb sweets, and can’t exercise as much as she would like because of her back hurting because she sits in a bad chair at work for 8 hours a day. A wholistic approach would be to address her injured back so she can walk or bike comfortably, correct her ergonomics at work, get proper counseling to she has better coping skills and do a liver cleanse to detoxify her body so that she can more easily lose weight with a properly chosen range of food choices for her body type and ancestry.
As wholistic chiropractors we consider this range of issues on each of our patients. While we may start out addressing your major concern that you initially come to us with, as you begin to heal, we let you know what else you might consider in your efforts to improve your health.
Especially, if someone is having difficulty healing… we start looking beyond just the physical problem to determine if there is an undiagnosed disease process (we have sometimes found someone was diabetic and did not know it) or if they are suffering severe stress, or if they cannot absorb their nutrients properly.
We may suggest counseling to help the person over the rough times if we determine that the stress or depression or unhappy relationship issue is contributing to a problem not getting better. Stress or mental or spiritual issues are often involved in chronic headaches, but can affect any area of the body that is weak. Or for physical problems and example is we might suggest a patient engage a pro for a tennis or golf injury to correct any improper form.
So… as September is self improvement month… I will be offering a variety of health tips throughout the month from a combination of these areas, including: physical, mental, nutritional and spiritual. If we look at improving our health using the Japanese management concept of The Kaizen method of continuous incremental improvements, by the end of the month, we may all be considerably healthier.