Are our bodies designed to be well or to be sick? Do we have the truly awesome design of all our interconnected parts simply to be sick? Of course, put like that the answer is obvious. We are designed to be well. The question seems almost ludicrous except that so much of our behaviour around health in this century seems to have entirely missed this essential and fundamental point. This is the reason that in Australia today 40% of 15 year olds suffer some kind of chronic disease.
If wellness is what we want, then we need a cultural shift from a focus on sickness to a focus on wellness.
Most of the research of this century has been focussed on the diagnosis and treatment of “disease” with the assumption that treating disease will automatically result in wellness. According to Webster’s dictionary, a disease is: “A pathological condition of a part, an organ, or a system … characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.” And herein lies the problem. The focus has been on “treating” or suppressing signs and symptoms. If you have a fever, take a drug to bring it down; if you have inflammation, take an anti-inflammatory drug; if you have a weak heart, take a drug to make it beat harder. Clearly the problem with this approach is it is entirely focussed on the expression of malfunction in the body not on the underlying cause of the malfunction itself.
So, if the body is self-healing and self-repairing, why would we need chiropractic? Well it is true that the body is self-healing and self-repairing but if this worked perfectly all the time, no one would ever get sick. In Chiropractic, this capacity of your body to self-heal and self-repair is called the “Innate Intelligence” of the body. The innate intelligence of your body is distributed to all the different parts by your nervous system. Subluxations block the flow of this innate intelligence resulting in your body becoming weak and, if left that way for long enough, sick. Let’s look at some studies that show improvements in wellness for people receiving chiropractic care for the correction of subluxations.
One the most distinguishing features of Chiropractic care is its emphasis on wellness, but how do we measure it? In 1997, Professor Robert Blanks and his at the Are we designed to be sick or well?
University of California (Irvine), studied the effects of chiropractic care on the wellness of 2,818 patients over a 3-year period. Before they could do that, they had to determine a way to measure this thing called wellness and came up with an excellent questionnaire that measures it very well. The remarkable thing they found was that over the 3-year period, patients had constantly increasing levels of wellness with no sign of a levelling off of this benefit over the entire 3 years.
Two chiropractic researchers, Drs van Breda and van Breda, made a comparison of the health of 200 children of chiropractors and 200 children of paediatricians. The children of chiropractors were 69% middle ear infection free compared to 20% of the children of paediatricians. They also had fewer allergies, less tonsillitis, and 5 times less antibiotic use. (J Chiro Res 1989 summer:101-3)
The Italian government funded Professor F Splendori to survey 17,142 patients. He (and his large team!) found chiropractic reduced hospitalisation by 87.6 percent and work loss by 75.5 percent. It used chiropractors within 22 medical clinics in cooperation with their universities, and had research scientists (with PhDs) within these clinics to act as independent observers of the result obtained. Professor F Splendori – Chiropractic therapeutic effectiveness-social importance, incidence on absence from work and hospitalisation, Italy, 1988.
Wouldn’t it make sense that scientists should be busy studying the families who have reduced their rate of illness (in comparison to the population at large) and who have reduced their reliance on drugs? They must be doing something right, mustn’t they? Aren’t they the ones we want to understand better? Especially considering that drugs are the third leading cause of death as we talked about two weeks ago, it seems only logical. But such studies are very few and far between. Unfortunately, this is not likely to change soon due to the way the economics and politics are set up to drive research toward drug solutions to symptoms.
Science is a very powerful tool to model the world and answer questions about health and disease. But the quality of the answers can only be as good as the quality questions being asked. Only if we ask about wellness can we know wellness. Make it your decision to find wellness for yourself and your family.