10% Dead

[originally published in KCN, May 2001]

Ten percent dead?  What?  Now before you stop reading, hear me out.  It’s interesting if you stop to think about it:  dead or alive.  Pretty much an all or none proposition.  Right?  Well, maybe not.  What about instead of being completely alive, you were partially dead?  What would that feel like?  What might some of your symptoms be? While we all can understand the concept of being alive, and  all have a firm grasp on the concept of being dead, the notion of  being somewhere in between might be a new one for us.

I recently polled my patients for a week, on the concept of what it might feel like to be “10% dead.”  Some had a hard time with this, even guessing.  Others talked about having a part of their body die, like an arm.  But the ones that were on track with my line of thinking started rattling off answers like “lack of energy,” “fatigue,”  “achiness,” “stiffness,” “pain,” etc. One patient hit it right on the nose:  “It’s kind of how I feel right now.”  Bingo!

You see, it’s my contention that most of us are walking around 10% dead!  And the worst part is that the majority of us don’t even realize it.  We’ve accepted those daily aches and pains as being “normal” — chalking it up as part of “gettingold.”  I remember asking one of my new patients who was complaining of lower back pain if she ever experienced headaches.  Her initial answer was “No.”  Then she paused and clarified her answer, “Well, just the ‘normal’ headaches.”  Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to climb a little higher on my soap box for all to hear:  “THIS IS NOT NORMAL!” Pain is not normal.  It may be common in our population, but it definitely is not the way it is supposed to be.  Pain is merely a symptom — the body’s way of grabbing our attention —an indicator that something is awry.  It’s the “idiot light” on our dashboard telling us that our oil level is dangerously low — yet as we all know this is probably the worst way of knowing when to replenish our automobile’s vital fluid.  Checking the dip stick on a regular basis is a much more sensitive indicator — which brings me to my next point.

If we’re 10% dead, this means we’re only 90% alive.  Wouldn’t it be great to be 100% alive?!  Ever drive a car that had a fouled spark plug causing one of the cylinders not to fire? The car ran a bit  rough, didn’t it?  Oh it still worked, but it didn’t sound very healthy.  And it certainly didn’t have the smooth acceleration and performance of a car firing on all eight.  How can we achieve a level in which we’re running 100% on all cylinders?  It’s all about function.  It’s only when we optimize the functioning of our body parts that we begin to experience true health.

Let’s return to the question of what it would feel like to be 10% dead.  Remember, some of the common answers I got were lack of energy, fatigue, stiffness,  and pain.  These are all correct, but there’s an underlying trap that you need to be aware of because one of the answers is “I feel fine.”  That’s right, you could be walking around 10% dead and have absolutely no clue.  Your radar screen would be completely devoid of attention- grabbing symptoms.  Because using how you feel as the sole barometer for your health can get you into trouble.  As an example, people afflicted with cancer and high blood pressure can go years with out any appreciable symptoms.  Or ever wonder what the first symptom is for heart disease?… Sudden death!  That’s right, most people learn about their heart disease the hard way:  they keel over and die from a heart attack.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Checking the dip stick is the key.  In other words, we need to rely on more sensitive indicators to help us function at a higher level.  And for some aspects of our health this might mean calling on a trained professional.

Maintaining proper spinal function is vitally important to your overall health — probably more than you realize — and can go a long way in pushing you towards that 100% mark.  Doctors of chiropractic specialize in keeping the more than 75 joints of your spine functioning correctly.  Stresses  in our daily lives (whether they be physical, emotional, or chemical) can cause some of these joints to lock up and bind beyond our body’s ability to self-correct.  Chiropractors refer to this  condition as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and are the only health care professionals specifically trained to detect, correct, and manage this function-robbing affliction.  While the loss of proper motion of a spinal joint can bring about its own host of factors that will affect your health (pain, immobility, and joint degeneration) it can also negatively impact the functioning of the “electrical wiring” of your body — your nervous system.  Between each spinal bone exits a nerve root that is directly connected to the spinal cord.  These nerve roots carry vital messages to and from the brain to virtually everyone of our 75 trillion cells.  And while the dysfunction of nerve communication that a vertebral subluxation can brings about might be very subtle, not even fazing an examination by a medical neurologist, it is of great concern to the chiropractor.  Because it is this subtleness that often goes undetected, robbing you of the complete health you deserve.

Your health impacts everything you do and everyone you come in contact with.  It’s time to stand up and take charge of your health.  Get your spine checked — don’t let it check you.  It’s time to live at 100%.

Explore posts in the same categories: chiropractic 101, chronic, healthy living, maintenance care, subluxation, whole body health

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