Robbing Banks to Steal Pens
Imagine a bank robber wearing the stereotypical burglar garb. The safe stands open with bags of money piled high as he, in runner’s pose, is making a getaway. In his hand is clutched, not a sack of cash, but a bunch of pens. That’s right, pens.
I ran across this photo on Facebook. In my opinion it beautifully illustrates a common misperception that Americans have with chiropractic — a misperception that is standing in the way of our health. The caption read:
“Going to a chiropractor just for pain relief is like robbing a bank and only taking the pens.”
Sure you could rob a bank just to take pens, but why? Robbing a bank for pens misses the point. If you are going to go to the trouble of robbing a bank, do it right and go for the loot! Otherwise you’d probably be better off getting your pens elsewhere.
This misunderstanding is not the public’s fault though. With our pharmaceutical-ad-saturated-society, addressing symptoms is what people are programed to do. We live in a culture that seeks health from a pill, potion, or lotion — an “outside-in” mentality.
Many are waking up to this misguided way of health management. They are realizing that as a country we spend more money on health care than any other and yet our health index ranks pathetically low — not to mention properly prescribed medications are a leading killer in our society. So seeking out chiropractic for pain relief instead of popping a pill makes sense and is certainly a more natural approach. The problem is (and our backwards medical insurance system won’t allow it any other way) using chiropractic for pain relief, while considerably safer, misses the point of chiropractic all together and is conceptually not much different than taking a pill.
Chiropractic, when practiced in its truest sense, is a radically different way of doing health. It doesn’t look for help with an “outside-in” mentality, but rather one of “inside-out.” Chiropractic recognizes the basic principle that your body is self-healing and self-regulating. This type of chiropractic is right on par with eating nutritious food, engaging in healthy exercise, getting adequate rest, and living a life of gratitude. In other words, it’s not a treatment for anything, but a lifestyle. Just like you would never consider a wholesome meal a “treatment,” regular chiropractic care is just something you do to stay healthy.
Regular chiropractic care — whether you are suffering from a symptom or not —ensures that the power that brings life to your body is able to flow freely across the nervous system. It is this maintained power supply, together with proper eating, exercise, rest, and thoughts that give your body’s innate intelligence the resources it needs to express vibrant health and to function the way it is designed.
If we truly want to see our nation undergo health care reform, it needs to start with each one of us undergoing our own “self care reform.” Being willing to shift our health care paradigm to one that encourages personal responsibility for health and limits insurance reimbursement for crisis care and heroic acts is what it will take to right our nation’s sinking health care ship and keep our kleptomaniac pen habit under control.
Dr. Thomas R. Lamar is a chiropractor at Anchor Chiropractic in the Health Services Center and hosts the Internet radio program SpinalColumnRadio.com. Lamar can be reached at (360) 297-8111.