I am in the midst of my nineteenth year as your Chiropractor here in Belleview. Like everyone else, so much has happened over the years. Life has unfolded for all of us. Just before Christmas I received an offer that made me examine whether I wanted to continue in this practice. After much agonizing reflection, I realized that I treasure my office and all of you as patients. I am doing exactly what I want to do. After a few days of reflection, I turned down the job offer. The specifics donâ€™t matter but the process of examining the offer was very enlightening for me. Part of me was excited to think about not having to deal with the manifold stresses of working for oneself. It would be sweet to receive a paycheck every two weeks. On the other hand, I saw what I would lose and it wasnâ€™t even close.
What did become clear to me was my own worth and value as a doctor and as a person. Perhaps like others, I had begun to devalue my own qualities because I was focused on the problems and not the opportunities that really matter to me. I got bogged down in the minutia, the constraints, the finances, and forgot that each day I get to come into the office and turn peopleâ€™s nervous systems back on again. I relieve pain in many, many people. I change the lives of people who otherwise would not be able to maintain their own lives. Through my efforts, many, many people are able to continue in their own jobs and support their own families. I listened more carefully to the appreciation that I receive daily for my efforts from all of you. I remembered that some folks are driving two hours or more to see me. They donâ€™t do that just for my â€˜sparkling personalityâ€™ ,they do that because the adjustment changes their lives. In this office I can also take the time to sit and talk with people. I can listen to problems. I can tell stories. I can laugh and enjoy my time with the people who come through my doors. Over decades of time I have made real friends here.
I am remembering what got me into practice in the first place. I am remembering that the adjustment is a precious gift that I am honored to be able to offer my community. This life has been an adventure and it appears to have many surprises awaiting me in the future. I became a critical care nurse because I wanted to be of service to people who truly needed help. I wanted to do something that really mattered, even if, in this case, there wasn’t much respect in the outside community for it. Fifteen years at the beside in the bowels of hospitals tending to the critically injured and ill taught me so many things I could never enumerate them all. I learned about life and death. Untold numbers of people died in my hands as I struggled to save them. Many, many others went on to live their lives for another day. Ultimately, the pain of Medicineâ€™s process, the misguided use of drugs to stifle life, the outdated models of physiology under which Medicine still labors, caused me to finally look for an alternative. It simply hurt my heart too much to continue within those constraints.
I began Chiropractic school on my thirtieth birthday. I had found something that was very different from the medical model I had labored within. I found a process by which I could help remove the interference to the power of life. I could do it routinely, all day long. In my own practice, I could treat people with respect. I could listen to them. I could hold their hand or hug them. I could be a whole human being working with other whole human beings and not just hide behind a pair of scrubs, a stethoscope, and a name badge with just my first name on it to protect my privacy. People are more than the problem they come in with. And the problems people have are often linked to the rest of their lives too. I didn’t change professions to move from â€˜the gallbladder in 413â€™, to the â€˜type two upper cervical misalignmentâ€™. I changed my profession so that I could engage the whole person and act to improve the flow of Lifeâ€™s intelligence within us. I have done my best to do that in my office and I hope to continue for many years to come.
The last couple of years have initiated great leaps in understanding concerning this work. I am now the Director of Research for a progressive upper cervical technique named Quantum Spinal Mechanics (QSM3). Many of you are already aware of these leaps forward because I am often excited and yakking away about them. We have also been able to get some phenomenal results with many of you that were not happening before. We have one paper that should go to the publisher in the coming weeks. The next study is just now getting started in terms of data collection and more is on the drawing board. I am also writing a text which I hope will be helpful to the profession. The way that biology currently describes biological function and then addresses it in clinical (medical and chiropractic) terms is a hundred years behind the changes that quantum mechanics made in the early nineteen hundreds. I am attempting to develop a structural biology that is consistent with our findings in upper cervical work and do so starting from basic physical principles.
The idea of consciousness also has arisen in scientific circles. We need to bring the effect of our collective as well as individual consciousnesses to bear on healing too. We have ignored our own consciousness and its defining effects at our own peril for far too long. It is unsettling because we truly seem to find ourselves in a Post-Modern world. The assurance of the past seems far away now and things are not so certain. Many people I talk to now speak of feeling that chaos is immanent. The metaphors that sustained us in the past arenâ€™t working so well now. We are perhaps struggling a bit with meaning in our own lives as our circumstances change.
Instead of lashing ourselves to a deep, immovable foundation, we find ourselves adrift in uncertain seas and now another kind of balance is required. It is not unlike the balance we must negotiate with gravity. The force of gravity is always present and it does not negotiate with us. It is we who must dance with gravity. We are always moving and our balance moves with us. We must find an always moving balance. We must find a stillness in the midst of movement. This is a dynamic balance that lets us do all the incredible things that human beings can do for so many decades of life. This is a letting go- kind of balance. It is an opening that is required, not a closing. If our joints (our centers of motion) cannot line up in an optimal way with gravity they will find other strategies. These other strategies are less efficient; they take more energy, cause more stress and cause changes in the tissues that we call diseases like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
A proper adjustment brings enough energy and direction to the system to allow the centers of motion to re-engage gravity in the most efficient way. The physical and emotional feeling that occurs after adjustment is often one of happiness and ease. (sometimes one finds, after an adjustment that Heringâ€™s Law of Cure is occurring and transitional symptoms occur for a few days, as you all know too.) For most, there is a quiet and an easy strength that returns as muscles and other tissues return to perfect coordination with your whole being. This perfect coordination is part of what we call â€˜healthâ€™. What we must hold onto now is our own center.
We must not give away our peace. These days it is too precious. Too often, television, radio and print media (which most everyone watches, listens to , and reads daily)significantly influences our sense of reality. We talk to each other about what we have learned. We are presented almost daily with huge crises that we consistently feel impelled to at least attempt to respond to. I know from my own history that too much crisis begins to dull your ability to feel emotion. Cynicism, sarcasm and fear raise their ugly heads. Too often we are forgetting that our peace, our real balance, is only found within our own selves. I am certainly not saying to ignore outside influences. I am saying that if we are internally balanced, calm and are functioning in an optimal manner, we will make better decisions in our lives. When we make healthier decisions, we make a healthier world.
So I am back to my own center and the peace I feel that stems from my decision to continue to live here in Belleview and continue to serve as your upper cervical chiropractor. Iâ€™ve got some new ideas and maybe we can be of even more help to you all in the future. In fact, this recent examination of what I am doing here has kindled a new fire in me. Iâ€™ll let you know more in coming months in these pages.
Michael Thomas, DC