Michael Thomas, DC
My wife Lexi, fell and hurt her knee recently. The next day, after walking on it around campus at school (she is finishing up a mathematics degree at the University of Florida this term), the two of us piled into the car for a trip to Atlanta. I was out of adjustment and we had made plans to get an adjustment for me. My Chiropractor is however, seven hours away (in Atlanta) and it takes some extensive planning to get adjusted!
Unfortunately, the car ride was very rough on her knee and the vibration of driving on the interstate felt excruciating to her by the time we arrived. I got my adjustment the next day and after lecturing at Life College with Dr. Friedman (my chiropractor, good friend, and the founder of Quantum Spinal Mechanics (QSM3), we drove home the next day. That night I found a proper brace and crutches and my resilient wife was off to school again that Monday.
The effect of not putting weight on one leg and using crutches soon told a story of pain in her neck and shoulders that actually became more painful than the knee itself! I was working with her, adjusting as needed and doing a lot of muscle work, but the stress of these days was wearing on her and she would come home and collapse on the couch for the evening. Slowly, too slowly for both of us, she began to feel the pain diminish. She took a day off from school and was able to rest for a long weekend and this helped quite a bit.
Lexi is still not out of the woods, but her knee has improved to the point she can begin to put weight on it and her neck and shoulders are recovering too although not without times of pain and spasm. She is now looking at graduating to a cane for some extra support and stability this next week. We are keeping her in adjustment and doing muscle work a couple of times a day.
I tell this story because it reminded me yet again that almost everybody has to deal with the effects of injuries. Things happen to us and we must recover. Standing on one foot with the crutches as she walked, caused her body to torque and deal with the stress of walking in a twisted, asymmetrical way. As her muscles attempted to keep her upright and moving forward, they had to absorb a lot of twisting force and this caused her to lose her alignment. Once she was out of adjustment, the muscle spasms and pains accelerated quickly. The brace stabilized her knee but also kept it from transmitting the force of her activities in a normal way. This (and her twisted posture) resulted in abnormal forces being built up and created a pattern of spasmed muscles all through her body. Adaptation and compensation are the best the body can do at times, but this alteration creates new problems too, as so many of you who come to see me for care are already aware.
When we are out of adjustment, our muscles do not function in a normal way. The messages they receive from the central nervous system are skewed. The normal tension of muscles that hold us upright begin to twist and compress. This leads to the many .variations of misalignment that we fall into when we are out of alignment. Everything is virtually connected to everything else and when one big problem occurs, it often causes problems in other places too. The problem is that the nervous system doesn’t know it is ‘out of calibration’ so to speak and it continues to make the same systematic error. If we have enough vitality, enough resilience, we can often overcome this issue and find a way to function, but often we can’t find a peaceful way to coexist with this twisted postural set and we begin to break down.
Some people are so strong and vital it can take five years before they realize they must get some help. Others, perhaps those with more extensive injuries, or perhaps just less resilience, find that life becomes painful and difficult almost immediately after a precipitating incident.
Most of you now know that once a set of pains has taken up residence in your frame and stayed for more than three days, it is time to get an upper cervical adjustment to resolve the twisting, the un-leveling, and the resulting pains, spasms, tingling and/or numbness that may accompany misalignment. Other times, the symptoms are manageable enough that people just ‘deal’ with it for weeks or even months before the slow acceleration of pains and other symptoms has become too strong to ignore any more.
Of course some people do not feel musculoskeletal pains but rather things like brain fog, headaches, dizziness, difficulty taking a deep breath, or change in digestion. Some of us have both! Each of us is a bit different in terms of the symptom picture that makes us realize we are out of adjustment. The upper cervical area is important in so many ways and misalignment is a profound insult to the normal function of our bodies and lives.
These deleterious changes are progressive and degenerative. Ignoring them seldom makes them go away. Over months and years of time they can slowly grind the quality of your life away. I am just trying to put words to what so many of you tell me when you come in to see me. You realize the profound effect of a corrective upper cervical adjustment in your own lives.
Many of you also consider the adjustment to be primary healthcare. It is just as important as making sure your organs are functioning properly because the nervous system is the controller for them! Upper cervical chiropractic often greatly helps acute problems such as sciatica or neck pains or shooting pains into the arms or legs but it also operates on a much longer timeframe, ensuring that all of your cells are receiving proper nutrition and instructions. This is long term health, the kind that perhaps will help you live into your 80’s and 90’s and beyond with a sound framework, a sparkle in your eye, and a lightness in your step!
As always, I wish you well and encourage you to stay in adjustment for the value it adds to your life.
Michael Thomas, DC
PS: Spread the word!