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Who do you call?

Dr. James Chestnut uses the following analogy to describe the role providers play in the America health care system. Medicine (Allopathy) was created for and excels in crisis care intervention. Meaning, if you’re hit by a car, get cancer, drop a quart of blood, allopathy is the best system to save your life. However, is it the best system or approach in maintaining or enhancing health? The American medical system, allopathy, is the fire department. You call the fire department ONLY to deal with a crisis. Would you call the fire department to come daily to water your house? After a fire, would you call the FD to come back and repair your house? Our health care system is ineffective and inefficient because we ask the “fire department” to do more than it was designed for. 

The tools of the FD are axes and hoses. Would you use either to repair or enhance your house before or after a fire? The “tools” of medicine are drugs and surgery. Although at times necessary (crisis), do drugs and surgery create health? Are the healthiest people on the most drugs? Therefore, how can we possibly expect to consult with an MD if our goals are to create, maintain and enhance health?

“Medicine is the study of disease and what causes a person to die.”

“Chiropractic is the study of life and what causes a person to live”.

Branchburg health

How important is knowing your nerve system is functioning properly?

Do I always have to go?

Although I’ve addressed this on my website , it always pops up as an issue for some (men!) getting under care. “Once you go to a chiropractor, you always have to go” The bulk of my practice has been under my care for 5 years or longer. And to my knowledge, I’ve never once forced someone in at gunpoint. I don’t call, send emails or track people down to reschedule and “keep ’em coming back”. I do something better: educate. First, my care is more analogous to a gym membership or other healthy lifestyle habits. MY chiropractic IS NOT A FORM OF MEDICAL TREATMENT. I care for the body; not the condition. I address the cause; not the effect. I see the person; not the diagnosis. I educate patients to think of my care as adoption of a healthy lifestyle. Meaning; flossing, exercising, healthy eating habits pay best dividends when they are a regular part of your life. My care can help any individual get healthier and stay that way. Medicine seeks to get you “a little less sick”. I seek to restore function to the nerve system and thereby let the body do its job…keep you as healthy as possible! You can stay under care “til your better” and then leave or you can stay under care and stay healthy!

Greatest Benefit?

On this snowy spring day here in Branchburg NJ, I’m watching the story of a man younger than myself, who is in need of a hip replacement. It has me thinking; what has 30 years of chiropractic care helped me to prevent or avoid? (Hip replacement can have a number of “why’s?”. But when replacing just ONE hip, can it ever be “old age”? The other hip is just as old!)

Since being under chiropractic care, I have never again battled bronchitis, my low back “going out”, seasonal allergies, or GERD. Hell, my vision even slightly improved after 10 years of constantly getting worse! I’ve taken 1 course of antibiotics since March 1987 and the amount of ALL medication in that time I can count on a hand. But what did the last 25 + years of chiropractic help me to prevent or avoid? I had a horrible low back from 12 to 19 years old. Did I avoid multiple back surgeries? Perhaps a dependence on pain medication? The resultant kidney, liver and stomach damage from such long-term medication usage? The HBP and heart disease that also results from pain medication? Hip or knee replacement from an unbalanced spine? (they go hand-in-hand with low back problems.) Did staying out of the American medical system (3rd leading cause of death), keep me alive? What path did I avoid that chiropractic saved me from?

In 1992, fresh from Palmer Chiropractic College, I headed to Atlanta GA to associate in a clinic that was opened in 1923. The first patient I met was an 82 year-old retired detective. I introduced myself and asked how he was doing. He replied: “I’m doing well. I’m always doing well. I’m doing so good, I don’t know why I’m here.” Now he had my attention. He proceeded, “Son, sit down and I’ll tell you why I’m here.” “I’ve been coming to this clinic since 1942.” Today, I awoke in my home. Cooked myself breakfast. Drove myself here and when I leave, I’ll play a round of golf and go home to cook my supper.” The reason I can do all that at 82, Dr O’Neill, is because I’ve been coming here since 1942.”

The late Jack Lalanne (chiropractor) who truly lived into his 90’s, said “Most Americans die at 60 and are buried at 75”. Are you on the path to take you where you want to be?

Branchburg health

At a Somerville NJ function recently, I heard a young mother lament, “I work out 5 days a week, watch what I eat, take supplements, yet I’ve been sick all winter!” I can understand her frustration, but what is missing from this equation? From my perspective, I’d ask, “How do you KNOW you body is functioning well? Meaning, even the people who do little to nothing for their health, is the bar simply set at “how do you feel?”. Many people diagnosed with cancer tomorrow and at the coroners from a heart attack feel great today. My job is monitoring and restoring function to the body’s MASTER SYSTEM, the nervous system! That young mother doing all the “right” things for herself maybe had a malfunctioning nerve system compromising the body’s ability towards its natural state of “ease” or health. Since so little (< than 20%) of the nerve system reports pain, maybe FUNCTIONAL nerves were/are compromised in that young mother. Therefore, is she properly assimilating those supplements? With function compromised, is her exercise program dis-stressful? Simply, proper chiropractic care that focuses on nerve system integrity is vital in any wellness protocol. A properly functioning nerve system not only enhances your wellness routine, it is a MUST if your goal is TRUE WELLNESS


“I dont believe”

I heard a ten year old screaming recently at a basketball event, “chiropractors wreck your spine!”. Of course junior must have heard this in the home. The most interesting aspect was this family is part of a culture that has faced prejudice, bigotry and discrimination for 1000 years. Yet they found this bias acceptable? Its not just “an opinion” right? Racial, cultural and religious bigotry is still just opinion? It is ignorant and malicious and stunts societal growth. Why? Because by definition any prejudice is the adherence of a belief without investigation; frankly it avoids investigation. Its the inheritance of someone elses opinion. Its dogmatic and ignorant. NEVER have I received an explanation, even from medical doctors, that explained the “why” behind “I don’t believe in chiropractic”. That’s the point. There is never logic behind prejudice…only ignorance. You don’t have to exercise or belong to a gym, but because you choose not to you can’t say exercise is useless and you don’t believe. Chiropractic has been licensed and recognized for over 100 years. The schools receive federal student aid and NIH research grants. Chiropractic is licensed across the globe and eligible for insurance and Medicare reimbursement and millions more pay out of pocket for care. Yet some choose to not only “disbelieve” but espouse their bigotry and prejudice to others and their children….I see why the Latin root of the word “doctor” is teacher.

Legal drugs: the gateway to illegal?

I practice in New Jersey; the Mecca of Big Pharma. Ironically much of my practice is supported by Big Pharma because so many NJ residents directly or indirectly live indoors via Big Pharma income. (Guess why NJ is the only state with mandatory flu shots? think the unions have power…if BigPharma could get away with Prozac in cereal, Trenton would personally frost the flakes.) Recently I consulted with a 20-ish female suffering for 4 months with headaches. After MRI’s and a medical work up, all they could find was muscle spasm in her neck. My profession deals with muscle spasm (w/o drugs, unless its New Mexico) in our sleep. But I digress. Here is the medical answer that was acceptable to this young woman and society at large…”the spasms are causing the headaches and the spasms are from stress” Welcome to NJ. Stress is part of the state motto. This isn’t unusual. Anti-axiety and anti stress drugs are the nations top sellers. If you read  Gwen Olsen’s book you will see children are the “emerging market” for Big Pharma…get ’em now, keep ’em for life.So how should we deal with stress…Paxil and Xanax. At times, there is a proper need for these medications. But is this how we teach a young, single woman to deal with stress? Wait till the kids, marriage and mortgage come, what than? What if she chooses to handle stress by taking someones else Rx drugs for her “condition”? What if she chooses to take alcohol or marijuana to deal with her condition? Do we then judge? Does her body know what drug is Rx’d or not, acceptable or not, legal or illegal? Why not take something from Mom’s medicine cabinet before the big date, exam or dance recital. NJ is home to Pharma Partys. Teenagers raid Mom and Dad’s medicine cabinets and trade Rx drugs. Oxcycontin, Percocet, Xanax, Paxil, Ritalin.  Life’s answers, we are being told, are out of our control. We need something. we are missing something. we need to be sold something to make our body and minds right. I don’t and won’t buy it. Do you?

What Wellness is not

Many of the leading drug store chains have started including “health and wellness” in their marketing. Walgreens has listed Tylenol and cold medicine as wellness products. Is wellness a commodity? If so, is it concocted by a pharmacist or found on the shelf in a drug store? Its one thing to treat the symptoms of a cold or hangover. Don’t fall for the pitch that “more drugs make you more healthy.”

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