You may have heard that Stress has a direct impact on our Health and Well-Being. Did you know that it’s not actually the stress, but how we respond to it? Let’s explore how stress impacts our bodies and what determines if it harms us or helps us.
Stress is a normal part of life. It is a change in our environment or circumstance that requires us to make a change and ADAPT. We experience this every day. Whenever we experience a stress, there are 2 basic ways we adapt. The first is that when we experience a stress that we have the physical and mental/emotional resources to handle, we GROW. We get stronger, wiser, and even more adaptable. An example of this is working out. We use a controlled weight to stress the muscles and the muscles grow and get stronger. However, if we use too much weight, we could injure ourselves…which leads to the 2nd way we adapt.
When we experience a stress that overwhelms our resources to physically and mental/emotionally to adapt, the brain detects danger to our survival and it initiates the stress response, also called Defense Physiology or Fight-or-Flight. This is an automatic, primal response that protects us in times of danger. Below is a chart of what happens when the Fight-or-Flight Response is triggered:
When we look at this list of responses, there are 3 things we must understand:
The increased blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, blood sugar, muscle tensions and dilation of the pupils is produced to give us more oxygen, energy and faculties to confront the danger or run away in order to SURVIVE. We’ve all experienced this when we are on the highway and suddenly the car in front of us slams on their brakes. You know the feeling!
Immunity, digestion and sexual function are turned off, because they require a lot of energy and they are not required when we are fighting or running away from a threat. This explains a few things. We often get sick when we are stressed because immunity is suppressed and if the threat is great enough we may even soil ourselves.
And third….and the most important thing to understand…the first thing that happens when we perceive a threat is an increase in SPINAL CORD TENSION. It is this Spinal Cord Tension that triggers the signal to release adrenalin which initiates the Fight-or-Flight response. Could this be why we emphasize the importance of having a healthy spine and nervous system free of tension? It is THE reason!
The next thing I want to show you is a list of the top 10 medical diagnoses, which will lead to my profound realization:
If you look at this list and compare it to the list of the components of the Fight-or-Flight response, you will see what I saw 20 years ago. They are the SAME LIST! Look below:
What does this mean? That these health issues are nothing more than the Long Term Effect of the body being stuckin the Stress Response. The body never recovered from the stress you experienced and is still functioning as if it is still happening….even if it happened decades ago!
In conclusion, the most important thing you can do for optimum health and well-being is to recover from past stresses and increase your Adaptability. The 2 most effective strategies I have found to accomplish this is chiropractic and meditation. The most effective methods of chiropractic and meditation I have found are Network Spinal and Self Discovery Life Mastery. These 2 things are my health-care system for myself and my family and what I promote to my clients for optimal health and well-being.
Make your spinal and nervous system health your top priority and learn some method of meditation to quiet the mind and be present and you will see long term effects that will ensure optimal health and well-being throughout your lifetime.
If you have any questions or would like to make any appointment for an initial consultation or to get adjusted, gives us a call at (954) 848-4325 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our website www.placeforhealing.com and view our audio/video page for more information.
“How does Network Spinal Analysis work? How does such a gentle contact make such a difference?”
This is by far the most common question I am asked by my patients. When looked at scientifically, the answer to this question is quite complex, yet there is I story I tell that answers it quite clearly. What’s profound about this story is that not only does it describe how network works, but it also describes the process of how we get sick and how we heal.
Here is “The Parable of the Fortress.” Enjoy!
Imagine a small, peaceful village. Farmers, merchants, women, children….all going about their daily routine. There is no danger. There are no threats.
Part I: Defense / Dis-Ease
Suddenly, a group of bandits arrive on horseback. They burn the houses. They steal their treasures. A few of the villagers are injured….a few are killed and the bandits leave. The villagers realize that there is now a danger. There is a threat. The villagers realize that they are no longer safe and need to defend themselves. They build a wall around their village with a gateway to enter and exit.
The bandits return. They climb over the wall. They dig under the wall. They smash the wall. They ride through the gateway. They burn the houses. They steal their treasures. A few of the villagers are injured….a few are killed and the bandits leave. The villagers realize that they are still in danger. There is a greater threat. They build a taller, deeper, thicker, stronger wall around the first wall with a smaller gateway to enter and exit.
And so it goes….on and on…building wall after wall.
The first half of the parable demonstrates the process of disease. As we go through life, we experience stress. These stresses may be of a physical, emotional/mental, or chemical nature.
Whenever we perceive any change in our external environment, a part of our brain asks one question: “Am I in danger? Is there a threat?” If the answer is “YES,” the brain initiates a response called “The Fight-or-Flight or Stress Response” and the body begins a series of reactions called “Defense Physiology.”
Just as the villagers put up walls around their village to protect them from the bandits, so does the body put up a defense to protect us.
This quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions” describes the process well:
“My mind sent a message to my hypothalamus, told it to release the hormone CRF into the short vessels connecting my hypothalamus and my pituitary gland. The CRF inspired my pituitary gland to dump the hormone ACTH into my bloodstream. My pituitary had been making and storing ACTH for just such an occasion. And nearer and nearer the zeppelin came.
And some of the ACTH in my bloodstream reached the outer shell of my adrenal gland, which had been making and storing glucocorticoids for emergencies. My adrenal gland added the glucocorticoids to my bloodstream. They went all over my body changing glycogen into glucose. Glucose was muscle food. It would help me fight like a wild cat or run like a deer. And nearer and nearer the zeppelin came.
My adrenal gland gave me a shot of adrenaline, too. I turned purple as my blood pressure skyrocketed. The adrenaline made my heart go like a burglar alarm. It also stood my hair on end. It also caused coagulants to pour into my bloodstream, so, in case I was wounded, my vital juices wouldn’t drain away. Everything my body had done so far fell within normal operating procedures for a human machine. “
Research now shows that 95% of all disease is a result of this stress response and defense physiology. In fact, the top 10 most diagnosed ailments are the body remaining in the stress response even after the threat is gone. Look at this table of the stress response in relation to the top 10 most diagnosed ailments.
Adrenalin Pumped into Blood
Blood Pressure Increases
Heart Rate Increases
Shallow, Rapid Breathing
Blood Sugar Increases
Muscle Tension Increases
Pupils of Eyes Dilate
Immunity is Turned Off
Digestion is Turned Off
Sexual Function is Turned Off
Top 10 Most Diagnosed Ailments
6 Depression and Anxiety
1 High Blood Pressure
10 Heart Palpitations
3 Respiratory Disease
5 Back/Neck Pain and Headaches
9 Vision Problems
2 Allergies and Frequent Colds
7 Digestive Disorders
As you can see, when compared, there is a direct correlation between these two lists. In fact, the top 10 most diagnosed ailments are the long term effects of the body being stuck in the Fight-or-Flight Stress Response and Defense Physiology.
It is important to understand that in the dis-ease process, the brain and body believe that it is in danger. On some unconscious level, we made a decision, due to our experiences, that the world and our lives are not safe. Therefore, the body is continuing the stress response so that we SURVIVE the threat. It is the wall around the village.
This “wall around the village” is most obvious in our spine as muscle tension, altered posture, and reduced range of motion. In Network Spinal Analysis, we refer to this as Defense Posture, often seen as a roundedness in the back, the pelvis tucked under and the head forward. It can also be seen in the posture as a high shoulder or hip.
Traditionally in the healing arts, whether it be medicine, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, physical therapy and so on, the strategy has been twofold. The first strategy is to attack and kill off the threat. Medical doctors may prescribe antibiotics to fight off a germ and natural practitioners may prescribe herbs, nutrients or stress management techniques to reduce the stress-load on the body.
The second strategy is to attack “the wall” itself – “the wall” representing the components of the stress response as listed above. The medical doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication, while the chiropractor will restore the vertebra to its proper position and the massage therapist will massage the muscle until relaxed. And so on. In other words, to “climb over, dig under or smash the walls.”
Unfortunately, because the body is intelligent and it creates the stress response in order to protect itself from a perceived threat (whether real or imagined), just as in the parable of the Fortress, unless the brain, nervous system and body begin to “believe” it is safe once again, it will continue to initiate the stress response and put back its defense, usually with a “higher, deeper, thicker, stronger wall.”
That is why the symptoms, tensions, ailments keep coming back, never fully heal and become a chronic condition.
If you examine the Fight or Flight Stress response, you will begin to realize that when the body goes into defense, all of the mechanisms of healing and growth are diminished or stopped completely.
Ergo, when the body begins to let go of the stress response and the resultant defense physiology, then and only then can the body begin to heal.
Part II: Letting Go / Healing /Ease
Now, imagine years and years have passed. The bandits continued to attack the village year after year. The villagers continued to build thicker and thicker, deeper and deeper, higher and higher walls around the village with one tiny gateway to enter and exit. There is a vast fortress now around the village with many walls, with a gateway in each wall. The fortress is now impenetrable and the bandits have left never to be seen again. The villagers live in their fortress still believing they are in danger. There is a threat.
The truth: There is no longer a danger. There is no longer a threat.
One day, a wise sage arrives at the fortress. He knocks on the gateway. The soldiers guarding the gate demand, “Who goes there?” The sage answers, “I come with a message and a gift.” The guards frisk him, check his credentials, interview him and determine that it is safe to let him through the first wall….the first gateway. The villagers inside the first wall greet him and ask him for his message.
He tells them… “You are safe.” The villagers invite him to stay and after a few days they decide to tear down the outer wall.
The wise sage approaches the gateway in the next wall. He knocks on the gateway. The soldiers guarding the gate demand, “Who goes there?” The sage answers, “I come with a message and a gift.” The guards frisk him, check his credentials, interview him and determine that it is safe to let him through the next wall….the next gateway. The villagers inside the second wall greet him and ask him for his message.
He tells them…“You are safe.” The villagers invite him to stay and after a few days they decide to tear down the second wall.
And so it goes….on and on….until all the walls are down.
The second half of the parable demonstrates the healing process available through Network Spinal Analysis. Rather than trying to fix anything, correct anything, treat anything, we take the approach of the wise sage. We bring a message to the brain, nervous system and body.
“You are safe.”
How do we do this? Through Network Spinal Analysis (NSA), we first determine where the body is in defense.
These areas are in a state of tension. These may be areas of pain or discomfort, but more often they are areas that you are totally unaware of. They are areas “disconnected.” They are unresponsive to stimuli, but instead react with greater defense when touched or “treated.” In NSA, we tend to avoid these areas, where in other health-care practices, they are the area of treatment.
Next, we analyze the spine to find what we call “Spinal Gateways.”
Spinal gateways are often found right above, below or on the opposite side of the area of defense. They are areas of calm and ease, free of tension. They are very responsive to light touch. By making a gentle contact on the spinal gateway, at just the right time, with just the right amount of force, the attention of the brain is brought to this center of peace and for a moment, it decides, “I am safe.” Suddenly, you may feel yourself take a sigh-like deep breath….you may feel like you want to move or stretch and you begin to become aware of the area of defense as it starts to relax. You begin to feel the first “wall” come down.
Through a series of levels of care, we continue to develop these gateways, as the body “decides” to let go of all the dominant patterns of defense it has accumulated over a lifetime.
We do not force, coerce or direct the body to do anything through any medication or therapy. We simply bring it the message of safety and invite the body to let go of defense.
I recently had a discussion with another Facebook user about the true cause of disease and role germs do or do not play in this process. Read this discussion below:
Barry WeinbergIf you saw flies swarming around some garbage in a field, would you think the flies caused the garbage? How would you get rid of the flies…with bug spray? I think you know the answers. Then why do we think germs cause disease and treat it with medicine? Maybe its time to clean the garbage from the field.
Facebook User Reply en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease
Pretty sure this is the answer to your question.
Barry Weinberg Oh, my friend, it was not a question. It was a point. I know you choose to believe that germs cause illness, but the truth is a depressed immune system causes disease. It has been proven that there are more germs in our body than human cells. It is when our immune system gets depressed due to the inadequate adaptation to stress that germs take the opportunity to feed….like the flies on the garbage in the field. When things are in right order in the body, germs are actually beneficial and assist our body. Even Pasteur, the creator of the Germ Theory recanted his germ theory on his deathbed, saying, “Bernard is right. The pathogen is nothing…the terrain is everything.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Bernard
Claude Bernard (12 July 1813 – 10 February 1878) was a French physiologist. Hist…See More
Facebook User Reply I agree that when we are weak and run down, we are considerably more likely to get sick. However, take a well rested, healthy person, introduce disease into their body and you will very likely also end up with a sick person. We’re not that far apart on this one…I think.
Barry Weinberg I think where we differ is in our beliefs. Your belief is that disease can come from without. I believe (and have seen 20 years of evidence for) that disease comes from within. Just as darkness can not be introduced to a room. So can disease not be introduced to the body. Just Darkness is caused by removing the light, disease is caused by a lose of health. Just as darkness can be eliminated by reintroducing light, disease is eliminated by restoring health. To fight disease is as futile as fighting darkness. (PS. Thank you for your comments. This is an important discussion. I believe our current health care crisis is not caused by lack of insurance but by this very issue.)
Facebook User Reply I respect your experience. The only experience I have is reading, but a lot can be gleaned from reading.
Using your model of “disease cannot come from outside the body”, are you suggesting that if we inject a perfectly healthy, well rested person with hiv, flu, a common cold, that they will not become infected?
This is essentially what I’m hearing, and the crux of my disagreement.
Barry Weinberg If their immune system is strong, yes! We are exposed to an uncountable number of germs every moment and we are not sick. There will be a classroom of children that get sick, yet one child does not. His immune system was strong. Nurses and doctors have worked in hospitals and triage for centuries amongst the most horrendous of disease and do not get sick. Their immune systems are strong. I’ll repeat, just as the flies do not cause the garbage in the field, the germ does not cause the disease. They are opportunists that take advantage of an already dis-eased system. Just because something is in the same the same location of a problem, does not deem them cause. Germs are ALWAYS there. Just because they are found in the location of where there is disease, does not create a cause and effect relationship. In fact, the proper cause and effect relationship would be that the disease is the cause and the germs are the effect.
Facebook User Reply wise
Barry Weinberg PS. I always trust my experience way before I trust what I read. You will never know the taste of an apple by reading about it….only by taking that bite!
“I originally came to Dr. Barry Weinberg and A Place for Healing because I suffered from vertigo, migraines and lower backaches. Lots of work stress and taking lots of medications.
Since receiving Network Chiropractic care, I’m off my meds…less tension in my back and neck. I’m much more aware of my mind and body. I experience very little headaches. I used to have an episode of vertigo about every other month, but now I’ve had only 2 minor attacks during the year I’ve been coming.
I feel energetic physically and mentally under Dr. Weinberg’s care. I now have peace and am stress free.”
~ Linda Damon
This beautiful testimonial demonstrates what my practice is all about. People who have been to my practice know that I am not about fixing anything or making pain go away. Yet, when the spine and nervous system are free of tension and interference, the body seems to “magically” heal and pain, illness and injury leave the body. People who have been to my practice know that I don’t usually give instruction on nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle habits. Yet, when the spine and nervous system are free of tension and interference, people seem to “magically” know what changes they need to make in their lifestyle and make those changes.
People who have been to my practice know that I am not a counselor, life coach or therapist. Yet, when the spine and nervous system are free of tension and interference, anxiety, depression and fear tend to “magically” fade and they experience more mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
This is what my practice is all about.
Through the gentle, honoring contacts I apply to the spine with Network Spinal Analysis chiropractic care, people connect more with their bodies and develop new strategies to release tension, use tension to create change and become more adaptable to life. Through this process, not only does the body heal, but people experience more well-being in all areas of their life in a way that they never experienced before.
This is what my practice is all about.
Empowering people to heal themselves by finding the message in their pain, tension, illness, or injury and using it as a guide and the fuel to make subtle changes in their life that produce dramatic, positive results.
Have you ever had a pain that just wouldn’t go away? An injury that doesn’t seem to want to heal? Any chronic health problem or challenge? It is my intention in this article to share with you a subtle, but powerful solution to this dilemma. And although the solution is simple, I can guarantee a part of you will not want to do it. In fact, a part of you will scream, “NO! I WON’T DO IT.” Let’s explore this.
In any healing process, the first step is awareness. You have to become aware of a problem before it can be changed. If you have a piece of lettuce in your teeth, you can’t remove it until someone points to their mouth and says, “There’s something in your teeth.” In the healing process, this awareness usually starts as a symptom, such as a pain or discomfort.
The next step in any healing process is acknowledgement. You have to acknowledge that there’s a problem. If you ignore the pain or discomfort that you became aware of, what usually happens? It gets worse, doesn’t it? So acknowledgement is necessary. The admittance that “I have a problem and something needs to change.”
Now we come to the next step in any healing process. And this is the key to truly begin the healing. This is the step I referred to earlier. This is the step that you will probably resist and stop reading this article with an adamant “NO!”
The third and critical step to any healing process is ACCEPTANCE.
Once you become aware that there is something happening that needs to change, and you acknowledge it for what it is, to truly start the process of it changing and healing, you must accept it for what it is. You must feel it, experience it and accept that in this moment this is what is. You must accept that your life up to this point has led to this experience. You must accept responsibility that the structure of your life as you have lived it, your behaviors and actions, and your thoughts, beliefs and the meaning you give things led to this experience. And, most importantly, you must accept that you have the power to change it and only YOU can change it.
One of the greatest stories of the power of acceptance is the story of Victor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning and a survivor of the Holocaust. Victor Frankl was a prisoner in the Auschwitz death camps during the Nazi occupation of World War II. Surrounded by the smell of burning bodies and the sounds of children’s screams, Frankl found himself in an experience where death was certain.
One day, Frankl was taken to a dark room in the basement of a burnt out building, so that the “doctors” could give him a “routine checkup.” Before he knew it, he was strapped to a table and the men began sterilization surgery on him … without anesthesia. As he lay on the table in excruciating agony, he had a realization. These men had the liberty to go where they pleased and do what they wished, but, they did not have the freedom to think for themselves. They were puppets of a dark master, of which they must perform such horrible acts upon another human being. Although they had liberty, he, Frankl, had the freedom to create in his mind whatever picture he desired and think his own thoughts. With this sudden insight, he accepted his situation and began spending all his time with his eyes closed imagining himself running through green fields with his children and grandchildren. He saw himself being free of his horrible surroundings and envisioned himself traveling to America to share his story and newfound wisdom.
Victor Frankl survived the death camps. He traveled to America and wrote his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, which has been a source of inspiration for millions of readers. If Frankl had not accepted his situation, he would have suffered through his experience and probably never survived. By accepting his appalling circumstance and creating a new vision within his mind, Victor Frankl not only lived through it, but healed himself in the process and helped millions of people around the world to accept their situation and heal as well.
So what comes after acceptance? NEXT!!! This is what is, but what’s next? What is your ideal? And your ideal is not to be free of pain or cured of your illness. The ideal is what is on the other side: abundant health, vital energy, full self-expression, living on purpose. Create a vision of your ideal and align the structure of your life, your behaviors and actions, and what you focus on with that vision … and watch the magic of healing, growth and success unfold.
1) How is Network different from “Regular” chiropractic?
Network Spinal Analysis is the evolution of chiropractic. It is the most advanced, most effective, and most efficient chiropractic protocol available today. Before we differentiate between Network and other methods of chiropractic, let us first define “Chiropractic.”
Chiropractic is a philosophy of health which states that the body is innately intelligent and self-healing.
Chiropractic is a science which states that the nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) controls and coordinates all body functions and healing. The brain sends life supporting information through the spinal cord and nerves to all the cells, tissues and organs of the body. Adverse tension and pressure in the nervous system, referred to as “vertebral subluxations,” interferes with the flow of this information resulting in dysfunction in the cells and tissues of the body, eventually leading to dis-ease and death.
Chiropractic is an art which analyzes the spine for the presence of adverse tension and pressure in the nervous system and through a variety of methods, corrects it.
The majority of chiropractic techniques that are currently available proclaim that the tension and interference referred to above is caused by a misaligned bone in the spine, called a vertebra. Using direct forces to the spine to put that bone “back in place,” it will remove the interference, restoring health. This is “regular” chiropractic.
Network Spinal Analysis states that the misaligned bone is caused by the underlying adverse tension in the nerve tissue, muscles and joints. By repositioning the misaligned bone, without first removing the tension, you will be “fighting” the body. Network therefore uses very gentle touches on very specific areas of the spine to bring the areas of adverse tension to a state of ease. By using just the right amount of force, it allows the body to respond, rather than react.
Through this process, the brain and body actually learns strategies to be more self-aware, self-regulating and self-correcting. By bringing the attention of the conscious mind to the areas of tension, and developing strategies of breath and movement, the nervous system is “entrained” to handle stress better, be more self-correcting and have an enhanced experience of life.
Rather than receiving “treatments” of a therapeutic nature from a “fix-it” doctor, you are receiving “entrainment lessons” from a healing teacher – the true definition of “doctor.”
2) How can such a light touch do anything?
In life, when you are in the right place, at the right time, applying the right amount of force, with the right intent, magic happens. Whether in relationships, business or healing, in order for there to be optimum results, these four factors must be in alignment.
In Network Chiropractic, we apply this principle. If you are on the wrong place on the spine, at the wrong time, with too much or too little force, with the wrong intent, the body will react. However, if you are on the exact right spot on the exact right vertebra, at just the right time, matching the force of the body, in the right direction with the right intent – the body responds…and it does so, beautifully.
What do I mean by “matching the force of the body?” Have you ever shook someone’s hand and it was like a limp fish? Or you shook their hand and you felt like they wanted to squeeze the bones out of your fingertips. This is not matching the force. When two people have a good handshake, they match the force…they have rapport and it feels good.
The Network Protocol is a very specific spinal analysis which determines that exact right place on the spine to contact in a distinct sequence so that we are always doing it at the right time. This “right place” is called the “spinal gateway” and it is an area of free energy in the spine from which the spinal tension is being generated, usually found in the neck or sacrum. A force is then applied by matching the force that the body is pushing back when you touch it. We “shake its hand” with rapport.
How does such a gentle touch knock down 2 Million dominoes with such a gentle touch? By lining them up in a certain sequence, it only takes a gentle touch.
By applying this gentle, quick force to this specific area of the spine, in the right sequence, the brain is made aware of the adverse tension and through movement and breath the body begins to innately work to integrate the free energy in the “spinal gateway” to free up the bound up energy that is being store in the muscles, joints, or nerve tissue.
The light touch actually doesn’t “do anything,” but bring the attention of the cognitive brain to an area it was previously disassociated from, and the body does the rest. Wow! This is the right intent. To make the person more aware of where and when the body holds tension and help them to develop strategies to be more self-regulating of this tension.
3) Can chiropractic help someone with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, MS, etc., etc., etc.?
The answer to this questions is Yes…and no. If you mean, “Can Chiropractic ‘cure’ these ailments?” Then the answer is no. If instead you mean, “Can chiropractic assist someone to heal from these conditions?” Then the answer is an emphatic yes.
It is known today that the human body is capable of healing any disease or condition. It is important to understand that every disease known to medical science is caused by one of two things: 1) The body and mind’s inability to adapt and respond appropriately to a physical trauma, emotional stress, or chemical toxicity; and/or 2) The body and mind’s inability to recover from an adaptation or response to a physical trauma, emotional stress, or chemical toxicity.
Network chiropractic not only assists people to recover from past traumas and stresses, but research shows that when an individual is under Network care they have a stronger immune system, quicker recovery time from injury and illness, and greater ability to handle stress.
However, even if chiropractic did not change these conditions, if that individual had tension and interference in the spinal cord and nerves, do you think they would be better off with the tension and interference or without? Obviously, you will answer, “Without.” Therefore, the person will be helped and have an improved quality of life while in Network Care, regardless if the disease or ailment is “cured.” While the disease may not be helped, thepersonwillbe.
If you are driving with a destination in mind, is your focus in the rear view mirror?
Are you moving away from something or are you moving toward something?
Are you focused on where you were or where you are going?
If you touch a hot stove, it’s supposed to hurt
If you are living a life that is not up to the standard of who you are – if you are living someone else’s life, if you are living off purpose…it’s supposed to hurt and nothing is supposed to take away that pain until you change the path you are on.
If you are not feeling the pain, when you take the behaviors and thoughts that are not in your highest and best, you will begin to feel ok with living a life that is beneath you. You will begin to lower your standards.
What if your disease, pain, symptom was the cure?
If you take your hand off of the hot stove, it will stop hurting
When you begin living your life to your highest standards, it will stop hurting.
Are you asking the questions, “How far can I get from what I do not want to feel?”
Or are you asking the question, “How can I develop new resources to create an ideal experience of life I have never experienced before?”
No matter what happened in your past, starting now, we are moving in a new direction.
No matter what you came in with, starting now, we are looking to the future, not the past.
The only reason you should look in the rearview mirror is to celebrate how far you’ve gotten from there
What’s behind you will not help you
Your past is not there and your future is not either, but by taking a different path, you definitely won’t meet the past…and definitely meet a different future than the path you are currently on.
Rather than asking, “How can I make it go away?”
“What can I focus on differently….what new actions can I take….what structures in my life can I change, to create the life I would prefer?”
Once you have reached the level of Acceptance, your healing process will truly accelerate. There is something magical that occurs within you. It is as if you embrace whatever may be and welcome whatever may come. You come to understand and know that your body and mind are incredibly intelligent and wise, and that their every move is on purpose with your highest regard and best interest in mind. Even when things seem bleak and the process is uncomfortable and scary, you know that it is for the purpose of your healing and you can glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel…the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…your vision realized at the end of the path.
With this understanding, you come to Appreciate everything the body does, everything that comes to mind, and everything you may feel. No matter how strange, uncomfortable, or frightening the things that arise may appear, you appreciate them, for you know that they are in your best interest. There is no longer any fear and all doubt falls by the wayside. Your disease or condition is no longer seen as such, but instead is witnessed as a blessing in disguise…a sheep in wolves’ clothing.
This is a wonderful place to be. When you can see the good in your hardship, you can see the good in anything. Your mind fills with gratitude and joy, for you are no longer prisoner to your condition, but instead allies.
It is at this stage in the healing process that heroes are formed. The warriors who can stand before us, in spite of their illness, and inspire us to tears. We hear stories of individuals who have overcome cancer by learning to appreciate its lessons. They tell us that if it was not for the illness, they would not have developed the strength and wisdom to pursue their life’s mission and dearest dreams. We hear of the man who experiences a cardiac arrest, after which discovering that he has been neglecting his family for work, begins a life in which he makes his family top priority. He starts a healthier lifestyle of a clean diet, exercise, and a stress-free job. We hear of the alcoholic or drug addict who suffered their whole life with anger, self-hatred, and depression, suddenly admitting to their problem and discovering the inner peace and love that was there all along…and then go out into the world to help others do the same.
These are all examples of the power of Appreciation. When you begin to appreciate yourself and your world, you begin to care more about the person inside of you and the people around you. You begin to have a deep core desire to participate more in your healing process and begin taking responsibility for your own health. As the Helplessness fades away, you find an inner power which seems to come from deep within, has no boundaries or limits, of which you have an infinite abundance of supply.
With this Appreciation, you accept your inner power to heal and manifest as real that which you desire. With each day that you experience this miracle of life within you, and witness the changes outside you, it no longer is something you have to think about…to think about. It becomes a deep, inner core belief and you begin thinking about it and speaking about it the way you would say the sky is blue and water is wet. It is a knowing, and through this knowing you begin expressing it through your actions and your words.
In the next entry, we will explore the fifth “Healing Process of the Heart” – Affirmation
Once you have become aware of an aspect of yourself that needs healing, as well as what may have caused its separation or movement towards dis-ease, you can begin to acknowledgeboth that it is in a state of dis-ease, as well as your potential to heal it. The process of acknowledgment can be both a conscious decision, as well as an automatic response. However it may arise, acknowledgment is the next step in healing and is necessary in order for you to move on.
Although you may be aware of something does not necessarily mean you have acknowledged it. Very often, an individual may experience a healing process in the form of a chronic illness such as cancer, AIDS, or heart disease. They know that they are having this experience. They are aware. Yet, they may deny their experience in an effort to alleviate the pain and protect themselves emotionally. When we are told by our doctor that we “have” a disease or condition, especially those as socially cursed as cancer, it can be very painful to our psyche. We may think thoughts, as well as hear them from our loved ones, such as, “Oh my God. How can this be happening? What have I done to deserve this? This can’t be happening!” By asking such questions, we deny that we are having the experience, and parts of our self become separated from the whole. These parts of our self that are suffering need our attention and acknowledgment, so that we may remember them and unite, or re-member, them once again with the whole.
There is a joke that denial is not a river in Egypt. Actually denial may be a river in Egypt. Let’s look at the story of Moses and the Hebrew slaves from the ancient scriptures. This story from the Book of Exodus holds a profound truth about denial and the power of acknowledgment. You may have seen the movie Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston or the cartoon ThePrinceofEgypt. They tell the story of Moses and the Hebrew people being held as slaves in Egypt. This story is a wonderful metaphor for the healing process. The word Egypt in Hebrew is “Mitzraim,” which translates to fromdistresses or troubles.
For four hundred years, the Hebrew people were slaves to the Egyptians and their Pharaoh, being forced to work under horrendous conditions. They were fed barely just enough to keep them alive. It was only when the Pharaoh’s stepson, Moses, a Hebrew orphan, became aware of his Hebrew heritage that things began to change. Seeing the suffering amongst his people, he left Egypt, and wandered through the desert for forty years. During this time he became more and more aware of the importance of his people and his responsibility to free them. The name Moses actually means “to draw out.”
After the forty years had passed, he returned to Egypt to demand the Pharaoh free his people with the famous line, “Let my people go!” He expressed to the Pharaoh, as well as to his people, that the Hebrew slaves were the chosen people of the one and only God that created all things, and that he demanded that they be freed. Upon hearing Moses’ demands, the Pharaoh increased the work of the slaves and decreased their food. The Pharaoh was made aware, yet this awareness actually caused the people to suffer even more.
Often when you become aware of something, the discomfort may increase. Have you ever had your arm fall asleep? You may have woken up in the middle of the night to feel a strange arm next to you. You throw on the light and realize that it is your arm! You rub it, squeeze it, and pinch it to get some feeling back into it. How does it feel when sensation begins to return to the arm? First it tingles, then it stings, then it burns, then it throbs, then it just outright hurts! After the pain subsides, your arm comes back to life.
When I started Chiropractic school, I was invited to a house-warming party of a fellow student named Helene. At this party, I met a woman named Cathy who was in a wheel chair. We began talking and she told me that she had been paralyzed from the waist down since the age of six after what seemed to be a minor fall. After the fall, the feeling in her legs began to disappear and after a few weeks she could no longer move them. It was now over 50 years later and she had never regained her ability to feel or move her legs. The party ended, I said my good-byes, after which I would sometimes think of her, but never thought I’d ever see her again.
Four years later, it was time for graduation. My friend, Helene, who had the original house-warming party, invited me to a graduation party. We were having a great time, when suddenly a woman walked into the room who looked so familiar. I asked Helene who that was? She said it was Cathy! I couldn’t believe it. Here was a woman who four years ago had been confined to a wheelchair for over 50 years, and now she was walking into the room!
I stared at her like a little child who was seeing an angel. She saw my stare, recognized me, and came over with a smile and said, “Nice legs, huh.” I laughed and tears came to my eyes. I asked her, “What happened?” She explained to me that she had been under Chiropractic care, specifically Network Spinal Analysis for the last four years, getting her spine adjusted every day, sometimes three or four times per day. The process was slow, but the feeling and mobility had returned to her legs. I asked her what it was like, and do you know what she said? “It was the most painful experience of my life.”
This wonderful true story demonstrates that healing can often be a very painful experience. Even though pain, discomfort, or other symptoms are increasing, it does not mean the problem is getting worse, it just means you are beginning to feel more. Healing is not about feeling better, it is about being able to better feel.
Let’s get back to Moses. He made the Pharaoh and the slaves aware of their importance and the need for them to be free, yet the pain and suffering increased. The healing had begun. Ten plagues came down upon the Egyptians (symptoms?). Each plague came down with every denial of the Pharaoh, becoming worse and worse each time. After the last plague killed his son, he finally acknowledged who the slaves were and let Moses’ people go. The people were free and they experienced well-being for the first time in four hundred years. It is only when we acknowledge, or accept as true, that which we have become aware, that we can begin to heal.
The story does not end there however. Realizing what he had done, the Pharaoh once again denied the Hebrew people and chased after them to destroy them. Unfortunately, Moses had a wonderful ability to split large bodies of water and eventually the Hebrews escaped and the Pharaoh and his Egyptian troops drowned beneath the waters (an ancient symbol for emotion). The moral of this story is to acknowledge who you are and don’t let doubt bring you down. When you acknowledge the innate intelligence within you and the powerful healer you are, you release the chains and shackles that once held you captive and free yourself from the slavery of apathy. When you become aware of your awesome power and acknowledge every aspect of yourself, healing will occur. You can then begin to accept who you are, what you are going through, and who you can become.
In the next entry, we will explore the third “Healing Process of the Heart” – Acceptance.
This process of growth and evolution I am describing occurs in every cell and coordinates all biochemical and physiological changes in our body. If I eat a cherry, my digestive system perceives the change in its environment. It notices sugars, proteins, and other nutrients and minerals, and begins to adapt by secreting enzymes to digest the cherry. Once the cherry is digested, all the enzyme levels return to normal – it recovers. As you can see, this process occurs every moment of every day we are alive and it is this that sustains us and maintains our health.
As we learn, grow, and evolve, we can begin to make more conscious choices and decisions. The whole perception, adaptation, recovery, and evolution process can come under our conscious control. Rather than being a burst of unconscious organic, automatic, crisis-oriented, survival mechanisms, it becomes a conscious choice. We can begin perceiving change in our external environment before they occur, and consciously adapt to the situation in a healthy, less traumatic way. By noticing the subtle signs of the bear, I was able to make more conscious decisions and pass StepFive! I was able to express physically a mental or emotional intention.
In our scenario, I saw the signs of which I had learned through experience(claw marks, bear smell, fecal material, hairs, etc.), and mentally created an intention to prevent a similar trauma to that which I had experienced during the “mama bear incident.” I perceived the change on a more subtle level, consciously adapted by deciding what I needed to do, intending my body to do it, and my body physically expressed the intention. What begins to happen once we utilize this fifth attribute of health, to express physically a mental or emotional intention, is we begin to orchestrate our own internal changes, participating in our own healing process. Rather than allowing random, external changes in our environment to create these internal changes as crises, we take responsibility and take conscious action, growing and learning in the process.
As I began to learn more and more about the ecology and environment of the bear, I began to approach the bear with the intention of further observation and perhaps future harmonious interaction. Remember, the ”mama bear incident” is merely an analogy or parable so that you may begin to understand the seven attributes of health and the process of healing. This process occurs throughout our lives, every moment, in our cells, in our families, and in our world. As we continue to explore healing and all the many dimensions of health and dis-ease, you will see how these seven attributes interpenetrate all aspects of everything,including, not only health, but relationships, family, career, finance, politics, government, and world affairs.
As I observe the bears, at first from a distance, possibly following the same family of bears for many days over many miles, I travel with them, staying out of the line of sight, and smell, of the bear. I do not want this mother bear to perceive a change in her external environment that she must adapt to…namely me, a possible danger to her cubs. As I continue to travel at a distance for a number of days, she begins to detect my scent. Since I am at a safe distance away, she smells me, but does not see me. Slowly, I move a little closer each day until one day she can see me, yet, I am still far enough away that she does not see me as a threat.
I move closer and closer, building rapport with the creature, until one day we are standing in the same vale as twenty years ago, together, and she continues to frolic with her cubs. She watches me comfortably and does not attack. I am no longer a threat. She knows this because I took the time to build trust and familiarity. I am no longer a sudden change in the external environment that she must adapt to in an unconscious way in the manner of fight or flight. Earlier, when she attacked and chased me up the tree, she experienced the same internal changes as I had, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, adrenaline rush, etc. She chose to fight…I chose flight. Since that experience, she too has undergone a process of learning and evolution so that she may now, as I, adapt in a conscious manner, making a choice to continue playing. What have we created here together over time? We have created a harmonious interaction, the sixth attribute of health, and indirectly, the seventh attribute of health… contentment. I passed StepsSix and Seven.
If this had been another human being, we could communicate through words or writing, as I am doing here with you, and share each other’s experience. By doing this you can learn and evolve without the need to experience the terror of being chased up the tree by a bear. You can simply learn through my experience, bypassing the unconscious experience of the first three steps. You can now notice the scratch marks and smell, without ever experiencing it yourself. If you are ever in the same situation, you can now create the necessary intention and tiptoe out of there just as I did, never having to experience such a traumatic adaptation from which to recover. This is what differs us from other animals. We have the ability to take conscious control over the first four Response Abilities – perception, adaptation, recovery and evolution.
This is the secret to maintaining health, inspiring healing, and achieving greater levels of evolution, growth, and life fulfillment, and this can be summed up in one word:
Responsibility is the key to all health, healing, evolution, growth, and fulfillment. It is the ability to perceive an external change in the environment beforeithappens, and then make a conscious choice to how your body and mind will respond. This is the meaning of AClear Path to Healing. Health need not be an effort. Healing need not be the result of disease and trauma. Health can be easy and effortless. Healing can be an everyday process of discovery, learning, and evolution. By taking conscious control of our lives, and accepting responsibility, we can begin developing our seven Response Abilities and begin to achieve what we all really want: A more joyful, peaceful, love-filled and freer experience of life; and a fuller expression of who we are and the unique gifts and talents we each have to offer the world.