Part Two of three articles.
Understanding the brain is fascinating, but I must caution that despite stunning achievements, scientists know little about how we apply our knowledge to real-world settings. If we understood how the brain knows to pick up a glass of water to drink, that would be a major achievement. Non-scientists understand even less. I encourage everyone to be a bit skeptical about what they read in the popular press. Occasionally, I read an article that states the new brain science can improve business practice, and I’ll say, “Really?” We use our brains in business management, but it’s premature to predict how the revolution in neuroscience will affect the way executives manage their organizations.
Some things we’ve learned have great practical value. Let’s examine the impact of stress on the brain. Stress hurts the brain, which inevitably affects workplace productivity. The brain was created to survive jungles and grasslands and to endure acute stress. For instance, a saber-toothed tiger will either eat a human or force him to run away. In either case, the stress level decreases in less than a minute. One can have several of these spikes throughout the day and cope. In fact, stress is beneficial since it makes our muscles move. But man was created to handle stress for only 30 to 60 seconds. Today, our stress level is measured not in moments with mountain lions, but in hours, days, and months, as we experience hectic careers, screaming toddlers, marital issues, and financial problems. Our bodies aren’t built for this kind of ongoing stress. If you have the tiger at your doorstep for years, then various internal mechanisms break down, from sleep rhythms to specific parts of the immune system. Enduring chronic stress resembles taking an airplane and sticking it in water. Just like the airplane wasn’t built to be in water, the brain wasn’t built to endure chronic stress.
The biggest disgrace of modern medicine involves physicians prescribing unnecessary drugs that have not been thoroughly researched and performing unproven procedures on patients. This is one reason why more than 100,000 people die each year in the U.S. due to the medical care they are given. Thank God for chiropractic. But are we any different? We adjust patients on the premise that subluxations have a negative affect on their health, but do we have valid, scientific evidence to support this claim? We know this is true from our first hand clinical experience and we have some research for corroboration, but we do not yet have the necessary, indisputable evidence that accompanies large-scale clinical outcomes. We expect that someday we will prove to the world that the neuromusculoskeletal changes resulting from chiropractic adjustments can result in life-enhancing affect on all organic functions. Research will show that chiropractic strengthens the immune system, aids the body to defend against a variety of diseases and conditions, while improving the quality of life which we believe leads to a longer, healthier and happier life.
Too often chiropractic is viewed as a treatment for musculoskeletal disorders, disregarding the neurological aspect. When I first read The Chiropractic Journal’s commentary, “Do you want to re-define medical necessity?” by John Davila, DC, I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement, especially when he states, “The neurological component of the subluxation is our greatest weapon to expanding the definition of medical necessity.”
We will see in the next article how ignoring the neurological component of chiropractic is harmful to the profession.
About the Author – Terry A. Rondberg, DC.
As CEO of the World Chiropractic Alliance, Dr. Terry Rondberg is known globally as one of the chiropractic profession’s leading figures. For decades, he has shown tremendous commitment to the chiropractic profession. After receiving his Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) Dr. Rondberg began publishing The Chiropractic Journal, a professionally edited news source for chiropractic. In addition to publishing the Journal, Dr. Rondberg has written a number of best-selling books on the subject of chiropractic.