Designed For Hope: How Chiropractic Honors The Health Already Within Your Child
As chiropractors, we are confident that your child can live a healthy and abundant life. Chiropractic itself is based on hope…hope that you and your children are designed for health.
It’s interesting that most people never think to ask a chiropractor’s opinion when it comes to their kids. If you were to ask your M.D. why your children are constantly getting sick, he would probably admit that he doesn’t know. And to be perfectly honest, that’s not your doctor’s fault, because diagnosing sickness and disease is extremely complicated. In fact, Dr. David Newman, associate professor of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, once stated, “Somewhere in the range of 85 percent of what we do, we don’t have adequate science to speak with certainty.” The practice of medicine is focused almost entirely on the prevention and treatment of sickness and disease, with little concern for what it really means to be healthy. At first that might be difficult to understand because of everything that you’ve ever heard about health. But in order to help your children to be healthy, you need to think less about sickness (what is wrong with their bodies) and more about health (how to help them express their personal inner health potential).
Health is not the absence of disease. That is a simple statement that has very important implications for the sake of your kids. If your M.D. doesn’t know that true health comes from within—that you were designed to be healthy—then he doesn’t know where to find health, and is only concerned with treating sickness. Maybe you’ve already resigned yourself to accept a lifetime of doctor visits and drugs for yourself, but I’m certain that you want something better for your children. They are not destined for sickness and disease. A culture of cynicism and distrust in the body seems to pervade the practice of medicine. Please don’t allow it to affect the way you view their precious birthright to be healthy. Ask a chiropractor why we are certain that your child has a natural ability to be healthy, and you might be pleasantly surprised by hope!
When it comes to hope, perhaps the cruelest cut comes from our culture’s misguided understanding of the field of genetics. Parents have been force-fed the belief that their children are not only limited by their flawed DNA (feeling guilty yet?), but are chained to a life of suffering because of it!
How can we trust that our children will be OK when we can’t be certain what’s behind Door Number 1, Door Number 2 or Door Number 3 of their genetic code? The frontier of DNA was supposed to herald a new day that held out the promise of eradicating disease and infirmity. And yet it has brought many families and parents a sense that there is an ax hanging over their future. Somehow the takeaway message has been that our genes could turn on us at any time—so that when a chiropractor states that your children were designed to be healthy, it often falls on deaf ears. Parents have come to think that their child’s DNA is a walking time bomb that will one day explode in the form of one disease or another. And yet on the very forefront of genetic research is a truly hopeful message that you can control your family’s DNA! Read that again. You control the way that your children’s genes will unfold.
“It is not the genes themselves that dispose us to disease, but rather those things within our diet and environment that act upon our genes,” writes Nora T. Gedgaudas, C.N.S., C.N.T., in her book Primal Body, Primal Mind. “To a very great extent we have control over this. Even by the most conservative standards in genetics, we actually control anywhere from a ‘low’ of 80 percent to upward of 97 percent or more of our own genetic expression with respect to potential disease processes and even longevity.” She also stresses that “a gene will not express itself at all unless the environment surrounding it becomes favorable to that expression.”
Not understanding that there is a chasm between disease care and true healthcare, most families rely heavily on their medical doctor for all things related to the body. It might appear that the majority of people prefer that someone else make decisions for them and their kids. But chiropractors believe that this is not the case. If you assume that people sincerely want what is best for their kids, why do many of them give so much medication to their children? Perhaps the answer is that it’s easier than sorting out all of the information about health and disease for themselves. Or maybe because worried parents can’t bear to watch their children suffer and just want to do something, even when they’re not certain if it’s the right thing.
Chiropractors prefer to teach people how to take better care of themselves using the basic principles of nutrition, exercise, stress management, proper sleep, social connections and spinal health…and leave it up to each person how to live out those principles. We like to say, “Healthy living is not living according to someone else’s prescription, but according to innate principles.” To use principles to guide our decisions and behaviors means that we must take responsibility for ourselves and our children, taking “the road less traveled.” And yet if you were to follow the more common path of “prescription living,” you would find yourself walking on a well-worn trail behind the majority of people in our culture. It’s the path of least resistance.
Chiropractors are convinced that the drugging of America’s children is the result of the undue influence of the pharmaceutical industry, an industry that has indoctrinated people into dependency. With unlimited resources for advertising and a very powerful lobbying machine in Washington, the drug industry has vast tentacles that reach into every aspect of our society, and unsuspected into every home. Individual medical doctors are often well-intentioned, offering what they believe is the best approach to a given illness. So the real problem is not necessarily the doctor as much as it is the culture of dependence created by a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry. Your doctor may not be at fault, but he or she doesn’t have the answers for your family’s health. The truth is that we are on a journey of discovery together. Research continues to confirm many of the principles that chiropractors have been advocating since the profession began in 1895, but as we continually reevaluate what it means to “live naturally” or “live by design,” careful analysis has helped us to refine those principles. With today’s rapid exchange of communication, the different schools of thought regarding natural living are now converging, as we discover that there is broad agreement with one another and with modern science. It is an exciting time for the chiropractic profession, as research confirms our fundamental trust in nature.