Most people think that “feeling bad” is an indication that you are sick. This basic, yet faulty, premise is what starts sooooo many off on the WRONG road to health and wellness. You see, from the moment we are born, our loving parents generally will do anything to make us feel better in the moment, no matter if the cause is a dropped pacifier or a fever. Now, I will not spend this entire article explaining how fevers are good for you because if you are a member of our practice and don’t know this yet, then sign up for the after school, remedial session every other Thursday at 645pm!
That being said, I do want to spend a little time examining the following question: “What symptom is bad for you?” I generally ask this question at some point in all of our lectures, and I get great dialogue and creative answers. You see, while headaches, fever, insomnia, depression, muscle aches, anxiety, and other symptoms may all “FEEL” bad, they are ALL very SMART alarms and/ or actions the body is innately making as part of a healing process. Some of you may say, but how is depression good for you? Well, I would counter, if I found out today a close family member died suddenly, and I felt no despair or depression but instead happiness, then THAT would be bad. I didn’t say I like depression or sadness, but there are moments in one’s life, where that is the healthy response for the body. This is the same with a runny nose and fever. Sure, it feels bad, but it is a process the body must go through to achieve wellness.
For too often, we are our own worst enemy, because many of the teachings of our parents, and of western medicine, has taught us that SYMPTOMS are bad, and we should mask them as soon as possible with a chemical to FEEL better. We see this in kids too! Before trying natural processes like chiropractic care, parents are accepting diagnosis like asthma and ADHD as inherent problems with their kids , and are resigned to the fact that their child must be on side effect ridden medications for life! As babies, we overmedicate young immune systems with more vaccines than any other country in the world, and give a million rounds of antibiotics for ear infections. All the while, the body was simply doing what it was designed or evolved to do.
Anyone who exercises will tell you there is a “passage of pain.” At some point during the exercise in order to grow, to improve, to get better, our bodies hit a point where we become very uncomfortable, to the point where you don’t know if you can go on. It is at and beyond that point where our greatest growth takes place. The body is going through the exact same thing when we have symptoms. It doesn’t mean you are sick, it means your body is healing and getting stronger. But, unfortunately, the majority of us don’t look these symptoms as a good thing. We are trained from the time we are kids to avoid discomfort, to avoid symptoms. So as adults, when we can’t handle life’s stresses, so we pump up with Paxil or Ambien to sleep, or Vicodin for pain, or Xanax for anxiety, or any of the other common presciptions out there. And then we wonder why the average adult takes 8 prescription meds by the age of 55 (yes, true statistic), and that our health care system is causing us to go broke.
Ok, now let me make myself clear one more time. I ALSO do not like to GET symptoms, but I appreciate their purpose and like to listen and respond naturally to their meaning. This is why I love getting regular adjustments for my family and I, so we have a clear communication pathway to our cells, tissues, and organs through our healthy nervous system. This provides for a stronger adaptation to the stressors of life and when we do have symptoms our response is always faster than those bodies who don’t have a fine tuning, allowing us to have a better, more appropriate response to life’s stresses – whether that is a virus, an accident, etc. (And I know that many of you get this as well because every single days we hear stories of children and adults getting sick, or having pain, and their bodies fighting it off much much easier than in the past before they started getting adjusted. It’s why we come to work each day! So keep those stories coming!)