February 2000 Issue

Subluxations, How dangerous Are They?

Anyone who has been a patient of ours has probably heard the term "subluxation". This is not, however, a word that most people understand or comprehend. When you hear the word "cancer", there is an instant vision of a very serious and possibly life threatening disease. When you hear the word "AIDS", you think of a terminal condition with a person suffering with no hope of survival. But what do you think of when you hear the word "subluxation"?
If you are like many people, you probably have trouble even pronouncing the word. Then after you think about it, you probably still do not know just what to think. The fact is that most people do not have even the slightest idea of just what a subluxation is or how dangerous it can be.
A few generations ago, the people of that time probably never heard the word "cavity". But more than likely they all knew of the end results of cavities called "tooth aches". Only after years of public education by the dentists, did people come to understand just what a cavity really was.  The same can be said for subluxations. Most people are very familiar with the end results of subluxations, but most of them do not realize that a subluxation had anything to do with that end result.
The reason it is easier to understand cavities rather than subluxations is because it is easier to see the end results of a cavity than the end results of a subluxation.  Most people know that the end result of a cavity is a tooth ache or possibly even tooth loss. But with subluxations, a simple connection is not possible.  This is due to the fact that a subluxation affects your nerve system function which is a much more complex situation than a cavity on a tooth.
For this reason we often refer to subluxations as the fundamental underlying "cause" of your problems.  The difficult thing to understand is that subluxations, unlike cavities in your teeth, cause different problems in different people.  In fact no two people with subluxation will have the same end results.  It is also nearly impossible to predict what types of health problems a person will get from the subluxations they have. But one thing is for sure, subluxations will create a health problem somewhere, sometime
If you look in any anatomy book to find out how the body functions, you will see an explanation like this; "The brain controls and coordinates all the functions of the body." This basically means that everything you do, everything your body does, whether you know about it or not is controlled by your brain. The signals from your brain are transmitted over your nerves to every part of your body. In order for your body to function properly these signals from the brain must get to the various parts of your body without any interference, alteration, or change. If some form of interference does occur along the pathway from the brain to the body part, that part cannot function properly and some sort of health problem will result. It may not show up immediately, but eventually it shows up.
The most common cause of interference to nerve signals is known as a subluxation. A subluxation is when one or more of the bones in your spine move out of position and causes pressure or irritation on a nerve or nerves and therefore interferes with proper nerve messages.
It is our job as chiropractors to find these subluxations and correct or reduce them as much as possible.
So, "Subluxations, how dangerous are they?"  Answer this for yourself by keeping in mind how important your nervous system is. Now ask yourself the question, “How important is it to my health to have my nervous system functioning without interference?”

Anthrax Vaccine Rejected by More US Military Personnel

In what seems to be an increasing trend, more military personnel are willing to face harsh penalties rather than receive the anthrax vaccine.  The television news show "60 Minutes" ran a story on Feb. 6, 2000 concerning an ever increasing number of military personnel refusing the anthrax vaccine.  In some cases those in the reserves were resigning from the service rather than submit to the vaccination.  The featured military officer was Major Sonnie Bates who faces court-martial or prison for his stand.  In addition to the 60 Minutes show an Associated Press article of  Jan. 29, 2000 also reported on Major Sonnie Bates who may be the highest ranking officer in the US Air Force to face court-martial for refusing the shots.  In support of the Major, dozens of people protested outside Dover Air Force Base.  The protesters carried signs which read: “Free Major Bates” and  My husband will take a bullet for America but not the Anthrax vaccine.”  “The people who refuse this vaccine are being raped of the same civil rights they fight to protect,” said one protester Gloria Webb of Ellendale.  In defense of his actions Major Bates commented, “I am doing what I have always been trained to do and taught to do,”  he said. “If you know it is right, you stand up for it. And likewise, if you know it is wrong, you have to challenge it. No matter what the consequences.”  Maj. Sonnie Bates faces up to five years in a military prison for disobeying an order. 

More Medical Schools Teaching Complementary Procedures

I guess under the heading, “If you can not beat them join them,” comes an article from the January 17, 2000 AMA News that reports that more than 75 US and Canadian medical schools are now teaching what the article called “complementary procedures.”  In the article, Dr. Brian Bouch the medical director of Consensus Health, at Emeryville, states that he thinks the public is so far ahead of physicians on this issue that many medical doctors risk becoming irrelevant.  Dr. Bouch goes on to defend medical incursion into these other areas by saying, “With one-third of the population having tried complementary and alternative medicine, more than 70% of insurers now offer at least one alternative treatment as a defined or discounted benefit.”  The focus of the article and the many experts they quote all state that the public is already using the non-medical procedures, therefore the medical professionals should be involved with them. The question that begs to be asked is how much of this new interest is financially motivated?

Health Insurers Continue to Add Chiropractic to Benefits

As reported in the Feb. 2, 2000 PRNewswire, American WholeHealth Networks, Inc., the largest health care network of complementary and alternative medicine providers in the US, announced that the company will provide a chiropractic covered benefit and an alternative medicine affinity program to the over 400,000 individuals covered by the plan.  Ray Seaver, American WholeHealth Networks president explained the move by saying  “A growing number of people believe that optimal health is best achieved by treating the whole person-the physical, emotional, and lifestyle components that together affect ones health and well-being. People are using alternative medical services in unprecedented numbers, but they are paying significant out-of-pocket costs.''  Mark Selna, M.D., PARTNERS medical director states, “We think our members deserve choice and quality. Many are already using these therapies. We want to give our members the tools and knowledge they need to take responsibility for their own health and be an active partner in their care.”  Once again it seems the insurance industry and medicine are following the lead of the consumer who is asking for these services.

Liposuction Can Be Deadly

The above headline came from Jan. 19, 2000  MSNBC news.  The subtitle is even more chilling saying, “Liposuction has become the most common cosmetic procedure in the United States, but surgeons warned Wednesday that some people dying to get rid of that extra fat may literally pay for it with their lives.”  This revelation was based on a survey of plastic surgeons.  In that survey, of the 917 surgeons who answered, they reported 95 deaths in more than 496,000 operations. This works out to one death in 5,224, or 19 per 100,000.  Generally, the medically accepted death rate for any kind of elective surgery, the kind not needed to save a life is 1 in 100,000.  This makes liposuction 19 times more deadly than other elective surgery.  Dr. Gerald Pitman of New York University, and a privately practicing plastic surgeon, said, “The problem with liposuction is not that it is unsafe. The problem is that neither the surgeons nor the patients take it seriously enough,”

Aspirin Is Not for Everyone

This is theme of new commercials and ads run by Bayer Aspirin.  These ads are not voluntary as it was the US Federal Trade Commission that alleged that Bayer advertising claims on television, radio and the Internet went too far in stating that the general public could benefit by taking aspirin daily for the prevention of heart attacks and stroke.  The problem according to the article is that aspirin is not effective on everyone and it can cause other health problems. Those include prolonged bleeding, ulcers, high blood pressure and allergic reaction.  It should also be noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not allow claims about heart disease prevention to be made on aspirin bottles.  In the settlement with the FTC Bayer will be forced to run ads in four magazines, distribute a free brochure with a similar message, and set up a toll-free number for consumers.  The total that the aspirin giant will spend on this campaign is one million dollars, a relatively small portion of the company advertising budget.

'Light' Cigarettes More Dangerous Than Thought

For those who thought smoking light cigarettes was somehow safer, comes a report in the Jan. 19, 2000 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.  In this report, researchers state that their findings indicate about 80 percent of smokers in the United States who regularly smoke "light" cigarettes are getting twice the exposure of carcinogens than previous estimates.  The researchers said the findings suggest that smokers may feel a false sense of security believing the low-tar and low-nicotine are somehow less dangerous to their health.  In a similar article reported by “OnHealth”,  the Canadian government will require cigarette packages to include graphic images of diseases caused by smoking. Health Minister Allan Rock says the pictures will depict images, such as blackened lungs and a cancerous mouth, that will cover half of the front panel of all cigarette packs produced in Canada or imported.  These pictures should be a "hard-hitting message" to folks about the dangers of smoking.

Top 5 Careers for 2000!

From the November 19-21, 1999 issue of USA Weekend comes an article listing the 5 top careers for the new millennium. According to the article, number 5 on the list is none other than chiropractic! Author Jean Chatzky stated it like this,  “Job description: By definition, chiropractors treat patients whose health problems originate in the spine (sometimes using hands-on manipulation or massage). These days, though, many use that as a starting point to treat a patients overall health by focusing on nutrition and exercise. (Chiropractors cannot prescribe medications). Training: Chiropractors must be licensed by the state in which they practice. Most states require completion of a four-year program at a chiropractic college and at least two years of undergraduate education; some require a bachelors degree."  The authors terminology and descriptions may need some work, but chiropractic is a wonderful field for anyone interested in helping people.

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