The American health care system is failing. Americans spend 16.5% of our total economy on health care, estimated to be $2.4 Trillion in 2008 (that’s $2,400,000,000,000) which equates to twice as much per capita as other industrialized nations. Despite this obscene level of spending, we rank at the bottom of the list compared to our peers by measure of quality and outcomes. Americans pay more and get less value for their health care dollar than any other country in the world.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 119 million, or 64.5%, of US adults are either overweight or obese. According to projections, this number is expected to increase to 73% by 2008. Young Americans today now face a lower life expectancy rate than their parents, thanks largely to the effects of poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles.
The AP reported on May 14, 2008 that for the first time, it appears that more than half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems. The most widely used drugs are those to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol — problems often linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes, all of which are nearly 100% preventable with lifestyle modification.
The data shows that last year, 51 percent of American children and adults were taking one or more prescription drugs for a chronic condition, up from 50 percent the previous four years and 47 percent in 2001. Most of these drugs are taken daily.
Medication use for chronic problems (read taken daily for life) was seen in all demographic groups. Almost two-thirds of women 20 and older, one in four children and teenagers, 52 percent of adult men and three out of four people 65 or older take one or more prescription drugs regularly.
Most horrific is that among seniors, 28 percent of women and nearly 22 percent of men take five or more medicines regularly. All of which carry side effects too numerous to list, up to and including death. The estimated total number of iatrogenic deaths—that is, deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures— in the U.S. annually is estimated to be approaching 1,000,000.
The current state of affairs in the U.S. with respect to diet is too bleak to even discuss in detail in this article, but here are some highlights:
The U.S. Census bureau data indicate that Americans drink a significant number of their calories. Americans drink about a gallon of soda a week along with a half gallon each of milk, bottled water, coffee and beer.
The biggest single source of calories in America is not pizza or burgers, but soft drinks. Soft drinks containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) supply just over 7% of all the calories consumed in the U.S. every year. The consumption of HFCS increased by more than 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. A possibly toxic chemical sugar alternative made from genetically modified, government subsidized corn is the leading staple of the American diet.
Americans are exposed to thousands of different food chemicals including: food additives, preservatives, synthetic sweeteners, pesticide residues, environmental contaminants, mycotoxins, novel food ingredients, packaging-material migrants, flavoring substances and other added nutrients. Food chemicals make up only part of the 75,000 synthetic chemicals developed and released into the environment since World War II. Fewer than half have been tested for potential toxicity to human beings.
America is a nation of poorly nourished, overly sedentary, chemically exposed individuals. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a diet of natural, healthy, nutrient rich food, reducing toxin exposure from foods and drugs, regular exercise, normal sleep, emotional, spiritual health, and a fully functioning nerve system.
These factors all contribute to sickness and disease because they interfere with the body’s ability to produce new healthy cells. The brain controls and regulates, through the nerve system, all cellular function in the body. Proper cellular function is the key factor which determines ones health. The human organism is a community of 70 trillion cells working together, in harmony. This symphony is conducted by the brain and orchestrated by and through the nerve system. Chiropractic adjustments remove any impediment to the communication between the conductor and the orchestra.
Any attempt to extricate one’s self from the current disease care system requires an individual to radically alter their lifestyle. To begin an exercise program, change one’s diet, reduce their exposure to toxins, or work on their emotional health all take a considerable amount of effort on the part of the health seeker.
To improve one’s health through chiropractic requires nothing more than scheduling an appointment. We have in our offices the best kept secret in healthcare. Isn’t it time you find out what regular chiropractic care has to offer you and your family? As the only passive method of altering one’s health and well-being, chiropractic offices around the country will be inundated with more clients than they can handle in the coming decade.
Spread the word that chiropractic care is the fastest, the easiest and the most effective way to start off 2010 on the path toward health, happiness and abundant life.
The following article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Deepak Chopra very clearly articulates the major tenet of the chiropractic message: that the innate intelligence of the body is far superior to anything that can be added, from the outside in. I took the liberty of making a simple substitution of “innate intelligence” (a chiropractic concept) for Chopra’s term “healing system”. As Chopra clearly states below, Chiropractic’s fundamental concept of relying on the body’s own innate intelligence and ability to self regulate, adapt and heal IS the answer to the so-called “health care crisis”:
Do You Want a Health Care System or a Healing System?
The current debate over health care reform has been about politics and money. There is no escaping either factor. Huge vested interests are spending millions of dollars a day to pressure Congress into minimal reform. But even if the political system were pure as snow, an aging American population makes it inevitable that the health care system is going to grow more and more expensive. These external factors fill the news every day, obscuring a simple fact: Your health depends far more on the healing system your body’s own innate intelligence than the health care system. The healing system innate intelligence is inside your body. Its intricacies are just now being fully explored, but certain broad trends have become clear.
- The healing system Innate intelligence is more flexible and powerful than previously thought. For example, the brain can heal itself, a finding that seemed impossible a few decades ago.
- The healing system Innate intelligence is highly sensitive to outside conditions. Stress and emotional discomfort, for example, can severely compromise your ability to heal.
- Healing affects your genes and how they are expressed. An expressed gene is an active one, and this activity turns out to be far more responsive to your state of mind-body health than previously thought. The old image of fixed genes is rapidly changing to a conception in which the body’s genetic material is eavesdropping on all the experiences in your life. In short, a gene isn’t a thing; it’s a process.
- The healing system Innate intelligence is automatic, but your lifestyle choices make a huge difference in the efficiency of healing.
These factors hold true throughout your life, and if we simplify them to one sentence, this would be it: Change your life and you change your healing system. That may sound like the advice we get constantly about proper diet, exercise, and stress management. But with new evidence showing up every day that lifestyle affects an incurable disease like Alzheimer’s, for example, it’s becoming clear that your own healing system will always be the front-line defender of your well-being, not your doctor or the drug companies. So-called lifestyle diseases used to be restricted to conditions like heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes, where a link with improper diet was easily demonstrated. Now a wider range of disorders is being linked to lifestyle choices, not by one-to-one correlations but through more general trends. That is, no one can predict exactly which disease you might contract due to poor lifestyle choices, but at the same time, reversing those poor choices has a broad effect in improving your power to heal.
Some recent statistics bring home how crucial it is to rely on the healing system your body’s own innate intelligence rather than the healthcare system:
- 58 million Americans are overweight; 40 million obese; 3 million morbidly obese
- Eight out of 10 people over 25 are overweight
- 78% of Americans don’t meet basic activity level recommendations
- 25% are completely sedentary
- 76% increase in Type II diabetes in adults 30-40 years old since 1990
The statistic that really jumps out has to do with sedentary lifestyles. We are addicted to sitting on the couch watching beautiful, slim, fit actors and athletes on television, with a steady increase in other sedentary activities like surfing the Internet and playing video games. In addition, these activities are reaching into younger age groups, making children less active and therefore more inclined to obesity. Yet the simple fact is that the alternative to being sedentary isn’t joining a gym. The greatest benefit of exercise occurs when you move from being sedentary to light activity like walking, doing housework, gardening, and climbing the stairs. Exercise at higher levels will bring increased benefits, certainly, but this first step brings the biggest single improvement in health. Being sedentary is more harmful to you than forgetting to jog three times a week. In addition, at least one study has shown that when overweight adults are put into groups that walk, jog, or run every day, the group that lost the most weight were the walkers.
Thrashing out health care reform is a defining issue for the coming decade and an inescapable duty. Having said that, I urge you to look inward rather than outward. The most perfect health care system can’t do as much for you, on a daily basis, or do it as cheaply as your own healing system innate intelligence. The evidence is there, waiting to be acted upon.
Authors Note: In the interest of maintaining the integrity of the original article, all occurrences were substituted equally.
The Georgia Council of Chiropractic, The Georgia Chiropractic Association and Life University, in order to develop a “Unity of Purpose” and a strong working relationship in the state of Georgia, embarked upon a project to develop a common, agreed upon definition of chiropractic. The resulting document was signed by the Presidents of the organizations, and those members of the committee who had worked together to finalize the language.
The document reads as follows:
THE FOUNDATIONAL TENETS OF CHIROPRACTIC
We embrace the concept that chiropractic philosophy, chiropractic science, chiropractic art, chiropractic technique, chiropractic diagnosis and spinal subluxation complex denote areas of ongoing research, continuing intra- and inter-professional dialogue and growing understanding.
We embrace the philosophy that life is intelligent. The human body possesses the inherent potential to maintain itself in a natural state of homeostasis through its innate, inborn intelligence.
We maintain that the science of chiropractic emphasizes the relationship between structure, primarily of the spinal column, and the nervous system, and how that relationship affects function and health. Implicit within this statement are the significance of the nervous system to health and the effect of the spinal subluxation complex upon the whole body.
We hold that all chiropractors should recognize the value of all phases of patient care, including condition-based care, health care and developmental care, as well as both therapeutic and non-therapeutic approaches to patient care. Individual chiropractors may choose to focus on one phase of patient care, one demographic segment of the patient population or one area of chiropractic expertise. They may also choose to become a certified specialist in one particular facet of chiropractic. Such specialization should require advanced, post-graduate education.
We recognize that:
· The primary clinical objective of chiropractic is the enhancement of human health through the adjustment of the subluxation, and that;
· Diagnostic expertise in chiropractic should focus on differential diagnosis of spinal subluxation complex, with other conditions assessed at a level of diagnosis appropriate for chiropractic management, or intra- and inter-professional referral, (referential diagnosis), and that;
· Spinal subluxation complex involves at the least biomechanical and related neurological dysfunction, and that;
· “Adjustment” in chiropractic refers to a specific spinal manipulation directed toward the objective of the reduction or correction of spinal subluxation or extra-spinal subluxation complex .
We recognize that core chiropractic competencies include:
Patient assessment, diagnosis, adjustment, patient education, management, referral, and co-management.
We maintain that chiropractic care incorporates the use of diagnostic and adjustive procedures when indicated, including some or all of the following:
- Patient history
- Physical examination
- Examination for spinal or extra-spinal subluxation complex
- Biomechanical functional assessment
- Laboratory and imaging studies
- Spinal and/or extremity adjustment
- Chiropractic case management
- Spinal Hygiene
- Patient education
- Participation in coordinated care
We maintain that chiropractic care focuses primarily on the chiropractic adjustment. Procedures ancillary to this and the other core chiropractic competencies are and should remain optional components of the practice of chiropractic.
These ancillary procedures may include some or all of the following:
- Spinal/extremity manipulation
- Nutritional supplementation
This list is not intended to be inclusive of all services ancillary to chiropractic that may fall within the scope of chiropractic licensure of a particular jurisdiction.
We hold that the conservative essence of the practice of chiropractic is not consistent with the performance of surgery or prescribing, administering, or dispensing of pharmaceuticals.
We further hold that the full spectrum of chiropractic practice from broad-scope to focused-scope will be defended equally, vigorously and pro-actively in order to protect the rights of all chiropractors to practice in the manner and method they deem appropriate within the law.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome and are very much appreciated.