“Everything we know in this world is ‘contingent,’ has a cause outside of itself.” - Timothy Keller
As a Chiropractic patient you might be asking yourself: “If health occurs within, performed by the Innate Intelligence of the body; then what’s my role in the whole thing? What’s the Chiropractor’s role? Do the things I do even matter?”
Health does come from the inside-out and your body has the potential to heal from almost anything. We always need to be aware of that; but we also need to be as conscious as possible about the things we do from the outside. The source of our inborn healing is limitless, but the matter that comprises our body is limited. The body is intelligent but can only work with the materials it has. Just being subluxation-free and working at your greatest potential doesn’t mean you can lay on the couch for 8 hours every day, smoke pack after pack of cigarettes, eat nothing but junk food, and not expect to have any consequences from it. Will your body function better subluxation-free if you are doing all these things? Absolutely. But that is not a true proactive approach to your health. Just waiting for a subluxation to occur is still relying on a “sickcare” model and not a “wellcare” model of health.
Dr. B.J. Palmer, the developer of Chiropractic, wrote extensively on many aspects of Chiropractic health throughout his lifetime, one topic in particular is called Survival Value. Survival Value is the success rate of our body’s ability to adapt throughout our lifetime. It can be constructive or destructive in accumulation; involving our thoughts, words, and actions. These thoughts, words, and actions, can be labeled as “experiences.” These life experiences can be positive or negative from origin to outcomes. Choosing to think positive or negative thoughts, say kind or mean words, or act compassionately or cruelly; all have an impact on how our bodies work and function. Dr. Palmer once put this relationship as such:
“Accumulative Constructive Survival Value and Accumulative Destructive Survival Value: meaning that what uses a person makes of his time- thinking, saying, and doing- are ACCUMULATIVE, day after day, year after year; and as they accumulate they are either CONSTRUCTIVE for welfare of man, or DESTRUCTIVE, injuring people with whom he commingled.”
Or to put it more simply:
“Imagine that health is a balance sheet; choose to add or subtract from this by making positive or negative choices.” - Rob Sinnott, D.C.
The old adage “You are what you eat” is essentially true. In addition to that: “You are what you think,” and just as important: “You are what your Nerve System is.” This line of understanding makes up a very simply law: every effect has a cause, and every cause has effects. Chiropractic is founded on this cause and effect principle. You can use this cause and effect principle to produce or reduce health.
The mission of Innate Intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a “living thing” in active organization (Principle 21). Your Nerve System is the main organ and vessel that your Innate Intelligence uses to maintain the material of your body in active organization. Health is the result of active organization. Health is the effect of our Innate Intelligence’s cause for organization. There are three main outside causes that effect how the body works; they are physical, chemical, and emotional in nature. It is these three outside causes that are met by our internal cause for organization, from our Innate Intelligence. All three of these outside causes (physical, chemical, and emotional) can be labeled as External Invading Forces. Those External Invading Forces are met by a force found inside all of us that responds and adapts to them by resisting them. This force is called your Internal Resistive Force. The stamina of your Internal Resistive Force predetermines by how well your body will respond and adapt to the External Invading Force.
One example of an Internal Resistive Force is the act of shivering when you are cold. The cold air hitting the skin is an example of an External Invading Force. To combat the cold air and prevent the internal temperature of your body to drop below its normal range, Innate Intelligence will send an Internal Resistive Force to your skeletal muscles to begin to contract in small movements. These small contractions expel energy and create warmth. Homeostasis, or functional balance, stabilizes.
There is a limit to Internal Resistive Forces because there is a limit to the matter that the Innate Intelligence uses to convey its messages. We can shiver only to a point to maintain homeostasis; if the body tissues can’t replenish the heat lost faster or on par with the exposure of cold, damage or injury starts to occur. One extreme example of this is frostbite.
Inside your body, the system that responds to these demand and supply forces is the Nerve System. When functional demand equals functional supply and vice versa, we have ease or health in the body. If we have an obstruction to this demand and supply relationship, the body functions without ease or is in a state of “dis-ease.” A specific “dis-ease” that Chiropractors focus on, is the vertebral subluxation. A vertebral subluxation is when a vertebrae loses its proper juxtaposition with the one above or the one below, or both; to an extent less than a dislocation. This loss of proper juxtaposition occludes an opening through which nerves pass and produces pressure upon nerves. This pressure interferes with a Mental Impulse that is being transmitted by the nerves. A Mental Impulse is the unit of mental force produced by your Innate Intelligence for a specific tissue cell for a specific occasion; a special message to a tissue cell for the present instant. One example of a mental force unit is the Internal Resistive Force. When a subluxation is present, there is an interference to this Internal Resistive Force. When there is an interference to your Internal Resistive Force, your potential to combat External Invading Forces is diminished.
Dr. Fred Barge hit the nail on the head with his One Cause/One Cure axiom for health and disease. He brought together the internal and external cause and really pinpointed its relationship:
“One Cause: The one cause is the body’s inability to recognize itself and/or its environment and to respond appropriately to demand and supply.
One Cure: The one cure is the restoration of the body’s natural ability to heal itself by the removal of what was obstructing it to do so.”