In this article, I would like to discuss some ideas about holistic care, family health, and how the two can combine into a cohesive treatment protocol.
All doctors address the myriad of problems we all face day to day. Homeostasis (a healthy balance of bodily function) is the ideal goal each doctor seeks for a patient’s health. The natural health care practitioner, in particular, strives to establish healthy bodily function as the primary defense against illness, by addressing any dysfunctions of our bodily healing and defense mechanisms. Illnesses which have reached an irreparable or pathological condition should be referred to a medical doctor or specialist. For example, acute conditions such as bone fractures, lacerations and burns, require medications or surgery. Yet, poor health due to simple dysfunction can often be helped in a natural fashion.
In holistic health care, while addressing one aspect of health, overall health is often simultaneously benefited as well. This can be explained by the somatovisceral reflex, a fancy way of saying that the same nerves that go to nearby muscles also go to nearby organs. Thus, the musculoskeletal system and various internal organs are invariably hooked up to each other via the nervous system. For example if someone has a sweet tooth, the latissimus dorsi muscles, located in the back and shoulders can become deficient as well. This is because these muscles are neurologically associated with the pancreas, which produces insulin for blood sugar regulation, and excess sugar consumption can place a strain upon the pancreas. That means that too much sugar can sometimes elicit shoulder and back pain! Another example is the relationship between the small intestines and the abdominal muscles. In this case, food sensitivities can trigger low back pain as well.
The nervous system is the connector between all the various muscle and organs in the body. In addition to that, the brain has evolved into the keystone of the nervous system as a whole. The brain, and thus the mind, involves comprehension, attention span, focusing ability, moods, memory and emotions. It stands to reason, then, (and is a well known fact explained by psychoneuroimmuendocrinology—whew!), that our minds influence our bodily health, and vice-versa.
(Dr. Richard Hanson, chiropractor in Jamestown, New York, can be reached at (716)664-0445. Most major insurances are now being accepted.)