We’ve grown up in a society full of problem solvers and quick fixes. We can order a meal directly to our living room if we are hungry or get the latest gadget from bol.com with a delivery time of under 2 hours. We can call our internet provider to immediately diagnose what’s wrong with our wifi, or send someone a Tikkie and receive the money that’s owed to us in seconds. All these are wonderful advancements in technology, and at the same time I wonder what it’s doing to our mindset when we can get almost anything we want at the click of a button.
It’s a very human trait to come up with an answer to a problem that we are currently facing. While you are sitting reading this, I would hazard a guess that practically every item you see in your immediate environment is the result of a clever person or team somewhere coming up with a better way to give you what you need. The problem with this, is that this mentality also extends to our health.
Let’s face it, no-one likes being in pain. It’s an experience that everyone across the entire world can understand. It crosses cultures, borders and age groups. We can see the unmistakable signs of it on someone’s face in the blink of an eye, and can literally feel it inside our bodies when we see others hurting. A part of life comes with suffering, and no-one is immune.
Enter the invention of the pain killer. The simple act of swallowing a little pill that has the potential to relieve us from our suffering. It’s brilliant, and it ticks all the boxes of what we as humans seek. A quick answer to the problem currently facing us, with minimum effort and little cost. It seems too be good to be true! Well, it is.
Have you ever stopped to question why you may be experiencing pain? What is its purpose? The answer is simple; it’s a natural response to avoid damaging your tissues. When you accidentally touch a hot stove, your hand jerks back immediately before you have even registered what’s happening. That’s the purpose of pain. You are hard-wired to protect yourself from threats so beautifully that you don’t even have to think about it.
Chiropractic’s paradigm on health is to support the natural healing power of the body. So, if pain is natural, do we want to take it away by popping a pill? By now you probably guessed that the answer is a resounding NO! And here are three reasons why:
1. The pain has a purpose
And that is to protect you. If you artificially take away the pain, you also take away your body’s natural ability to protect itself. If you can’t bend down to tie up your shoes without getting low back pain, then it’s because the body wants you to be very careful completing this task. If you can’t sit at a computer for hours on end without getting tension in your shoulders, it’s because your body is asking you to take a break. We want to be able to listen to these warning signals. If we don’t listen to the warning signals when they are whispering, we are going to have to listen to them when they are shouting.
2. Pain killers are toxic chemicals
They are made in a lab by scientists in white coats. Putting artificial chemicals into our body disrupts the natural chemical processes that are happening inside us every second of every day. A study conducted in the Netherlands showed that taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like diclofenac at high doses more than doubles the risk of a major heart event. Another study conducted in Denmark showed that risk of heart attack when taking ibuprofen increased by 31%. The number of people in the Netherlands prescribed heavy opiate painkillers has risen 55% in the past seven years. These are the same painkillers driving the epidemic in the USA that led to 47,600 opioid overdoses in 2017. Scary stuff.
3. We become disconnected from our bodies
In the fast-paced modern world, we are spending far too much time in our minds and not enough time grounded in our bodies. We don’t listen to what our bodies are telling us and if we continue to turn off these messages it will only continue to make that harder. We want to learn to trust, respect and value our bodies with the mentality that we can’t just upgrade to a shiny new one as with the latest iPhone.
Chiropractic is the natural way to relieve pain, by helping your body heal at its best so that you no longer have a need for any warning signals. When the smoke alarm is blaring, the first thing you do is find the source of the smoke and deal with the problem before your house burns down. Ideally, you do this before the problem has grown beyond your control and you have to call the fire brigade for help.
Doctors and surgeons are the fire brigade of the medical world. They will save your life if it’s necessary, and are extremely skilled at this. However, their focus is not on helping you live a healthier life, so you need to put your energy into this yourself.