"A Message of Vital Importance"
Hello, my friends.
"The most tender place in my heart is for strangers."
- Neko Case
A regular reader of these columns will have figured out by now that I sometimes get inspiration from young songwriters.They often seem to have a perspective on life that is fresh, yet timeless.And so it is with the above lyrics from Ms. Case.
When I sit down to write my monthly article, I try to go to a place inside myself that is both intensely personal and, in another sense, universal.And the group I'm trying to reach is that mass of humanity "out there," the one sometimes referred to as "the people."At least at that moment, I actually do my best to care deeply about millions of perfect strangers.So, in that way, when it comes to my highest vision and mission as a doctor, I can relate to Neko's words.
Nothing could possibly thrill or fulfill me more than to somehow reach out to the entire world with a message that is vitally important, and one that people desperately need to hear.Many are suffering and dying needlessly every day, all over the planet, when all they need is a paradigm shift, a simple change in their way of thinking, an upgrade in their understanding of the well-established truths and the latest information about the causes of health and disease.
An Uphill Struggle
If you go home tonight after work, grab something to eat, climb into your La-Z-Boy and reach for the remote control, do me a favor:pay attention to the commercials on TV.Over half of them will be drug ads, and over half of those will be for prescription drugs that require you to "ask your doctor" for this or that pill (we're one of only two countries in the world that allow direct marketing of prescription drugs to consumers).If you think about it, it really places "your doctor" in a difficult position - after all, he/she is charged with the sober responsibility of evaluating your condition and determining, based on his/her professional expertise, what (if anything) you need.Yet, at least one study showed that doctors are 17 times more likely to prescribe a requested drug.
Prime-time television advertising is not cheap.Millions of dollars are being spent, because billions of dollars in profit are being made.We certainly can't count on the pharmaceutical industry to tell us that health doesn't come in a bottle, and if you went to your doctor with a cold or the flu or virtually any other symptom, and didn't come away with a prescription, many of you would be very upset, despite the fact thatdrugs are neither indicated nor necessary in the vast majority of cases, and that all medications (even the over-the-counter ones) have potentially serious side-effects, especially when taken repeatedly over a period of months or years.That goes for Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, antibiotics, and yes, even the good ole' aspirin.
The Proper Perspective
There's certainly a time and place for almost everything, including drugs and surgery.Personally, I'm missing my appendix (though I stubbornly refused to seek medical care until it ruptured, which could have killed me).I've also had bilateral hernia repair (when I reached the point where I could barely work), and arthroscopic knee surgery (after consulting 8 other chiropractors first).And I must honestly say that if I'm hurting badly enough, I'm no hero - I'll take a pill.
But I still know that the vast majority of medications and medical procedures are over-utilized (especially the best-sellers and the biggest profit-makers), and that they all have a down side.I know that surgery should always be a last resort (as my good surgeon friends all agree).I know that many of the most common and expensive health problems are lifestyle-related, and that we can't expect to practice self-destructive behaviors without paying the price for those poor choices.And I know that my profession must lead the Wellness Revolution, because when you think about it, too many others just have too much to lose by speaking out and telling the truth.
The Best Kept Secret
Finally, and most importantly, I know something that the great mass of humanity does not know:I know that the work my chiropractic colleagues and I are doing every day can literally and dramatically change the world.I know that "vertebral subluxations" interfere with the brain and nervous system, disrupting the body's ability to comprehend and respond to its environment.They prevent normal function.They keep the body from healing itself.They compromise the immune system, reducing our capacity to fight our own infections.They hold us back from the achievement of our highest potential as human beings.They usually do not cause pain.Essentially everyone has them to some degree.And only chiropractors are trained to locate, specifically analyze, and reduce them.
Sounds pretty convenient for us, doesn't it?A major cause of all the world's problems, and only we know how to fix it?Obviously, it's pretty hard to "preach" the chiropractic "message" without sounding blatantly self-serving.But I'll keep doing it anyway (since I can't count on the drug companies to do it for me).Who knows - maybe some " strangers" out there are looking for some answers, and will hear, and understand, and act.Who knows when a life might be changed.I'll save you a "tender place" in my heart.
Wishing you health, happiness and peace,
Dr. Frank Bowling