May The Fourth Be With You
Today is the unofficial holiday for Star Wars Fanatics across the world, and with only a few short weeks until the next Star Wars movie is released, I began to think about the “The Force” and how it relates to chiropractic. According to the movies, “The Force” is a sort of metaphysical energy or power that flows throughout everyone. This supernatural flow of energy is similar to chi in oriental medicine and other vitalistic principles. When chiropractic is concerned, this flow of energy is often called Innate Intelligence.
Innate intelligence is the intelligence wired into you that governs every single act in your body. Every single chemical reaction, every tissue formation, and every bacterial invasion that is fought off is controlled and coordinated by this innate intelligence. Every living thing has an innate intelligence. That is what causes an orange tree, an oak tree, and a palm tree to all grow out of a little seed. It is also what causes a dog, a lion, and an elephant to all form from a single celled organism. It is the innate intelligence in each one of those plants and animals that causes them to be what they become.
Innate Intelligence, or Innate for short, is an energy or force that is responsible for healing the body. This force begins in the brain and travels down the spinal cord and out to the tissues of the body instructing the body to function properly. The Innate travels through the nervous system in a Above-Down, Inside Out pattern, and when the flow is unobstructed, it can fight off disease and heal tissue. However, dealing with the physical, emotional, and chemical stress of our everyday lives, sometimes begins to affect our posture, muscles, discs, and joints. These changes in our bodies can then put pressure on the nerves which then can limit the flow of Innate to the body, referred to as a subluxation, and lead to dis-ease and illness.
While this is a difficult concept to follow, and in an effort to connect the dots between chiropractic and western medicine, I like to think of Innate as the force that drives homeostasis. Homeostasis is the process by which your body maintains its internal environment. This process is responsible for maintaining your bodies’ temperature, pH, regulating immune response, balancing fluids and nutrients. Homeostasis keeps your body functioning at its best and keeps you healthy by regulating tissue repair, the removal of waste, absorption of vital nutrients, and fighting off disease. If homeostasis were to become dysfunctional, similar to the flow of Innate, the body can not be strong enough to defend against illnesses (colds/flu), or it can be too strong and attack itself (autoimmune disease), or it can improperly regulate normal cell division and cell death (cancer).
Regardless of how you want to define “The Force”, it is clear that your body has something keeping you going. That is why I also like to think about this healing power as a battery. Each day you wake up and you have a finite amount of healing energy, and everything you do that day can affect the battery in one way or another. Eating poorly, smoking, or excessive alcohol will draw on the battery to process the junk food and chemicals from your body. Physical activity, whether that is exercise, manual labor, or repetitive tasks, will withdraw some energy to repair and build muscle. Poor posture and emotional stress also tax the system to the point that the body no longer has enough energy to manage and aches and pains begin to show up.
And that is where chiropractic treatment comes back into play. We are facilitating the healing of injured muscles, training away muscle imbalances, improving posture, or removing pressure from your nerves and allowing your energy to focus on other things. Chiropractic helps to maximize your function and keep you healthy and pain free. So get adjusted and let “The Force be strong” within you.