Misconceptions of Health

The fact that people claim they are healthy when they are actually incredibly sick is something that I continue to find amazing.  Most people just do not have a concept of what being healthy truly is.

Recently, I had a consultation with a lady  that came to see me because her right shoulder and hip were in pain. Granted, most people think chiropractic is some kind of physical therapy treatment, but readers of my column and those who know me understand that chiropractic is a whole body approach to health. Medical people have their ideas about health and how to treat illness, and chiropractors have a different philosophy.

Since we do have a different viewpoint, I take the time in my practice to teach all my new patients this form of healthcare.  I would like them to understand that health is not about the presence or absence of symptoms but rather how the body functions. Symptoms are not necessarily s sign of illness but more often a communication from the body that says something needs to be changed. They are warning signs that need to be heeded, not treated. Health is defined by how the body functions, not necessarily how one feels, and if loss of function is occurring, there is a loss of health. This can happen without the presence of symptoms.

The lady that visited my office had a history of a hip replacement and two episodes of breast cancer. I performed my exam on her and we were discussing the results.  Based on what I found I told her that it was going to take at least 2 years to rehabilitate her to a state of greater health, which she found shocking. She just wanted me to “fix her spine and shoulder” and thought that it would only take a few visits. Once again I explained to her that “fixing” parts of the body is not what this is about. The changes in her shoulder and spine were due to a lifetime of having sick nerve system (i.e. operating system) that affected every aspect of her being. She then said, “I just don’t see why i need to have all that treatment I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN VERY HEATHY (emphasis mine).” I told her that anyone who has ever had cancer cannot sit here and tell me that they are healthy. Healthy people do not get cancer.

This brings me to my point: She is not alone in this form of thinking.  Over and over again, I hear people tell me that they are missing organs from surgeries, they are on medications for various maladies, they have a history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc…but they are healthy.


Do they claim they are healthy because they are not dead? At what point do people think they are sick?

It’s sad to think that people judge their health on whether or not they have pain.  If not having pain is a sign of health, then the cemetery is full of very healthy people.  What people need to realize is that this is the only body that is given to you.  You have to listen to it, take care of it, and be aware of what it is trying to tell you. If you don’t, your body will slowly shut down.  Then what will you do?