Natural Living: Helping Patients Navigate Their Health Journey
By Richard A. Ochsmann, DC
"It happens no other way." How many of us have this motivational poster in our office? You know the one with the clouds as seen by an ascending aircraft. Great saying, but do you really believe it and, if so, do you integrate that philosophy into your practice skills and management? Do you integrate that philosophy into your own health challenges? I have done both and it has changed my life and practice.
Our three children have all been born at home. Why? Because my wife and I think child birth is a natural process, not a medical condition. The incidence of complications in a home birth are less than one percent, while hospital births have a complication rate of 40 percent to 60 percent depending on the region. The choice was clear to us.
How many people end their life journey at a hospital? Most in this country, but isn't death also a natural phenomenon? I don't know about you, but I want to experience the life process the way nature intended. I don't want to spend my last few moments on this earth in a subdued state or worse yet, being cut, shocked and beaten. They could save (or should I say extend my life) and under some circumstances that could be very desirable, but many times they just prolong a way overdue departure.
I know this is pretty heavy stuff, but I'd like to share with you what just happened to one of my employees last week. She was working night shifts watching and medicating a 101 year-old man. He was bedridden, barely conscious and was in this semi-vegetative state for the last 14 months. Three weeks ago, he ended up in ICU in full life support and just yesterday they pulled the plug. It was a financial decision. Now I know you think I'm saying pulling the plug was the financial decision, but keeping him alive so long was. What drives these decisions? Is it fear? Is it money? Is it the best of intentions? Love? Or is it a misunderstanding of the natural processes of the body, how it's made, how it's maintained and how it repairs itself?
Science holds strongly to the (fact) that the human body is made from the information held in the human genome. When they first started the human genome project, they estimated the human genome would carry as many as two million protein coding genes, based on the fact that a common roundworm has 20,000 protein coding genes. What they found was the human genome has roughly 20,000 protein coding genes, just like the roundworm. The truth is the human genome does not have the storage capacity to hold a blueprint for a human being. Where is the blueprint? Science cannot even explain how the material world works, let alone how any living thing has come to being! Let me really get this point across: science has no idea how the body is constructed, how it functions intelligently or how it's maintained! The Holy Grail was the human genome and that turned out to be as enlightening as the explanation neurology has for consciousness, which is basically nothing.
The human body is made of 60 to 90 trillion cells and accomplishes billions of chemical reactions every second! I don't know about you, but I need a nap. The best way to approach the human body, and all living things for that matter, is to realize there are two types of matter, animate and inanimate. All living things (and that includes water) are animate. Animate matter is more than the sum of its parts or its molecules and it behaves differently than inanimate matter, It becomes more organized (the growth of the body or a tree), whereas inanimate matter becomes less organized (drop a glass and watch what happens). In fact, another scientific theory, the chaos theory, does not apply to animate or living things. Even water does not behave like all other liquids, but expands both when frozen and heated.
What is the missing part or component that will explain the creation, growth and maintenance of the human body? It's not a solid structure we can seek and find, not even in our DNA. If we cannot find a structure, it must be energy or electricity or some sort of power, and that power is what essentially made the body by coordinating trillions of cells and that same power maintains and heals the body. Scientifically, what are the two most misunderstood and feebly explained systems of the body? The nervous system and the immune system. These two systems are responsible for making, organizing and healing the body. The reason these systems are so misunderstood is a philosophical one. The presence of some non-observable power which has intelligence far beyond any conscious thought, with the ability to control trillions of cells and processes actually debunks many scientific theories and or facts. And this power is what we chiropractors work with every day. Yes, I learned the vertebral subluxation complex at school, but science may never fully understand chiropractic. Understanding the awesome power which with we work so intimately is essential for all chiropractors.
My children own this knowledge and so do my patients and their children. The shift to living naturally is becoming more popular than ever. I recently had a discussion with a patient about health care and I asked him where he was from. He said Mexico. I then asked if he grew up in a small town. He said yes. I then asked him about the health of his family there and he said that his grandfather lived to be 106, died at home and was healthy his whole life, never took any drugs and only visited a doctor if he injured himself. I asked if he ate fast food. He said with a laugh, "no we didn't have that! We grew our own food and ground the corn, and raised the chickens; my grandfather worked the farm his whole life." As we spoke, I could see the realization in his eyes and he said, "we did live naturally, I don't know what happened." People are hungry for the truth, and they know it when they hear it, especially when they are the one talking.
Never underestimate the ability of the body to heal and never underestimate your ability to help your patients on their health journey. I always like to give them all the credit because I truly know that the power that made the body heals the body.
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