Understanding Dis-ease From Another Perspective
Disease is not something to be feared, but rather understood as a natural adaptation to negative stress. Many people think that the flu season, for example, is like a game of roulette—that it’s a matter of chance whether or not we “catch the bug.” But this is a narrow view that takes only one piece of an intricately balanced picture into consideration, namely microorganisms. Our cultural hyper-focus on “pathogens” in the environment has resulted in a fearful victim mentality, and it’s now preventing people from taking greater control of their health.
With some key concepts and practices, health can become much more a matter of choice than we have been led to believe. As we move through the flu season, let’s consider some of these key concepts, and see how they contribute to greater health and resilience.
Two Kinds of Stress
Most people are aware of the negative effect stress has on health. Numerous studies show that overwhelming stress leads to dysfunction and disease. However, fewer people know that there are two kinds of stress: distress and eustress. The first causes dis-ease and illness, and the second builds resilience. What we need to recognize in order to improve our health on a basic and profound level is that we each have a choice whether stress harms or benefits us.
Many people intuitively understand eustress, even if they have not heard the term before. They know that challenges can build character, for example, or that grief can lead to witnessing beauty, or that learning hard lessons makes us smarter and more prepared. Overcoming these challenges makes us more resilient. Our ability to resolve our stresses depends on our state of mind and the underlying nervous system function of the body.
The Nervous System’s Natural Habitat
The nervous system is the central processing center of the body housed by the spine and cranium and comprising millions and millions of neurons that send and receive electrical signals. It forms our perceptions of the world and maintains healthy biological function all the way down to the cellular level. The nervous system does a whole lot.
The best way to understand the nervous system for practical purposes is to see it in its natural habitat. The nervous system evolved for millennia in a specific natural context that includes natural rhythms in the environment. These natural rhythms sustain and guide the nervous system. Sunrise, sunset, seasonal changes, lunar tides, and countless internal biological cycles determine so much about our ability to express health when we are coherent with them. Along with this symphony of rhythms there is something else that’s of paramount importance—the goal-directed activities that comprise our lives, which we have evolved to experience within the context of a close-knit tribe or familial community.
Despite all our social advancements and improved standards of living, it has become more difficult to adapt to stress. Why? Because we have lost something vital along the way from “primitive man” to modern man. While we have life-saving technologies, people are becoming chronically ill. To understand this, we need to remember our nervous system’s natural habitat. We need to remember the importance of reconnecting with the natural source of our health and the importance of being together as we face challenges.
Improving Adaptation with Chiropractic
The nervous system has an incredible ability to function, adapt, and heal despite challenges. What is needed is not a reversion to some distant past, but a regeneration of our ability to adapt as we move forward, by restoring some key conditions, in the body and in our outer environment. One of the gravest symptoms of our modern culture is our tendency toward isolation and fear; these two states decimate the body’s ability to adapt.
Seeing this, we can begin to improve our situation right away. We can dissolve our perceptions and limiting beliefs that are culturally designed to make us afraid, and we can reconnect the nervous system to its natural state of function. The chiropractic adjustment allows us to reconnect in a powerful way to the source of healthy expression. It brings us to a new place of trust in our body’s ability to be well amid the ongoing stresses laid upon us.
Having failed to overcome disease through isolation and control, we remain fearful of it as a culture. Rather than more control, we need our bodies to adapt more effectively. Seeing disease as a function of stress opens up the horizon for improved adaptation, and chiropractic helps take us forward to exciting possibilities. Chiropractic is about supporting the ideal conditions for the nervous system to overcome stress. It can help us create a new dynamic in the body that changes our reactions to life experiences. For ourselves, our families, and our community, we can begin to make a lasting difference in our experience of health.
Health insurance costs are among the highest expenses facing most companies today, and they are getting higher. Projections suggest that costs will rise 6.5% in 2024. This situation is affecting everyone. But are companies focused on the right issues, on the right numbers? Are they getting the right care for employees? Can they see the forest for the trees?
Trust to Do What’s Right
Employers big and small that are already dealing with a highly competitive hiring market are considering their options when it comes to employee health benefits. As they do, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2023, 73% of Americans say they trust their employer to “do what is right when it comes to addressing health related needs and concerns.”
However, even when companies “do what is right,” nearly a third of Americans lack access to primary care services. Of those who do have access, 40% say they are delaying or avoiding care altogether because of financial costs—regardless of whether or not they are insured.
It is no secret that our healthcare system is broken. So, what are employers to do to maintain the trust of their existing employees, attract new ones, and be fiscally responsible to ensure their dollars create the desired result?
First, they need to be clear about what the desired result is. Being healthy and having health insurance are two very different things. And having health insurance doesn’t mean that allopathic health care is accessible or affordable.
Even the legal community sees this situation for what it is. According to the American Bar Association website:
In the United States, we cannot enjoy the right to health care. Our country has a system designed to deny, not support, the right to health. The United States does not really have a health care system, only a health insurance system.
The lack of a real health care system affects us all in a multitude of ways. Many people—with health insurance or not—make poor health choices or have poor options. This situation leads to people being sick, injured, and suffering unnecessarily. Meanwhile, productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost U.S. employers, according to the Centers for Disease Control, $225.8 billion annually.
It’s About Health
It’s time employers focus on the actual health of their employees, and to act accordingly. It is no secret that preventative care—keeping people healthy rather than waiting for them to become sick and then manage the problem—is better for the individual, their family and community, the employer, and the economy.
Better health results in higher life satisfaction and job satisfaction for the employee—and reduced costs and higher productivity for the business. There is no downside.
A Better Choice
Chiropractic care is an affordable, drug-free, non-invasive form of care. It offers effective crisis care for those experiencing pain and health challenges, as well as being an effective lifestyle choice for maintaining health. Studies show that regular chiropractic care strengthens the immune system, maintains flexibility and mobility, and decreases stress.
Focused on the health of the spine and nervous system, chiropractic care focuses on the root of whole body wellness, not symptoms. It is appropriate for all ages, from pediatric chiropractic care starting with the mother’s pregnancy and continuing after birth up until the last breath of life.
Luckily, while the US is experiencing a tremendous shortage of primary care physicians, chiropractic is the fastest growing primary care profession. In fact, since its inception over 125 years ago, chiropractors are the third largest group of medical practitioners. Here are some things you should know:
Chiropractors are recognized as physician-level providers in the vast majority of states and the federal Medicare program. The essential services they provide are available in federal health delivery systems, including those administered by Medicaid, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and state workers’ compensation programs.
Chiropractors treat more than 35 million Americans annually and that number is growing.
Studies show that visiting a chiropractor regularly reduces your pharmaceutical costs by 85% and cuts the likelihood of having to visit a hospital by 60%.
All the National Football teams have a chiropractor on staff to improve their performance. Additionally, many MLB, NHL, and NHL teams have on-staff chiropractors. Pro athletes in tennis, golf, and on US Olympic teams also seek out chiropractic care.
What do these elite athletes appreciate about this drug-free, non-invasive care that businesses should know about? It is proven to be exceptionally effective in pain management. It not only helps prevent injury but can effectively treat and reverse injuries. Chiropractic adjustment helps enhance performance—on and off the field or court—for athletes and non-athletes alike.
Now is the perfect time for employers to see the forest for the trees and start acting accordingly. Focus on the health of your employees. Look into the many ways chiropractic care can benefit you and your employees. Chiropractic organizations such as The 100 Year Lifestyle providers are ready to educate about how to best make services available to your team, no matter how big or how small.