One reason the health and well-being of the public suffers today is that most people do not truly understand what health really is. Therefore that which they believe cannot possibly be true, and that which they do for their health cannot completely work. Only through understanding what health really is can you actually create the right wellness philosophy and look for what really are the correct lifestyle approaches.
So what is health?
The basic, core definition of health is described as a state of “normal function.” So ultimately, if you wish to begin seeking health you must first find out what it is that causes you to function normally (or optimally).
Interest in biking, swimming, running, doing yoga, lifting weights, taking supplements, and eating the right diet for your body type has reached a historic high. This recent fitness and nutrition fascination has been perpetuated by the current realization many are coming to that it is vital to play an active role in your health if you plan on keeping it or getting it back. All of these activities and many more:
- Enhance the overall well-being of your body
- Help you to overcome and prevent illness
- Give you energy
- Improve your appearance
- Can lengthen your life
Yet, none of these cause you to function. Case in point: taking a corpse out for a long bike ride or feeding it vitamin C does nothing to create health or function.
To find what really causes you to function you have to go to your anatomy and not to the gym or the health food store. What “causes” function is the Central Nervous System or CNS. The CNS is composed of the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves and it totally controls all functions and healing in the human body. As the central generator of all life, it needs maximum protection. Thus, the CNS is located inside the armor-like bones of the spinal column and skull.
To have “normal function”–and as a result be considered healthy–the Central Nerve System must work without damage or interference. The most common, and in fact very likely way, to interfere or cause damage to the Central Nervous System is with the spine. “Abnormal” position of the head and spine and subluxation (misalignment of individual vertebrae) will interfere with the CNS. This interference will cause the organs of the body not to function or heal “normally.” By definition, the result is abnormal or less than optimal health.
Vital information travels from the brain and spinal cord to all of the parts of the body. But, not only does information travel down the nerve, but at the same time information from the peripheral parts of the body is being sent back to the brain and spinal cord. When this information is interfered with, a problem arises in the body.
–Daniel J. Murphy, DC; Spinal Biomechanics, Harrison, 1992, p.366
Before any body part or any body function can be described as “normal” or “abnormal,” healthy or unhealthy, we must first have a clear definition of what “normal” is. For example, if normal blood pressure is 120/80, then a person with blood pressure of 150/100 would have high, “abnormal” blood pressure. In only the last few years medical, anatomical, mathematical and engineering researchers have been able to clearly define “normal” spinal alignment. This research has been published in the world’s most prestigious medical journals and presented at the leading spinal symposiums around the world.
There are two proven ways to evaluate normal or abnormal spinal alignment:
- Postural examination (posture is the window to the spine)
When looking at a person from the front, the spine must be straight. The head, shoulders, hips and feet should be lined up. When looking at a person from the side, the ears should be back over the shoulders and the shoulders should be back over the pelvis.
Your posture and spine are abnormal if:
- Your head is visibly tilted, shifted or rotated in one direction.
- Your head is jutted out in front of your chest and shoulders.
- One hip is higher than the other, turned in one direction, or shifted to one side.
- One shoulder is higher than the other, turned in one direction, or your whole upper body is shifted to one side.
In any case of abnormal posture, there is interference or damage being caused to your Central Nervous System.