The Definition of Health
Health is a normal adaptation process to healthy stress that results in a healthy body. The definition of health is all about if you’re body is working properly and able to adapt to eustress! If you follow a good diet, exercise, sleep well, take good care of your mental wellbeing, and ensure that your nerve system is working as-close-as-possible to its optimum capacity (which is what Upper Cervical care is all about!), it enables for you to be in the best state that you can possibly be.
Health is the normal adaptive process to stress signals ... but even healthy responses do not always feel good. Pay very close attention to the definition of health that I did not mention anything about how you feel. The classic example I give is that of food poisoning.
You accidentally ingest something contaminated by a pathological strand of bacteria, and an hour or so later you have a chill with stuff coming out of both ends. I doubt you're having a good time at all, and yet I would make the case that what you are experiencing is both a normal and healthy response!
Consider the name of what you are experiencing: food poisoning. You've been poisoned! And look at what your body has done: it has kicked your immune system into ultra-high gear, and caused such massive changes with your digestive system that you will have this poison out of your system the fastest possible way.
It doesn't change that it's a horrible process to go through, but a healthy one. Consider the alternative. When you start to feel the indigestion, you decide to mask it with medication: e.g., liquid pink plastic, that lines the interior of your stomach so that your brain is never aware of the noxious substance that has just entered your body.
So if you've blocked the signals, now instead of this stuff being forcefully evacuated from your body, it enters your small intestine where it is absorbed into your body. Now what? Well, it stays there not just for 24 hours but longer and with the potential to cause more serious damage in the long run now. So with that understanding of the definition of health - and that not all healthy processes actually feel good- now we can now consider the definition of disease.
The Definition of Disease
With such a complex piece of machinery that is the human body, even a 1% loss of its normal function multiplied over time like compound interest can cause serious, deleterious effects. In traditional chiropractic terms, this type of process is called “accumulative destructive survival value.”
The way that your body works is that it does not project longterm consequence to changes that it makes in the moment. It can only make changes based on the current input (stress) it receives. Garbage in, garbage out.
Disease is a normal process as your body adapts to pathological stress. Think about it: what good does it do to plan for the future 10 years away if you won’t survive the next 5 minutes? You may be familiar with the expression “garbage in, garbage out.”
That is essentially what we’re talking about here. Health is the state of “gold in, gold out.” The disease is the exact opposite. But you know what? Both are NORMAL PROCESSES - NORMAL ADAPTATIONS - to the relative type of stress that you’ve put your body through.
The disease is a normal adaptation process to pathological stress that results in a pathological body. A lousy diet, lack of exercise, poor sleep, high levels of distress … all of these stresses require the body to adapt in certain ways in order to survive at the moment.
Among the changes are the creation of an acidic environment that depends exclusively on anaerobic metabolism, the byproducts of which are oxidants that produce body inflammation. So how does the body adapt? By producing intracellular changes that can survive in this type of environment!
And that is a normal response! The problem as I stated before is that these types of changes, multiple over years or decades lead to very dark places: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, bowel disease, arthritis, and almost every type of malady that you can think of!
But you know what - and this is the controversial kicker! - these diseases are all normal adaptations to the types of distress that you have knowingly or unknowingly put into your body. You cannot expect a healthy outcome by continuously doing bad things to yourself or by tricking your body with medication. Two wrongs don't make a right ... Polish a turd, and it's still a turd!
Turning Garbage into Gold
Based on what we’ve just described, do you think it's possible to turn garbage into gold? i.e., that you can abuse your body for years-on-end and expect anything besides disease. Of course not! And that is the fairytale and delusion that unfortunately so many people believe.
They believe that the solution for their cancer, diabetes, heart disease, bowel disease, arthritis, etc can be found in a magic pill, prescription or surgery. Granted, those procedures might be necessary to SAVE YOUR LIFE … but ONLY so that your body may have the opportunity to reverse the damage IF - and ONLY IF - those pathological stresses that you have been putting into your body are immediately eliminated.
Then, even a 1% improvement over time (aka “accumulative constructive survival values) can have substantial improvements restoring your body from disease to health.
So How Does Gold Turn into Garbage?
You may be wondering about people - maybe even yourself - where you swear that you do everything right and you’re still suffering some type of issue. What about you? Hold did the gold turn into garbage. We are now talking about a completely different process that may get you the same end result, but that requires a completely different solution.
In the previous instances, we talked about how both health and disease are normal responses based on the stress that is put into the system. However, we are now talking about a condition where your body is NOT producing an appropriate response to eustress, which is leading to a state of disharmony in the body.
To conclude this discussion on the definition of health, I need to introduce two final and commonly misdefined words: condition and incoordination (which is also called “dis-ease” and is not the same as a disease) ... and I will explain how this fits into the purpose of chiropractic and its role in the restoration and maintenance of health.