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What Exactly Does “Healthy” Mean Anyway?

By Dr. Trina Ting

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) definition of health: “It is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”

World Health Day is noted by WHO every April 7, so this is an apt moment to discuss what health is and how we can be closer to that optimal state. I think going through a 3 year pandemic has shown us that even if you are COVID-free, if you are suffering from depression from the lockdowns, that you would be far from the optimal picture of health.

The truth is, chiropractic care when started and developed in the late 1800s, holds this as one of it’s core principles. Chiropractic doctors take an oath not simply do no harm, but here is part of the oath we take:

“I will light the way to the understanding of those natural laws which preserve the human body as a fitting temple of the soul."

“I will keep the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the sick as my foremost duty, ever searching for and correcting the cause of their disease.”

It is ingrained in us as chiropractors to look at the person as a whole physical, mental, and spiritual being. We cannot simply just treat your back: we need to take your physical findings into context with everything else going on in your life.

So how can you best utilize chiropractic care as one of the key steps to becoming truly healthy? Here are some tips you can use:

1. Consider not just the physical causes: I would estimate 50% of patients with sudden onset of symptoms tell me, “The pain just started out of nowhere.”

While physical causes are the first thing we look for, it’s not the last cause we examine. While we are not licensed psychologists or therapists, we will ask what has been going on in your life lately. Is there exceptional stress or a sudden life change? The human body can produce illness in various forms, most of which often shows up as pain somewhere in the body, during such times. We respect your privacy and would never discuss something you are not ready to talk about, but we are here to listen with empathy and to better understand how to get to the bottom of your symptoms. We cannot figure out “How” without fully understanding “Why”.

2. Have these symptoms been recurrent and ongoing for more than 6 weeks? If so, be prepared to wait for the healing process to show results and be prepared to do the work.

There is the long-held belief by some people who have never seen a chiropractor that chiropractic care requires unnecessary and lifetime visits. There are multiple things to consider about that myth, but with regards to truly achieving health (ie, not just getting rid of the symptoms), one must accept the fact that something that has taken weeks or years to appear, may take as long or longer, to go away. This does not mean that treatments don’t work. I repeat: this does NOT mean that treatments, whether it be physio, chiropractic, massage for example, don’t work. It means it takes time for the body to heal. You have to do the right things in addition to treatments: it means do the stretches, the breathing exercises, take the proper supplements. There is no such thing as a miracle cure in two weeks, but there is the miracle of the human body’s ability to recover and feel better than before.

3. Take the Plunge and Try Chiropractic – Even If You Already Have!

The first step towards looking after yourself is sometimes contacting the right professionals. Even if you’ve seen us for a previous back or neck problem, did you know we treat essentially any other type of body pain or injury such as ankle sprains, rotator cuff injuries, hip bursitis, just to name a few? Our fundamental basis to all treatment plans is figuring out how to heal this from the inside and to minimize the risk of it happening again. Ask us, and we will be very honest about if we should try and help you. You will see for yourself how chiropractic assessment and treatment may be the step towards feeling better.

It is often not just about the physical impact pain or injury has on our body. It has to do with how the social, emotional and mental impact of having symptoms can adversely impact our health.

You may technically rank that low back pain at only a 4/10 (10 being the worst pain ever), but if it limits you to only 30 minute visits with friends because you can’t sit longer than that, how is that being “ok”?

Our goal is to get you to being more than Ok. We want you to thrive and be a better version of yourself. And isn’t that what health is?

Even if you have already seen us before and are unsure if we can help, the door is always open. Our Re-Examination fees are only an extra $10 (extra on top of a regular chiropractic visit fee) for those patients who have not been here for more than a year (but less than 5 years). We want to make starting over again accessible and easy for anyone who wants to improve their health. You are welcome to request to speak to the doctors directly for no extra fee if you need guidance first.

As for our current patients, we hope this gives you an understanding of what health truly is, and why our clinic operates based on this basic principle. World Health Day on April 7 is an event to understand how health is about more than just the absence of disease. If you are not as healthy as you could be, especially after living through and with COVID, there is no better time than now to reach out for help.

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