Good Health Naturally, PLLC

Living Long & Healthy Lives

Living Long and Healthy Lives.
Mark J. Blessley, NTS, BS, DC, CPEP

There are certain indisputable concepts concerning the human body which need to be understood for this article to have meaning for you.

(1) The human body is self-regulating and self-healing.
Self-healing is evident: when you cut your hand while chopping vegetables, your body automatically starts the process of clotting the blood to stop bleeding, assembling white blood cells to fend off infection, brings new proteins to scar over the injury as a protective shield and starts the repair of dermis and epidermis. You do not have to think about this process; it just happens. Self-regulating is another function which we take for granted. Your heart beats between 86,000 and 100,000 times per day, you don’t have to tell it to beat; it just does. Also, you take in about 20,000 breaths per day, again without any conscious direction, and the rate is automatically controlled by your nervous system as it reads your activity level and survival needs at the time.

(2) You live your life through your nervous system.
There are no processes in the human body that are not initiated or controlled by the nervous system. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the nerve roots which exit the cord going to every tissue in the body. Examples include: the well known fight or flight mechanism which starts with a threat perceived by ears, eyes, nose or touch and digestion which is stimulated by chewing sensations, then nerves registering food entering and stretching the stomach. You depend on your information-gathering senses every day, i.e. eyes/visual, ears/sound, skin/touch, nose/smell, and there is another more difficult to qualify “sense” which may be a combination of the others plus an invisible energy which surrounds and permeates us. Carl Young called it the “collective unconscious,” others call it the “field,” some just call it a “gut feeling or intuition.” The point is that all of these inputs contribute to the nervous system, which then makes choices about translating them to make best use of the environment you happen to be in at the moment.

(3) Anything that interferes with the function of your nervous system decreases health.
In 1895 D.D. Palmer, considered to be the originator of Chiropractic, said that there are (3) things that cause the majority of problems in the human body: Trauma, Poison, and Auto-suggestion. These three categories are still accurate today, but we might re-label them to: Trauma, Toxicity and Stress. We can add repetitive use injury and even sitting/inactivity injury to trauma, and we can add the decline in food quality, food additives and adulterations (including but not limited to genetic engineering) and environmental pollution to the concept of toxicity. The advent of computers, fast-paced society, and the stress we all live with everyday certainly adds to the emotional/mental and spiritual body/mind problems we have today.

(4) Improving the function of the nervous system, and decreasing the impact of trauma, toxicity and mental/emotional stress will help improve health.
The four principles above lead us to the question; what can we do to improve the function of our
nervous system and our other bodily systems to improve our chances of being and staying healthy for a lifetime?

The answer is, we can; Eat, Move and Think Healthfully.

Eat Healthfully - make it your quest to obtain health and wellness information concerning foods and eating. Decrease sugars and unhealthy fats. Eat foods you can pronounce and know to be healthy. Eat mindfully, not too fast or when you are agitated. Add nutritional foods and supplements to your diet and take nutritional supplements as recommended by someone who knows you and your diet. Supplements help fill in the gaps created by eating the “SAD” diet, i.e. “Standard American Diet.” Get the book “Food Rules” by Michael Pollen, and read it (it’s a very short book). Drink enough water. Breath good clean air; air is a nutrient too. Get a little sunshine when you can.

Move Healthfully - Find a Chiropractor and start getting adjustments (more on Chiropractic below). You will feel like moving more if your spine is aligned and it doesn’t hurt to move. Get active. Seek out movement therapies like stretching, exercise, yoga, Ti Chi, Zumba, swimming - whatever interests you and you find “fun.” Get a massage regularly. Massage helps decrease pain, muscle tension and stress, increases circulation and lymph flow in tissues, and it increases range of motion and overall athletic performance. Chiropractic and massage also help the body feel alive and together they increase body awareness. In many cases your insurance covers Chiropractic and massage so you are already paying for it. Call and ask your insurance company if you have these benefits and take advantage of them if you do. You will be glad you did!

Think Healthfully – The body/mind connection is huge! Here are just a few things you can do to help put your mind at ease, which will improve your overall health. Practice kindness every day- to yourself and those around you. Give a compliment, or do something nice for someone, even a stranger; you will be surprised at how this can help you feel better. Do something positive and life enhancing – smile, it feels good! While driving, turn to look at the people in the next car while smiling; they always smile back. Find someone or a book to teach you about positive thinking and self improvement. Try Creative Visualization & Relaxation (CVR), mindfulness or meditation. Take on mental challenges such as crosswords, games, or Sudoku. Read biographies of historical or famous people and informational books that interest you. Get interested in a hobby – make living healthfully a hobby! Find a health coach who can help you find your “inner self” and/or your “inner child.” Decrease your stress and laugh often, watch a funny movie now and then. Take a nap for 15-20 minutes around mid day, you will feel refreshed and alive which will help your mental attitude.

Chiropractors are trained to help with eating, moving and thinking healthfully. For those of you who don’t know what Chiropractic is, here is a brief explanation. Chiropractic translated means “with the hand” and was established in1895 by D.D. Palmer in Davenport Iowa. It is the 2nd largest healthcare delivery system in the World with over 65,000 chiropractors in the US alone. We are licensed in all 50 states and in most civilized countries.

Chiropractors are specialized in the treatment of the neuromusculoskeletal system using conservative methods and without the use of drugs or surgery and on average, we have more training in nutrition than medical doctors. Chiropractic is safe and effective and we are trained to work with natural therapies to help improve the function of the nervous system and its innate intelligence potential. You deserve to have a Chiropractic check up of your spine and nervous system regularly to make sure it is functioning properly and to heal from the inside-out instead of relying on drugs or surgery to heal from the outside-in. Chiropractors have the same level of training as medical doctors; but focus on increasing the healing potential of the patient instead of adding something to, or taking away something from the body i.e. drugs/surgery. Headaches are not caused by an aspirin deficiency!

Chiropractic adjustments remove restrictions from the nervous system and help the body to function optimally, thereby restoring balance and function to the person or animal (yes, chiropractic is effective on other animals). Chiropractic helps your inner healing mechanism (we call it “innate intelligence”) and assists the body in getting and staying healthy.

Early detection and dis-ease prevention is really important – “If your tires are wearing unevenly, they may be under or over inflated.” It’s best to check the tire pressure before a long trip i.e. your life. Chiropractors check your spinal alignment and the tension in your muscles and tissues – similar to checking your tires and getting a tune up before your trip. Most people have the oil in their cars engine changed before they start seeing blue smoke coming out of the tail pipe. Why not have your body tuned up and checked periodically, to find problems before they get worse or out of control. Before the problem starts is even better!

If you wear out your car, you can get another one. If you wear out your body, how will that affect your life? In D.D. Palmer’s day, most people only lived to the ripe old age of about 50. Today people are routinely living almost twice that. If we want to stay healthy into our elder years so that we don’t have to spend the last 20 or 30 years suffering in ill health and having to be taken care of (and I’m not talking about having meals brought to our rooms and having to be driven around to places. I’m talking about having our diapers changed and being bed ridden), we need to take action while we are young and relatively healthy.

Many people think Chiropractic is just for neck and low back pain, but some of the many conditions we also treat include: neck, mid and low back problems, headaches, dizziness/vertigo, sciatica and scoliosis, TMJ, arthritis, arm, leg, foot, hand problems, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, carpal tunnel, and many others. Although people think Chiropractors simply adjust bones, the real function of chiropractic is to enhance the normal transmission of nerve impulses in the body by adjusting the spine (which is a set of bones) and other joints in the body, thereby helping the nervous system function better. We treat babies and the aged as well as everyone in between.
Chiropractors use posture & gait corrections, adjustments, orthotics, ice, heat and light therapy, nutrition and massage/myotherapy. We teach methods for achieving balance, adapting to stressors, and we offer stretches and exercises. Chiropractors are also licensed to use cold laser, percussion, and other vibration therapies.

If there is anything we can do to help you or your family become and stay healthy, call us. We are here for you!

Mark J. Blessley trained at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque NM graduating in January of 1989. He then practiced as a sports massage and craniosacral therapist for 3 years in a large Chiropractic clinic before deciding to become a Chiropractor. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Human Biology in 1995 and then his Doctor of Chiropractic in 1997. Dr. Blessley worked at the SportsMedicine and Rehabilitation Clinic in Vancouver WA for 9 years before starting Good Health Naturally, PLLC in 2006. GHN is located at 3606 Main Street, Suite 205, Vancouver, WA, 99663.