One of the founders of chiropractic, BJ Palmer, wrote a document called “The Big Idea” back in 1944 (which can be found here). Based on my experience of slipping in some water on my kitchen floor recently (a seemingly innocent and small thing), and catching myself by jamming all of my toes into the partition between my kitchen floor and carpet (an incredibly painful, and yet still “small” thing), I’ve decided to retell this story in with a modern twist.
The basic gist of the Big Idea is seemingly small and innocent things can impact our health in a negative way. If enough of the population is impacted in a negative way, the collective thoughts and actions of an individual, city, country or nation can be effected. Here’s a modern version of why:
As stated above, I slipped on my kitchen floor and caught all my weight on my left toes, jamming and spraining them quite badly. It was one of those moments where my brain started thinking “ouch, toe jam!” and quickly realized “Oh no! Much worse than just a toe jam!” I uttered a few choice words and huddled myself in a ball on the floor for several minutes before the pain subsided enough to feel like I could move. Fritz (my two year old son) came over to me and asked “Mommy hurt?” As I nodded through clenched teeth he bent down to give my throbbing toes a kiss.
I spent the next five days limping badly. The pain was more than I’ve experienced in a long time. It made me grumpy and irritable. It was also exhausting. I often found myself thinking (rather dispassionately) about how many people live in some level of pain everyday, and what a huge impact it can have on one’s quality of life before one even realizes it. Confined to watching movies, icing my foot and generally feeling sorry for myself for three days, I quickly got a sore throat, headache and fever on top of it all.
After barely making it through the weekend without starting a war in my house, I got my act together Monday morning to make an appointment to go see my chiropractor. As a chiropractor I know a few things about what a “small thing” does to one’s spine. The slip and catch threw off my sacrum, pelvis, middle back and neck, causing what we call a subluxation —a misalignment of the spine, putting pressure on nerves. Sitting on the couch, limping, and having the posture of pain (hunched over and closed down) added to this subluxation process. The subluxation disrupts communication from the brain to the rest of the body, effecting it’s ability to heal. More problems ensue. Before you know it, you’ve become a grumpy, irritable individual who has forgotten what it’s like to not have this problem. Your body is working extra hard to heal, but the messages are getting lost in the mayhem that has happened to your spine.
Here’s why chiropractic is so awesome: an adjustment removes the subluxation, restores the mayhem to non mayhem status, and undoes that “small thing” that’s effecting your health and personality. I got adjusted after spending about 24 hours feeling so miserable I actually closed the office early to go home and just rest. Within minutes my headache was gone, my limp was better, my severely sprained toes still hurt like the dickens, but the rest of me felt so much better I was my usual happy self again. (My son and husband were thrilled I’m sure!)
The moral of my story is this: the power of a properly functioning nervous system is a huge one. Literally, it can make people healthy and happy again. The power of a small slip, or seemingly innocent incident is also a powerful thing. It can literally make you a different person.
If you’re not in the habit of getting your nervous system checked at least as often as you get you get your teeth cleaned, it’s time to come find out what all those “small things” have done to your spine, your psyche, and your ability to the best you possible!