I have never been a fan of others telling me what I can’t do. I strongly believe we all have the capability to do amazing things in our lives.
However, we health care providers can sometimes lose track of the importance of our words and advice to patients. I will address a couple common phrases patients tell me their medical doctors have told them, and I why those phrases may not be very accurate after all.
1. “You’ll have to learn to live with it the rest of your life.”
Again, this is not true in so many cases. The human mind can be very powerful, and if someone is driven enough, they can overcome a challenge in their health and be well.
In the documentary Simply Raw, 10 diabetic patients checked into a raw food retreat in Arizona for 30 days. One individual quit, but the other nine participants showed zero signs of diabetes after 30 days of eating a 100% raw vegan diet. Mind you, diabetes is an incurable disease… supposedly.
From my own experience, I was diagnosed with asthma when I was four. This was after suffering my first and only asthma attack. Growing up, I never had much endurance. I was usually one of the last ones to finish when we ran laps in P.E. When I did finish, my breathing was very labored. I used the inhaler, an asthma medication called Theodur, breathing treatments… the whole nine yards. When I was 15, I decided that I was tired of getting shots and taking medication. When my mom urged me to do these things, I refused (I am a VERY stubborn person). I also didn’t believe I was an asthmatic. Lo and behold, when I was 16, I had no signs of asthma. It was strange. I actually had endurance. I could run a mile and not compete with a tortoise for last place. I didn’t suck wind as much when finishing either. I was healthier.
Was it because I stopped getting shots and taking medication that caused side effects in my body? Partly. Was it because I decided I wasn’t an asthmatic anymore? Partly as well. All in all, I simply decided I wasn’t my diagnosis, took action (or, in my case, should I say inaction?), and my health improved. So no, I did not have to live with asthma the rest of my life; I certainly don’t have asthma now. And there is a possibility you don’t have to live with your condition the rest of your life either.
If a doctor tells you your condition will be with you until you die, it’s time to find a new doctor. Because in most cases, they are using a one-size-fits-all approach to your prognosis. You are not a number, but an individual person like no other. Don’t forget that.
2. “There’s nothing wrong with you.”
For a number of people, medically speaking, there really might not be anything wrong with them. Her vitals and bloodwork may be fine, but she can barely walk because of the agonizing lightning-like pain shooting down her leg. His blood pressure is 118/78 and his pulse is 60, but he suffers from chronic migraines. Her body temperature is the average 98.6, but she always feels like her allergies flare up or a cold is coming. Examination metrics won’t tell the whole story, and not even a significant part of the story.
Each of us has a mind, a body, and a soul. There is more to health than having standard vital measurements or being in the highest percentile of this or that metric. If our body appears healthy, but it doesn’t feel that way, or our minds don’t match our bodies, that doesn’t mean nothing is wrong with us. It just means there’s a lot more to us than meets the eye, or the blood pressure cuff, pulse measurement, or blood work results. Take time to find the right person to help you with your health care needs. Don’t assume a medical doctor can help you with your migraines from a misaligned C1 vertebra and your sciatica from a badly misaligned pelvis, just like you wouldn’t assume a chiropractor can perform heart surgery.
3. “It’s all in your head.”
My experience in practice is that it is actually in your spine. The problem is that medical doctors are not trained to look at the health of the spine in the same way chiropractors are. Numerous patients have come to me after numerous visits to numerous specialists and no one can tell them what the cause of their symptoms or pain may be. So they are rudely told it is in their head.
Except for a handful of cranial nerves, every single nerve in your body passes through the atlas (C1) vertebra. Because of this fact, a misalignment of the atlas will interfere with communication between the brain and the body. This will cause some aspect of your body to suffer, whether it’s your foot, intestines, lungs, low back, neck, etc. The list could go on and on.
So if a doctor tells you it’s all in your head, make a trip to Harshē Chiropractic. The problem may actually be in your neck instead.