Welcome back ladies and gentlemen...I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend. No matter where you were, I hope that you found time to relax and reflect. So, it's December. Wow, what a year it has been and my how it has flown by. It's about that time to start coming up with a New Year's resolution again. This newsletter was my 2008 resolution. It was probably the first resolution that I've really followed through with 100%. It was a realistic goal, though. I encourage you to come up with realistic goals and turn your resolutions into realities. 

Anyhow, so from time to time, I'll run across a worthwhile article on yahoo news. For those that don't know, I'm a big fan of dogs. I've got two. Everything I've told you this year about positive thinking can be backed up by a little four-legged friend running around your house. It would seem that the doctors at WebMD would agree, as they have put out a list of the top 5 reasons that pets improve your health. These reasons include:

1) Prevention of allergies - studies show that kids that grew up with little animals or on a farm had less tendency to deal with allergy issues. This is likely just a coincidental finding, but I won't argue the other health benefits of pets.
2) Friend magnets - being social is good for your health, as it takes down the amount of stress in your life by replacing it with positive energy. I live right next to a dog park. I meet a new person every day through my dogs.
3) Benefit the aged - Companionship is good for you. Responsibility is good for you. Pets give you both.
4) Good for the mind and the soul - studies show that people with pets are less likely to suffer from depression. How could you be depressed when you come home to a friend that loves you unconditionally?
5) Good for your heart - Lowering your stress levels lowers the risk factors for heart disease. 

Moving on...I have a few random thoughts before we get to today's main-topic...

-I recently read an article about people getting arrested on charges of drug possession when they were, in fact, simply transporting such organic goods as chocolate and rosemary leaves. The chocolate was being mistaken for hashish and the rosemary for marijuana. Apparently, there is a field drug test out there that checks any suspected illegal material. And even more apparently, it doesn't work...

-The thought just came to me to advise you about something really simply: sneezing. Considering the delicacy of the balance between the atlas and the base of the skull and the importance of the brainstem that lies inside them, I thought it pertinent to remind you that if you have to sneeze, please do so forward as if you were nodding your head. You actually risk some pretty serious whiplash effects in a direction you don't want to be heading if you sneeze to the side as if you were trying to hide behind the sleeve of your shirt. Also, please let it all out. I know you may feel as if you are disrespecting the quietness of the world by holding it in, but you are doing yourself a disservice by not letting that pressure be expelled. 

-Are any of you fans of the popular sugar alternative Splenda? Well, I'm not. Even when I dumped tons of sugar in my sweet tea in North Carolina, I always thought that Splenda gave my tea a bad, dry after-taste. And you don't want to mess with my sweet tea. Since becoming more health conscious, I've managed to cut sweet tea out of my diet completely...and try very hard to steer clear of any beverages, which contain sugar. Infections can't live without sugar, so we can live without sugar. Anyway, Splenda has gotten themselves into some trouble, getting sued by the rival Sugar Association for false advertising their product to be made from real sugar. That's not true...Splenda is made with chlorine...no wonder it leaves a bad, dry after taste...

The above isn't the only example of false-advertising out there. Everyone is jumping on the good ship "organic" and "natural." The facts are being presented about the processed foods pumped with hormones and other garbage. People are responding by seeking natural alternatives. In an effort to keep up, establishments are lying. 7-Up is trying to fool people by claiming to be 100% natural, and showing consumers picking cans of soda off of trees. Tyson Chicken is claiming to not use an anti-biotics in their meats. What they aren't telling you is that they are treating the chickens who lay the eggs with anti-biotics. 

So, just be wary of it all...

I often feel like Morpheus in the movie, "The Matrix," constantly trying to free peoples' minds...to remove the blanket that has been pulled over your eyes to such things...but I digress...

Ultimately, my job is to get you to understand the chiropractic adjustment. Commonly misconstrued as some magic cure for "low back pain," the adjustment has been bastardized. So, in all the talk of natural alternatives, healthy eating, and thinking positively, one must not forget the affect that the chiropractic adjustment makes on the nervous system, and the role of the chiropractor in assessing the function of the nervous system. The nervous system is at the heart of it all. Nerves branch out from each level of the spine, controlling the function of the vital organs, muscles, and tissues. Every nerve originates as the base of the skull, tightly coiling into what we call the brainstem. Even a slight misalignment to the top bone in the spine can cause interference to the nervous system, affecting any of the nerves below. An adjustment relieves that interference.

How? When the adjustment is made, pressure is relieved as if a dam in a river has just been moved away. A rush of electrical impulses travels across the nerves, sending health and healing messages from the brain to the body. This is why, often times, people will feel instant relief of their symptoms (at least temporarily). For example, during this time of year, I often see that people with sinus blockages will feel instant relief of their congestion after an adjustment. In order for the electrical impulse to be sent across the nerve, which carries the vitally important info from brain to body, sodium ions are needed. Sodium has many important functions within human physiology, but it's most vital is its necessity to the nervous system. 

Why? The human body was innately programmed to regulate itself and function on its own. The way of the current world is to push the human body to the limit, through the foods that we eat, the drinks that we can consume, and the emotional stress that we put ourselves under. With your body pushed to its limits, you want it to be regulating itself and functioning on its own to the very best of its capabilities. The adjustment frees up those abilities. It's that simple... 

I've never really considered myself a "Why?" guy. Just show me how it works and I'm good. The "Why" just never really factored in for me. Occasionally, though, I think it is well worth our while to look into the "why," so that we gain a better appreciate for "how" things work. I've written a lot about how the body works and why chiropractic is so vitally important to everyone's health. Two weeks ago, I asked you to consider what it would take for you to try chiropractic. Last week, I urged you to not let pride or money stand in the way of better health. This week, I want you to really think about the how and the why...how the body works and why certain processes are innately set in place...knowing what you know, I want you to ask yourself what is standing in your way of better health? 

Chad McIntyre

"If we all did the things that we are capable of, we would astound ourselves" - Thomas Edison