Well, ladies and gentlemen, in the opening paragraph of last week's email, I said I was going to be attending the "Landmark Forum" and would let you know if I recommended it.  After spending an awesome weekend inventing new possibilities for myself, I can confidently say that I don't just recommend it it, but I strongly suggest it.  Although I will be relating a few things in the coming weeks that I learned in the LF, there really is no accurate way of describing what you could get out of attending...you literally just have to check it out.  I guarantee you this, though: if you go, you'll discover things about yourself that will put you in a position to get everything out of life that you truly want. 
 
So, this week in well-being, I owe you a condition of the week.  I was told by at least one person that last week's email was one of the most beneficial that I had written to date.  That's awesome!  Honestly, I thought it may very well have been the one that would've made people go "what is this dude talking about?"  Nonetheless, the information presented was invaluable to me, so I wanted to share it with you.  The majority of today's newsletter will be a condition of the week that is so simple, it's hard to get.  I started writing it last week, but realized it'd be a very long newsletter.  I wanted to write it in such a way that would leave you with as little doubt as possible...I'll get to that in a minute...
 
First, I want to give you a sample of what I learned over the weekend.  Over the past 4 years while living in St. Louis, I have in many ways neglected to be the quality of friend that I strive to be for those that I was once very close with back in North Carolina.  It took many years to build those friendships, and while I don't consider them to be lost, I do think that they have been weakened while I was away.  Just days from returning to North Carolina, I am creating the possibility that I am a friend worthy of such a title.  On many occasions, I've stressed the importance of friendship in our lives.  It came as a bit of a surprise, then, that while really giving myself a good, long look in the mirror, I was staring at a person who had not truly lived up to his end of the bargain.  To those friends, I look forward to us being each other's confidants once again.  I have missed that closeness. 
 
In the Landmark Forum, you discover many things about the person you claim to be.  All the while, you find out that there's quite a bit about you that you've made up over the years because you wanted to be right and make others wrong...because you wanted to be true and make others false...because you couldn't get over your own opinion, when it was always just your opinion.  The fact of the matter is this: if you get past those simple issues that we have learned to make such a big deal out of, then you can have some pretty amazing relationships with people.  Think about it...what is there to fight, argue, or complain about if we get over ourselves and stop trying to always be right and true to our opinions?  Nothing! 
 
Today, I encourage you to call someone that you feel you have unresolved issues with and get those issues completed.  Again, if you get past the righteousness, the truth, and the opinions, there's a blank slate for you to make new relationships with people.  It's awesome...
 
Condition of the Week:  Low Back Pain

 

Low back pain is something that over 80% of the world's population experiences during their lifetime.  Second only to headaches as the most common neurologic ailment, low back pain is the number one reason for job-related disability in the United States.  Over $50 billion per year is spent on the condition. 

 

It is also one of the most misunderstood conditions that you'll find.  Much like the number one neurologic ailment, headaches, low back pain has been attributed to many things.  Common to each of those "things" is a nerve irritation.  Irritation to a nerve is comparable to sitting at your desk and being repeatedly tapped on the shoulder by one of your co-workers.  With nerve irritation, though, it is as if the co-worker follows you home, tapping you on the shoulder during all of your meals, during your showers, and during your sleep.  In a word, that's pretty "irritating" is it not? 

 

When building a house, the most important thing is laying down a good foundation with its surrounding support structures.  It has been said that one can build a crooked house on a solid foundation and the house will stand.  However, if one builds a well-crafted house on a substandard foundation, the house is destined to collapse.  Problems with the house's foundation lead to problems elsewhere that get patched up, but often come back.  Perhaps other problems arise.  Ultimately, if the foundation is not addressed, then the house is going to slowly but surely break down and crumble. 

 

When the body is building itself, the most important thing is laying down a good foundation with its surrounding support structures.  The brainstem is that foundation, and its support structures are the skull and the top bones in the spine.  If the sustaining structures don't support the foundation, but instead interfere with it, then we've got a problem.  Problems at the foundation lead to problems elsewhere that get patched up, but often come back.  Perhaps other problems arise.  Ultimately, if the foundation is not addressed, then the house is going to slowly but surely break down and crumble. 

 

Irritation to the nerves occurs when the support structures interfere with the foundation of the body, which is the brainstem.  Recall that the brainstem is the origin for every nerve in the body.  There are over 1 trillion nerve fibers in the brainstem.  If you recreated it using 1-inch thick copper wires, the brainstem would be over 27 FEET wide.  Your body's foundation sits in a couple of two inch-wide openings.  I'll say it for you: "Wow"

 

Low back pain is simply one of the many "other problems" that may arise when the foundation/brainstem of the body is compromised.  There are people out that there are great at patching that up, but it always seems to come back.  Take it from someone who started having low back pain when he was 13 years old.  13 years old!  I got it patched up for a long time, but several more of those "other problems" arose and I was lucky enough to find someone who could help with my foundation.  Since having the support structures of my foundation restored to their normal position, I haven't had even the slightest hint of low back pain. 

 

To really drive home the point, I want to offer you another example…

 

Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes.  People don't like low back pain any more than they like snakes.  But did you know that snakes are actually vertebrates just like us?  People often think that they are not and assume that snakes don't have spines.  However, they most definitely do. 

 

The point of bringing up snakes is this: have you ever seen someone grab a snake by its head?  The snake's entire body twists and turns and torques to try and relieve the pressure on its head/neck region. 

 

Every other vertebrate, including us, does the same thing.  When the head is not level, the rest of the body will turn, torque, and twist to relieve the pressure on the brainstem and get the head level again.  Human-beings don't have the flexibility in their spines that many other vertebrates do, so when our heads pull out of position, our spines are more susceptible to compensations that cause us a lot of discomfort.  Low back pain is one of those many compensations…

 

The lesson to be learned is that low back pain is not caused by something in the lower back.  Low back pain is an "other problem" resulting from a more serious issue.  Cleaning up a puddle of water does not address the leaky faucet that caused it.  Patching up a pain the low back does not address the subluxation (misalignment of one of the top two vertebrae) to the foundation that caused it.  When we lose that delicate balance between the top bones in the spine and the skull, the rest of the body compensates.  Address the compensation and the problem returns along with several more of those "other problems."  Address the cause and the problem goes away along with several more of those "other problems."