Alternate title: I can’t let someone else worry about it, unless by someone else, you mean me.
I recently attended a chiropractic seminar that was full of folks who are very concerned about your health. But from what I can gather, they are only concerned with knowing you’re getting adjusted (by them, of course). I like the general ideas they run with, in theory. The idea being, that as chiropractors we understand the biomechanics of the spine and its’ effects on the nervous system, and therefore your health better than anyone else. We learn (for years) how to adjust specifically to correct any motion restrictions/subluxations/misalignments that may be preventing you from expressing the health you’re meant to. This is a very good thing and is hugely important to human health. This is where their effort to make you healthy ends though.
Let dietitians worry about diet. Let physiotherapists and personal trainers worry about the muscles and exercise. Let therapists worry about mental health. This is the idea running with the folks running this recent seminar I attended. Well that’s a great idea… in theory. It’s a great idea until 6 months into your chiropractic care with me you still aren’t getting the results we’d expected. It’s great until I learn that your lack of health is because the dietitian that is taking care of your nutrition believes that you need to be eating 9-12 servings of grains a day and that eating too much meat will give you cancer. Uh oh. BIG uh oh.
Problem 1: Most people giving dietary advice don’t know what they’re talking about. Without going into a lot of details and talking about all the exceptions, the human species has evolved (or been created) to eat a diet that is congruent with our genetics. What this means, is that our genes are meant to express health, but they can only be “turned on” if the signal we send (via our lifestyle and nutrition) asks them to. This means no grains, legumes, and in some cases no dairy. Read more about what we SHOULD be eating here.
Problem 2: Most people giving exercise advice don’t know what they’re talking about. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym. You don’t need to exercise LONGER, and for many people, doing this will make things WORSE. I’m not telling you not to exercise. I’m telling you to be smart about it, but most people don’t have a good idea of what being smart about exercise means. Exercise is a stressor in your life. Fortunately it is a healthy, predictable, measured and planned stressor. An intelligent exercise program will make you healthier, without stealing all your time. Read more about how you SHOULD be exercising here.
Problem 3: If you’re doing these other things correctly/intelligently, then you will experience health a lot more quickly (due to decreased stress levels). I can’t morally have you come to my office 3 times a week for 13 weeks knowing that if I was intelligent enough to address your diet and lifestyle, you’d need just a fraction of that amount of care. It would make me a lot more money if I told you to eat according to the USDA food pyramid, exercise using isolation machines and stairmasters, and then come see me whenever you felt you weren’t making progress (indefinitely, in this situation). I do care about making money (we all have to live), but I want to make my money from making you healthy, and having you tell your friends and loved ones.
My goal as a health care provider is to make you healthier every time I see you. To influence you to make healthy decisions, and to give you the ability to make those decisions more easily. I won’t compromise my morals and assume you’re eating and moving well. Maybe it’s neurotic or obsessive of me, but I’ll sleep better knowing you’re out there making good choices. Within that same vein you shouldn’t compromise your health by expecting your body to produce excellence while you feed it crap. I can make your spine move more appropriately but I can’t make you eat well, exercise and de-stress. If you care about yourself you’ll make a commitment to doing those things. I’ll be providing you the information and ability (as well as referring you to sources I know and trust) to make good decisions as well.
Good work, team,
Dr. Adam Ball
Let me know what you think, if you disagree, or if you love grains! Drop a comment! – Please share this on Facebook/Twitter too!