Natural Medicine Can it help you?
Natural Medicine Can it help you?
Dr. Laurie A. Krzynowek, D.C.
Natural medicine consists of treating patients without drugs or surgery. Natural Medicine contains many disciplines -- including, but not limited to, chiropractic, acupuncture, herbology, nutritional therapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, and others.
What Conditions Can Chiropractors Treat?
What kinds of conditions can chiropractors treat? Chiropractors are known for treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders such as backaches, headaches, shoulder problems, sciatica (numbness down the leg), or knee problems. There are many more conditions that chiropractic can help that people do not even realize. Chiropractic can help with carpal tunnel syndrome (numbness in the hand) and TMJ (jaw joint) problems.
In addition, chiropractic can help treat many internal conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, or hiatial hernia (stomach sliding up into the chest cavity). Other conditions chiropractic can relieve include functional disorders.
What Are Functional Disorders?
Functional disorders occur when a person experiences signs and symptoms but all tests for the disorder are normal. Many doctors, when faced with functional disorders, commonly prescribe a pain killer or state There is nothing wrong with you, it must be all in your head. In actuality, though, the person is in a dysfunctional state whereby the affected organ or tissue is not yet diseased, but not quite right. It is important to note, however, that if dysfunction is treated early enough, disease could possibly be prevented! Chiropractic, acupuncture, and other natural medicines work best in the dysfunctional stage. What do I mean by this?
Health is divided into 3 sections:
Being healthy means everything is functioning as it should. You have plenty of energy and are experiencing no symptoms. All lab tests would come back normal (negative.)
Diseased states tend to present themselves with characteristic signs and symptoms of the particular disorder. Lab tests tend to be abnormal (positive). usually, in diseased states there is damage -- either physical or degenerative -- to the affected organ or tissue involved. In healthy states, this damage is not present. Disease plays a small role in the total health spectrum. However, it is this section where most doctors tend to concentrate.
Dysfunction, on the other hand, may or may not have organ damage present (depending upon when the condition is treated). The lab tests may come back negative but you are still experiencing signs and symptoms.
It has been said that 20% of the people have 80% of the diseases and the other 80% of the people have 20% of the diseases and 80% of this 20% are dysfunction. As stated earlier, if dysfunction is treated early enough, disease could be prevented -- saving tax payers thousands of dollars per year on unnecessary drugs or surgery.
Many natural health doctors, such as chiropractors and acupuncturists, are trained to look for and treat dysfunction. There are many tests which can be utilized to check for functional illnesses, however, many doctors are not aware of these tests, or if they are, they are not aware of how to use the tests functionally.
Lets give an example. Suppose you have not been feeling well lately. You have been tired, overstressed, and you have a poor diet -- primarily fast food with little grain, fruit, or vegetables. Perhaps you need many cups of coffee a day just to survive, or maybe you are in the midst of an emotional crisis. Perhaps you have a combination of these. What is going on here?
More than likely there is some adrenal stress. The adrenal glands are sometimes called the stress glands and may contribute to symptoms like being overstressed, tired, or fatigued. Stress includes physical stress, chemical stress, or emotional stress. Physical stress includes not getting enough sleep, poor posture, accidents and so forth. Chemical stress includes poor diet, alcohol, coffee (more than 2 cups per day), smog, and environmentally related chemicals. Mental stress includes fear, prolonged anxiety, worry, and other negative ways of thinking. One or more of these kinds of stress can affect the adrenal glands. [Editors note: for more complete knowledge about how specific thought patterns cause disease in the body, read Permanent Healing by Dr. Daniel Condron.]
What can you do at home to see if there is or might be a dysfunctioning adrenal gland involvement? One simple test is called Rogaffs sign. Rogaffs sign is shining a penlight flashlight into the eyes. Under normal conditions, the pupil (the black part of the eye) would remain small as long as the light was shining into the eyes. A person with a dysfunctioning adrenal gland (functional hypoadrenia), would have a different pupil response. The pupil would either dilate (get bigger) or undulate (varies large to small with the light shining into the eye). What can be done if you find this type of problem? See a doctor who utilizes Applied Kinesiology or Clinical Kinesiology or see a doctor who is familiar with treating functional illnesses.
Chiropractors are trained to treat more than lower back pain and neck pain. Chiropractors are considered to be primary care physicians. They are trained to be portal or entry physicians, that is, to make the initial diagnosis and make appropriate referrals if necessary.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a science between 5,000 and 7,000 years old. There is an energy network which traverses the whole body, coursing over 12 meridians or channels that are normally well-balanced. If the energy flow is disrupted it affects the whole system, producing pain or symptoms. Acupuncture restores normalcy to the energy balance by utilizing a combination of points located on the 12 meridians. Traditionally needles are placed at specific points to restore harmony.
Acupuncture can treat many of the same conditions as chiropractic, and in addition it can help conditions like ringing in the ears (tinnitus), colds, allergies, and neurological problems like strokes or severe nerve damage. Acupuncture can be very effective with reproductive and other endocrine system disorders. Some eye conditions like color blindness may respond to acupuncture.
In the United States, acupuncture is known for pain control because it releases a substance called beta-endorphins. These are naturally produced painkillers produced in the body. Their function is similar to morphine.
This brief overview is not all-inclusive. There are many other conditions which may respond to chiropractic or acupuncture or both. My recommendation is always: consider the natural approach to your health before more radical means such as drugs or surgery are undertaken. These both have severe side effects which oftentimes produce even more symptoms to be treated.
May the best of health be yours!
Dr. Krzynowek is a Chiropractor and Acupuncturist who has her own practice near Chicago, Illinois. She received her chiropractic training at the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois and took an intensive study of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) at the Midwest Center for the Study of Oriental Medicine in Chicago.
©2001 School of Metaphysics, Thresholds QuarterlyVol. 19 No. 2
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