How to respond to the idea that chronic illness can’t be cured.
When referring to a standard pharmacy, the late Dick Versendaal, DC, would use the term “God’s waiting room,” bringing to mind a grim picture. You know the one: people waiting for their prescriptions, hoping to manage their symptoms and syndromes, trying to survive one day longer. It’s a hopeless mindset.
Still, more than half of Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases, which are usually thought of as long-lasting conditions that can be controlled but not cured. This mentality creates both hopelessness and a dependency on prescription drugs.
Challenge and opportunity
On the flip side, this view of chronic disease also creates an exciting challenge and opportunity for chiropractors to offer something different—to provide hope and a solution for that which “cannot be cured.”
First, note how the traditional medical approach focuses on the organ manifesting the symptom(s). For example: A typical practitioner would focus on the brain for those with Alzheimer’s, the pancreas for those with diabetes, and the lungs for those with asthma. Supporting the symptomatic area is often necessary, but it doesn’t address the full picture.
Chronic diseases don’t arise overnight. An organ or system doesn’t stop functioning optimally for no reason but as the result of a sustained state of dis-ease in the body.
Origins of dysfunction
The body works as a whole: structurally, nutritionally, and emotionally. Individual organs, glands, and cells do not function in isolation. What affects one area of the body ultimately affects another.
When necessary, the body’s complex backup systems work overtime to support areas that are under stress and unable to maintain optimal function. If the stress is left unchecked, a domino effect occurs.
The backup systems (organs, glands, vertebral subluxation complex) become stressed because of the excess demand. The next line of backup systems is then called upon to work overtime. This cascade continues as various parts of the body become overstressed and fall out of balance and function.
The cause(s) for this perpetual state of disease are many and include structural imbalances and injuries; toxins found in the air, water, and food; nutritional deficiencies; and changes in lifestyle, relationships, and other emotional stresses. At first glance, these imbalances may appear to have nothing to do with the chronic disease in question. For healing to occur, however, it is imperative to uncover the root cause of each problem and bring all areas back into balance or “ease.”
Sacrificing for the queen bee
Although there are many causes of disease, one organ consistently draws attention—the heart. Dick Versendaal, DC, taught that the heart was “the queen bee.” All of the organs, glands, cells, and structures are backup systems that ultimately serve the heart. They will sacrifice energetically, biochemically, and physiologically in addition to working overtime to support a tired heart with the purpose of living one day longer.
Physiological structures will swell, twist, turn, and subluxate in order to maintain the heart. Disease occurs in these support systems when their sacrifices create a sustained state of disease, first by overworking, then underworking due to exhaustion.
Growing research links the risk of heart disease to other chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity. And this strong correlation is no surprise: When one organ suffers, it’s only a matter of time before the heart is affected.
Most of these studies, however, take the traditional approach when looking for ways to manage symptoms or treat the chronic condition, focusing on the organ or the system showing signs of distress.
This is understandable, as traditional Western medicine wouldn’t consider a healthy organ such as the heart to be the root cause of a chronic illness. Thus researchers overlook the possibility of supporting organs working overtime and sacrificing to support the heart.
If the parts of the body work together as a whole, with the heart being the primary organ supported, questions arise that lead to diagnosis: How is the body working overtime to support the heart? Are organs or structures under-functioning due to their sacrificial support of the heart? What caused the heart’s stress in the first place? Is the cause structural through subluxation, accident, injury, or surgery? What about organ dysfunction due to diet, toxins, or the environment? What part does emotional stress play?
Structural, nutritional, and emotional support
You can support the body (with its backup systems) using D.D. Palmer’s philosophy of wellness. It’s the key to uncovering the structural, nutritional, and emotional imbalances that, when pressed to work overtime, affect the heart and ultimately the health of the entire body.
At times the vagus nerve tires and patients get neuropathy. It is the job of the vagus nerve to slow the heart response. The phrenic nerve mediates the neuronal and hormonal stress activity referred to as the “fight-or-flight” response. When this is out of balance, you get pain in your arms and legs, and the immune system goes on red alert in an attempt to support the heart, causing inflammation.
In addition to balancing the spine, it is important to support the feet with orthotics. The feet are not only shock absorbers; they act as energy pumpers and support the heart and brain. If the feet cannot pump energy optimally, it puts stress on the heart and brain as they have to compensate.
Injuries, accidents, and surgeries—even from years ago—can cause disease in areas of the body. When any of these occur, the cellular energy of the heart can sustain a type of shock and get stuck in an unhealthy cycle. Emotional losses and trauma can also cause this kind of shock and the cells can reflect the memory of what was and perhaps still is. In addition to spinal adjustments, diet, nutrition, essential oils, massage, counseling, and technology can all be used to bring the body back into balance so it can heal itself.
Glass half full
We must take the challenge and eradicate the hopelessness of chronic disease; a condition that has lasted too long. As you see the body as more than individual organs and systems working in isolation, you can offer a new perspective.
When the body’s structures, nutritional chemistry, and emotions are balanced, the body is able to heal itself. It’s time for your waiting room, not the pharmacy’s, to be filled with people who suffer from chronic diseases. In the chiropractic waiting room, there is hope.
Dawn Hoezee, DCRC, CRA, is the daughter of the late Dick Versendaal, DC, whose teachings she continues to share. She has been a presenter of CRA seminars since Versendaal’s passing, and can be contacted through crawellness.com or crawellnessartists.com.