Does the body have a natural ability to heal itself?
Chiropractic is founded upon the principle that structural or vertebral misalignments impinging upon spinal nerves and interfering with the normal nerve supply are the cause of disease and chronic barriers to healing. If you adjust the patient so those interferences are no longer there, the body will heal itself.
Back in chiropractic college in 1964, I was taught vis medicatrix naturae, meaning the body has a natural ability to heal itself. By the time I got into practice in the mid-1960s, I observed adjustments were no longer holding as well as they used to. To compensate for this, patients needed more and more adjustments before they could ever go on a “once-a-month” health maintenance program.
After my own health suddenly started to collapse in the mid-1980s, despite the many adjustments I received during that time, my decline continued until I hit rock bottom by 1992. This “near death” experience woke me up to start looking for possible reasons for this aberration. Imagine my surprise when I discovered DD Palmer’s view of the role of “foods,” such as refined white flour, in the causation of spinal subluxations.
“From baby in the highchair, to grandma in the rocker, the axial bones, the spinal vertebrae, are as liable to be displaced by noxious substances, which enter the system in our ingesta and drink or by inhalation, as they are by accident direct.” DD Palmer. The Chiropractic Adjuster. 1921.
The five most common stressors
This led me to investigate the subject of nutrition and how essential it was to restoring and maintaining health. I developed a system that worked well and assisted patients to heal. The high-quality, whole-food-derived nutritional supplements designed decades or more ago worked consistently. Then about 10 years later, we started to notice people who usually did well on these products needed more and more of them to regain their health, and in some cases just to prevent worsening.
Knowing the design and purpose of the products, and the fact the products themselves had not changed, led me to look for the reasons we were no longer getting the results we were used to.
I discovered certain elements, if present, acted as a barrier to healing. I call them stressors because when they are affecting an organ, they cause stress to that organ so the usual products don’t help them to repair as they should. They prevent healing through their impact on the autonomic nervous system.
Initially, there were quite a few of these stressors or barriers to healing. As I continued the investigation, checking for the presence of the stressors on every patient, I found five that were most common:
- Sensitivities to common foods. Common foods are foods people eat on a regular basis. They covered the full range, but the biggest culprits were grains (especially highly processed, glutenous ones), refined sugars, commercial milk and other dairy products (other than real butter). In some cases, eggs were also a problem. As we continued the search as time went on, any of the foods that have been genetically altered (GMOs) were becoming a bigger and bigger problem. Therefore, our job became a bit more complicated, as we had to get our patients to phase off those irritating foods and replace them with higher–quality, usually organically raised foods while supplementing them with digestive enzymes to assist their weakened digestive systems.
- Subclinical immune challenges. I started finding subclinical viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic challenges in chronically ill patients. These were not usually acute enough to show up in blood tests, but supporting the immune system with proven dietary supplements designed for that purpose gave these patients relief.
- Toxic chemicals. There are literally thousands of toxic chemicals today that did not even exist 40 or 50 years ago. The accumulation of these in the body from our food and water has created another common major barrier to healing. When they exist, they must be addressed as underlying causes of many so-called “incurable diseases.”
- Heavy metals. Heavy metals is another category that used to be limited to a few well-known metals like lead, but the list has greatly expanded to include more than a dozen additional metals, such as aluminum, silver, tin, nickel, etc. When present, each metal can act as a barrier to healing.
- Scars on the surface of the skin. German researchers proved decades ago that scars on the surface of the skin, whether from past surgeries or injuries, could act in a way that interfered with the function of the sympathetic nervous system. This resulted in organ and gland dysfunction that resisted functional correction until the effects of the scars were ameliorated through vitamin E oil or low-level light therapies.
The identification and handling of these five major and most common barriers to healing became the foundation for more effective natural healing by chiropractors and members of allied professions and has been stable for more than two decades. However, things started to change in 2022.
The pandemic and post-pandemic environment
During 2022, an increasing number of people who were not normally ill were getting sick with vague or more dramatic symptoms, and patients that were previously doing well on their programs started to develop new symptoms or just lose their gains. In addition, a small but increasing number of them did not respond as they previously did to the protocols developed during the prior 30 plus years.
The first line of investigation for me is always the product – has it changed in any way? We found that was not the case with our most commonly used products that had decades of proven workability. They had not changed. So, what did?
Our investigation was quite revealing: What we found was something very interesting. This small but growing new category of patients all had something in common: They were suffering from something that had to do with the pandemic and now post-pandemic factors.
The medical field is calling this set of symptoms long COVID.1 This was originally seen as a result of infection with the COVID-19 virus, but recent research has shown there are not only some people with long COVID symptoms who did not get infected but did have the mRNA vaccinations and boosters.2
Initially, it was a small, but growing number of patients with these problems. I derived testing procedures and protocols to enable them to locate, track and ameliorate the most common of these post-pandemic factors, such as:
- An active, but asymptomatic COVID infection
- Lingering aftereffects of an infection
- Effects of the spike protein from an infection
- Spike proteins from vaccination or boosters
- Viral and spike protein shedding3 from people who were infected and/or vaccinated and boosted. (Since viruses are produced in the nose, they can leave the infected person in nasal and oral secretions and infect someone who is exposed to them. This can occur after an active infection or a vaccination.4 This phenomenon is not new. It has been discussed by the scientific and medical field in relation to other vaccines in the past.)
I was hoping this would be a passing issue, but over the last year, it has become considerably worse. In addition, it is not likely to pass anytime soon. COVID is still infecting people, and the CDC is advising everyone to get an annual COVID mRNA booster along with their flu shot.
The CDC has also recommended these vaccines be given to teenagers and children. So, we’re looking at multiple generations affected by these post-pandemic factors.
Our master clinicians, many of whom have large successful practices and cumulatively see hundreds of patients a week, are finding between 25 and 50% of their patients present with these post-pandemic factors. So, it is a significant situation affecting the health of many Americans. It’s at least on a par with the other major stressors and has been added to our most common stressors/barriers to healing that are checked on every new patient and any slow or non-responding patient.
Stressors and chiropractic
These same factors are affecting the practice of chiropractic. If there is something making an organ sick, it becomes a source of neural misfiring, which can cause a local muscle spasm, subluxation and pinched nerve which then keeps the dwindling spiral of dysfunction going. If a person has a trauma causing subluxation or a pinched nerve resulting in an illness, you can adjust them, and they get well.
When the problem is internally caused, it becomes its own focal point of nerve interference that constantly recreates the subluxation. According to Dr. Royal Lee, a pioneer in nutritional research starting in the 1920s, the degrading of the food supply and increased chemicals in the environment are the cause of the serious decline in health we have observed over the past 50 years. It has become what I have called a visceral somatic reflex. Instead of a problem going from the spine to the organ, it was from the organ to the spine.
If these barriers to healing are present, a chiropractic adjustment won’t hold as well. However, if these barriers are removed, adjustments work like they used to in the 1940s and 1950s. Learning to identify and remove these barriers to healing is an essential element of a holistic practice in this post-pandemic world.
FREDDIE ULAN, DC, CCN, is the founder of Nutrition Response Testing® and Ulan Nutritional Systems (UNS). UNS trains chiropractors and other holistic practitioners in nutrition and practice management.
- Vogel G, Couzin-Frankel J. Rare link between coronavirus vaccines and Long Covid–like illness starts to gain acceptance. Science Insider. July 2023. Science website. https://www.science.org/content/article/rare-link-between-coronavirus-vaccines-and-long-covid-illness-starts-gain-acceptance. Accessed Oct. 17, 2023.
- Trougakos IP, et. al. Adverse effects of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines: the spike hypothesis. Trends Mol Med. 2022;28(7):542-554. NCBI website. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9021367/. Accessed Oct. 17, 2023.
- Feature Article: Viral Shedding and COVID-19 — What Can and Can’t Happen. Parents Pack. Jun 3, 2021. CHOP website. https://www.chop.edu/news/feature-article-viral-shedding-and-covid-19-what-can-and-can-t-happen. Accessed Oct. 17, 2023.
- Byambasuren O, et. al. Effect of covid-19 vaccination on long covid: systematic review. BMJ Med. 20232(1). NCBI website. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9978692. Accessed Oct. 17, 2023.