Dr. Rice on Healthy Living
So many of the topic questions that get popped into the hat at Saturday Salons revolve around health in one way or another – diet, exercise, what we eat, what we think makes us well or sick, and of course, the recent passage of the Affordable Health Care Act, and how that will affect the delivery of health care services in the U.S.. Doctors of Chiropractic have helped me so much over the years, and yet I still know many people who have never been to one, and do not really understand what they do. I’ve had some wonderful chiropractors over the years, and currently go to the Atlas Wellness Center in Costa Mesa, CA. Dr. Kosta and Dr. Rice take great care of me there! I recently sat down with Dr. Rice, to have him share his thoughts on health with me. Here are some of the highlights of that interview:
Q: What is your definition of HEALTH?
A: My definition of “health” is a condition of optimal human function, at a physical, biochemical, social/emotional, and spiritual level. Many folks think of health as merely “the absence of disease”, or “feeling good”. However, many people who drop dead of heart attacks, cancer, or strokes do so with little or no warning signs. That’s why some of those diseases are known as “silent killers”; for example, in the case of heart disease, a fatal heart attack is the first sign in up to 50% of cases.
Q: How important do you think BUILDING COMMUNITY and RICH CONVERSATION is to our health?
A: I absolutely LOVE the concept of the Saturday Salon. I believe as humans, we crave interaction with other humans. The irony is that technology, while having the potential to connect us in unprecedented ways, actually has a not-so-subtle opposite effect. These days, an intellectually-stimulating, vis-a-vis conversation is an endangered species–we now Facebook, Tweet, and Skype our way into oblivion, and end up “connecting” on a superficial level with folks thousands of miles away, while neglecting the very people we have in front of us, oftentimes our own family.
Hopefully, the concept of the Saturday Salon and others like it will inspire us to reconnect with humans face-to-face, to rekindle our relationships with those near us, not only satiating the need for human interaction, but also allowing us to share in the knowledge of others, making us all more informed and more empowered.
Q: What is your PERSONAL MISSION in life?
A: My mission in life is to leave this world (or at least my family and my community) in better shape than I found it, via whatever means necessary. Fortunately, I found health care, more specifically chiropractic, which allows me to do this on a daily basis.
Q: How can people best understand what CHIROPRACTIC is?
Chiropractic is the science, philosophy, and art of removing subluxations, which create interference (i.e. pinched nerves) on the nervous system, which is the master system that controls and coordinates ALL functions of the human body, both voluntary (i.e. muscle movement) and involuntary (i.e. organ function). Everything we do as Doctors of Chiropractic is based on 4 basic principles:
1) The human body is self-healing, self-regulating.
2) The nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) controls ALL functions in the body.
3) Interference (aka “subluxation” or “pinched/irritated” nerve) to the nervous system is bad.
4) Removing the interference (with an adjustment) is good and helps the body function optimally.
Q: What does a DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) do?
A: We use adjustments, which are gentle forces applied with our hands, in order to remove interference to the nervous system by “unpinching” pinched or irritated nerves. These pinched nerves can occur throughout the entire human body, not only in the spine (vertebrae) but also in other joints like the shoulders, hips, and knees. In essence, we realign misalignments in vertebrae and other joints to correct and release pinched nerves. This will “reconnect” the brain and the body in order to allow the body to health itself and function optimally. This helps relieve pain as well as improve your overall body function (i.e. more energy, improved immunity, etc)
Q: What are the most common conditions seen by chiropractors?
A: Neck pain and low back pain, along with headaches are the most common. Also, chiropractic can help with joint pains (shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, etc) as well as other less-common conditions such as asthma, bedwetting, and ear infections.
Q: Are you saying chiropractic can cure asthma or ear infections?
A: Absolutely NOT. We NEVER claim to cure anything. What we do is help the body heal itself, by removing barriers to your nervous system being able to masterfully control and coordinate the millions/billions of chemical reactions that occur in our bodies to sustain life and sustain health. We’ve seen dozens of cases of children under chiropractic care who no longer need their inhalers, kids who had recurring ear infections who once adjusted had a “mysterious” resolution of their previously chronic infections, and other amazing results.
Q: A good chiropractor has gotten me back on my feet and able to work again several times. Could you share some success stories from your practice?
A: An interesting one is the story of Sean, a 16-yr old football player from our local high school, who fell while snowboarding and lost his hearing in his right ear. He came into the office, and after a thorough examination, we found a pinched nerve in his neck. We gently adjusted his neck, and he got up off the table and stated “OH. MY. GOD…I CAN HEAR.” Another great story is that of Maria, a lovely thirty-something woman who had developed a viral infection which resulted in a facial paralysis several weeks earlier. She had visited several doctors, who had taken x-rays, done MRIs, and all told her they couldn’t find anything. Her paralysis was progressively getting worse, to the point of her becoming so self-conscious of having a crooked smile that she no longer smiled or laughed. So, we examined her, found a pinched nerve in the middle portion of her neck, and within 2 weeks and 6 adjustments, her husband, a robust construction worker tough guy, came in sobbing, saying that morning was the first time he’d seen his wife smile in months, and it was a perfect, beautiful smile–the paralysis had resolved!
And finally, my favorite story: in my 1st year out of school and in practice, a young couple in their late 20s, Blythe and Chris, came to me for some low back pain. Incidentally, as I was taking a history she mentioned she had been unable to get pregnant. I did a scan, and found a pinched nerve in her low back, L3-L4, which coincidentally serves as the pathway from the brain to the reproductive organs. Long story short: we adjusted her twice a week for the next 2 week, and on the 3rd week, she came in one day, gleaming, smiling ear-to-ear. She didn’t even have to tell me. They were expecting, and dad was so inspired by what chiropractic had done for them, that he walked into his corporate job, gave his two week notice, and enrolled in chiropractic school that same day. He now practices outside of Atlanta.
Q: If you could give people Four Top Tips for Leading a Healthy Life, what would they be?
- Eat FOOD (Unprocessed, mostly raw fruits, veggies, nuts, leans meats and fish)
- Sleep better (not necessarily more, but better)
- Manage your stress levels–notice I said “manage”, not “avoid” as stress is inevitably an integral part of our everyday life.
- Exercise (both resistance and cardio), EVERY SINGLE DAY.