Symptoms Vs. Health

Symptoms vs Health - A Healthy Perspective

Have you ever wondered why some people develop symptoms and some don’t, even through they are all exposed to the same viruses or bacteria? Or why some people have a couple of days of sore throat and runny nose while others develop bronchitis and still others pneumonia?

This explanation is quoted from scientist Louis Pasteur, on his deathbed in 1895: “I have been wrong. The germ is nothing. The ‘terrain’ is everything.”

Germs are everywhere all the time. Yet, we do not always have symptoms of some awful illness. Or any illness, for that matter. Our immune system takes care of the vast majority of issues without us even being aware of them. Whether we develop symptoms or not is determined by the level of adaptability and health our body enjoys. Think about the last time you developed cold symptoms. Chances are, you were under additional stress, you were not getting enough rest, you were indulging in too much sugar. Each of those situations lowers our resistance to “invading bugs” primarily because our immune system had become compromised trying hard to take care of the stress, fatigue, and/or sugar overload.

What about an elevated temperature, otherwise known as a fever.  When the body elevates its temperature, it is an immune system response to a virus or bacteria that has gotten into the body. Every virus and bacteria can be killed when a certain temperature is reached. Just like a sterilizer kills the germs on equipment, our body knows exactly how high to raise our temperature to kill the germ in our system. An elevated temperature is your body’s way of keeping you healthy. Even though you may feel miserable, an elevated temperature is a healthy response.

Symptoms are just responses to an imbalance occurring in the body. They are nothing more than the body “talking” to us. They are neither good nor bad, although some require more attention than others. But none should be ignored or artificially covered up. Because symptoms are the body’s response, they are not good indicators of our level of health. Take the fever example, fever is a healthy response. How about vomiting?  When we vomit, we say we're "sick" but really it's our body getting rid of something toxic in the most expedient way. In these cases, the "symptoms" are actually healthy immune system responses.

Most of us have heard the stories of athletes who appear to be the picture of health, only to die unexpectedly of an undiagnosed heart condition. Many of us know someone who has been active, lived a seemingly healthy lifestyle, looked good and felt great, only to die suddenly of a stroke or heart attack or be diagnosed with cancer. These conditions don’t happen over night--they often take years to develop. These people may have looked and felt great, but their body was sick.

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defines Health as “a relative state in which one is able to function well physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually in order to express the full range of one's unique potentialities within the environment in which one is living. Current views of health and illness recognize health as more than the absence of disease. Realizing that humans are dynamic beings whose state of health can change from day to day or even from hour to hour, most authorities feel it is better to think of each person as being on a graduated scale or continuum ranging from obvious dire illness through the absence of evident disease to a state of optimal functioning in every aspect of one's life.”

To summarize, health is a dynamic state in which one enjoys optimal function in all aspects of life to reach his/her full potential, regardless of age. Since the state of health is dynamic, that must mean that our daily thoughts and actions can move us either toward health or away from health. Notice there is no mention of symptoms.

The body is an amazing creation with the uncanny ability to adapt to stress--whether from internal or external, mental or physical sources. For that reason, by the time symptoms are present and/or acknowledged, significant damage and compromise typically have already occurred. Your body is almost always sick long before symptoms develop.

Rather than listing a myriad of symptoms or conditions that see improvement with NUCCA chiropractic care, we recommend that each person have their spine and nervous system evaluated periodically throughout their lifetime. Just like a dentist evaluates for small problems and educates about good dental health, we evaluate for spine and nervous system problems that may be affecting your present quality of health and will provide lifestyle coaching to help you make positive choices throughout life. And if a problem is found, it is always more prudent and cost effective to take care of it while small rather than wait until a crisis arises.

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