Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Wishes of the Upper Cervical Variety

Adapted from "12 days of Christmas, but only 3 Christmas Wishes"

There are 12 days of Christmas, but if I were to drop a letter in the mail to old Kris Kringle I would only have 3 items on my list.

Christmas Wish #1:  More doctors like Dr. Bruce Bell.

A couple of decades ago, upper cervical care certainly wasn’t on the radar of Dr. Bruce Bell MD, a family practice physician in the suburbs of Chicago.

Being a guy who loved his patients and science, he began to notice a trend among his patient population: some of them saw improvements in health status after receiving upper cervical care (UCC). He investigated it and discovered the NUCCA upper cervical approach to spinal balance.

That began a personal investigation into upper cervical care (UCC). And over several years, Dr. Bell sent thousands of referrals to an upper cervical doctor, Dr. Marshall Dickholtz, Sr. of Chicago, Illinois. The fruits of the Bell and Dickholtz working relationship weren’t just limited to happier patients. Dr. Bell insisted on trying to document some of the changes that he saw in his patients, and began the long task of trying to form a research investigation into NUCCA.

In a story to long to tell here, that investigation ended in the very groundbreaking pilot study on UCC and hypertension featured in the Journal of Human Hypertension. In that pilot study it was shown there was a strong association between NUCCA UCC and the reduction of blood pressure in high blood pressure patients.

Now the National Institutes of Health is funding another study to see if these findings can be reproduced among a larger patient population. And thousands of patients are discovering UCC who wouldn’t have found it otherwise!

All of this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Dr. Bruce Bell, who stepped outside his experience, and found good things were happening for his patients under UCC.

Christmas Wish #2: More money for UCC research

Right now the Upper Cervical Research Foundation is researching the relationship between the upper cervical spine, and a number of conditions which cause human suffering. And they aren’t the only ones. A number of chiropractic colleges have strong, award winning research departments, whose studies have been instrumental in expanding our understanding about the human body. And the relationship between our health and health of the spine.

But it wasn’t until as recently as 1998, that chiropractic institutions began to get significant funding from the National Institutes of Health. Right now, those funding dollars add up to several millions of dollars a year, often spread out over many projects.

Compared to several decades ago, it’s better than nothing. But compared to the tens of billions of dollars the federal government gives medical institutions for research, per year, the amount is almost insignificant.

There are now hundreds of studies which support the benefits of care. Far more than there were even a few years ago. But for the public and the health care system to benefit from care, we need to be able to show how and why we help.

We can’t do that without more research money.

Christmas Wish #3: More children under upper cervical care

“I wish I would have tried this 30 years ago,” is a common phrase heard in my office, and the office of other chiropractors. Of course, sometimes it’s 10 years ago, or 2 years ago, but you get the idea.

My response, though I don’t always say it, is:  ” No, someone should have checked you right after birth.”

Now, not every baby has a difficult birth. And many of our modern birthing methods can save the lives of seriously threatened infants. Yet, they can also place a lot of stress on the upper cervical spine of infants as they move through the birth canal. A process that already places stress on the child’s head and neck.

As a result of this stress, many children come into the world with their bodies out of balance, and they show evidence of it as they grow. For many this shows up as inability or refusal to nurse on one side, a distorted sleep posture (c-shaped bent to the side), stronger motor development on one side of the body than the other, and colicky symptoms.

I can tell you from personal experience, that each of my children has only received a handful of adjustments, they tend to maintain their alignment for a long time, and don’t experience the health problems that plague their playmates, like colic, headaches, and ear infections.

Perhaps if more parents were willing to actually see if their child’s “head was on straight” we might be able to avoid some of the more serious problems that bring people to the doctor later on in life.

Thank you for reading my Christmas wish list! Here’s how you can make each of these wishes come true:

1.If you’re a person who’s seen major improvements in health since starting upper cervical care, share those changes with your primary care physician. They deserve to know what you’re doing.

2.If you’d like to have more groundbreaking research, consider become a donating sponsor of the Upper Cervical Research Foundation.

3.If you’re a parent with a child who has health challenges, consider the possibility that your child’s spinal alignment has a role to play in their health maintenance and healthy development. And get your child to an upper cervical doctor.

Have a blessed Holiday!

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