Treating Symptoms

I have found that EVERY willing action in life comes down to one letter in the alphabet that represent two words in the English language.  The letter is “P and the words are:

PAIN and PLEASURE

If it hurts enough or feels good enough, we are motivated to take action.  Even logical thinking will permit irrational behavior to lead the way when it comes to PAIN and PLEASURE.  How many people on a regular basis take Advil, Motrin, Aleve or some other over the counter drug or prescriptive drug to “relieve” some form of symptom?  The following list of side effects (by law) is given to the consumer explaining the risks associated with these products.

  1. indigestion
  2. stomach ulcers
  3. increased blood pressure
  4. stomach and intestinal bleeding
  5. heart failure
  6. stroke
  7. death

Over 100,000 people are hospitalized and over 16,000 die each year from these over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory meds.  Why does the consumer reach for these drugs knowing the RISKS without a second thought? The answer is simple.

  1. The consumer does not believe these risks will happen to them.
  2. These drugs are widely available and used regularly.
  3. They are easy to use and commonly reduce symptoms.

SO WHAT IS REQUIRED TO GAIN YOUR ATTENTION AND MOTIVATE YOU TO THINK ABOUT BETTER OPTIONS (defined as actions the consumer must take and products with less dangerous adverse reactions) before blindly reaching for these drugs?

How about these facts:

  1. It is important to realize that symptoms are not normal.  They are the bodies method of telling the brain that the current problem cannot be resolved without additional assistance.  In essence, it is a wake up call to action.
  2. Symptoms are NOT the problem; they are the RESULT of the problem.
  3. Pain relievers (prescriptive and non prescriptive) will never fix the underlying problem.  They will attempt to mask the symptom allowing the underlying problem to go unresolved. A good example is osteoarthritis.  This is a degenerative condition that develops over time (commonly treated with advil, aleve, etc…) leading often to a debilitating outcome as we age.  In attempting to reduce the pain of arthritis, frequent use of these meds accelerate the damage and loss of function in a shorter period of time.

So now that we understand the difference between symptoms and underlying problems, where should we turn first to look for the underlying problem?

Start by asking yourself, “is it possible that “I Am” the underlying problem?”  Can your lifestyle be a major contributing factor explaining why you hurt or feel the way you do?  Since your body, under normal healthy conditions is excellent at self regulating, (ex. blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, immune system, etc…) there are two possible explanations for its “malfunction:”

  1. Your lifestyle is interfering with your body’s ability to do its job?
  2. Your symptoms are the result of a deficiency of advil, aleve, aspirin, or prescriptive medication? 

It is my opinion that choice #1 is more likely the underlying problem.  Give your body what it needs and you are more likely to have fewer symptoms and a better quality of life.  I have found that addressing the following six points dramatically improves the physical, mental and emotional aspects of life.

  • a healthy balanced nutrition plan (try starting with 70% healthy/ 30% comfort food- this makes it realistic)
  • moderate exercise (3-4 times/week starting at 15-20 minutes per session)
  • restful sleep (6/8 hours/night)
  • proper WATER intake (start with at least 48oz/day.  Graduate up to half your body weight in ounces) ex. if you weigh 160 pounds, you should ultimately consume around 80oz. of water. (Coffee and Tea are NOT water substitutes.)
  • stress reduction
  • a healthy nervous system (your communication system to the entire body).  Your chiropractor will explain this vital component and how they can assist you in maintaining spinal health.

When these aspects are in balance, the typical symptoms people complain about in life including headaches, back and neck pain, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, thyroid issues, hormone imbalances, etc… are less likely to exist.

When and if symptoms do arise AFTER you have modified your lifestyle, why not introduce effective products to your body that work with your body and avoid the toxic side effects that drugs produce. These are readily available at your natural supply stores (Whole Foods and Earth Fare are two examples in the U.S.)  (Disclaimer: Before purchasing and/or using any of the following products always check with your chiropractic physician, naturopathic physician, osteopathic physician, medical physician or accupuncturist to make certain they are appropriate and are not contra-indicated with other products {drugs and/or supplements taken.})

Some examples of natural products may include:

Natural Muscle Relaxers
  • chamomile tea and valerian
  • cayenne pepper
  • passion flower
  • vervain
  • magnesium
Natural Anti-Inflammatory
  • turmeric
  • willow bark
  • cats claw
  • ginger
  • boswellia serrata
  • bromelain

Just like any drug, these products need to be used in the proper combinations with the proper dosages. Your health care provider will assist you with these details.  DO NOT USE ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS WITHOUT PROPER GUIDANCE FROM YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.

Have I GAINED YOUR ATTENTION and helped MOTIVATE YOU TO THINK ABOUT BETTER OPTIONS for your health?

It’s up to you.  If you are happy with your life and how you feel your path may be perfect for you. If you are stuck in the same routine that has produced a less than desired outcome, maybe NOW is the time to create a fork in the road to begin a new path to better health.  I have provided an outline to help get you started. If you run into roadblocks or have any questions, I am here to help. All you have to do is post a comment and I will respond. Sometimes knowing that a perfect stranger cares about YOU and your well being helps initiate a cascade of positive actions that follow.

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