I was examining a new patient the other day to determine why he had longterm back pain and I could sense he was just “not getting it”. He was simply unable to stay tuned in and follow along on the same page as me. His eyes were all over the place but mostly the floor. When I spoke with him he didn’t meet my eyes and the “yes suh’ answers from him told me lots about his background.
When diagnosing the cause of lower back pain for example, first I take a thorough case history and dig for events which may have happened in the past that although forgotten now, could still be having lasting functional implications. I wanted to give him one of my “Wow” exams showing him that I was a terrific physician and he was lucky to have stumbled upon me and my unique services. Ha, ha, ha it doesn’t work that way as we all know. This patient had come from a referral who had told him to go to me and get his very painful ongoing back pain resolved. I felt like sending him to the liquor store. I am a chiropractor, I don’t treat pain. Drugs of any kind are not in a working chiropractor’s utility bag.
So what had me piqued with this patient? I was piqued because he was absolutely incompliant. For whatever reason he had the eyes rolled back look which just made you feel like he was there, but not in mind and spirit. Part of the standard physical exam in my offices is to manually test muscles throughout the body to determine if they were able to work on demand. He couldn’t get past the why for this “need to know” his muscles functional status.
I explained that when his body is healthy the muscles are in a state of readiness to pull all of the bony parts up and tight together, to stack the bones to take the stress of gravity and motion; sometimes the muscles are not capable to do this and that non working state is unhealthy. When some of the muscles aren’t in a state of readiness to do work, then finding and fixing them is the chiropractor’s job. When all of the muscles are tested and reprogrammed to be working the adjustments will stay and hold. Only free flowing unobstructed nerves can provide the prompting for the pieces and parts to go to work. Healthy current carrying nerves to and from the brains nourish and nurture the tissues throughout the body, including the muscles. He then put his hand on his back and said “make the pain go away Dr., my friend said you could fix the pain”.
Steady, I cautioned myself, my 42 years of licensed practice has taught me that this planet is laden with others just like this one and they got well, so carry on. But I was now challenged and needed to be the on-purpose thinker here.
“Beans,” I said to him, “I like beans!” Aha, he looked at me with his eyebrows raised in query... I had him now. “That’s right, beans; I like beans, particularly those broad beans in the spring when they are so soft and nourishing.” Still the questioning look, I could only imagine his thoughts about how kooky his new Dr. was. “So to get these beans going well in my garden I first get the soil prepared just so with chicken manure and compost and dig it in thoroughly. Then I get the best bean seeds and plant each one by hand in just the right place.” He was thinking and now in head nodding agreement, so far so good. Then I train those beans to go up the poles and catch the wind and the sun. But the most important thing is that they get plenty of water; it nurtures and allows the beans to thrive.” He was now nodding, smiling and fully understanding.
“And then” I said, “one day I was down in the garden watering the beans and my jokey brother sneaks out of the house and while hiding, stands on my hose.” I then asked him, “If he keeps his foot on the hose, what do you think happens to my beans?” “Well without the water those beans dry up fast Doc.” he replied.
Aha, now he could be easily lead to the bait. “So if less water gets to them how can I make them flourish again?” I continued with my eyes wide and an expectant smile. “You’ve got to take your brother’s foot off the hose!” he exclaimed. “Good boy” I thought, “got him hook, line and sinker.”
“So if we do take my brother’s foot off the hose and the life giving water returns and the beans flourish, doesn’t that parallel you and your health?” Again the eye raise and he started to drop his head when I quickly said to him, “Well then, if the water goes through the hose and nourishes the beans and the electric currents of the body are like the water for they are in the nerves flowing too from the head throughout the body and back again nourishing the cells, then taking any bones resting on the nerves and moving them would do a similar thing wouldn’t it?” “I ain’t know about no nerves Doc.” he replied. Darn, I had him but he seems to have thrown the hook and got away. I quickly asked him, “But you do know about beans and their ongoing need for water to give them life and to grow and thrive don’t you?” “Sure Doc. We all know about the garden,” he replied.
“Well your muscles are like the beans and they too need nourishment. When the brain current flowing through out you is weak and gives less flow, for whatever reason, it leads to weakness of those same muscles. In turn the muscles working less will allow us to skew and twist and then bind up the spinal and extremity joints causing you your back pain. And if that is right then taking my brothers feet off the nerves should fix the cause of your back pain. “
“Doc., you say the darndest things but I think I get the idea. With you testing and then turning back on the non working muscles, I should then get a much better control of the back and its strength." Brilliant! “So that is why I want to manually test your muscles, to then determine, by which ones are weak, which of the nourishing systems are failing too.” I liked this patient more and more as he came on line better. He then quipped to me, “Hey Doc. Will this take away my back pain?”
I replied, “Let’s get the beans and muscles nourished first and you can text me in a few hours and let me know how the pain is doing.” He complied; his back pain went abruptly away with some specific adjustments of his spinal vertebrae. The adjustments allowed his body to restore the electrical flow.
Your body is full of beans? I have been a teaching chiropractor for many years and little stories like this abound in the bags of tools necessary to teach what health really is; health is by definition, “All of the parts working to potential, all of the time.” How on this earth are you going to get an accurate evaluation of the function of the parts if we are not testing those same parts, testing to see if they can function? And how are we as physicians going to construct a workable plan to restore health if we don’t know where the patient is being denied the life giving currents that nurture and nourish the parts on an ongoing basis?
About the author:
Dr. Brian Blower has been a licensed
chiropractor for over 40 years
practicing Applied Kinesiology and has been in private practice on
Grand Bahama Island for the past
15 years. He is a founding member of Applied Kinesiology Canada and was
educated at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He is a founding
member of the Bahamas Association of Chiropractic. He has treated
many celebrities and also specializes in sports medicine. He can be
reached at 242-351-5424/ 727-2454. You
can also find Dr. Blower on Facebook HERE
Feel free to contact Dr. Blower with any of your questions or comments at BodyByBlower@yahoo.com