Invisible disease... the hidden epidemic with today's children
You're familiar with all of these diseases and their classifications: learning disabilities, addictions, depression, anorexia, cutting, bulimia, suicide, concussions, post-war stress disorder, and mental illness. Society automatically accepts the illness concepts as true. Is it medical or cultural? Any time we find a certain segment of the population with the same symptoms, you can be sure there'll be a name assigned to it, or at least some letters or an acronym. If an MRI or CT scan is taken of most of these disease concepts (especially early), they're invisible. They get lumped into categories and the labeling may last a lifetime.
Let's look at things from a historical viewpoint. Post-war stress disorder existed following WWI, WWII, and Vietnam. Yet, it wasn't as prevalent as it is in today's society. Record numbers of returning soldiers are now affected by this disorder. Even though they're far removed from wartime events, they continue to suffer from symptoms that make daily living all but impossible and life's enjoyment far out of reach. What if their level of health was severely compromised before they started serving? Could this be affecting their mind's ability to process and balance their experiences overseas as opposed to today's culture?
How about the epidemic of concussions in contact sports today? You may find this hard to believe, but hockey players from the 1960s played without masks. While most of us who played in that era had to have many stitches on our unprotected faces, not many of us remember having or knowing someone who had concussions. Today it's common for three to five members of a Division I hockey team to be concussed at any given time. What if their level of health was severely compromised before they started playing?
We've all been in temporary lowered levels of health. When you have a cold or the flu, you don't want to face difficult decisions or solve problems. Imagine your body as a light bulb. If you're a dim light bulb, you just don't have the light to power your body. If you're injured, or must endure emotional injury in a compromised state, your body can get stuck in a cycle known as an invisible disease. It just doesn't have the power to adapt, particularly with slow growing body tissues like brain and nerves.
Today's children face a myriad of illnesses unheard of in past generations, especially allergies - to food, to breathing, to other children (anxiety) and, of course, to learning. For practitioners who've been at chiropractic for a while, this is simply unheard of. Modern day parents accept sickness and illness as a way of life until somebody teaches them a better way. If we go back to our anatomy and physiology textbooks, or even the "Green Books,” there's a term most readers simply skim over: ADAPTATION. No matter how much invisible disease there is out there, it's never the answer. When there's no adaptation, there's dis-ease of the system. Health is adaptation in action.
Invisible disease is epidemic in modern day children's society. Since children don't have a voice when it comes to health, they rely on the information - or misinformation - of their parents. That's scary because many parents simply take the path of least resistance. They take their kids to the pediatrician, where the problem can get started.
Many of these invisible diseases are chronic and long-term. Parents keep asking the MDs for quicker and more powerful solutions. Without understanding the mechanism of invisible disease or the foundation of true health, the usual outside-in mentality is enforced with predictable results: more kids on multiple medications and with chronic illnesses than any time in history. Many DCs don't feel the responsibility to help these youngsters. Invisible disease can be very intimidating. Lots of opinions, few solutions.
A principled DC who has a supreme connection to serve these children sees an opportunity to reach previously unreachable parents. Although some parents don't think it's their responsibility to teach their children about health, others DO. When you get parents who understand the connection of health in childhood to health in adulthood, they'll "find a way” to meet their kids' needs. By helping parents understand true health, they want their child to be a bright light bulb and are willing to make the necessary commitment.
Invisible disease is a downward shift in society, indicating that society's emotional, social, and mental needs aren't being met. Who better than DCs to usher in a new era of producing results when nobody else can get the job done? If you're still clinging to the adult musculoskeletal pain model, this is a great time to increase your scope!
(The leader in patient education since 1977, The New Renaissance is a movement of passionate chiropractors dedicated to changing the world. TNR's coaching program is a navigational guide that embodies the very essence of The New Renaissance vision of healthier people creating a healthier world. Drs. Kevin Pallis and Ed Plentz remind all chiropractors: "Without patient education, your patients won't ‘get it.'”Learn more about TNR by calling 800.525.3879 or visit http://coachingforchiropractors.com)
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