I was talking with a client this week about his care. He continually used the word 'treatment' and I cringed. It's one of the words that I despise using in my line of work. It got me thinking about how important our language and verbiage is. But first, let me tell you why I can't stand the word treatment in my office.
To treat or treatment, in the terms of health care, is care given for a specific illness or injury. You might be thinking, why does this irk me so much? It all comes down to what can be achieved by a Chiropractic adjustment. An adjustment doesn't give care for a specific illness or injury. What it does do is allow the communication of the nervous system and the brain flow without interference. This means the goal of the adjustment is to improve the body's ability to send signals. When this improves then the function of the body as a whole improves. This may mean that the illness or injury that you came in for improves. Or not. It may mean that you sleep better, have improved energy, digest better, feel looser, less pain, just to name a few. Technically, the improvement is a side effect of the care provided and the care is not given for a specific illness or injury. It may seem like semantics and inconsequential, but when we are specific about WHY we are doing something, we can truly evaluate how it is affecting us.
At Primal Practice we use the terms adjustment instead of manipulation, care plan instead of treatment plan, and client instead of patient. All of these words are specific to empowering our clients to be an active part of their care. An adjustment is specific impulse to stimulate the nervous system to create change versus a manipulation which is more global with an intention to move stuck joints. A care plan is focused on you as a whole person rather than reducing you to treatment plan looking at a singular piece of you. The term client is used in lieu of patient because you are part of the process and your health is your responsibility. Our job is to be on your team and help facilitate the health that your body is already working on. Too often as patients we default to taking a back seat and letting somebody else have the responsibility for healing us. Healing never works that way. Your body is the one doing the healing and being present and engaged to this fact is important for the process.
We are defined by our language. Just as we take care with other parts of our life, using our words to support what we are trying to achieve is part of the process. At Primal we strive to create an experience that allows you to be heard, to be actively part of the process and to be excited to take your health to a greater level.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. What words do you use or avoid in your life/work/relationships to support what you want to achieve?
Peace, Love and Wellness
Trying to make change in our lives is hard. One of the biggest goals that people have is to be healthier. Being healthier can encompass a variety of different things, but it usually boils down to three. Look better, move better and feel better. There are many different avenues to take to achieve any or all of these goals, but for the most part the first thought is what can I stop to attain X, Y and Z goal.
When we decide to do something to look better, move better or feel better (or a combo of all three), in essence we are creating greater health for ourselves. But generally, we are deciding first to eliminate or subtract something to achieve this result. For example, "I'm going to quit sugar, alcohol or fried foods etc', 'I'm going to stop bingeing on inane shows at night and go to bed earlier', 'I'm going to stop slouching and stop sitting for many hours in the day'. All of these statements focus on what can be stopped with the goal of creating health. But here's the thing we can't create anything by subtraction. By the actual definition of create we must produce something to bring a result. To create we must add to our lives. Therefore, to create health we must add healthy behaviors and habits into the mix, instead of removing ones we don't want. If we take the examples from above they become, 'I'm going to eat vegetables at every meal.''I'm going to be in bed by 9pm every night.''I'm going to get up from my desk every hour for at least 5 minutes and walk around, I'm also going to make an appointment with Primal Practice Chiropractic to learn how I can improve my posture.'
These statements all focus on the addition of healthy behaviors and this is what creation is all about. By implementing this way of thinking and behavior modification, the natural consequence is that you don't have as much time or energy to continue with the habits that aren't currently serving you. They fall by the wayside with much less fuss and fanfare, and it can seem like a Jedi mind trick if in the past you've been trying to quit things to get the result you want to create.
What healthy behavior do you want to add into your life? Let me know! And if you need help, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Peace, Love and Wellness
I have been asked on more than one occasion if we see men in the practice. While for the most part, we see women and children, we do have awesome male clients who are getting awesome results. This month Edward is our Practice Member of the Month! Edward came to the office through the gym that my husband owns and operates 5 Valleys CrossFit. Staying fit, performing in the gym and keeping healthy are all super important to him. I'll let him describe his experience at Primal Practice, but I love that he prioritizes his adjustments because they allow him to do all the things that he loves at a level that surpasses an un-adjusted Ed. :)
"I initially came into Primal Practice because of knee pain. It was preventing me from going to the gym and was constantly nagging me throughout the day. Since getting adjusted my knee pain is gone, my hips feel infinitely times better when I squat, I can squat significantly more weight because of this, I am less achy when I get out of bed, and when I injure myself my body recovers much more quickly than in the past!
I continue to choose chiropractic care for myself because I came to Liz in the past for my knee pain and it helped. I stopped coming for a couple of years, but found myself not performing to a level that I liked, as well as having my knee pain reoccur. It seemed a natural choice to return to what worked in the past, Chiropractic care with Liz. Since starting again I feel much better while receiving care than not!"
People chose Chiropractic for many different reasons. But the one thing that is consistent among the people who continue to chose care regularly for their health, is that they notice their body works better when they are adjusted.
Thanks for being a part of Primal Practice and sharing your story Ed. We appreciate you!
Peace, Love and Wellness
There are a ton of misconceptions about Chiropractic. Everyday I'm in my office I get to witness powerful stories from clients on what they are experiencing through their care. Some are just what you might think - resolution from low back and neck pain and then there are days that surprise me! Even though I intellectually know what's possible, sometimes seeing really is believing. That's why I've decided that once a month I'm going to dedicate this blog to telling stories about what has happened in my office. One of the biggest reasons for doing this is that our current health status is dismal. We are told that we are victims of our circumstances and genes and unless we get on said medication there is no hope for us. I call bullshit. This next story is the epitome of the healing power of the body!
My client, whom I will call Jessica, came to me with a primary complaint of mid back and rib pain. At the first visit I'm mostly interested in your health, not your pain, but how your body is functioning as a whole. So, diving into Jessica's history I find that her health is not good. And as a young adult, it doesn't bode well for the rest of her life. Hormonal issues (so common, but not normal!), aches/pains, medications for all kinds of things, mental health issues, and a general apathy that she has any power to change her lot in life. It was so sad to see! The great thing was that she was motivated to do something different. When we talked in depth about how Chiropractic may be able to help her, I knew she was struggling to see past the pain that she came in with, but was open to actually getting to the root cause rather than continuing to mask the symptoms.
Jessica is a great client. She sticks with her care plan, is open to the changes we talk about, and even though her pain went away within the first few adjustments she saw the benefit to her system as a whole for continuing care. It took about 3 months before I saw the severity of her hormonal issues. She made it into her appointment but looked like death mildly warmed up, and that is being generous. I knew at this point I had to look a little deeper with what was going on with her nervous system. Within the technique that I use, Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT), there is a branch that looks at the organ system and how that may or may not be working. Her system was showing dysfunction at the uterine level. No surprise here. Jessica has endometriosis, as well as previous uterine cysts, and the ultrasound that she just had showed the presence of more cysts.
For anyone that has experienced cramping during their periods (sorry guys!) you know that laying in a position other than the fetal one is pretty uncomfortable. I performed the adjustment that Jessica's body needed and suddenly laying flat wasn't so bad. The pain that she had within her lower abdomen receded, the shooting pain that she was having up into her stomach was gone and color returned to her face as well as a smile. When she got off the table the tears came because it had been over a week of unbearable pain that impacted her life, work and school. Personally, I was blown away by the immediate change. The power of the body when it has the right message to heal is AH-mazing AF!
I want to put a BIG disclaimer in here that I did not cure Jessica's pain. The adjustment I gave was not intended to take away her pain or mask her symptoms so she wouldn't feel them anymore. The intention behind each adjustment is to increase the body's ability to heal through improved connection of the nervous system. It may seem like semantics, but it's not. I didn't know that adjustment was going to immediately take Jessica's pain away. But, I did know that the adjustment would improve the connection and with better connection comes better function. When that happens, what seems like a miracle can happen. I joke that I have magic hands, but it's just that, a joke. The magic is in your body. It's always been in your body and always will be. The issue in our current paradigm is that we are so busy searching for the magic health bullet, we stop searching to give our body what it needs to run as efficiently and healthily as possible. Part of what it needs is a clear connection between the brain and the body and that my friends, is achieved through Chiropractic care.
Curious to know more? Send me an email email@example.com or book a free consult!
Peace, Love and Wellness
Our annual Treat Yourself event is back and even bigger! We had amazing success last year, and made this year bigger and better. All ticket sales go to the Ronald McDonald House right here in Missoula. They provide emergency housing for families with kiddos in the hospital and moms with high risk pregnancies. They are an amazing resource in our community!!
For more information you can check out the facebook event or purchase tickets!
I was so excited. Yesterday, I had planned a trip to Fairmont Hot Springs. After a busy couple of months with family in town, we finally had a weekend with just us. I crave this time. Time to connect with on a deeper level with those that have the biggest piece of my heart. So I planned this quick trip. An easy drive over to Fairmont, swim and soak, stay the night and then back home again. What is the old saying, 'when you make plans, the universe laughs'? It definitely laughed right in our face. We got 30 mins from Fairmont when our car decided it had had enough and just stopped. Luckily, we were able to pull off an exit before getting stranded. Just over 90 minutes later we were back in Missoula after being towed home. What is actually wrong with our car still remains to be seen, but I'm sure it's either a costly fix or us looking for a new car, also not a cheap endeavor.
Looking back on how we had taken care of our car, we are kind of embarrassed. We missed the last service and oil change, and our record with being on time with our car maintenance was pretty dismal. It's no wonder we are now looking at a costly exercise to get us to some new wheels. This is so indicative of how many treat their bodies. Many wait until their body is not only rattling and groaning, but actually screaming before taking action. When we wait until something is seriously wrong, the road back to health is going to be long, time consuming and a significant investment.
I see this frequently. When I hear 'my health is pretty good, I just take this and this medication, my energy tanks in the afternoon, my PMS severely effects my ability to function one week every month, and I need a sleep aid to actually get any sleep etc etc.' Symptoms are your bodies check engine light. They are your back up camera beep beep beeping, telling you that you're about to hit something. Our bodies are amazing. They will continue to adapt to terrible maintenance for longer than you would ever put up with someone treating you poorly. They continue to strive for homeostasis every single day. Many band-aid the warning signs - over the counter NSAIDs, prescription drugs, CBD, alcohol/tobacco and a concerted effort to ignore, but eventually you will be shown in no uncertain circumstances that a cover up is never the answer.
Taking the time to care for your body in a way that will allow you to thrive isn't easy. It takes time, effort and dollar bills. A clear and connected nervous system, daily movement, quality nutrition and a healthy dose of self efficacy is not the norm in our society. Lack of symptoms is healthy. Hell, symptoms controlled with medication is healthy. But it's not. I encourage you to take a hard look at yourself. Get the facts of your health and then make the necessary changes, because there will definitely be changes to be made. I truly believe how we do one thing, is how we do everything, so I'll be taking a deep look at how I'm taking care of myself. If I can't take care of my car so it doesn't break down on the side of the road, there are obviously pieces of my own health that I'm missing. Stay tuned to hear what they are!
If you need help, reach out. I would love to help you achieve your health goals and make lasting change in your life. Not only do you deserve it, but your family does too.
Peace, Love and Wellness
I was talking with a client yesterday about the two different parts of the autonomic nervous system. One portion is our fight/flight/freeze division known as our sympathetic nervous system. This one is designed to help us flee from danger and should be dominant our physiology about 20% of the time. The other portion is our rest/digest/heal division known as our parasympathetic nervous system. Ideally this is our dominating system working 80% of our day. Unfortunately for most of us, those percentages have switched around and we spend most of our day in a state ready to run from a tiger, even though there is no obvious tiger present. My client is well versed in anatomy and physiology and understands how they work. But she was missing one vital piece. When we were discussing how to manage stressors and improving parasympathetic function, I was told that it'll happen on Monday (her day off).
Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about three day weekends. Having an extra day to recoup from a stressful week and possibly weekend is important. But, waiting to deal with a stress-filled life, until there is a whole day available is missing the boat. To be truly healthful, your body needs to be able to adapt to your stressors as they come up and then return to the parasympathetic state. Bottling them up for many days until you have a day free to deal with them is never going to give you a vital, thriving life on a day to day basis. It'll just have you constantly playing catch up. And a body playing catch up is going to eventually break down in the form of illness and/or injury.
What can you do to help your body daily to have a dominating rest/digest/heal state? I'm so glad you asked.
Stress is unavoidable. We need it to grow and develop as humans. But, when it becomes overbearing it leads to a whole host of health issues. Start implementing some of the tips above and reap the benefits!
Peace, Love and Wellness
I was watching a video the other day about communication. The video presented the idea that we all see things differently. For example if you close your eyes and picture a red apple it would look different to probably everyone that did the test. Some would see a red shiny apply. Some would see would see an apple with a stem and no leaves, an apple with multiple leaves, an apple with a bite out of it etc etc. The video also highlighted that the terms and language that we use are interpreted differently based on our background, upbringing, culture etc. I see this everyday being an Aussie living in America. The words that I use either don't translate at all, or mean something completely different. That's all interesting you may be thinking, what does this have to do with the rise of the machines?
Well, you may have heard that the human body is the most sophisticated machine out there. What does this mean to you? If we think of machines as we know them, any machine such as a computer, a car, or an electric nail gun, each of these examples have similar properties in how they work. The human body is also quite similar in many respects to actual machines. We must maintain them on a regular basis to get the most out of them and to ensure a long life and there are certain best practices for said maintenance. But, the human body has a distinct difference, that I believe disqualifies us from being a machine in the first place.
Let's take a car for an example. Regular services, oil changes, tire rotations, cleaning, regular driving so it doesn't sit idle and keeping it out of the elements will all make for a healthy and well running car. For a human body this is translated to regular services via self care such as Chiropractic, healthy food, good sleep habits, a healthy movement practice, and a life filled with purpose will lead to a healthy and well running human body. So, what is the difference?
If a car breaks down, no matter how hard you work at keeping it healthy, the approach that you take is what can you add to the car from the outside to help it get back to where it was. This is an outside in approach. The human body works the opposite. Healing is always an inside out approach. Your body is self healing and self regulating through your innate intelligence. Everything that you do on the outside, all of those healthy behaviors, support your innate. Our body has requirements for the perfect expression of your innate intelligence. These are daily movement, nutrition, positive mindset through your life's purpose and a nervous system working free from interference so the messages that are being sent are the right ones (this is what we do through Chiropractic adjustments).
Machines can't do this. They can't self regulate on a second by second basis like your body. They can't heal themselves when things go amiss. They are unable to take imperfect inputs such as poor nutrition and make them work for you. How cool is your body? Your body will continue to strive for health no matter how badly you treat it. Eventually, it'll break down because it can no longer compensate, but overall it's continually working for you. This should feel empowering. You're not a victim in your health, but the leader of the pack. Each choice you make - working out in the morning, drinking a healthful smoothie, going to bed instead of watching another episode on Netflix etc all supports this amazing thing that you get to call your own.
So while the machines in our life are on the rise, and we continue to automate everything and anything that we can. They have nothing on us. Our body isn't a machine. It's a finely tuned organism that is ready and willing to do whatever it can to keep you healthy. Each day you can move towards greater health or away from it, you get to choose.
Peace, Love and Wellness
Poppy Wild Sargent is just one of the sweetest kids you'll ever meet. She has been a practice member of Primal Practice since she was just 10 months old. When she comes in for her adjustments, she picks out her favorite face cloth (duh, poppies of course), climbs right up on the table and lays so peacefully. Poppy's parents, Hillary and Matt, choose to have Poppy checked on a monthly basis. They choose this not because anything is wrong with her (in fact she is probably the healthiest 3 year old you'll ever meet) but because they see the value of a clear and connected nervous system for her health, development and well-being. Check out what Poppy has to say in her own words!
1. What brought you into Primal Practice initially? MY MOM. BUT I KEEP COMIGNFOE THE TOYS.
2. How have you benefited from getting adjusted? SHE MAKES ME FEEL NICE, SHES PRETRY NICE. I LAY THERE LIKE THIS AND PIT MY ARMS UP LIKE THIS (puts her palms together and raises them over her head).
3. Why do you continue to choose chiropractic care for yourself and your family at Primal Practice? FOR THE TOYS, THE GATE THAT OPENS....and mom says....POPPY IS SO HEALTHY AND IF EVER SHE GETS A LITTLE SICK SHE GETS THROUGH IT FAST WITH GOOD FOOD AND MONTHLY OR MORE IF NEEDED CHIRO CARE️
This is not a pro or anti vaccination post. But I am going to use them as an example. There are so many emotions that surround vaccines. To a point, that I put them on a short list of being aware of who you are talking to when discussing them. If you're interested the other things are politics, gun control and money. Highly charged topics that pretty much everyone is unwilling to discuss or actively listen to a different view point.
Missoula is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. If you could call it that. The news reported 169 cases in the Missoula county, which has a population of just shy of 110,000 (according to google). As a percentage that makes 0.15% of the population, hardly the definition of an outbreak, which is a violent or sudden start of something unwelcome.
Why am I talking about this? Because, in my opinion, reporting of this nature is designed to spread fear. When we are taught to fear diseases, as a whole we don't do the research we need to make an actual informed choice (I'm completely generalizing here). This in turn creates heightened emotions surrounding the topic, to a point where it's hard to have a discussion with somebody who doesn't share our viewpoint. Members of our community get ostracized because they might choose differently for their family. I know this is not what the Missoula community wants. I see it on a daily basis. Sentiments to spread love, not hate; messages of inclusivity and powerful statements from individuals and businesses for oneness.
Whether you choose to vaccinate or not is not my point. Again, I have chosen to use this example because it is a perfect example of when we make decisions out fear we lose our power. I implore you, when you do make decisions health based or otherwise, to do so from your power, not because you're scared.
Peace, Love and Wellness