Guest Column: The healing process: Cure or cover-up?

I have often wondered who came up with the idea that healing occurs from above-down and from the inside to the outside. Who came up with that idea, and did they just make it up? So I started some detective work…

Back in the 19th century, one of the greatest doctors of all time was Constantine Hering, whose quest to prove homeopathy a hoax turned him into a great homeopathic doctor. During his long career, he observed and recorded events that became known as Hering’s Laws. Here are some:

The body externalizes disease; symptoms will surface from the inside as healing progresses. (Chicken pox and Cocksackie virus are two vivid examples)

The body heals from top to bottom and from more vital organs to less vital organs.

Symptoms will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance.

Shortly after Hering left the scene, D.D. Palmer, the discoverer of chiropractic, made some pretty astute observations about the relationship between structure and function. But he was not a designer of playground equipment! He worked on people using “magnetic healing” to get them better. Lucky for us, he noticed that when the segments of the spine were not lined up right, health broke down, and when you lined them up again, health returned in a particular order. Now chiropractic philosophy started saying the same thing – healing occurs from above-down and from the inside to the outside.

At about the same time the Palmers were making headlines, another scientist in another discipline made pretty fundamental observations that support chiropractic philosophy. C.L. Herrick, considered the father of American psycho-biology, noted that “structure is a snapshot of behavior.” This means that how an animal uses itself affects the structure. Every time your back goes out when you lift a bag of conditioner salt, you’ll agree with Herrick. Did you use your legs right or your back wrong? George Coghill, a student of Herrick, noticed that the head and neck relationship of vertebrates determined how the arms moved.

Also at the same time, but on a different continent, F.M. Alexander was discovering how behavior affected function. On his own, he developed an understanding of how wrong habits can completely debilitate. As an actor in Tasmania, he noticed that how he used his voice (and head, neck, back and feet) determined whether his voice lasted through a performance.

The common thread through these stories is the importance of “inside” events. For Palmer, the “inside” is the nerve system surrounded by the spinal segments. For Herrick, Coghill and Alexander, the “inside” is behavior—also a function of the nerve system.

What does this mean for you? Simply this; if your health is not like you want it, are you using methods that cover up the problem, or are you actually going through the healing process? Are you correcting the problem on the inside so health can be restored from the inside? Chiropractic, Homeopathy and Alexander Technique can help you get started in the healing process.

Dr. Philip Schalow is owner of 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., Rockford’s only upper cervical center offering the NUCCA procedure and lessons in the Alexander Technique. Call 815-398-4500 for more information.

From the March 7-13, 2007, issue

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