Part two—Why Harvey became deaf

July 1, 1993

The last time I wrote, you got the story of Harvey Lilliard and how he regained his hearing after being deaf for 17 years. I also mentioned the natural tendency to think that regaining a lost ability is more important than not losing it. Aren’t we all accustomed to waiting until something is unbearably bad before doing anything about it? Picture this… Your tire treads are worn down almost flat, but you still think that maybe you can coax another 10 miles out of them, and since you did, you keep pushing the limit. Then you’re on Alpine heading south, and you have to stop quickly at the light at Spring Creek. I guess more tread would have kept you from sliding into the back of that PT Cruiser. Or your back is hurting from lifting a piano last week (what are friends for?), and you figure that it will get better eventually. But then you roll over in bed and suddenly cannot move from the pain…

With Harvey Lilliard, there was a point in his spine that was weakening, and he didn’t notice it. When it gave out, shifting with a sudden crack, it took out part of his nerves that feed his brain. In his case, the chain of breakdown was so specific that it apparently affected only his hearing. But there’s more…

All the sensitive tissues in the middle and inner ear are nourished by nerves that control the blood supply. Those nerves actually come out of the backbone below the neck. In Harvey’s case, it may have been a simple breakdown in those “feeding” nerves that caused his deafness. Could it have been avoided? Good question!

With all the attention given these days to prevention, I don’t need to even say the word. However, we must be very clear what we mean when we say “prevention.” If we want to prevent breakdown in the nerve system (quick…what system runs every tissue in the body?), we need to be able to check how it is running. Just like putting your car on a computer to check all its systems, you can engage in stopping some health problems before they start. But wait, there’s something else you need to know…

All branches of the health professions have diagnostic procedures used to spot trouble. Naturopaths have some diagnostic tools, medical doctors have some other tools, and chiropractors have still other tools. Each discipline uses these tools to gain information it considers important. For the chiropractor, these tools tell about the nerve system. If Harvey had the advantages of today’s technology, he would have never lost his hearing because his doctor would have corrected the nerve problem before it got real bad. So, what do you think? Is it more important to ask, “How can I correct my problem?” or is it more important to ask, “How did my problem become a problem in the first place?” It may be that you can answer the first question by answering the second.

So what about that car wreck? Just change the tires before the tread vanishes. For health problems traceable to a malfunctioning nerve system, go to your chiropractor. In fact, before you even have an obvious problem, you can go to your chiropractor and get checked for nerve system interference.

Next time, I’ll ask the question. “How come people associate chiropractic with curing back pain?”

Dr. Schalow is the director of 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., Rockford’s first NUCCA chiropractic center.

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