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The agony of “De-feet”

When we are sick, we feel more at ease when we can put a name or diagnosis on the symptoms. People tend to think about health in a kind of one dimensional way. We look for the single factor that we can point to that is causing our illness. People often ask: Is this a bone problem, or a nerve problem, or a muscle problem? They are looking for a single cause for the problem that they’re dealing with when there are almost always multiple causes for any given condition. Most people have trouble making the connection that structural misalignments in our body often cause problems elsewhere. This idea also works in both directions. Your structure effects your physiology and your physiology can affect your structure. I will give you some examples of how inter-connected body systems are and how they affect each other:

1. A patient was brought in on a stretcher because every time she sat up, she got a very strong sensation that the room was spinning, making her sick to her stomach and fall over. Her doctor had blood work and a spinal tap done to identify a cause for her vertigo. The results came back negative. She had not been able to sit up for 2 weeks. In the physical exam I detected a bony misalignment in her foot and ankle. I adjusted the foot and ankle and she sat up with absolutely no vertigo! She was so amazed, and truth be told so was I. I had not seen an instant remission in a case of vertigo before this time. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made. Many of the nervous system receptors that give your brain feedback as to where your body is in space are in the feet and ankles. Those receptors were telling her brain that her body was doing something that it wasn’t. Correcting the foot and ankle corrected the position sense and the vertigo was gone!

2. A patient came in with a 7-year history of temporal migraines (located on the sides of her head) which she had been treating with a variety of medications. The meds had given her some symptom relief, but the headaches were still occurring 3-4 times per week. I again found a misalignment in the foot which I adjusted, and the migraine went away and has not been back since. You can’t get further away from the head than the foot so once again we were both surprised and happy! The gall bladder meridian from acupuncture goes back and forth on the sides of the head and that meridian is also found in the foot so adjusting the foot balanced the energy in the gall bladder meridian and the headache was gone. She remembered falling off a horse and jamming that foot about 8 years earlier.

3. A woman came in experiencing excruciating foot pain. She took 5 minutes to make the short walk from the parking lot to the office. I adjusted her spine and her feet on the first visit, but she got no relief at all. I began checking out other body systems and I found that the foot pain was related to a dental issue. I asked about her dental health and she said she had some teeth that needed to be removed. I referred her to a local dentist to have the dental issues addressed and her foot pain went completely away. The ancient system of Chinese medicine has mapped out the relationships between teeth and organs muscles and glands.

The body is dynamic and interconnected. All systems effect all other systems. We must look at how things inter-relate if we are to achieve our best health. One of my mentors, George Goodheart, the father of Applied Kinesiology used to say, “When treating the body: start with the structure.” He was one of the wisest men I ever had the pleasure of meeting!

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