Part I: Foundation – Structure
Part 2: Nutrition and Spirit
Comprehensive Chiropractic – Healing the
How chiropractic healing brings the body into balance – so the body heals itself.
Part I: Foundation – Structure
Dr. Moss: Dr. Ferrell, how did you get started in chiropractic?
Dr. Ferrell: My experiences led me to chiropractic. I was injured in a minor car accident in 1969. Those injuries gradually developed into seven years of pain and general discomfort. I saw a number of medical specialists, who were no help at all, and I had side effects from the drugs they gave me. At the point of my greatest desperation, a friend convinced me to go to his chiropractor. That’s something I never would have considered. I grew up in a medical family: my father was a veterinarian and my uncle was a psychiatrist. I came from a very small midwestern town where there were no chiropractors; I knew nothing of their work, except for some derogatory comments my family members would make about them.
So there I was, in pain and feeling very hopeless, when this friend says, “Go see my chiropractor.” By then I would have tried anything. I had been in pain for years. In the first six months of treatment by this chiropractor, my pain gradually subsided. My headaches were less frequent. My stomach and digestion had been in trouble, and this chiropractor even corrected that! I was amazed. I thought it would be great to be able to do this for people.
By that time I had become a teacher of meditation was inclined more toward natural methods of healing. I felt the only way to truly heal was to find out and crack the underlying causes of imbalances rather than just to take a drug that would just cover the symptoms.
In chiropractic school I found that 80% of the students had similar experiences that inspired them to pursue chiropractic healing, because chiropractic had turned their lives and their health around when conventional medical practices could not.
Dr. Moss: I work with many different types of doctors who have many different philosophies. You say your practice most closely aligns with functional medicine practices. I know that functional medicine has some very good success stories.
Dr. Ferrell: Functional medicine is patient-centered. An early spokesman for this was Leo Galland, MD, who wrote:
Disease is a dynamic event in the life of an individual, determined by disharmonies, imbalances and pernicious influences. The goal of diagnosis is not to identify the disease entity, which has no independent reality, but to characterize the disharmonies of the particular case, so that they can be corrected.
One has to understand what is causing the problem in order to bring about a strong resolution. In our society, this is done mostly by covering over the problem – working on just one part or system in the body rather than looking at the whole person. Like someone will say, “I’m perfectly healthy, except for this cancer.” Every part has to be healthy for the whole body to be functioning in a healthy way.
It’s like Homer of The Simpsons. When his car’s oil light came on, he said, “I’ll fix that!” and he put a piece of tape over the oil light. Problem solved. The problem isn’t that the oil light is on – that’s just the indicator. As in the body, the symptom is the indicator of the real problem. Treating the symptom doesn’t solve the real problem. I try to locate the source of the problem so I can influence and rebalance as many systems as possible so that every part of the body can heal itself.
The body does have the capacity to do this. If a person breaks his arm, the doctor will set it and put it in a cast. The doctor doesn’t heal it. He puts it into a position so that the body can heal itself. This is a simple premise of chiropractic.
Having a good framework for the body, good structure, good posture, can’t be emphasized enough. Misalignment can cause nerve irritation, and then muscle irritation. This will lead to pain and body systems deteriorating, which is illness. This is one of the first things I teach my patients. We do a posture analysis, and then start the process of putting the structure back into balance and working symmetrically with gravity. This makes us feel lighter and easier to move in our bodies.