How do you know if something (or someone) is alive or not?? How many differences can you come up with? I can think of tons and I’m sure you can too, but when you boil it all down, there are only 5 main differences. In chiropractic we call them “The Signs of Life” and they are:
- Assimilation: taking in elements from the outside and making them a part of the organism
- Excretion: Removing any byproducts of assimilation
- Adaptability: See below
- Growth: the power to expand to mature size
- Reproduction: the power to perpetuate its own kind. (Think in terms of cells dividing as opposed to producing offspring)
Imagine a rock. A rock cannot take in elements outside of itself and turn them into more rock! You on the other hand the human body can turn broccoli into a living cell! You can also get rid of any unused bits of the broccoli while the rock just sits there. Similarly, a rock cannot grow any larger than it already is. It can wear down but it cannot grow, while even the shortest human grows from 2 cells to 70,000,000,000,000 (trillion). That’s a lot of growin’! And I bet you’ve never seen a rock reproduce even once! Rocks don’t even have cells to divide in the first place!
Comparing rocks and humans is obvious but the same rules apply to even the simplest forms of life like bacteria and amoebas.
But of all these things my favorite “Sign of Life” is the ability to adapt. All living things take in information from their environment and make changes based on what they pick up. A flower might find itself blocked from the sun. Knowing it requires sunlight to grow, that little flower will bend, twist, and even change its petals to reach the sunlight. It adapts! A tree might find itself knocked over flat from a snowstorm. If it is still living the tree will bend itself 90 degrees and once again start growing. It adapts! This happens with all living things including humans.
Let’s say a farmer is digging a hole with a shovel. All day he’s working (it’s a deep hole). By the end of the day, his hand is worn down, he might even have a blister from working the shovel, but his body begins to adapt. It says, “If this is our new normal, we better make some changes.” So his body starts building up a protective layer of skin called a callus. Thus the farmer’s hand adapts to its environment and builds up. But the shovel cannot adapt. It is not alive! So as the farmer continues digging, the pressure of his hand slowly wears down the wood of the shovel, and there’s nothing the shovel can do about it because it cannot adapt.
“Big deal, Dr. Marc. My hand can make calluses.” It is a big deal! You see, the power to adapt means that your body is intelligent! Your body takes in information from the environment, decides what to do with the info, and then makes changes! The fact that your body is able to make decisions proves that there is an intelligence that runs your body and keeps it alive. In chiropractic, we call that intelligence “Innate Intelligence”, or “inborn” intelligence since it has been keeping you alive since before you were born. We call it “Innate” for short.
Like we said before, there are 70 trillion cells in your body. To keep them all organized and running in perfect coordination 24/7 for the 100 years you are alive requires a huge amount of know-how. Your “Innate” does it all for you. It adapts your body and controls every function for your entire life. Take breathing for example. Even though you can take a deep breath if you want to, you don’t ever have to think about it. You being responsible for breathing would make sleeping VERY hard. Your innate intelligence makes it happen for you. What about your heart? Can you make it beat faster or slower? Nope. Your Innate handles it, even when you exercise. What about moving your arm?? Sure you can make your arm move but do you control every muscle fiber in your bicep and make sure that the opposing muscles are relaxing to avoid injury? Nope, Innate handles that too.
One great example of Innate intelligence is through your immune system. Imagine a virus comes in. Oh no! Thankfully you’re body goes to work! It adapts! Your innate picks up on the germ and takes action. It starts by creating a fever knowing that a virus cannot survive in warmer environments but you can! It creates extra mucus in your nose and lungs as an added barrier of defense. It forces your lungs to cough and expel the germ. If it’s in your stomach or gut it will vomit it out or send it out the back end as fast as possible! Pretty smart when you stop and think about it.
The problem comes when humans get involved. In our arrogance, we think we know better than the intelligence that turned your 2 cells into 70,000,000,000,000 and has kept them all organized and coordinated 24/7 for the entire time you’ve been alive. We see the signs and symptoms and think we should fight those. We take medications to lower the fever, repress the cough, and stop your nose from running even though your Innate was doing it on purpose to protect you! No human will ever know better than your own body. Our ancestors knew and respected that notion, but it is something that we have forgotten in our modern culture.
In chiropractic, we are all about supporting your innate intelligence. Your body has certain requirements to run properly and to be able to adapt. Those requirements are the 5 Essentials. Eating well, moving/ taking in oxygen (exercise), avoiding all chemicals as they make your body work harder, and having a positive mindset and reducing stress are all requirements for health. But we always look to the spine as the foundation of health because your Innate operates through the nervous system. Every function in your body, including your immune system, is controlled by the nervous system! It is your spine’s job to surround and protect the nervous system! So any misalignment of the spine will impede your Innate from keeping your body in perfect organization and coordination, and that reduces your ability to adapt! This is why chiropractic and taking care of your spine and nervous system is essential to life!
Are you ready to start your health journey? Where ever you are in life and no matter what you’ve been dealing with, living the 5 Essentials will give you the freedom you’ve been searching for! It all starts with your initial health consultation and spinal exam. If you’re in the Colorado Springs/ Monument area and you’re ready to start the next chapter of your life, give us a call and our awesome team will get you started!
In Health and Faith,
Northgate Family Chiropractic
12245 Voyager pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80921