The Chiropractic Way: How Chiropractic Care Can Stop Your Pain and Help You Regain Your Health Without Drugs or Surgery
By Michael Lenarz, D.C., Victoria St. George
What is life? Where does it come from? What is this wondrous thing we call a human being? And how do the fundamental molecules that make up a strand of DNA "know" how to come together to create living, breathing, conscious creatures-us?
These questions about the origin of life are basic to our very nature. They have intrigued and perplexed scientists, philosophers, and theologians ever since those disciplines first appeared. From the ancient written records of all societies, including the works of Hippocrates and Plato, the Hebrew Bible, the ancient Sanskrit texts of India, and many others, you'll find one thing in common: a recognition that life is mysterious. Life's origin and destination can be theorized about but never proven. Modern science has the ability to measure everything, from the path of the smallest subatomic particle over the course of one ten-billionth of a second to the movement of galaxies in the vast untrackable distances of the universe. But as any scientist will acknowledge, life cannot be reduced to the movement of subatomic particles, and consciousness cannot be discovered by knowing the electrochemical reactions in the brain.
Answering the question "What is life?" is a key component of chiropractic philosophy and has a direct bearing on how chiropractic works. Surprisingly, theories proposed by some of our most cutting-edge scientific and medical disciplines are coming ever closer to the truths that chiropractic has espoused from the beginning. From astronomy to quantum physics, from neurobiology to psychoneuroimmunology-chiropractic truths dealing with the source of our own life, and our link to life as it exists all around us, are being discovered by these other disciplines. They explain how our bodies know how to heal themselves, and how we are part and parcel of the energy that imbues every particle of the universe. When you understand the foundations of chiropractic's answer to the question "What is life?" you will see how this particular form of health care can help you express your own life on a more vibrant level.
From Quarks to Quasars: The Energy of the Universe
Astronomer Carl Sagan referred to human beings as "children of the stars." He based this declaration on the theory that all planets (including the earth) and everything on them were created from elements that exist as the result of the formation and dissolution of stars. But how are we related to the universe-or, more important, how is the universe related to us?
One of the primary tenets of physics today is that ultimately all matter is composed of the same "stuff." Most of us have been taught that everything is made of atoms. We now know that atoms are made of even smaller components called subatomic particles. Subatomic particles form relationships called atoms. (I say "relationships" because subatomic particles can enter and leave atoms at will, being replaced by other subatomic particles performing their same functions.) We have learned that an atom is not a thing but a fluid relationship of particles. Atoms form relationships called molecules, molecules make up relationships called cells, and so on.
The same subatomic particles that make up atoms also express themselves in the form of energy. Ever since Albert Einstein stood theoretical physics on its ear in 1905 with his equation E=mc2 , scientists have been exploring the amazing concept that matter and energy are the same stuff. Matter is nothing but an expression of energy in a different form, and energy is matter accelerated to the speed of light. But what is this "stuff' that composes both matter and energy? Where did it come from? And how does it show up in so many different forms? Like the origins of life, the origins of energy and matter have flummoxed scientists throughout history.
But philosophy has stepped in where science faces its limits. One way that philosophy works is by looking at how energy/ matter expresses itself. It looks at the galaxies, stars, and planets; at the cohesiveness of an atom; at the interaction of sunlight and cells in green plants; at the millions of ways energy and matter come together. And philosophy says this is not random. There is order and organization to the expression of matter and energy, more than can be explained logically by random happenstance. Order and organization imply that something is doing the organizing, that there is an intelligence underlying the orderly expression of matter and energy. There must be some kind of Universal Intelligence that creates and sustains all matter and energy in existence. This particular school of philosophical thought is called vitalism (from the Latin root vita, "life"), and it is one of the key principles of chiropractic.
By "Universal Intelligence," I don't necessarily mean God in a religious sense, although it does not exclude the possibility that Universal Intelligence is what many people mean when they talk about God. Universal Intelligence is definitely outside of and greater than the parameters of the physical nature of the universe. Because of this, it is ultimately immeasurable by science. Yet, interestingly enough, science has come to recognize the existence of Universal Intelligence, simply because so many phenomena can be explained only by its presence. In his groundbreaking book Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Deepak Chopra described how quantum physics has moved science toward the recognition of a universal organizing principle in the universe. The solar system, life on earth, the moon pulling on the oceans, and the beating of our hearts are all examples of the brilliant organization of energy and matter. Once we acknowledge this underlying order, not believing in Universal Intelligence is actually more absurd than believing in it. It's like believing a house can build itself, or a car can move down a road, make turns, stop, and arrive safely at a destination without someone at the controls. As Chopra puts it, "Science tends to be skeptical in the face of any claim that intelligence is at work in nature.... However, if there is nothing outside ordinary reality to hold things and events together, then one is led to a set of impossibilities."
There's a joke about two old friends, a preacher and an atheist. For twenty years these two men have argued back and forth about the existence of intelligence and purpose behind the creation of the universe. One day the preacher has an idea. He goes down into his basement and constructs an elaborate model of the solar system to scale He builds it so the sun will revolve and the planets will turn in their correct orbits at absolutely accurate speeds. Then he invites his atheist friend over and brings him down into the basement. The atheist is amazed. He looks at the model and says, "Wow, this is incredible! It's one of the most awesome things I've ever seen. Who built it?" And the preacher smiles and replies, "Nobody."
The "happy accident" theory of matter and energy is losing credence, even with scientists. The smaller our investigations into matter and energy and the larger our explorations of the cosmos, the clearer it becomes that some intelligence is creating order out of chaos. (Even chaos has intelligence behind it, as exhibited by chaos theory, a field built around the study of randomness, which has discovered patterns in the most disorganized-seeming responses of matter and energy.) And nowhere is the functioning of Universal Intelligence more evident than in the unique, inexplicable, dynamic interaction of matter and energy we call life.