What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

All too often our society subscribes to the notion that "it'll never happen to me" or "what I don't know can't hurt me."  Then we hear of countless stories of people who "felt fine" and suffered a heart attack or discovered they have a disease such as cancer.

What do these situations have to do with chiropractic? The importance of awareness. More specifically, being aware of a problem before it progresses to the point of pain or symptoms. At Life and Balance Centre, the technology exists to find problems where a lack of symptoms might indicate otherwise, and awareness is often half the battle.

People are a fairly poor judge of how much stress they are really under.

A study lead by Diane Becker of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore monitored peoples' response to "mental stress." They found that those people who responded poorly to a controlled mental challenge were six times more likely to have a heart attack or other severe heart event within six years than people who handled the stress more calmly. The interesting, and frightening element to this is that the volunteers for the study usually had no idea if they responded well or poorly to the stress.

In Diane Becker's words, "People's capacity to tell you that they are stressed is worth about nothing. We would see people with hideous responses who say they are fine." In this study, the mental stress reaction was a better indicator of heart risk than factors such as smoking, having high cholesterol or diabetes. Summing up the challenges, she said, "How do you learn to manage something when you don't know you have it?"

Chiropractic is far more than a profession to treat back pain or neck pain. Life and Balance Centre is one of three practices in Ireland to use NeuroInfiniti to measure brain wave, heart rate and five other neurological responses to how the body deals with stress.

The bottom line is that what you don't know can hurt you.  There are many problems lurking below the pain and symptom threshold, and lack of awareness can have tragic consequences. The good news for today's chiropractic patients is this: what you do know can help you.

Maybe awareness is more than half the battle.