The Wellness Way approach starts with one of the major principles of chiropractic care: the 3 T’s. The 3 T’s are three factors that knock the body out of homeostasis, imparting disorder within the body: trauma, toxins, and thoughts.
- Traumas are events both (big and small) that affect your physical body.
- Toxins are external substances that get into your body and compromise the functioning of key systems.
- Thoughts are patterns of beliefs that inform mental and emotional distress both consciously and unconsciously.
Traumas, toxins, and thoughts damage our health. These are the 3 T’s that chiropractic was meant to address at its foundation. Unfortunately, for a wide variety of reasons, chiropractic has gotten away from its original directive. This means the value of what chiropractic can do is being overlooked. The 3 T’s are the stresses that disrupt homeostasis. Stress is a stimulus that can produce mental or physiological reactions that may lead to illness. Technically speaking, stress is a disruption to homeostasis which may be triggered by alarming experiences.
Chiropractors are in the best position to help with physical stress or trauma. What does a chiropractor really do? He or she removes physical stress. Chiropractors are carpenter doctors who remove physical stress, but usually, that’s not the only stress. There are other stresses our bodies encounter because of our choices. If the body has a symptom, it is adapting to a stressor. We can find out what that stress is and remove it. To truly understand how to keep the body balanced, we must understand each of the 3 T’s.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is anything that puts the body under physical stress. For example, if someone were to run at you and attack you, what will happen to your heart rate? It will go up. What will happen to your blood sugar? It will go up. What will happen to your cholesterol? It will go up. Do you see a trend here? If we draw your blood at that moment, what will medical and natural doctors think? They will look at the results and say you are sick. What is your body really doing? It is responding to physical stress on your body. Your body doesn’t make mistakes; it responds to stressors.
No matter who you are, your body encounters trauma. It even encountered trauma coming into the world through your mother’s birth canal. No one can say they don’t have any physical trauma.
Some people may think they don’t need to get adjusted, or their child doesn’t need to be adjusted. Well, did the child learn to walk? Did they fall? Does she ever cross her legs? Does he ever lift things incorrectly? Physical trauma does not have to be severe to have an impact. When you remove that trauma, you leave room for the body to heal. Chiropractic clears that physical trauma so the body can adapt. The body wants to heal.
Here’s another example. Let’s say your airplane was rerouted from Hawaii to Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the winter. You packed for summer, not the frigid temps of the frozen tundra. If you were to go outside in shorts and a tank top, you would be pretty cold. What would happen if you stayed out in the negative temperatures for a long time? Your body would send all the blood to your core to protect the vital organs.
If you stayed out there long enough, could you lose your fingers and toes? Yes. That would be an adaptation of the body. The body would not have made a mistake. It would have tried its best to adapt to the stressors and keep you alive. It was your choice to walk outside and stay out there. The body always works to adapt, regardless of your choices. Your body always makes the right choices, even when you don’t.
Speaking of choices, our modern, fast-paced, and easy lives mean we make choices that expose us to toxins.
What Are Toxins?
Toxin exposure begins in your mother’s uterus. Her toxins became your toxins as they traveled through the placenta, and the toxins didn’t stop there. After you were born, you were most likely vaccinated and injected with more toxins. Toxins like prescription drugs, beauty products, soaps, shampoos, and cleaning products are a part of daily life for many people. The food you eat and even the water you drink can expose you to toxins, even if you are eating really healthy. Toxins are inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, and wheat. Even if you have reduced your exposure by being careful not to use toxic products and eating super healthy foods, toxins are still in the air you breathe and water you drink.
Now, you may be thinking, “But our bodies naturally detoxify.” That’s true; the body is built to detoxify. However, our bodies can only handle so much before it becomes difficult to detoxify naturally. Toxins build up when the detoxification mechanisms cannot keep up with the production of cellular wastes or the absorption of toxins from the intestines. In other words, garbage is coming in at a faster rate than your body can process and safely remove it. Those toxins build up and can make us very sick.
Exposure to xenoestrogens is quite common in today’s modern society. To make it simple, let’s call this chemical “estrogen.” Xenoestrogens are a sub-category of chemical endocrine disruptors that have an estrogen-like effect. What do you think it does to the body’s homeostasis if you keep throwing in a bunch of fake estrogens? These chemicals are everywhere. BPA, phthalates, and parabens are common xenoestrogens. They are in plastics, household cleaning products, dryer sheets, cookware, food, and beauty products. These are products people come in contact with daily, and they are building up in the bodies of many people.
Certain toxins knock some people right out of homeostasis. Mold can be toxic for many people. It is a hidden killer that can cause inflammation, hormone imbalance, and immunity issues. In the case of chronic exposure, it can be hard to identify. The toxicity suppresses the immune system, which can trigger other illnesses. Since finding the source of the mold often means relocation if their home is the source, many are unable to eliminate the source or can’t afford to. In reality, they can’t afford not to. People look at their symptoms and the illness and don’t always connect them to mold sickness. In the long term, this can lead to even more serious illnesses like cancer or autoimmune disorders. Most people don’t see the toxins because the effect doesn’t seem immediate. The body has to respond to all of your choices.
If someone gave you a shot of gasoline to drink, what would happen to your blood pressure? It would go up. You would probably puke, run a fever, and get diarrhea. Your body is adapting to the toxin. You’re not sick; your body is trying to adapt. It’s trying to bring everything back to homeostasis. You may have been the one who made the poor choice of drinking gasoline, but your body is making positive choices so you can adapt and live.
All illness is a long-term adaptation for survival. We look at things that stress the body and go from there. When we assess a patient, we look for what is stressing the body. Imagine if something really stressed you out, and then you went for a check-up at the medical doctor’s office right after. The doctor will look at you and tell you, “Your blood pressure is high. Let’s force your body back to a normal level.” They will then use a drug or surgery intervention. What an incomplete way of looking at it! They never looked at what was causing the high blood pressure in the first place. Wouldn’t it make more sense to look at what is triggering the stress and remove that?
There’s one more “T” that we must discuss, and it’s a significant one in today’s society.
What Are Thoughts?
Thoughts are the type of stress most people think of when they mention dealing with stress. It’s the mental stress that most people encounter when starting college or grad school. It’s the mental stress that you encounter every day. It’s huge! Most people don’t realize the impact it makes.
Every day, we are bombarded with worries like bills, work, getting kids to school, health, household chores, and expectations of keeping all these things afloat. Then we find out how bad stress is for us and stress out about that. That means we are up at night stressing about our stress. It’s a never-ending cycle!
Reducing stress is crucial because it can impact every system in the body, and when one system gets out of whack, others can follow. For example, when stress puts your body into fight or flight mode, it can affect your digestive system, making it difficult for your body to digest the food you recently ate. This can lead to acid reflux, colon problems, hormone problems, high blood pressure, etc.
Your body doesn’t make mistakes. It responds to stressors, which is essential for survival. If you’re being chased by a bear, your heart rate goes up, your adrenaline goes up, and your digestion slows. Your body is in fight or flight mode. Eventually, the stress decreases so your body can return to rest and digest mode. If you are under constant stress, then this doesn’t happen. Now, remember your body is like a Swiss Watch. Just one gear dysfunctioning can affect the whole system. That can include your hormones, your heart, your GI, and so many other physiological systems.
Mental stress can make you extremely sick, especially as a woman. It is the main reason patients come into a Wellness Way clinic, even if they don’t realize it. Mental stress can really affect a woman’s health, starting with her hormones. Think about this: you can get adjusted, pull all the chemicals out of your body, and eat organic, but guess what is ten times more disruptive to health than anything else? Mental stress. It will kill you. That’s why thoughts are so important to be aware of. What’s the antidote to mental stress? Staying in a state of happiness, love, and gratitude.
Stress impacts all of us. Understanding the 3 T’s helps us understand how to mitigate that stress so that we can find and maintain homeostasis. Feeling out of balance? The Wellness Way is here to help! Find a clinic and start addressing the 3 T’s in your life to get back to vibrant health!