When patients first come in, it’s not uncommon for them to have a list of symptoms they want to address. They are often surprised that we suggest a food allergy test when they’re experiencing hormone problems. After all, they just want to get rid of the hormone symptoms! Wellness Way doctors think differently. We want to determine how the digestive and immune systems are functioning before addressing immediate symptoms. That can be frustrating to patients used to mainstream medicine and getting a prescription the same day as the appointment. But sometimes, your symptoms are steering you in the wrong direction.
The problem with focusing on symptoms is that most patients have been sick for a long time. They might finally be coming in because the symptoms have been getting in the way of life. Or they have symptoms that have been bothering them for some time, but they’ve been ignoring them and putting off treatment. Symptoms are your body’s way of indicating something’s out of balance, but they don’t necessarily tell you what’s going on in the body.
Many people have been prescribed medications that have only made them feel worse. Why does this happen? It’s because conventional thinking focuses on symptoms and tries to treat them instead of looking at the body’s function as a whole. That’s why symptoms can be deceiving, and it’s important to do some testing to find out what’s happening behind the scenes.
When Your Symptoms Are Deceiving
Here’s a simple example: Let’s say you have a headache, so you take an aspirin to get rid of it. Without looking at the context of your day and how you’re treating your body, you made the symptom disappear. Perhaps you had a headache because you were dehydrated. Your headache is now gone, but your body is still dehydrated. If you don’t address the dehydration, this could lead to other problems. Dr. Flynn loves analogies that help patients understand how the body works, and the best one is the analogy of the Swiss watch.
If you remove the back from a Swiss watch, you will see a bunch of gears. Some are large, and some are small. Some move fast, while others move slowly. They all have a specific function for the watch to keep time properly. Imagine that the smallest gear stops working or breaks a tooth and no longer works correctly. What happens? The whole watch stops working efficiently and cannot keep time accurately. Every gear needs to function correctly for the watch to operate as intended.
Your Body is like a Swiss Watch
The body is just like that. It is extraordinarily complex and composed of many parts. Did you know that your big toe controls your heart? If you smash your toe, what happens to your heart rate? It increases. Why? Because even that little gear can affect everything from your heart rate to your cholesterol. That’s why it’s essential to look at multiple gears and functions. If you are experiencing symptoms with your heart, they might be coming from another system or organ (gears). You can’t just treat the heart with medication. It could be a completely different gear that is causing that symptom. Keep in mind that medications have side effects that affect other gears. Adjusting and fixing the broken gear will help prevent unnecessary damage to other systems.
Have you ever known someone who took a medication for heart issues and later discovered it damaged their liver? Because the human body has so many organs and systems working together in harmony, you cannot treat one system (gear) without affecting others.
Detoxification is an important function, but it is only one gear. The gears of proper nutrition, chiropractic care, mental health (including proper handling of stress), and hormone function also need consideration. If one gear is not working properly, you cannot be healthy. Just like a Swiss watch, all need to function together.
If a person receives regular chiropractic care but eats fast food all the time and manages stress poorly, they will not be able to achieve complete health. Likewise, if a person takes care of proper nutrition and detoxification yet neglects their mental health, they will never fully restore health and homeostasis. True health is when all the gears work together in harmony.
Each Gear is Important to Your Health
The Wellness Way looks at each individual patient as a unique person. Clinically, we look at all the gears as a whole, just like the Swiss watch. That’s why neither the medical nor the natural approach will work long-term. We have to find out which gear is stressed and how. One stressed gear could be the gastrointestinal system. As we know, the GI can affect many things, but so can the liver, the pancreas, and the heart. We look for which organ is stressed to see how it could be causing a cascade of problems throughout the body. We address the cause (or causes) of ill health, not just the symptoms. We don’t just look at one gear; we look at the whole watch. The body was designed to heal itself; we just need to find what’s getting in the way of healing. Contact a Wellness Way Clinic today to start your healing journey!