By Dr. Jeff Ptak
The prevention of disease seems to be of major concern to many people these days. The public is beginning to exercise to prevent heart problems and cut down on cholesterol to prevent cardiovascular disease. They are quitting their smoking habits to prevent cancer, and on and on. Prevention of disease, however, perpetuates a very serious misconception concerning disease, that is that it has a single cause. If a lack of vitamin C was the cause of the common cold, taking vitamin C would prevent it. While resistance is dependent upon vitamin C, it also depends upon a number of factors. That is why three children in a family can all drink their orange juice and two will get a cold and one will not. Resistance depends upon how well the body is working, how well it can utilize vitamin C, the amount of rest a person gets and, of course, the frequency of coming in contact with the virus. There are probably a dozen other factors as well, many of which we do not even know and some, like genetics, we cannot control.
If exercise prevented heart attacks, Jim Fixx, the guru of running, would not have had a fatal heart attack on one of his daily runs. There are people who smoke two packs of cigarettes a day for thirty years and do not get lung cancer. Conversely, there are people who never smoke a cigarette and die of lung cancer.
Here is the point. There is only one thing that is truly effective in preventing disease, that is staying healthy! The more things you do to promote your good health, the greater the likelihood of not ending up with a disease. Exercise is important, but it is only one piece of the health picture. Vitamin C and all the other aspects of good nutrition are another piece. Avoiding poisons like cigarette smoke is another. The more aspects of health you address, the greater your probability of being healthy and the greater your chances of preventing disease.
Of course, maintaining the integrity of your nervous system is a vital part of health. That is where chiropractic comes in. You must correct vertebral subluxations (misaligned vertebra of the spine causing spinal cord and spinal nerve stress) because they interfere with the proper function of the nerve system. Besides directly improving the nerve supply, the removing of subluxations also indirectly affects the other aspects of good health. If there is interference in your nervous system, you may not be able to properly utilize good nutrition or get the maximum benefits from exercise and rest. Your body will be less resistant to the poisons you cannot help but be exposed to, like second-hand cigarette smoke. If you want to prevent disease, the proper attitude is not just doing certain things to prevent certain diseases. That is a futile approach. There are just too many diseases. The proper approach is to do those things necessary to be healthy. Perhaps if everybody was doing everything necessary to promote and maintain health, we would not have to worry about preventing disease. That seems to be the most intelligent idea.
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