Dr. Kal Sellers, DC, MH, MT has literally been studying natural healing since childhood. He has degrees in massage, herbal medicine and chiropractic as well as certifications in nurse's assistance, Iridology, Ozone and Prolozone Therapy, Reflexology, the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, La Stone Therapy, Touch for Health and Lymphatic Drainage Massage. He is trained in various forms of Chi Gong for personal health and healing others. He has pioneered work in Visceral Massage (including correcting organ function, draining liver and gall bladder and kidneys, stomach correction, correcting lower pelvic prolapsed organs and more), Craniopathy, Breast Lymphatic Drainage (for health and cancer prevention), Fertility and Pregnancy Stability for Women and the integration of the Rolf Method with Chiropractic, Craniopathy and Visceral Massage. Dr. Kal has co-authored a book with his wife, Traci on healing with whole foods and the ideal diet. He has written hundreds of articles on natural health, always to empower the individual to heal themselves effectively and to help practitioners practice more efficiently with fewer errors.
Below are a couple articles which Dr. Kal Sellers has written on the subject of Holistic Chiropractic in hopes of sharing what the experience is like and what treatments with Dr. Kal may help with.
Pain is only one way to know you have a spinal problem and it often comes too late, after your body has started to break down because of problems that you never noticed.
Digestive Dysfunction is a common symptom of a distressed spine because there are so many nerves in the digestive system that all get their orders from the spinal cord!
Poor Circulation and High Blood Pressure are definitely common symptoms of spinal dysfunction and are often improved rapidly with good chiropractic care.
Instability and Weakness is almost always the result of some fixed joints and some excessively mobile joints throughout the spine and the rest of the structure.
Weakness and Inflammation are common indicators of local spinal misalignment, creating pain and reduced flow of both nervous and vascular systems to the spine and to related body regions.
When patients come in requesting a Holistic Session, I always start with the Spine! Your Spine will indicate to me what level of health every part of your body enjoys. It will reveal the general state of health and give clues as to what else is hiding under the surface. Correcting it also helps rule out problems that are more related to the function of the spine and spinal nerves from those that are rooted in emotions or deficiency.
Whole food and proper nutrition, along with plant medicines we have been using as our primary medicine for the entire history of human existence on planet Earth, help your body return to a strong, self-healing state. You become resistant to disease. You become resistant to the damage stress can produce in your body. You gain clearer thinking, faster healing, more stability and better focus. You begin to balance all your body's systems naturally. Hormones, chemistry and nutrient needs are automatically adjusted for when you have a baseline of proper nutrition.
Inflammation and Chronic Disease are often only present because of malnutrition and wrong nutrition.
Pain Syndromes and Premature Aging, Arthritis and Joint Deterioration are almost always secondary problems where the primary problem is diet and improper nutrition.
Obesity and Stubborn Weight Gain (including from fluid) can be caused by stress, sudden changes in lifestyle, hormone deficiencies, adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems and poor digestive function. Regardless of cause, it can and should be helped with nutritional support to stabilize metabolism, pull off fluid, reduce discomfort and heal the underlying systems as much as possible.
Nutrition is the foundation upon which even the spine is built. The spine, in its turn, may also affect the function of digestion, leading to a propensity toward malnutrition.
Part I: Understanding Subluxation
The term "Subluxation" is a common Chiropractic term. It literally means a misalignment that is less than ("sub") dislocation ("luxation"). To Doctors of Chiropractic, it implies more. Doctors of Chiropractic have been studying since the 1890's to understand exactly what happens when a misalignment (the literal meaning of "subluxation") is combined with some measure of fixation. Much about what happens is not fully understood. What we do know is that where there is subluxation (and now Doctors of Chiropractic use this to refer only to misalignment where there is also fixation, dysfunction, changes to the tissue and subsequent changes to nerve response) there is decreased and dysfunctional expression of life. Nerves become swollen, sensitive and also communicate poorly. Tissue swells, hypertrophies (grows bigger) and atrophies (loses tone and wastes away). Organs and systems fed or directly affected by the affected nerves and even which are affected by tension in the tissues, will not function as they should. Tension in the musculo-skeletal system changes and abnormal tension starts to form on related body tissues and organs.
Modern research suggests that the thinking mechanism of the DNA (responsible for "epigenetics") is actually the cell membrane. To chemical, electrical and physical stressors it responds. If those stressors are beyond a certain tolerance, the cell begins to fail in its adaptation to them and the result is breakdown and disease from the DNA level.
All of these facts (and many, many studies now exist documenting the various facets of the foregoing and are published in peer reviewed journals) lead to the same conclusions about integrating nutrition and conscientious chiropractic care into the wellness system of the modern human. As there is an increase in ANY and ALL unnatural stressors, there is an increase in the need for Holistic Chiropractic care.
The importance of the foregoing notwithstanding, the point of all this is to lead up to a discussion of emotions, trauma, pain, fear and psychological weakness. That will be discussed in part II of "Emotional Subluxation."
Part II Emotional Subluxation: From the Neck Up!
A favorite teacher of mine at Life University teaches neurology. He is brilliant and has a couple of extra diplomate degrees behind his name. He is also fun and has great success in teaching students to understand the actual neurology (not to be confused with the exciting branch of Chiropractic known as "Functional Neurology") of the brain and spinal cord and the relationship of the spinal joints with that system and its functions.
One day he was talking about people riding motorcycles without helmets (one of several times he addressed this subject) and noted that perhaps they need "an adjustment above C1" (the first, or uppermost vertebra of the whole spine at the base of the skull)! Meaning, of course, that he felt they needed an attitude or maybe a character adjustment.
While the effect of Chiropractic care has been shown to improve quality of life, clarity of thought, attitude and so on, there is certainly a whole domain of behavior, belief, emotions and thinking that are not reached by the finest of Chiropractic care. This is the domain of what I call, "Emotional Subluxation."
Subluxation was explained in Part I of "Emotional Subluxation" as misalignment that also is fixed and produces symptoms that tend to spread and involve everything related. Emotional Subluxation, while not involving the spine or anything physical that we know, does behave similarly. It is stuck in the person's psyche and heart. He or She cannot release it, get over it, face it, appreciate it, heal from it, forgive others about it (or self), let go of it, benefit from it, etc. It is a permanent part of his or life. It is often a blockage, a source of pain and a hazard in his or her life. It can keep a person from moving forward, facing him or herself honestly and so much more.
Such problems are believed at present to come from situations where the ability to process what happened was exceeded. The person may have been very young and easily overwhelmed. They may have been abused, surprised, shocked, betrayed, severely injured, sick or anything where the ability to process emotionally and mentally was diminished. These situations happen to all of us and have the potential to make us better, not worse. The person totally locked into being "worse" is probably suffering, in part, from such an overloading, overwhelming or painful experience.
This is what I call an Emotional Subluxation. The process out of this is not just one thing. One technique will not do it. The individual has to go through the following stages to heal, however:
1. Discharge of the energy or pain around an experience sufficient that it does not feel or "look" painful to approach it. This makes a person feel immediately better. Pain diminishes or disappears, organs and muscles function better and stronger, emotional and mental clarity are immediately improved, a higher awareness is enjoyed. The immune system functions better, blood pressure lowers, stress and tension in the whole body is diminished and even some spinal subluxations will automatically and almost immediately disappear. This can happen using techniques in session, or they can happen just by gaining a liberating insight from listening to or studying someone or sometimes just from listening to what is inside you in what Mark Victor Hansen calls, "Your Inner Knower."
2. The actual character flaw, the selfish (including self-pitying) attitude, the fear-addiction, the resentment, the lack of faith and virtue that sits behind the emotional load on the body must be found and faced. This is the most difficult portion of the work because the emotional overload is invariably connected to a personal character flaw--albeit often an inhereted one, not chosen by you in any conventional sense. One of my Holistic Healing teachers from long ago, and still a friend and colleague, Dr. David Pesek, said that he believed that we each come into this world with lessons to learn and that the things that come into our lives are attracted there by that deficit or need. This is not to imply that an offending person carries none of the blame. He or she could have expressed to us a better or a worse circumstance in which to learn our lessons and we would all prefer better and would like to not be abused, hurt, hated, overwhelmed or treated insensitively. Even so, that person, like many of us in like circumstances, was attracted into our lives and their response was elicited for our need to learn these lessons. Obviously, I believe, at least somewhat, in this theory. Whether it is true or not, I have never seen an emotional or psychological burden (subluxation) that did not have a character flaw behind it. This character flaw must be found and faced, accepted and then changed.
3. The person who finds and faces his or her character flaw must then be able to engage in cultivation (as the Orientals call it, or sometimes "culture") of self. This is found in every major religion that has ever lasted. It is what is found in the Sermon on the Mount in Judeo-Christian literature. The individual must change, turn around, clean up, purify him or her self. My opinion is that of all purposes of Religion, this is the one that is not just a matter of faith, but is a matter of practical, objective need.
Now, I want to tell you about things you may or may not know about that can make all the difference in the health of your spine, none of which involves a visit to anyone but yourself!
1. Symmetry: Symmetry is partly a function of how your nervous system is trained. If you have asymmetry, your nervous system can be a challenge to retrain. It is not complicated, but it does require vigilance and doing things that are not necessarily comfortable. Much of what makes us imbalanced from side to side, from front to back and from core to superficial muscles and fascia is habit. This includes bad habits. This ranges from simple things like not sitting on your wallet to things that require more thought. We might want to consider our setup at a computer, how we cross our legs (every time!), what position we stand or sit in while working and the health of our seat! We might need to do weight training to get our muscles functioning closer to normal. We might want to walk in front of a mirror occasionally to see what careless things we are doing. Major issues can come from driving and using a mouse.
2. Mobility: Flexibility may be affected by fixation of the spine or any misalignment of joints. I used to do Rolfing for about 12 years. When I found chiropractic, I was both delighted and embarrassed. Much of the intense, hard work I had been doing was totally unnecessary since the tissue would have released and relaxed on its own if the misalignments related to it had been corrected! I certainly found that I needed to do a lot less work to get the spine and the whole body integrating instead of disintegrating (which is what most people experience).
Flexibility and mobility can also be affected by diet. Inflammatory food (all processed, chemical rich food, breads, refined sweeteners, processed meat and most modern dairy products) can cause both hypermobility and tension and fixation. Many, many raw foodists, health enthusaists, people having gone on juice fasts and cleanses and the like have reported amazing improvements of mobility.
Flexibility and mobility can also be adversely affected by poor circulation. This can be as simple as massaging and moving a joint before you use it. It can include dietary changes as mentioned above and it can include exercise. Always with exercise, stop short of fatigue, move the body fully and stay in control of the movements. Load bearing exercises can lend themselves to shortening of muscles if only the stronger parts of the range of motion are exercised in order to use more weight. This is ill advised.
Flexibility and mobility are also functions of attitude and life. Stress shortens tissues and fills them with fluid. It causes malnutrition and weakness, which can actually cause the body to become rigid in compensation. If a person is filled with fear it can dramatically affect health in every way. There is no simple answer here. Some of it is perpetuated through improper nutrition where the brain and body actually function poorly. Some is from past issues that have not been properly dealt with or released. Some is from habits of thinking and self-talk that are doubting, faithless and critical of self and/or others.
3. Stability: Instability of the spine is one of the worst things that can happen to the whole body and health. The nervous system wears down and stress gradually increases. Stability can be lost due to forced increase in motion of one segment or body part due to another nearby being fixated. Stability can be lost due to inflammation and/or malnutrition. It can be lost due to hormones or damage. The most common malnutrition issues are bioflavanoids, vitamin C complex (explanation below) and available calcium.
Bioflavanoids are abundant in many whole plants, the white material in citrus fruit and many herbs. In my practice, I use Dr. Christopher's Complete Bone and Tissue formula in capsules. I have used Standard Process Cyruta and Cyruta Plus, but I continue to prefer the CB&T formula at this time. 2 capsules 2x daily usually is sufficient for any adult.
Vitamin C complex includes ascorbic acid and the other nutrients that will be used when ascorbic acid creates its action in the body. Taking any isolated nutrient is ill advised as it invariably depletes the body of the other nutrients needed for its operation, but which are not included because the nutrient is isolated! For whole vitamin C, we can use a combination of the amino acids and their enzymes (found in raw mushrooms and raw potatoes [especially the skins]) and the ascorbic acid and anti-hemorrhagic factors (found in sprouted buckwheat, pea shoots, blueberries, hawthorn berries, raspberry leaves). Most of the time I use raw mushrooms and sprouted buckwheat or buckwheat lettuce. These seem to be highest in what is needed.
Available calcium is always acidic (usually we put calcium lactate in apple cider vinegar and honey drink or in citrus juice and sip all day) and must have about 1/8 part magnesium citrate added (unnecessary if the person is consuming plenty of greens, green smoothies and green powders). To keep calcium available in the fluids of the body, the vitamin D intake must not exceed the vitamin F intake. It is my opinion that the many cases of low vitamin D are actually intentional by the body because of low vitamin F. Time will tell if there are other factors here. Of course some people actually do never see the sunlight and might be in trouble. If supplementation with vitamin D is done, I think it should be in the context of whole fish oil, which also contains the vitamin F. Good sources of vitamin F are flax seed oil (must be in gelcaps as it is very unstable), raw butter, liver fat and kidney fat (Standard Process supplements are available). Most of my clients either take Standard Process Cataplex F Perles or Flax Seed oil. If raw butter is available, that is probably the best source.
In my practice, I am always looking for what the underlying problems are. If a person comes in for nutrition, I will do a lot of searching to make sure that I manage the problems they actually have and I am careful not to waste supplements or over-supplement since this also stresses the body.
I hope to improve quality of life emotionally and physically. I use nutrition, chiropractic, counselling and emotional releases.
Thanks for reading!
A doctor of Chiropractic today is in the midst of an evolution. Where this will end only God knows, but a few things are of interest to those who come to see a DC today.
1. The Doctor of Chiropractic today has attended medical school. The programs overlap completely except for Chiropractors do not study drugs but study Chiropractic instead. Chiropractors get more training in X-Rays and have shown superior skills in hands-on diagnosis and X-Ray reading. DCs are inferior at reading special studies such as MRI, CT and Ultrasound, even though they receive training in these technologies. DCs are very good choices for getting athletic and DOT physicals since these are physicals typically done without special studies or testing. This hands-on diagnosis is exactly where DCs get most of their training, rather than in special studies and equipment. Much of what a DC is good at depends, of course, on how he or she runs their practice.
2. Since DCs have medical training today, they are expected to perform intake physicals for their patients. When you go in to see the Chiropractor, the first visit is expected to be more expensive since he or she will spend time doing a physical that will screen not only your spine, but blood pressure, neurological health, joint and muscle health and general metabolic health.
3. Chiropractors receive some nutritional training in school. In addition to this, however, Chiropractors have long had a relationship with nutritional healing since most of them recognize the need to heal the body nutritionally and viscerally in order to maintain a healthy spine. Many use supplements, foods and herbs. The quality of such care varies of course but some very good training is available to DCs which makes them a very good choice in many cases for a person looking for holistic or nutritional care.
4. Chiropractors are creative inventors and many technologically advanced tools are available to them and used by them. It is common to see a lot of special equipment in any DCs office. Such equipment may be an augmentation to care or may be a source of income. It is important to look for quality of care. Most effective Chiropractors get substantial improvement in the first three visits. It is not expected that anyone will continue without significant improvement indefinitely. Either the approach is inappropriate or the case cannot be helped by Chiropractic.
5. Chiropractic is an old and effective art and science. There is much we know and have studied well. There is also much we do not know or understand about how Chiropractic works. This is the nature of what is always both an art and a science. That there are great results and that people are generally better off under Chiropractic care than not, is indisputable. There have been some excellent studies published in peer reviewed journals demonstrating that quality of life is better, pain is less, recovery is faster, illness is less frequent, blood pressure is lower, digestion and elimination are improved and so forth while under Chiropractic care as compared to similar groups not under care. This is not to say that there are no risks. Chiropractic is an invasive (though minimally so) technique and all invasions into the body present some risks. Errors from DCs are no more unheard of than from MDs or Surgeons or any other type of caregiver. This is also always a risk. Fortunately, errors in Chiropractic care present minimal risks, rather than lethal ones.
6. Chiropractic was systematically attacked by the Medical Profession in the early days of its growth. In fact, a lawsuit for that purpose was won by the Chiropractic profession. This was to have prevented prejudiced propaganda and systematic discrediting of this profession (which does compete in some ways with MDs and is often critical of cavalier use of drugs without first attempting more conservative approaches). The basic philosophy of being anti-chiropractic is still passed around however. The consequence of this is twofold (at least). First, the profession is a little defensive, sometimes preemptively so. They will often tell you strongly about the inappropriate deaths and harm from freely using drugs and surgery. Second, your medical doctor might be pretty free with prejudice (which means prematurely-judging without all the facts) against Chiropractors to a standard he or she would never want to be judged against. So, when you see your Chiropractor today, you may find a little tension hiding behind the scenes and might wonder a bit about why and how that came to be. You just want to be better and probably do not care much about the beauty contest so intimate to your various practitioners!
7. Your Chiropractor will assess and adjust your spine using the most effective tools at his or her disposal. This might include soft tissue work, manipulating bones (which often "crack" alarmingly, though there is no known damage from the crack alone unless something else is done wrong), using blocks, using adjusting tools, using deep tissue massage (sometimes with instruments) and so forth. He or she will try to relax your muscles, pump off swelling around joints, align the spine or at least mobilize fixations, relax your nervous system and or attempt corrections that create global changes in your body (such as NUCCA, Blair, HIO, Knee Chest, Grosstic). Your body will leave in an improved vital state. If this does not occur and it does not improve in just a few visits, consider a different doctor or talk to your doctor about changing techniques. Do not let your doctor talk down to you. It is his or her profession but it is your body and life. Do not keep any doctor who uses fear tactics. This is dirty and unethical and you have the right to an honest assessment that is not biased, which will allow you to make intelligent decisions on your own.
When you go see your Doctor of Chiropractic, take advantage of his or her vast array of skills to help you heal or to optimize your life. Keep your spine healthy by getting regular check-ups. What is regular may vary from technique to technique, but somewhere between 2 weeks and 2 months is reasonable for long-term maintenance checkup intervals. The spine suffers a lot and needs care if you hope to enjoy quality of life. Chiropractors tend to be quite caring and sensitive. They usually offer services at very reasonable rates for most people. Support your local Chiropractor and let them support you. Your life will be happier and better for it.
My good friend and client started coming to my new office in Wyoming. He came twice per week for a couple weeks, missed one week and then came one more time. In his case, he was in pretty good shape and happy to start with. He showed listings, however, that revealed his lack of Chiropractic care. He had an unlevel pelvis and some disc degeneration indicators. Just yesterday I saw him again and found that his pelvis was now completely stable. He was feeling a little sore because he had been bending over working on his farm for several hours straight and he is in his 50s. He thought surely he had thrown his back out again. What he did not understand was that his spine was actually healing because of the kind of care I was giving him. A healthy spine gets moved out of place and then starts to integrate itself and correct itself as the person walks around! This exactly happened to him and by the time he got to me he was nice and level again. A few bones in his spine were not perfect, but I never had to thrust on any of them, just palpating them corrected them. I congratulated him and told him that we would monitor him, but there was no need to adjust him when he is stable and healthy!
When holisitic chiropractic is performed well, the spine gradually heals to whatever the limits are for that person. Adjusting is the beginning of that healing, not the end of it. It is a process of whole body healing and of getting the spine into a healing state, not just an adjusted one. We always strive for this goal in our practice of Holistic Chiropractic.