By Dr. Mercola
Many are confused about the benefits and value of chiropractic treatment. According to Dr. Billy DeMoss, a chiropractor with a practice in Newport Beach, who believes chiropractic is vastly underutilized.
He’s also the founder Cal Jam, one of the largest chiropractic teaching events in the world. I will have the privilege of speaking there later this year. Many will only consider chiropractic when they have back or neck pain, but its scope actually goes far beyond that.
“I try to get people to understand that your nervous system and your brain control every function of your body,” he says.
“When we have a condition in chiropractic we call subluxation, which is misalignment or dysfunction in the spine as far as mobility is concerned, it can cause nerve interference, which will interfere with the expression of intelligence that flows over the spinal cord and nerves.
It can contribute not only causing pain that most people perceive as a chiropractic problem but also can cause organs not to function 100 percent.”
Chiropractic as Preventive Medicine
Research by Dr. Dean Harrison and others suggests chiropractic treatments can help prevent progressive spinal degeneration, i.e. osteoarthritis or disc disease. Just like regular dental care will prolong the useful life of your teeth, getting regular chiropractic treatments can do the same for your spine.
Your spinal column, the vertebrae, and the discs, also protect your most delicate and important system — your nervous system — and impingements can contribute to a number of health problems and ailments.
According to DeMoss, anything you do to protect and nurture our spine will promote “greater expression of nerve intelligence” and “a higher vibrancy in health.”
“Healthcare is really about doing everything you can to get the body back in alignment, not only chemically but also spiritually and mentally.
Where I think chiropractic shines is that we address the cause of the problem. Somebody might have high blood pressure. Their high blood pressure is not due to the fact that they [lack] high blood pressure medication.
Your child might have asthma, but it’s not because he’s got a shortage of albuterol; an ear infection is not a shortage of amoxicillin. Those things have their place in a crisis situation. But [chiropractors] don’t look at the symptoms; we look at what caused the symptoms.
Many times if there’s nerve interference lowering the expression and function of organs, it can contribute to the body not functioning at 100 percent, which leaves it more susceptible to, as we in chiropractic say, ‘Dis-Ease’ and then the body becomes sick or symptomatic.
What we like to do is look at the individual holistically and see what’s going on with their nervous system. “
A Brief History of Chiropractic
Osteopathic medicine was founded by Andrew Taylor Still about 140 years ago. As many of you know I’m a doctor of osteopathy (DO). DOs, like chiropractors, receive extensive additional training in spinal adjustments.
However, in my experience, only a small percentage of DOs are really skilled in this area as they have chosen a more conventional allopathic model, which includes more of an emphasis on drugs and surgery rather than diet and lifestyle changes.
Daniel David “D.D.” Palmer is considered the father of chiropractic. He opened the first chiropractic school in 1897. In 1910, the Flexner Report, which was funded by the Carnegie and the Rockefeller Foundations, set a new tone for medicine and led to the systematic undermining of natural medicine.
In the ‘60s, there was a persistent tendency to suppress physicians from referring patients to chiropractors — so much so that Dr. Chester Wilk ended up filing an antitrust suit against the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1976.
The lawsuit dragged on for more than a decade, but Wilk was ultimately successful. In 1987, the court ruled that the AMA had engaged in an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession.
How Children Can Benefit From Chiropractic
A large portion of DeMoss’ patients are children. They don’t come in for pain issues, but rather your typical childhood problems such as earaches, allergies, and asthma, for example.
“Children are healing machines. As long as you get things properly lined up, their metabolism and capacity to heal is in there,” he says. “Sometimes you need to do more than cleaning up the diet and adjusting it.
Sometimes they need to be detoxified, whether it was from some type of possible toxic vaccine or from eating toxic foods. You’ve got glyphosate from GMOs .... preservatives ... food colorings and additives ... bromines.
You’ve got all these different things that can contribute to lowering the vibration of that patient’s healing potential, i.e. children ...
It’s sad because I’ll see kids that come to me and it’s the same story over and over. It’s like, ‘He’s on his 12th round of antibiotics,’ and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why would you continue to do something if it didn’t work the first, second, third, or even fourth time? Why do you keep doing it?’
I’ve never taken an antibiotic. I’m fortunate. I wouldn’t take it unless I was on my death bed. The microbiome has become a hot topic lately. I’ve always known about that ... When you just indiscriminately use an antibiotic ... you’re destroying part of your ... immune function.
The more antibiotics these kids take, the weaker their immune systems and the worse the symptoms get. That’s what I do as a chiropractor. I’m really good about adjusting. But I’m really an articulate teacher. I make it so that people can understand it.”
Not All Chiropractors Have the Same Philosophy
According to DeMoss, “chiropractic is like brushing your teeth;” it’s something you need to do on a regular basis to maintain the life of your spine, because regular activities, such as chronic sitting, can contribute to its functioning less than optimally. Granted, some chiropractors focus primarily on pain and injuries, and do not have the full skill set required to address issues like allergies or disease. So it’s important to make sure the chiropractor you choose has the appropriate vitalistic philosophy.
Most of DeMoss’ patients come to him via word of mouth, and this is perhaps one of the best ways to find a good wellness chiropractor. You may also want to find out if he or she is trained in any other treatment modalities, such as muscle testing, applied kinesiology, or neuroemotional technique (NET). There are literally dozens of different techniques that can have a profound impact on addressing the bioenergetic component of disease, not just the structural.
Tips for Choosing a Wellness Chiropractor
- Ask your friends for a recommendation. A friend who knows both you and the chiropractor may be able to judge whether your health philosophies and personalities are compatible.
- Meet the doctor. Many chiropractors will agree to a no-cost consultation to determine whether you are a good match. To make this visit as productive as possible, here are a few things to consider:
- Does the practice focus on vertebral subluxation and wellness? Physical, biochemical, and psychological stress may result in spinal subluxations that disrupt nerve function and compromise your health. If you’re looking for a wellness chiropractor, it’s essential that this be the focus.
Some chiropractors confine their practice to the mechanical treatment of back and neck pain, and this is something you need to be aware of beforehand.
- Does the doctor “walk the talk”? If he or she is overweight, looks unhealthy, or does not live a healthy lifestyle, this speaks volumes regarding their commitment to wellness.
- Do the two of you "click"? Do you like each other? Do you communicate well? Avoid a doctor who seems rushed, talks down to you, or seems disinterested in listening to your concerns.
- Does the doctor use objective assessments of nerve function? Since your care is not based just on addressing pain, your chiropractor should be using some form of objective assessment of your nerve function, as spinal subluxations can sometimes be asymptomatic.
Non-invasive instruments that measure the electrical activity in your muscles, and/or a thermal scanner that evaluates the function of your autonomic nervous system can be used, for example.
- What treatment techniques are used? Chiropractic techniques include low-force adjustments by hand, and more forceful adjustments using instruments. Ask which technique would be used on you, and if you have a preference, make sure the doctor is willing to use it.
As mentioned earlier, many chiropractors are also trained in other complementary techniques, so ask what else your doctor may have in his or her tool bag.
To share and spread his philosophical principles of health, DeMoss brings together natural health practitioners and chiropractors from all across the country for an annual event called Cal Jam. I first learned about it through one of my best friends, a Dr. Patrick Gentempo, who is also a chiropractor and has spoken many times at this event.
This year, they’re expecting close to 3,000 attendees, so it’s one of the largest chiropractic conventions. As one of the speakers at this year’s event, I’ll be sharing some information about my new passion, metabolic medicine, which focuses on the health of your mitochondria. This is also the topic of my next book.
The original vision for Cal Jam was inspired by the film “The Dead Poets Society,” where people would get together and read poetry in a cave, and California Jam, a 1970s music event.
“I used to run a little group here in my office called the ‘Dead Chiropractics Society.’ We would read old chiropractic literature from D.D. and B.J. Palmer. We would discuss it, and then people really got into it. It grew to where we would have a hundred people in my office every month.
From that, I was doing some relicensure stuff with a gentleman named Dr. Brian Porteus, who’s a chiropractor, and he goes, ‘Why don’t we do a big philosophy event in California? We can do it for relicensure …’
In the ‘70s, there was an event called California Jam. It was a huge music event ... these seas of people. I said to myself, ‘If we could get these big leaders in healthcare in front of masses of people, we could really change the consciousness of the planet,’” he says.
“As [the original] California Jam, we have live music to help raise the level [of energy]. The vibration at Cal Jam is higher than any other event you’ll ever go to because of the music. But the music also pushes the same theme. We pick songs that have messages to it.”
Mark Your Calendar, Cal Jam Starts March 18
His vision now is to start attracting the general public to the event, so if you’re interested in attending this live music and information-packed event, check out the Cal Jam website for more information. It’s being held March 18 through 20 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA.
To buy tickets, see the “Store” tab. To appeal to the widest general audience, speakers will present a wide range of health-related topics, not just chiropractic. DeMoss’ dream is to grow this event from 3,000 to 25,000 or more.
“My vision is to attract bigger sponsors,” he says. “I would love to have Red Hot Chili Peppers play at it, to make it a fun festival where people can come and have a great time, but at the same time learn a lot of important concepts that they’re not going to hear on TV, and things that are going to improve and push the human population to greater health.”
Chiropractic Is Good for More Than Just Pain
According to DeMoss, if you’re not healthy, chiropractic can often address the epigenetic and bioenergetic underpinnings. Naturally, diet and lifestyle play major roles, and DeMoss addresses all of those areas with his patients as well. To give you an example of what he’s talking about, a patient DeMoss has treated for 20 years told him about his daughter-in-law’s infertility problem.
She’d been trying to get pregnant for two and a half years, and they’d spent about $75,000 on infertility treatments, without any success.
“I said, ‘Gary, why didn’t you refer them here?’ It doesn’t make sense to put the bun in the oven if the oven is not working. He didn’t think there was any correlation between her back and her capacity to become pregnant. I said, ‘I’m so confident, you don’t have to pay me until she becomes pregnant.’ So he sent her in.
She was in her 10th week of care here when she became pregnant. He came in the other day and said, ‘OK. I owe you now.’ He wrote me a nice check.
I want people to understand that when something’s not working in your body, there are things that we can do to make it work, other than drugs and surgery. It’s so sad that people have this limited belief set on what chiropractic is about. It’s more than just you coming in and seeing us as a Band-Aid to get rid of your pain.
In reality, I want people to come and utilize chiropractic to maximize their expression of life and maximize not only the quality but the quantity of the life that God have intended for them.”
To make an appointment with DeMoss, contact DeMoss Chiropractic. His website also has a newsletter and a blog, where you can learn more about his natural health philosophy. Aside from the Cal Jam event, which is being held March 18 through 20 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, DeMoss also holds workshops on nutrition, women’s health, immunizations, and more, throughout the year. For a schedule, see his workshops page.