C. S. Lewis and Chiropractic
C. S. Lewis was a world-beloved author, philosopher, theologian, professor, and creator of that magical place my children know (and revisit often) as Narnia. Before passing away in 1963, this Cambridge professor had written down his thoughts about nearly every topic imaginable, and his writings survive with startling clarity to this day, unfaded by time or perspective.
Now, you might be asking yourself why C. S. Lewis is featured in a health blog about chiropractic? After all, Lewis lived his life in England. Although natural health care and spinal manipulation have Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, and other ancient roots, modern chiropractic is a uniquely American phenomenon. In fact, the first chiropractic college in England was not even founded until 1964, a year after Lewis' death. And, to my knowledge, there is no evidence that Lewis ever visited a chiropractor or knew about chiropractic as a distinct medical science.
The essential principle of chiropractic is very simple, and it may be self-evident to people who have never been exposed to chiropractic. Thoughtful individuals may ponder science, nature, the human body, and other topics, and arrive at the same conclusions that chiropractors have held for over a hundred years. If a truth is simple, then many people may arrive at it, even if they travel a wide variety of roads.
This is the truth behind chiropractic: "Doctors do not heal your body. Your body heals itself."
Given the right conditions, your body will function exactly as it is supposed to. Your body grows. Your body sleeps. Your body moves. You do not have to micromanage every single function of the body: your bile is created, your blood vessels expand and contract, your body temperature is managed, your bones regulate their calcium, your kidneys filter your blood, and so on. Your body undergoes injury and healing a million times a day, cell by cell, moment by moment.
But sometimes your body is unable to heal itself because the conditions are not right for healing. Perhaps there are too many bacteria infecting your body. Perhaps the nervous system cannot communicate properly to direct the immune system. But what is our knee-jerk reaction? Take a drug. The drug will stop the pain. But do drugs force your body to heal? Do medications supplant the nervous system? In our zeal to be comforted, sometimes we add more stress and toxins to our body and prolong the actual healing process.
Chiropractors attempt to restore your body's natural ability to heal. That's what the body does. All on its own. Chiropractors take great pride in being non-invasive. We encourage, intervene, then step back and watch the body perform its own healing miracle.
The same miracle which is performed a million times a day, cell by cell, moment by moment.
C. S. Lewis reflected upon these same miracles, albeit in a theological context. In an essay entitled "Miracles", in a collection entitled God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, edited by Walter Hooper, Lewis wrote the following (emphases mine):
God creates the vine and teaches it to draw up water by its roots and, with the aid of the sun, to turn that water into a juice which will ferment and take on certain qualities. Thus every year, from Noah's time till ours, God turns water into wine. That, men fail to see. Either like the Pagans they refer the process to some finite spirit, Bacchus or Dionysus: or else, like the moderns, they attribute real and ultimate causality to the chemical and other material phenomena which are all that our senses can discover in it...
The miracles of healing fall into the same pattern. This is sometimes obscured for us by the somewhat magical view we tend to take of ordinary medicine. The doctors themselves do not take this view. The magic is not in the medicine but in the patient's body. What the doctor does is to stimulate Nature's functions in the body, or to remove hindrances. In a sense, though we speak for convenience of healing a cut, every cut heals itself; no dressing will make skin grow over a cut on a corpse. That same mysterious energy which we call gravitational when it steers the planets and biochemical when it heals a body is the efficient cause of all recoveries, and if God exists, that energy, directly or indirectly, is His. All who are cured are cured by Him, the healer within.
Chiropractic does not pretend to be magical, as modern pharmaceuticals sometimes do. Chiropractic does not pretend to be mystical, as some alternative forms of healing do. Chiropractic simply uses the healing energy already in the body, and removes obstacles to help the human body to flourish in the way it was designed to flourish.
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Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
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Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, S.C., proudly located in Peoria, IL.