THE ROLE OF HOPE IN HEALING
Each of us is tested by adversity at some point in our lives. How we respond to that adversity greatly determines the outcome. Hope can make all the difference. While we cannot always control or predict external circumstances or results, we can control our reactions to them. In our chiropractic practice, it is exciting to see both hopeful and hopeless people get positive results.
When Jerome Groopman, MD was interviewed by the New Yorker about his book, The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness, he discussed Christopher Reeve’s journey after his spinal cord injury. He portrays Reeve and others living in “extreme circumstances” as having a hope that “assesses all of the obstacles, all of the problems, all the potential for failure” and still “sees a path to the future”. He points out that there have been many research studies demonstrating the healing power of hope and how it can impact pain levels, asthma and respiratory problems, heart attack outcomes, and Parkinson’s disease by stimulating neurochemical changes in the brain.
Groopman recalled in the interview that Reeve once told him, “You know, it’s not like I’m just going to will my nerves to grow again.” Groopman stated that Reeve’s hope was the “opposite of any kind of new-age, magic-wand thinking.” He states that the uncertainty surrounding Reeve’s diagnosis enabled him to see his future as still holding the potential for him to improve (1).
In their 2008 article in the journal Science, Park et al state that central nervous system (CNS) “axons [neuron branches] do not regenerate after injury.”
However, they also found that limited nerve regeneration in the CNS was made possible by blocking chemicals that inhibited this process, opening the door for greater hope for those with brain or spinal cord injuries. (2) In other words, they blocked the chemicals that normally block nerve regrowth.
Chiropractic patients present with a wide variety of conditions and goals for care. Some are children coming in for care because their parents want them to have the advantage of growing up with an optimally functioning spine and nervous system. Others may be athletes that desire to keep their body mechanics working at peak levels so that they can heal faster, avoid injuries while enjoying their sport for as long as possible. There are those with developing or chronic conditions that want a drug-free, non-surgical approach that will address the root cause of their health problems.
What should you do if you or a loved one is hopeless about your health or potential to heal? Give our office a chance to examine you and work with you to help your body heal. As long as you are alive and breathing, your body has the potential. Our techniques combined with the frequency of your visits and your new burst of hope could make the difference.
Whether you are suffering from acute or chronic pain, or whether you have been diagnosed with a severe condition, make the health of your nervous system a priority. Your hope and personal commitment can make all the difference. Schedule your appointment today!
For Your Best 100 Year Lifestyle,
Dr. Jordan Plasker
Contributed by Dr. David Gustitus 100 Year Lifestyle Affiliate, Franklin, WI
1. Daniel Cappello. (November 10, 2003). The New Yorker. In The Reeve Factor. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/11/10/the-reeve-factor. 2. Park, Kevin K, Liu, K, Hu, Y, Smith, P, Wang, C, Cai, B, Xu, B, Connolly, L, Kramvis, I, Sahin, M, and He, Z. “Promoting Axon Regeneration in the Adult CNS by Modulation of the PTEN/mTOR Pathway”. Science. 2008 Nov 7; 322(5903): 963–966.