Spirituality of Health

Spirituality of Health
The seventh building block of health
By Vince Methot, DC Student

There are seven categories in which all factors that influence health can be included. This set of seven I call the ‘fundamentals of health’. You can find the basic overview of these on the Vital Source Blog. The seventh of these I call the spirituality of health.

Often, when people hear the word spirituality they think of a church or religion; spirituality isn’t just religion, although it can be an important part. Spirituality, as I define it here, is everything that is not physical, that which complements and animates our body. SleepingBabySpirituality is taking a rest from physical things and focusing on our spiritual well-being. Some things that help us do this are sleep, wholesome recreation, fasting, prayer and meditation, holy day observance or just taking a day off, religion and worship, and even death.

Sleep is a state where consciousness practically suspended. It naturally refreshes and rejuvenates our body. Things that affect the quality of our sleep are the type of bed and pillow that we sleep on and the nature of the environment that we are in, like sound and temperature levels. The quality of our sleep can indicate that there is an imbalance in one of the other fundamental areas of our health. We should sleep at night for a solid eight hours according to popular belief. Dreaming can be an indicator to know that we slept long enough or well enough. Some of the many benefits of quality sleep are improved mental awareness, metabolism, immune function and mood.

Wholesome recreation is a healthy companion to work. It helps us learn and grow. Some examples include the arts, such as music, dance and drama, sports and group games. Recreation can be degrading if it negatively affects any of the aspects of health or promotes unhealthy behaviors. When recreation is in balance with work it is good but when it lasts too long it can promote idleness and waste time. The best activities promote good behavior, build relationships, and encourage creativity. It promotes happiness and helps develop a healthy identity.

Fasting in its most basic form is going without food and water for a short period of time, for example for a 12-24 hour period. Fasting is extremely rejuvenating for the body because it diverts the energy, normally used on digestion, to cleaning out toxins and healing. Other forms of fasting include water-only and juice-only fasts, where this is the only thing consumed. Fasting can be very detrimental and require a doctor’s supervision; the need for doctor supervision will depend on the person’s experience fasting, the toxic condition of the body, as well as the duration and type of fast. It is not recommended to go without water for more than a 24 hour period but fasting without food can go from a day to a few weeks with the proper training. The speed at which the body removes waste can cause negative side effects, which is why a doctor’s supervision would be required. Once the body has cleansed itself, the positive benefits far outweigh any of the negative feelings and include improved digestion and weight control, reduced or eliminated allergies and fatigue, and increased energy.

MeditationPrayer and meditation help receive inspiration and focus the mind. Holy day observance helps promote moral behavior. Taking a day off allows the body to rest from a week full of work and provides a rejuvenation period. Many religions teach methods to rest the body and focus on the spiritual parts of life. They also teach different ways to worship a higher power and give explanations for who or what to worship.

Death, while looked upon negatively by some and positively by others, cannot be escaped. We are mortals and no mortal can escape this. There are many explanations for what may happen after death; some include a period of time to focus on nothing but the spiritual in preparation for receiving a completely healthy, immortal, physical body. Regardless of what you believe, death provides the ultimate rest for or from the mortal, physical body.

Spirituality, while providing a rest from the physical, has a major influence on our physical health. BabySleepingIt helps cope with illness and stress and provides better enjoyment of life. It also helps reinforce all of the other categories of health which include our ability to choose to be happy, to be clean, to eat healthy, to seek the source of light, to strengthen relationships, to work towards a beneficial purpose and to prepare for our future. I encourage you to make spirituality a priority in your life so you can reap the many benefits.

Go Hug A Tree!

Go Hug A Tree!
A family reunion with Mother Earth
By Rachel Brower, UG Student

Just try something with me for a second. Imagine: The sun is setting, illuminating fiery lines along the edges of the clouds. Out over the ocean you see a group of seagulls making their way home for the night, their cries seeming to echo off of nothing and everything all at once. Wiggling your toes into the dampened sand, you inhale the salty air as the tide gently swirls around your feet. You feel a deep and unexplainable sense of peace as you watch the sun give one last red-orange wink before disappearing behind the waters. For as far as your eye can see, there is nothing but a dark blue abyss. To the left and the right, vast stretches of cooling sand. You realize just how small you are amidst the vast expanses of nature.

See? It’s not just the power of imagery or suggestion. Beauty-of-natureThese scenes exist in the recesses of your mind as good and positive memories – times when your body felt right in being among the natural sights, scents, sounds and experiences of the great outdoors. Instead of searching for it, the sense of oneness, peace, and happiness seemed to have found you – a byproduct of being immersed in your surroundings.

Contentment lies not in a magic pill, clocking in more hours at work, an increase in your paycheck, or even sitting at home watching movies in your down time. Sure, these scenarios bring something to the table, but strolling through a park, hiking a nature trail, or even simply stepping out onto your patio for some fresh air and sunshine can work even greater wonders on the human mind and body.

What exactly does nature offer us? Vitamin D is a key player, with its numerous health benefits that are still, to this day, being uncovered. boy-hugging-treeA thriving warrior against cancer, obesity, inflammation, hormonal problems, and overall ill-health, this natural vitamin offered by the sun itself continues to show signs of mood elevation and strengthening of our immune systems. A 2009 study that appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health states that the closer you live to nature, the healthier of a person you are likely to be.

Consider this an inspirational challenge. Do what you can – no, do what you must – to make time for mother earth. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous, break the pattern of daily life, gather some friends, leave the technology behind, and truly escape to the beauty that lies in the world that surrounds you.

Why Keep Vitalism to Ourselves?

Why Keep Vitalism to Ourselves?
By Penny Aviles, DC Student

My High School music professor told me once, as he was coming back from the Dean’s office, due to his attempts to kick me out of the classroom, “a good leader doesn’t come up with problems, but solutions.” Meaning, he never really made it to the Dean’s office and tried to coexist with me. Little does he know, I still remember those words with a visual image of his face saying them. I didn’t become submissive as he expected, but his wise words and my free self-expression are partly why I’ve gotten involved in organizations that seek to solve issues pertaining to chiropractic. Sometimes politics can be a slow and frustrating endeavor, but without critical thinking, debate about our profession, and the wish to take it further, Chiropractic would have continued as an underground profession in a little corner office in Davenport, IA.

wccs_logoLast March 27th – April 2nd, the World Congress of Chiropractic Students (WCCS) 37th Annual General Meeting took place with 134 critical minds in a tiny touristy place on the sides of the Mediterranean called Malaga, Spain. It was quite the gathering and yet, we have no words to express such a powerful, seven-day experience. Lifelong bonds of friendship and trust with future leaders of the profession from around the world are sometimes the best things that someone takes out the experience on a personal level. But looking at the bigger picture, we were a monumental part of the solution.

When being part of congress, not only do you get to represent the student body of your school at a global level, but you form part of history in chiropractic. WCCS is the oldest, international, student-run chiropractic organization and consists of 24 chiropractic school members which represent over 10,000 chiropractic students. We have no “big brother” organizations, we are independent and neutral. In WCCS you can find a safe platform for either side of the chiropractic spectrum to have a voice, because we embrace diversity. As Luke Schmidt, president of the WCCS Board of Directors, says, “The friendships that have been made through the WCCS are proof that it is possible to be diverse, yet still united.” Students involved develop leadership skills, friendships and a better understanding of chiropractic around the world than they could get in their tiny bubble we call school.

There is a middle ground where all of us studying chiropractic can meet, and that’s where we admit our role as leaders and work together towards our goal: “To advance and unite the global chiropractic profession through inspiration, integrity and leadership” (www.wccsworldwide.org). delegationWe have influenced policy changes in countries and continue to work towards regulations in chiropractic for the protection of the public. Our presence in Malaga, Spain this past spring (a country where Chiropractic is not regulated) caught the interest of the local press and allowed open dialogue with other health care professionals. In other regions like Japan, chiropractic has no regulations either, and WCCS has worked hard on getting recognition for chiropractic. One step we helped accomplish a few years ago was the introduction of the word “chiropractic” to the Japanese dictionary. These are not simple steps and definitely not fast processes, but one thing we WCCS’ers know is, we are being part of the solution. Do you dream of a world where chiropractic is highly recognized, and of a world where you didn’t have to convince anyone that it works? If this is your vision we need YOU!

Out of all those 24 chiropractic schools, only FIVE are vitalistic schools. We are outnumbered, and sadly also by students representing each school. This year we achieved our highest number of student delegates from Life U attending congress: nine. Sherman College only had one delegate representing them. Life University is the biggest chiropractic university in the world, and therefore should have a bigger delegation to represent its student body. Next Congress will take place in our own alma mater April 2015, so all you interested in participating won’t have travel expenses to worry about. As the Head Delegate of the WCCS Life Chapter, I highly recommend everyone get involved. It is our duty not only to live vitalism, and practice it in our school and future chiropractic offices, it is important we share it with the world and, trust me, this is the right place to do it. Students around the world crave for a principle bigger than a reductionist back pain and neck pain model. If you’d like to form part of the solution, come to club to hear more about it. We meet Wednesdays at 5pm in C149, or throw us a line to wccsclub@life.edu
WCCS Meeting

Publisher News – October 2014

Publisher News
By Dave Jennings, Student Publisher

One more quarter down and it was a fun one with Boards, Lab finals and Lecture finals while throwing in a fun water main break week 9 and yet again we transition into a new quarter. I do enjoy my time at Life but so look forward to the end of the program and the quarter system grind as these week breaks are over in a blink of your eye. Thankfully we get entertainment during finals week and break with email bombs from administration; the recent change to the parking arrangement being quite the news. On August 21 a school wide email was sent looking for students to park on Roswell Road in front of Whole Foods and with little interest the administration took a very interesting position by having blue tag students, faculty and staff park remotely.

Parking has been a hot button issue at Life forever and just as we see in the chiropractic profession you can never make everyone happy but this is one instance where the school did create quite the firestorm and got professors, staff and students to talk about the issue. There is a group of upper quarter students who are in shock and upset with regard to professors being forced to park off campus finding it disrespectful and as one professor termed it the tail wagging the dog. There has also been talk by upper quarter students all 1st-4th quarter students should park remotely in place of professors but looking back at old social media posts I am quite sure if the shoe was on the other foot every quarter would be a problem with parking remotely. While I am sure administration weighed multiple options as to the parking shortage it seems with a topic as large as parking the final decision should affect all equally. Why not make all parking on campus carpool only which would have all staff, faculty and students share equally to reduce the parking congestion as well as reducing our carbon foot print. It might be a mild inconvenience from our normally everyday lives but as I like to say first world problems are fortunate to have. Exceptions should be made for professors who have active practices as they do have time constrains which deserve to be respected. Given time the shuttles will become more efficient as they modify routes and drops.

On a serious note we have a MAJOR theft problem on campus again and this time it is happening in CC-HOP and C-HOP. Laptops, purses and other valuables are being taken from places which should feel safe. If administration cannot provide enough lockers to properly secure our personal belongings it is beyond time to install secure entry to all areas where you student ID is needed to enter and cameras are on all entry/exit points to eliminate the scourge who is violating our trust.

Meet the Mormons

Meet the Mormons
Saints at Life Potluck
By Vince Methot, DC Student

At Life University there are over 30 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of this church are often called Latter-day Saints or Mormons. In August, students, staff and families met together for the first time for a ‘Saints at Life’ potluck. There were 16 families who came. Of those, there were two staff members and 14 DC students. None of the undergrad or masters students were present.

While there are varying views as to what a saint is, the simple SaintsatLifePotlucketymology of the word means ‘holy'; these are people who are holy or who can become holy through the cleansing power of Jesus Christ. In the Church of Jesus Christ, both ancient and modern, saints are those who have been baptized into His church by someone with His authority. The qualifier ‘latter-day’ distinguishes those saints in Christ’s church today from those of His ancient church and has reference to the second coming of the Savior of the world.

Beliefs that are not unique to this church are belief in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit; that Jesus is the Savior, Redeemer and Judge of the world; and that He lived, died, was resurrected and lives again. Beliefs that are unique include living prophets and apostles who talk with God today and who can trace their authority, apostle by apostle, directly back to Jesus Christ through His first apostles Peter, James and John; that God has revealed more of His words than just those written in the Bible, written in books such as the Book of Mormon – where the nickname ‘Mormons’ came from; and that these books confirm and support the teachings in the Bible.

For clarification purposes, it is not the Mormon Church or the Latter-day Saint Church; rather, it is the Church of Jesus Christ with members who are latter-day saints. There are over 15 million members of this church in the world. A congregation of saints of the Church of Jesus Christ is called a ward or a branch and a group of five to ten wards and branches is called a stake, as in a tent stake (see Isaiah 54:2). There are ten stakes of the church in the Atlanta area. Saints at Life come from over nine wards in six stakes around Atlanta.

There is a full length feature film that came to theaters on the weekend of October 10th, 2014 called Meet the Mormons. The BishopIt is a documentary about six Mormon’s lives; one of which lives in the Atlanta area. To find out more about the movie, the people, or the church go to MeetTheMormons.com, Mormon.org or LDS.org. If you want to meet a saint here at Life, ask around, everyone knows someone who is a Mormon. If you are a latter-day saint and would like to join with others on campus, you can join the Facebook group titled ‘Saints at Life'; there you may find other saints and learn about any future events including the next potluck event on November 1st.


In The Lyme Light
Part II
By Rachel Brower, UG Student

Go <a href=”http://vitalsourcelife.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/in-the-lyme-light-part-1/”>here for Part I</a>

“Hey man, how have you been?” Stephen high fives you in the hallway on your way to your next class.
“Been alright, hanging in there.” You smile.
“Listen, I heard you guys had an awesome hiking trip last month in the mountains! I was wondering when you were headed back up! I wanna go.”
“Oh, man I don’t know. You should talk to Chris about it. He kinda organized it and may want to do another round.”
“You don’t?”
“I mean I don’t know. I got really sick while I was there. Sort of left a bad taste in my mouth, ya know?” You shrug and adjust your bag. “Plus school is weighing me down right now.”
“You?!” Stephen gawks. “The straight A kid who always got the bonus questions right and beat me by like…a few points?”
You smile reflectively to yourself. “Yeah, I mean I’m still making it. Everything just seems a bit harder that’s all.”
“Have you increased your course load?”
“Involved in too many clubs?”
“Girlfriend probs?”
You blink in response to his bluntness. “Angie’s fine.”
“Weird, well…okay.” Stephen shuffles his shoes and looks down. “Sorry bro. Keep your chin up!”
“Hey thanks man, yeah just talk to Chris.” You offer a pat on his shoulder and part ways.
As you enter your last class for the day, you glance down at your watch. Just a few minutes late. Your professor doesn’t notice, but you have to resort to sitting in the back few rows rather than your usual front row position. As the lecture proceeds he begins to write algebraic formulas all over the board. You take rapid notes, knowing that the midterm college exams were just around the corner.
“Hey, you alright?” A female voice interrupts your thought process.
“Huh? Oh yeah, Hi Sarah, I’m good.”
“Okay, just wondering. You seem tense or something.”
You shrug to negate the comment, but suddenly realize that she was somewhat correct in her observation. You were sitting at the edge of your chair, leaning all the way forward, and squinting to see the board – still with great difficulty. Clenching your fists, you rub your eyes for a few seconds and blink, hoping that would increase your visual clarity. Nothing changes. Perplexed, you try and make due for the duration of the period.
Flinging your backpack down at the foot of the couch in your dorm room, you collapse onto the cushions letting out a sigh of exhaustion. You couldn’t recall the last time you felt this tired, and you used to have enough energy to hit the gym after classes. Today, that simply felt like the last option available. You rub your neck where a dull headache seems to be growing, and close your eyes.
“Dude, what are you doing?”
You jolt up from the couch to the sound of your roommate Kevin slamming the door obnoxiously. “I thought you had that meeting this evening for camp staff training or something?”
“Oh man…” You mumble and look at your watch. It started a half hour ago.
“You fell asleep?”
“Yeah, and I completely forgot.”
Kevin, digging for items in the refrigerator, looked at you concernedly over his shoulder.
“Are you doing okay, bro?”
“Why does everyone keep asking me that!” You fling one hand up in the air and hold your throbbing head with the other.
“I dunno, man…I just…You’re not acting like yourself. This is the third time you’ve forgotten something or slept through something important.”
“Yeah, well sleep’s important too.”
“You sleep a lot!”
“And I’m still exhausted.” You shake your head hopelessly in your hands and look up admittedly. “I don’t know what it is, Kev. Even my grades have dropped some within the past month. There’s just something wrong with me, I guess.”
“I wouldn’t beat yourself up, but try and get to the bottom of it.”
A few months pass by, and you struggle through your final semester of freshman year. You finish with grades much less than straight A’s, and your parents still smile sweetly and state how proud they are of you. You don’t feel it though – in fact you feel quite the opposite, wondering why you have become such a bad student, son, friend, and boyfriend.
“I forget to call Angie back…” You stare blankly at the floor. “I miss meetings and deadlines all the time. I’m exhausted after just a little bit of effort during the day…”
“And so what do you usually do?” The psychiatrist peers over his spectacles with a pen and pad of paper in hand.
“I mean, I usually sleep. I have headaches at the end of each day. I’m tired and my bones ache.”
“So no more energy, drive, or passion for life right?”
“Exactly.” You look up at him hopefully, since you have seen him a few times now at the suggestion of many loved ones. “Any insight?”
He clears his throat. “Yes, actually. Son, what you are experiencing is pretty normal, believe it or not. Many kids, especially your age, go through these types of phases.”
“Absolutely. It’s called depression. And the accompanying worry is called anxiety.”
“Oh.” You squint your eyes and look out the window. “So I’m depressed. That’s the answer.”
“Perceivably so, son. But you don’t need to worry. It’s nothing that a good consistent schedule of medication can’t help in a matter of time.”

Safety Pin

Everyday Vitalism
Safety Pin
By Rebecca Koch, Director of Service Initiatives

So, how did a giant safety pin – a mammoth representation of a simple symbol near and dear to generations of chiropractors’ hearts – serendipitously end up at one end of Celebration Plaza, outside the Center for Chiropractic Education? Moreover, how is it possible that a privately commissioned artwork of this scale could come to LIFE at virtually no cost? Close the PinIt was such an extraordinary series of events that came together so seamlessly that, according to Dr. Riekeman, “it seemed as if the Universe simply wanted us to have it.” And, when it comes to relating most acts of fate, we have to start at the beginning.

A few years ago, a local businesswoman, Joan Barnes of Marketing Specifics, Inc., commissioned the safety pin sculpture to commemorate her 50th birthday. Why a safety pin? She wanted to symbolize her philosophy of simplicity as a designer. As Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” and the safety pin is the essence of simplicity; it has every part it needs and nothing more.

Several years after her birthday, Joan sold her business and wanted to donate the sculpture to a place where it would be cared for, seen and enjoyed by many people for years to come. Again, fate played a part because Joan’s former business happened to be located in Kennesaw, also home to one of the most community minded chiropractors in Georgia (and maybe in the US), Dr. Cris Eaton-Welsh.

How was Dr. Cris’s involvement fateful? It would take a chiropractor to know the safety pin serves as a symbol for the philosophy underlying chiropractic, a healing profession that helps patients by restoring and improving the function of the central nervous system. For chiropractors, this simple machine – the safety pin – perfectly and simply illustrates the effect of the care chiropractors provide. When engaged, a safety pin completes the connection between its open ends just as corrections provided by chiropractic care complete the connection between brain and body. In fact, this simple machine has served as a symbol for chiropractic for nearly a century.

It also happens that Dr. Cris is a LIFE alumna. Once she learned her neighbor, Joan, was looking to find a home for the sculpture, Dr. Cris wasted no time contacting her alma mater to ask if its president, Dr. Guy Riekeman, would be interested in accepting the donation of a giant safety pin. Dr. Riekeman immediately saw the value of such an unbelievably relevant symbol and seized the opportunity to provide a permanent home for the donation. He instantly saw the “sculpture’s value as a reminder that all students come to Life University in that unconnected state, open to learning how to close the loop between their desire to live lives of success and significance, and the acquisition of the knowledge and skills they’ll need to do it. It’s our job to help them learn to make that connection.”

It also happens that Life University’s Grounds team is led by John Wheeler with a can-do attitude when it comes to making things happen on campus. Again, fate stepped in to play a role because LIFE also has a Physical Plant director, Mike Sterling, who – remarkably – had previous experience moving a gigantic sculpture through Metro Atlanta traffic. Together with the Grounds team, a plan was developed for relocation and the Grounds team went into action. Within days, they’d borrowed the perfect trailer (one used to haul the also-gigantic Lights of LIFE displays), broken down the sculpture’s stone base, loaded it up, moved it, and stored it safely away until summer break, when Mike and his Physical Plant team could design and build a new mounting system.

In the end, everything came together almost seamlessly, making it seem inevitable that this delightful work of art should find it way to LIFE’s campus. Clearly, the Universe had known from its beginning that the world’s largest privately commissioned safety pin* and the world’s largest chiropractic program were made for one another. And that is how a beautifully simple – and awesomely huge – safety pin came to be a perfect part of the Life University campus.

In summing up the receiving of a giant safety pin as a perfectly symbolic and delightfully whimsical donation to LIFE’s campus, Dr. Riekeman said: “First, in addition to it being a chiropractic symbol that represents the neurological connection between the brain and the body, it also represents the notion of how the body interacts with the environment. This is a symbol of how all the systems of the body and the environment work. So, in our Statement of Purpose, as approved by the Board, it states that we believe these systems work best when they are free of interference and that there are three interferences to the nervous system which interrupt the flow of information…physical trauma, environmental toxins and emotional stresses. Thus this represents all of our programs at Life U. Finally, the reason it is open is to remind each of us every day that our job is to go out and educate and care for the world by reconnecting (closing the loop/pin) through our chosen disciplines. When we have corrected all the interferences to the innate expression in all people, we will close the pin.”

*The world’s largest safety pin is 21-feet tall (LIFE’s is approximately 15 feet tall) and located in San Francisco at the public De Young Museum sculpture garden. (http://goldenbookofrecords.com/largest-safety-pin/)