First off I guess it is best to give you a bit of history with my particular experiences in life and healthcare and how they can relate to you and your family.

Here at the Oakville Chiropractic Centre, I believe it is important for you to be well informed and armed with solid information that will empower you to make your own healthcare choices and decisions.

Before that, we need to ask ourselves… What is Health? When I have asked patients over the years, I have received a wide variety of answers. Some will say you don’t have to take medications all the time.

According to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary:

“Health is the state of optimum well-being, not merely the absence of disease.”

I suspect that is where we all want to be but manage to mess it up on the road to good health. In order to reach this lofty goal we need our bodies to FUNCTION at 100%:

  • Physically
  • Mentally
  • Emotionally

For me, I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s in the small city of Stratford, Ontario, some would say it was a simpler time. My children would say an ancient time but I can say that we were lucky to be part of the boomer generation.

I think it will be beneficial to review some of the health precepts that were part of that time.

Stratford was less than 25,000 in population however many touted it as a cultural mecca because of the Shakespearean Festival. It was because of that, Stratford often had an urban vibe for such a small city, along with a rural bumpkin sense.

Things were very different from a supply and demand perspective than they are today.

From a food supply standpoint, dairy was delivered to your door from the local dairy on a daily basis by horse drawn, milk wagons. People would leave their empty glass milk bottles at the door with either a ticket or money in the bottle to secure the next order.

As children, we would try angle for the fresh bottle for your porridge or cereal as the cream would be on the top and it was a bit of a treat. The cows were not given growth hormone so there was no discussion regarding BST, bST or BGH (Bovine somatotropin, bovine somatotrophin or bovine growth hormone), which is a peptide hormone produced by cows’ pituitary glands.

In addition to the milkman and his cart, the baker was making his rounds selling his wares. Most homes baked their own bread and such but additional items as sliced bread was always a hit for sandwiches.

Another interesting element that I recall back it the 50’s was the iceman. Not everyone has switched to refrigeration and some of the old timers of that era still used the icebox. He would travel up and down the streets by horse drawn wagon and with his tongs would deliver a large block of ice. This would keep the icebox cool for another few days.

These were things that a small city endured not being on the cutting edge of change like Toronto and other large cities of the era.

To give you an additional peek into a different time, all you had to do was make a telephone call. If you went to your home telephone there was neither keypad nor a dial for numbers. When you picked up the phone you would hear: “Operator, what number please?”. Our number was 4017.

Food at that time did not have the additives that many are concerned with today. You didn’t need a PhD to read a label at the grocery store. Although winter vegetables were available, generally speaking it was a farm to table type of existence. There was a normal Saturday morning outing to the market that housed dozens of vendors from the area.

In the mornings, especially in winter, your mother would dole out a tablespoon of cod liver oil, halibut oil or other fish oil. That practice was ridiculed in the 70’s but now we know that omega 3-6-9 essential fatty acids are critical for good health.

Children were active throughout the day at school. The level of activity was constant as there were no video games, computer distractions or tablets. Board games were essentially a rainy day distraction.

I don’t recall any children suffering from asthma (with puffers), ADD, ADHD, autism and the host of food allergies current today. As I recall there were no obese children except for one chap that everyone called Tiny. I don’t know to this day if he was obese or just a behemoth as the point of view from a grade 5 student could be distorted.

I was as close to ADD as it got and I would spend some days wearing a type of horse blinders on my head to maintain focus. Alternatively my teacher would have my desk placed inside cardboard box cubby so I would not distract other students with my shenanigans.

There was no discussion about drugging me or any other child with a Class II narcotic like Ritalin, which is commonplace in today’s schools. It is one of the primary drugs sold in the schools and is similar to amphetamines. There are alternatives for children with these syndromes but again here is not the forum.

Eating out with your family was a rare event. It had to be a significant birthday or anniversary of an adult. There was not the plethora of fast food chains but there were some. The A&W had the car side service and at one point they wore roller skates. This along with the local chip wagon was only open during the nicer months. Of course at that time fish was essential on Fridays so the Fish shops were busy.

From a health perspective school age children came down with what was called the Usual Childhood Diseases.  That included Red Measles, German Measles, Whooping Cough, Chicken Pox and Mumps. These were gifts the boomer generation brought home from school. When someone was infected it was not unusual for parents to expose their kids so they would all contract the various diseases and get it over with.

As I recall it never seemed to be an issue other than convenience for the parents.

Although we heard that polio was an issue there were no children afflicted with it in Stratford that I knew of. I did not meet anyone who had polio until 1976 in Toronto.

Since that era there has been a mass campaign to eliminate these diseases through vaccinations.

Some would argue that these childhood diseases provided beneficial assistance to an immune system that learns from its experiences and prevents other diseases later in life.

This is not the forum for those discussions but I will try and provide you with the links extolling both sides of the arguments. It is an ongoing debate that can become very heated in some circles (you may want to watch the movie Bought available on YouTube).

Many of my childhood experiences with healthcare and sickness came from my home.

My late father, Dr Ernest C Huggins, was a Chiropractor and a Naturopath. It was not uncommon in those days for physicians be they chiropractic, medical or dental to have their practices in their homes. Half of our house on the main floor was dedicated to his practice. We lived in a 6 bedroom Victorian well over 100 years old.

It was not unusual to have an ambulance or other mode of transportation show up at our door all hours of the day and night bringing people for my father’s particular brand of healthcare. It seemed normal to us.

I had seen them carried in and almost dancing out. Over the years many of his patients had told me that he could talk to them over the phone and they would feel better. Sometimes there are powerful healing measures that we may not totally understand. These experiences had been a powerful influence on me and ultimately led to my decision to pursue my career as a Chiropractor.

I personally believe that it is my job here at Oakville Chiropractic Centre as a doctor, is to not only provide care for you in my area of expertise but to also empower you with current information so that you can make you own health choices based upon information and not propaganda.

I hope that you agree with me on that front. The bottom line out there is that there is a lot of gobbledygook when it comes to healthcare…everything from the latest crash diet to another amazing cure. As the old saying goes we will try and separate the “flysheet” from the pepper.

Throughout the 70’s and on there was that pervasive thought that there was a pill for every ill.  It used to be that people would go right for their medicine cabinet to look for relief for EVERY pain or symptom.

In 1994, an estimated 2,216,000 hospitalized patients had serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and 106,000had FATAL ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death, with costs of more than $170 billion in 2000 (JAMA Apr 15,1998).

I personally believe that there is a Parthenon or Five Pillars of Health and Wellness. It is the intent of these writings to review these pillars and outline how they affect you and your family. By making informed decisions you can direct your health and wellness and not wait for disease to happen to you.

Most people from a health and wellness side of things believe that there is a pill for every ill. The reason for much of this is the fact that we have been marketed to since the time we were toddlers in television, movies, books, magazines, billboards and any other way Big Pharma can figure out how to get their message out there.

The budget is mind boggling and much of society believes that is the only way to proceed.

My reply when you hear these ads is listening to the downside in the latter part of the commercial. It is usually spoken at a little quicker rate in order to get all of the info listed.

A brilliant Dean of Pharmacology (Colorado) once stated that for every action a drug stimulates in your body there is an equal reaction.  

“Recognize that all medications have risks and benefits, whether they are by prescription, over-the-counter, complementary and alternative, new or old. I was taught by a professor in medical school that ‘all drugs are poison’ in the sense that they all have the potential to cause trouble. If you take any medication, take an active role in learning about it. Ask questions if there is something you do not understand or if you think you may be having a side effect.”  
Robert H. Shmerling, M.D., Harvard Medical School, January 22, 2003

Fox News in 2002 reported                                                           
Dr Gary Null suggest the numbers of drug and iatrogenic deaths are 876,000 per year.

Similarly it was stated that one year $75 Billion was spent on drugs and $76 Billion was spent on correcting the reactions from those drugs.

As we outline and discuss the 5 Pillars you can form your own game plan on how to “Add Years to Life and Life to Years”

The nature of the Five Pillars is as follows:

1. Proper and Adequate Nutrition
2. Proper and Adequate Exercise
3. Proper and Adequate Rest
4. A Positive Mental Outlook on Life
5. A Properly Functioning Nervous System

By addressing these fundamentals pillars of health you are able to fashion the best health and wellness for you and your family.

The thing to remember is that there is no absolute cookbook of these pillars and much of it will be modified to your particular case. For example the exercise needs of a 25 year old differ from that of a 75 year old. The key is to find the maximum health benefit and work from there.

I recommend that you start a journal to outline the keys that will be impactful for your journey of health and wellness.

Our next Chapter will touch on Proper and adequate Nutrition. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us the Oakville Chiropractic Centre at 905-845-2291.