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Why Pain is Not the Best Gauge of Health

Pain.  We’ve all dealt with it at some point.  Some of us on a constant, chronic basis.  But what does it really mean?

Pain is very real.  There’s no doubt about that.  If you’re in bad enough pain there is almost nothing you won’t do to alleviate it. In fact there is a whole industry banking on it.Gibsonia Chiropractor

The problem is that most of us have been taught to use pain as an arbitrary measure of our health.  The thinking goes that if you feel great you must be healthy, and that if you are expressing pain or other symptoms that your health is failing you.  That’s what the commercials tell you, right?  Take this pill, feel fantastic, and all will be right with the world.

This thinking is flawed from a couple perspectives.  First of all, not every pain means that your health is on the decline.  Take, for example, someone who is in perfect health and stubs his toe.  While he might be in tremendous pain for a time, his overall health is none the worse for wear.

More importantly, from the flip side, consider how many conditions claim people’s lives every year with little to no pain.  Many advanced cancers go symptom-free and undetected until the end stages.  Heart disease and high blood pressure can fester out of sight for decades until you are stricken with a fatal heart attack or stroke.

So if you can’t gauge your health by your pain, how do you know if you’re healthy?

First of all, you have to understand that true health comes from within your body.  You were created to be self-healing and self-regulating.  Protect and respect the body you were given and all will be well.  Neglect and abuse it, and things start to get ugly.  And there is no pill, potion, or lotion in the world that has the power of life that you possess.

So to start, make sure that you’ve had your nervous system evaluated.  If there is interference in the delivery of life from your brain to your body due to misalignments of your spinal bones, you can not possibly express 100% health.  I don’t care how great you feel.  Staying properly adjusted and keeping your nervous system free to do its job is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy body.

In addition, you might want to think about baseline blood work to identify any deficiencies or imbalances in minerals, enzymes, etc. And then of course, there is exercise, a healthy diet, positive mental attitude, adequate sleep, and so on.

The lesson is to be proactive about your health instead of reacting to your pain and symptoms.  I know this goes against traditional thinking.  The medical model of sick care that most of us were brought up on is completely reactionary.  It’s a cycle of neglect, breakdown, medical treatment, repeat.  And deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole we go.

It’s time to stop the downward spiral.  Dig in your heels and start moving your health in the right direction regardless of how you are feeling.  You can make the choice to do so now or you can wait until it’s forced on you later.

Dr. Joseph Tsai, D.C.




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Dr. Joe Tsai is a chiropractor and health coach dedicated to helping you live up to your maximum potential. You can contact him directly at