Dr. Baird's Life Direction
Every so often someone will ask me, "Why did I choose chiropractic for a profession?" or, "What about Chiropractic interested me so much that I decided to become one?"
I will usually smile and tell them that, "It's too long of a story ."or "We don't have that much time left in the day to tell it."
Well, the story isn't that long and I'm not embarrassed about the story or being a Chiropractor, I simply never thought the story was worth telling. Until one day when I did actually take the time to tell it, the person was so impressed she said she was going to seek out a Chiropractor when she returned to her hometown. That made me aware of how important my story might be in changing someone else's life.
So, for those who have asked and didn't get a real answer or those who have wondered...here's my story.
Back in the seventies, some small time after graduating high school, I was talked into going into medicine. I was able to procrastinate for four more years before finally beginning a pre-med program at one of our local colleges. The procrastination ended when my new wife thought it would be great for me to finally get started since she was going to school for nursing.
Fast-forward two years. I was going to school full time, working a full-time night shift at a paper fabricating company, and putting in part-time hours when I could keep my eyes open long enough to actually work. Three hours of sleep per night was the norm for me, five hours was considered heaven. It wasn't unusual for me to fall asleep between classes, frequently and ultimately, missing my next class.
Jump forward one more year. Somehow, I was still maintaining the incredibly full schedule. I, quite honestly, don't recall a whole lot of details about this time since I was moving through most days in a daze.
My health finally took a turn in the wrong direction when I was taking finals, it was physics I think. I became so nauseated I broke into a cold sweat. The room began to spin; lights got brighter, then dimmer; and if I wasn't going to pass out, I was definitely going to lose my cookies all over my test papers. Thinking I was going to cheat, the instructor hesitated for some time before finally giving permission to let me go to the bathroom in the company of the TA. It must have been my insistence, or maybe it was my ghost white, now profusely sweating face that got his attention. In the restroom, I did violently lose my cookies before I made it to a safe place to make a proper deposit. The TA got scared and went back to the classroom to retrieve the instructor. When the instructor returned I was on my back on the floor, conscious, but barely. He informed me I would have a chance to make up my exam at a later time, and told me to go home.
The trip home is a complete blur to me. I think I got sick two or three more times, one or two times waiting for stoplights and one more time when I actually succeeded in pulling off the side of the road. My wife found me passed out in my car in the driveway slumped over the steering wheel. She drove me to our medical physician. We waited for what seemed an eternity, but she tells me we were seen immediately.
After assuring themselves I wasn't having a stroke or any other type of medical emergency, the doctor said I was overtired, maybe even exhausted, (I wonder why that would be?) pushed a suppository in to help me sleep, since I couldn't hold anything down, and sent me home. How my wife got me into bed, I don't remember. Within weeks of this episode in my health, I developed stomach pains. Four months later, I was diagnosed as having both peptic and duodenal ulcers.
I now had three physicians on my payroll, and together they had me on uppers to get me through the day, downers to get me to sleep, an anti-inflammatory for some reason, and a wonderful pain pill that made me forget any and all of my worries and troubles, including my wife. (I would pay for that later.) I was also placed on a diet that made me balloon to a glorious weight of 275 pounds.
A year later, nothing changed, except my girth. I could roll down hallways now instead of waddle down them.
Another two years, still nothing changed, except I was a little wider, more miserable, and much more stoned, and more often. They had increased my medication, "to heal my ulcer," threefold. The doctors, were talking about surgery now. In some of my more lucid moments that just wasn't making sense to me.
My thinking process went like this. Ulcers are holes in the stomach. The pills aren't filling up the holes. So, they want to make the holes bigger by cutting them out? It wasn't adding up, and - I - was - scared. And, that didn't help my emotional state, since the word divorce was now being bantered about between my wife and I.
Whether it was the divine influence of God, a poor, sickly, weak, and run down body, or merely an unfortunate coincidence, about this time I got injured on-the-job. I hurt my mid back, and I hurt it bad. By the end of my shift, I could neither stand up straight, nor could I take in a deep breath, cough, or turn to look behind me without turning my entire body. I was hurt'n. It was the first time in two and a half years that I truly forgot about my stomach pain.
When I got home, fortunately, I was on spring break so I didn't have to go to class. I told my wife I wanted to go to my Chiropractor. You see, I already knew about Chiropractic. I just didn't know ABOUT Chiropractic. I knew you went to a Chiropractor for headaches, neck aches, and back pain but who knew how this event was going to change my life?
During the examination, my Chiropractor asked me the stupidest question, "Are you having some stomach trouble?" When I confirmed his suspicion he said, "Well, we'll just have to fix that, too, won't we?"
I thought to myself, since I could hardly breathe let alone talk, "Just fix my back, then I guess I'll have to find a new Chiropractor because you aren't going to fix my stomach when no one else has been able to."
Following that first treatment, I walked out nearly straight up and down, but more importantly I could breath. My wife was mildly impressed. Four weeks later, I discovered I didn't need most of my medication for my stomach. And I probably didn't need that one that made me forget all my worries and troubles. But hey, it was the seventies remember, and there were things I wanted to forget.
Eight weeks later, I was released from my chiropractor's care since I had no more back pain. More importantly, I had no more stomach pain, and was again eating normal meals including my favorite at the time, chili. I dropped the other physcians from my payroll; actually, I never even went back to them. They probably think I'm dead from a bleeding ulcer, since I never had my little holes made bigger.
The day my Chiropractor released me, I was fortunately lucid, and curiosity got the best of me, so I asked him what was it that he did to heal my stomach that all of the other doctors couldn't with all their wonderful drugs and bells and whistles. He pulled out a pad of paper and a pencil.
The Chiropractor drew a circle at the top of the page, and wrote 'brain' in it. Then he drew two long lines toward the bottom of the page that came to a point at the bottom, and labeled it 'spinal cord.' Next, he drew several lines coming away from the 'spinal cord,' and labeled them 'nerves.' At the end of a few of these he drew a few smaller circles, and called them 'organs,' but wrote the names muscles, blood vessels, glands, heart, kidneys and, believe it or not, 'STOMACH.' He looked up from the drawing at me and asked, "Where does healing come from?" Since I was in pre-med studies I gave him this long drawn out description of the physiology of inflammation, clotting, scarring thus healing. I was proud of myself because I could remember all of that even through the fog of sleeplessness, pain, and drugs. He was patient, kind, and generous. He complimented me for my recall, told me I obviously know the mechanics of healing, and informed me that I hadn't answered his question. He asked again, "Where does healing come from; what tells us we need to heal something; what guides the process I had just described to him?" I was stumped. I felt stupid. I just shrugged and admitted my stupidity. I was probably blushing severely. "Why did I have to ask?" I thought.
That's when he changed my life. He taught me that healing is not some haphazard biochemical process, but the need for healing is sensed, guided, and controlled through the nervous system. If the nervous system is impaired or impeded in any way, in a large way or in the tiniest of ways, it cannot control the organs that the branching nerves use to communicate with them. The brain is the central organizer of all the processes of life and experience; the maintenance, balance, and healing of the body are all controlled by and through, he stopped, circled the entire drawing and said, "The nervous system. I didn't heal you, you healed yourself. All I did was allow the body to express itself to its fullest."
A light went on somewhere in my head, a very bright light. Suddenly everything made sense. That's why I never got well under the care of the other doctors. They were trying to treat me as though I was a haphazard combination of chemical processes. As long as I lived, regardless of their approach, I would never have healed. I would have gotten more and more sick, taken more and more drugs, been given stronger and stronger drugs, gained more and more weight, taken more drugs for my continued declining health until my body either succumbed to the toxicity from the drugs or became petrified like cured, dried meat. And I would have and could have experienced the whole thing through the brain numbing, daze inducing effect of the very same treatment. I could have lived and died never having fully experienced life. My life. My future. We heal from the inside out, not from the outside in. We are our own best doctors. We just need to have the ability to express that to its fullest potential. And we do that through the nervous system.
Everything we experience, everything we do, every action we make, every sense, conscious or unconscious, we perceive must happen through the nervous system. Later I would learn that before any other organ or system forms in a developing fetus the nervous system and its distributing branches are there first. I am alive and healthy today because my nervous system is still capable of doing its job. Wow, what a light that was. And it made sense!
I had no other choice, knowing this new insight. I asked my Chiropractor to tell me where and how I could learn to do this Chiropractic stuff. He made the appointments, scheduled the interviews, and even went with me on that first interview and tour of the Chiropractic College I decided to attend. Thanks, Doc.
P.S. I continued to get healthier and eventually lost most of the weight.