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A Piece of the Health Care Puzzle


A Piece of the Health Care Puzzle

What originally drew me into chiropractic was knowing that I would be able to help many people. Particularly, the people who had been written off by other industries. I remember very distinctly when I started school that I couldn't wait for my first miracle case as a practicing doctor. 

Everyday people defy odds. Their stories of perseverance and willingness to take charge of their health inspire others to do the same. These individuals go on living despite the 6 months to go prognosis and not only do they go on living but they typically find a renewed purpose and end up doing amazing things with their life. I guess that's what happens once you know what it is like to operate with no guarantee for tomorrow.  

A nice perk to being a chiropractor is that we get to see this rare type of person on a routine basis. A not-so-nice anti-perk to being a chiropractor is knowing how many potential "rare" people are suffering because they don't know you exist to help them. 

Once I graduated and began actual patient care I'd sporadically get to help someone with multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia, Parkinson's, Meniere's Disease or epilepsy. And they'd get better. Inevitably, I'd get all amped up and go running to the neurologists in the area to tell them about my theories as to why I thought these kids were getting better after having uncontrollable seizures. 

40% of those with epilepsy have uncontrolled seizures even with prescription meds and often dangerous and debilitating surgery is the next step. Even knowing the statistics, not one referral ever came from any of the neurologists. 

The patients I'd see with neurological disorders were the ones who performed their own research and came to see us. Or they were a friend of a friend of someone we had helped. 

Once I adjusted a kid who had nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting). He was almost a teenager and when he came to see us he had back pain. The parents never even told us he wet the bed (which by the way is typically a neurological condition that can be helped without drugging your child and should get no ridicule from anyone about the issue). Anyways, they came from over an hour and a half away and did so quite consistently until we got his structure stabilized. One day the mom pulls me out into the hallway to ask if this could help with bed wetting. As a result of one kid's back pain, our office has almost single-handedly wiped out nocturnal enuresis for an entire Midwestern farming community as the referrals came flooding in with children who wet the bed. 

Where was the excitement out of the foundations and support groups for epilepsy & MS? Why do none of the websites have upper cervical care listed as a possible "alternative treatment"? Why are people told that drastic surgical procedures are their only hope when medication fails? 

About two days ago during a new patient consultation a lady says to me,

"my doctor warned me not to see you because you aren't a real doctor."

There are a host of reasons as to why this type of rhetoric is so prevalent and I will discuss these in detail in our upcoming podcasts and blog posts. None the less, I was impressed that I didn't get pissed-off by taking it personally. I think I laughed in earnest.  It was either that or get incredibly sad knowing enough people with power & influence still agree with her "real" doctor, not to my detriment- but to the people out there with neurological disorders. Especially to the people who aren't responding to one industry's treatment and therefore told there is no hope. 

I am by no means saying we have all the answers. On the contrary, I am willing to admit we do not (unlike some). But here is what I do know- The human body has far more potential to heal when it has a spine that allows for unimpeded nerve, blood, lymphatic and spinal fluid flow. The quicker people realize this the better chance they have to heal if they are unwell. 

By treating only the misaligned spine we often see some incredible results.  We also add in a little "real" doctoring where we spend time getting to know our patients and help them in other areas that could be holding them back from achieving their full potential. 

If you're reading this and you're one of the people with little to no hope and you haven't explored the treatment of subluxation, then I would highly recommend it. Know that the goal is not simply to get rid of 'XYZ' disease, but to get truly healthy and that requires more than the effort of any one doctor. It requires your commitment to improving all areas of your well-being, including the spine that houses your central nervous system, a rather large and enigmatic missing piece of the health care puzzle.

-In Health, 

Dr. Andrew R. Burns 





Chewed up.


I have the distinct honor and privilege to work with many amazing women every week. We cover a variety of topics, but typically we are discussing ways to improve health through lifestyle adjustments and adaptations. 

We cover a lot of information in our initial appointment, and one of the questions that I ask during their nutritional assessment is if they are using aspartame or other artificially sweetened products. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Client: “Well, no, I stopped using that years ago.”

I follow up by asking if they chew gum.

Client: “Yes, oh, yes, I do chew gum. I always have.”

Me: “Do you have a package with you?”

Client: “Yes, would you like a piece?” as they pull the package out of their purse.

Me: “No, no, but let’s take a look at the ingredients.” 

I had four of these conversations just last week, and two the week before, and knew that I needed to share this information. I absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, know that we, as consumers, are truly trying to make better choices. Gum is a sneaky way for us to literally be poisoning ourselves each and every day, though, and to elevate our health we need to have all the facts. 

Since we aren’t actually eating gum, we don’t usually think about the effects of it on our health. I was a gum chewer. Loved it. Loved the minty fresh breath. Loved chewing it as a deterrent to eating. My brand of choice was Clorets, a sugar-based gum. I thought it sounded superior - healthy even, since it had chlorophyll in it. I chewed it for years, and would buy it by the case instead of a single pack, and stash the box in a convenient upper cabinet in our kitchen. Then, one day, I suddenly began to have stomach pains. Like couldn’t stand up straight, doubled-over-the-sink pain. And it scared me. I had been a diet coke drinker for several years before that until I realized that the ingredients were lethal to my health, and I quit. It was difficult to quit. The molecular structure of aspartame is almost identical to cocaine, and it’s as addictive, but when I realized that every time I drank it, it was turning to formaldehyde, a substance used to embalm bodies, and methyl alcohol - wood alcohol - a known poison, I knew I needed to break that habit. And, then I became diligent about my ingredient detective work. I read every label and diligently avoided aspartame.

But then this mysterious stomach pain started. I couldn’t figure it out. I hadn’t done anything differently. They were getting worse each day, and more debilitating. And then one day, I happened to glance at my newest Clorets box label as I was grabbing ingredients to make supper. And I stared at it. Still had sugar, but there, 6 ingredients down, was aspartame. They had snuck it into this sugared gum. And it made me so angry!! I immediately threw the box away. And within 24 hours the stomach pain stopped. That was twenty years ago.

Aspartame poisoning doesn’t manifest the same way in every person. It’s a neurotoxin, so it affects each of us differently. For some, it’s stomach pain or headaches. For some, it mimics the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, or lupus. It penetrates the brain, destroys brain cells, and interferes with normal function, like ADHD, and OCD, and for some, it triggers the formation of tumors. There is now a known link between Alzheimers and aspartame due to methanol toxicity. The list of side effects is long. There are over 90 - yes NINETY - known symptoms and diseases directly related to aspartame toxicity. They are all bad, and they are all avoidable!

Aspartame and artificial sweeteners are not the only reasons to avoid chewing gum. It will also cause gastro-intestinal distress as the parotid glands, or salivary glands, trigger the release of stomach acid and digestive enzymes to break down the food that the body perceives has entered the system. It exacerbates Irritable Bowel Syndrome, bloating and abdominal pain. It can trigger TMJ due to the uneven and overuse of the jaw muscles. In regards to the teeth, the acidic compounds can cause erosion, and the constant pressure may release mercury vapor from existing amalgam (silver) fillings. Mercury is also a neurotoxin, adding even more oxidative stress to our brain. 

So, if you are chewing gum, I get it. Let’s make it as good as we can by choosing better. One option is Simply Gum, a non-gmo, mostly organic ingredients product with thoughtfully chosen assorted flavors. Each pack even includes tiny pieces of paper to dispose of your gum when you are done with it. I’ve gotten mine at WholeFoods Market, but you can check it out here too:

If you want to avoid chewing gum all together, but like that fresh breath feeling, try drinking purified water with crushed mint leaves, or Newman’s Own organic mints. They also have a nice variety of flavors. Here is the link to the peppermint ones:'s%2Bown%2Bassorted%2Bmints&th=1

There are so many manufactured products that prevent us from being as good as we can be and one of those seemingly innocent items is chewing gum. I want to help you choose better so that you can be fully prepared and ready to live a Living Well life. Each decision matters. Honest, it does.