How am I Like a Plant?
Posted on June 30, 2016 in Dr. Rachel Family Chiropractic, Uncategorized
The other day I was busy in my garden, cultivating my growing seedlings, encouraging them to grow, of course telling them how well they were growing (because who doesn’t talk to their plants?). And I noticed the edges of my juvenile swiss chard seemed to have been munched on by a little bugger. I glanced to its neighbor baby swiss chard which didn’t seem to have the slightest bit of a defect. “Interesting..” I thought. Do bugs discriminate? Do they choose their dinner based on criteria that we are unaware of? Or do they just eat whatever is closest to them? Probably a little of both, I reasoned. Maybe the larger plant has more gusto, more flesh for the little guy to fill up on. But why wouldn’t a bug choose a smaller plant? Usually we equate size to strength, and smaller equals weaker. But is it really? Might the smaller one have a little more reserve in it, so the juvenile chard was an easier prey to conquer?
Plants actually do have defense mechanisms, and we tend to forget this fact with the artificial artilleries we humans have engineered like pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, etc.
For you horticulturists and curious ones some of these mechanisms include: thorns, prickles on rose bushes, spines found along cacti, poison injecting trichomes as seen in nettle plants, idioblasts which fire chemical substances in the mouths of predators when eaten, hired ant armies which clip branches off nearby encroaching plants to protect their own, sensitive plant leaves that close when touched, chemicals released to attract the enemy’s predators or to alert nearby plants of a predator, and finally poisons we are familiar with such as the urushiol oil found on poison ivy.
Plant defense mechanisms are one way plants protect themselves from predators. These illustrate an inner wisdom that is not unique to just plants. We have this inner wisdom too, this innate intelligence or innate organization. While plants don’t have a brain, our central nervous system is our built in defense mechanism. Recently I held a class for kids at our local community garden. We discussed what plants need to be healthy, including pure water, sunshine, and soil nutrients. We also talked about what we need to be healthy, including pure water, healthy sunshine our bodies use to make Vitamin D to build strong bones, and nutrients from fresh whole foods.
It’s so beautiful to watch kid’s enthusiasm as they learn…
Did you know that plants won’t grow well if you “water” them with soda?
“They might get sick!”
Did you know that plants need sunshine to grow, and you need sunshine to grow also?
“So you mean that there is something to mom telling you to play outside after all?” a parent added.
Did you know that most plants don’t grow well without soil? They get their nutrients from the soil, just like you get nutrients from… “food”. In fact if we put fresh-cut flowers for mom in a vase they will die in a few days. Why? They can’t get any nutrients without the soil they need.
But more important than any of this is the plant’s root system. No matter what you do- give those flowers for mom sunshine, water, or soil, if you cut the flowers from their root system, they will surely die. Why? Because it’s the most important part! Without a root system, plants cannot gather water and deliver it to the entire plant as efficiently. Without a root system, plants cannot stay stable and grounded to grow taller. Without a root system, plants cannot bring in nutrients from the soil. The plant root system is literally woven to a plant’s vascular system which connects to its leaves. We are talking a small plant here, but think about how magnificent this connection is in a large tree, from the roots up to the beautiful leaf canopy above!
Of course, there are exceptions. Not all plants have roots. Not all plants live in soil. But, the point here is that the root system is a vital part of a plant’s communication system. And we have a root system too. Our communication system, our root system is our nervous system. Our brain connects to every cell, tissue, and organ through our 31 pairs of nerve “roots” and 12 pairs of cranial nerve “roots” that make up this “root” system, bundled together in our spinal cord.
Our skin is our largest organ, our greatest and first defense to regulate us with the outside world, also the home of a major part of our microbiome. Our root system connects our brain all the way to our skin. So our skin is literally our outermost extension of our brain. Sit on that one for a while!
Our brain directs our body’s hydration process, our nutrient breakdown process and tissue build-up process. Our brain controls our immune defense system, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive systems, EVERY system in the body. Our brain and nerve system make up the healing system of the body, and healing comes from the top-down, just as roots communicate from the ground up.
So when the brain is best connected to all the systems in the body, people are more connected to their body’s natural healing process. When the root system is best connected to all vital parts of a plant, that plant is more connected to its natural healing process.
The goal of chiropractic is to see that your root system is maintained and connected. Stressors in our environment can cause interference in our nerve system, and affect the flow of vital information to every system in our body. This manifests as subluxation or misalignment in the spine, which changes the function of our nerves. Science tells us that all it takes is the weight of a dime to drastically change the function of a nerve by 60%. What if that nerve is going to our heart, our lungs, our liver? Pretty important for our function, and pretty important that this connection is maintained.
For whatever reason, the smaller plant in my garden was left unscathed. I reasoned that perhaps I was more aware of its growth and took better care to water it when it began growing. The larger plant I did not. I did not water it as regularly when it was a seedling. Perhaps with more frequent watering the smaller plant established a better foundation, a better root system within the moist soil. If my speculations are correct, this would certainly change the strength of the plant, and its internal defense mechanism to our inconspicuous bug. But I am not a plant chiropractor, so I can’t say so with 100% certainty.
But I can say for certain that your personal “root” nerve system is so important to be maintained from the moment you have it to the moment you longer need it. Those 31 pairs of nerve roots and 12 pairs of cranial nerve roots that are bundled as your brainstem and spinal cord and protected by your spine are so important to your whole function and who you are as a person!
This is the essence of family chiropractic care. Have your root system checked by a chiropractor from seedling on up so you are best connected to your healing system.
I want you to continue blooming to be the best you you can be!
Dr. Rachel V. Leskosky