PART I: Forks in the Road

By January 23, 2013Chiropractic

This is a fictitious story about two friends, Ned and Heath (you can keep the names straight during the story by thinking Heath=Health)

Written by Milan Lassiter, Chiropractor, Richmond, VA

Ned and Heath grew up as best friends. They were inseparable and played sports together growing up. They were both popular, thin, healthy, and athletic.

After high school, they both went off to different colleges. Ned started to party a lot, binge drinking often and eating fast food. He stopped exercising and ran around with the “wrong” crowd. He gained 40 lbs. his freshman year.

Heath studied a lot and worked out in the gym often. He enjoyed his social life, having a beer occasionally with friends. He had a steady girlfriend who was a vegetarian, so he adapted her eating habits too. He graduated college with the same waist size that he had in high school.

Ned took a job at a local company, sitting all day in front of a computer while drinking soda. Most days he went to the local bar after work, where he’d have a burger and fries with beer. All of his friends at the bar smoked cigarettes, so he started smoking too. On the weekends he’d watch sports on TV, while drinking alcohol and snacking on chips. Saturdays and Sundays meals were predictable, donuts for breakfast and a microwaveable frozen dinner. He had now gone from a waist-size 32 to a size 44.

Heath went off to graduate school. He woke up every morning at 5 AM to go to the gym, where he’d run and lift weights. He continued to eat his vegetarian diet and didn’t keep any snack foods or sweets around his place. He drank water all day long. He still had his same waist size as when he graduated from high school.

When they were 40, Ned and Heath arranged a reunion to see each other. They were catching up on old times when Ned had to excuse himself to take his medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression. Heath and Ned went outside to shoot some baskets and continued talking. After 5 minutes Ned had to sit down because his back hurt and he was short of breath. Heath told Ned that he had been seeing a chiropractor and that he really noticed a difference in how he felt, but Ned thought chiropractors were “quacks.”

At age 63, Heath had a retirement party. He still exercised daily, looking muscular and healthy, with erect posture and a strong midsection. He took no medications, only a daily Omega 3 tablet. His M.D. had just given him a clean bill of health. He rarely went to “the doctor,” but now went to an acupuncturist once a month and to his chiropractor once every 2 or 3 weeks. He still had his same waist size as when he graduated from high school.

By now Ned had diabetes along with his high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He had smoked cigarettes for 45 years, so he had emphyzema. He also had kidney disease, was obese, and had both knees replaced.  A few years earlier he had a triple by-pass surgery to unblock clogged arteries in his heart. He used a pill-box to keep all of his medications straight, as he took 12 pills in the morning and 10 at night, every day. He had a huge, round belly and was hunched over, using a cane to keep himself upright. He had to schedule his life around his doctors’ appointments because there were so many of them.

Two years later, at age 65, Heath got a call that Ned had passed away. He couldn’t believe it.  They said it was from “natural causes.” Heath lived another 30 years and died in his sleep, from natural causes, at age 95. Even at that point in his life, he took no medications, had a sharp mind, and still was taking daily walks with his wife. He had seen his chiropractor 2 weeks before he passed away. His waist size was the same as when he graduated high school.

Click here to read Part II of this blog.

A man who has aged with strength, great posture and probably good health all around

A man who has aged with collapsed posture and probably other health complications too


Dr. Lassiter

Author Dr. Lassiter

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