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Zeno, Achilles, and the Tortoise

chiro and exercise

Regular Chiropractic Care and Long-Term Wellness

When you are engaged in the process of enhancing your overall health and well-being, it's important to pay attention to the details. This implies taking care of what's going on beneath the surface as well as what you may easily notice and observe.

As most of us know, when we finally become aware of symptoms, that particular disease process has been going on for quite a while. For example, dizziness and nausea in a person over the age of 50 may likely represent undetected, and therefore unmanaged, high blood pressure. Similarly, the onset of sciatica usually represents the final outcome of a longstanding process of spinal nerve irritation and spinal joint dysfunction. Chiropractic care is a unique method of health care that investigates the causes of a person's biomechanical symptoms, analyzing and detecting the spinal nerve and joint progenitors of such problems. Regular chiropractic care helps reduce nerve interference and restore spinal function, thus helping you and your family attain greater levels of health and well-being.

The Eleatic philosopher Zeno, writing almost 2500 years ago, famously propounded several paradoxes purportedly proving that various conceptions of the physical universe were false. The most famous of these involves the Greek hero Achilles and a tortoise, stating that if the tortoise started ahead of Achilles in a race, the fleet-footed Achaean warrior could never catch the plodding turtle. Zeno also claimed to prove that a moving arrow is actually at rest. His main purpose was to defend the philosophy of the "one" of his great teacher, Parmenides, as against the "many" of competing philosophies such as those of Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus. Parmenides wished to demonstrate that reality is a unity, and that the world as interpreted by the senses is unreal. Zeno's paradoxes have stumped many thinkers over the ensuing millennia. The main flaw in his brilliant puzzles is that he blurred the distinction between "discrete" and "continuous" phenomena. We can put the solutions to Zeno's paradoxes to work in our understanding of the best method by which to approach our philosophy of exercise.

Many of us prevent ourselves from beginning an exercise program by focusing on the daunting perspective of the necessity of doing exercise for one's entire life. We allow the enormity of the ongoing, continuous nature of such an enterprise to deflate our resolve. The result of this flawed point of view is that we stop ourselves before we can even get started. But if we radically modify our interpretation of the "continuous" nature of the work to be done and instead approach our exercise activities from the "discrete" standpoint, we would then be able to take each exercise session on its own merits. Whole and complete in itself, today's exercise only needs to be done today. Tomorrow's exercise, which when it arrives is now "today's" exercise, is done similarly. Do today's work today. Over time, the discrete method results in a continuum of results. We accomplish our long-term goals step-by-step, giving our full attention, focus, and concentration to what needs to be done right now, today.1,2

Once we become willing to take on this deeper understanding of the nature of the process of exercise, the next step is to investigate and choose our preferred types of exercise activities. The good news is that, other than making sure we're doing both cardiovascular and strength training exercises, the specific type of exercise doesn't matter. As long as we're doing some form of cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis, whether we run, walk, swim, bike, or cross-country ski is up to us. Similarly, as long as we're doing some form of strength training on a regular basis, whether we use kettle bells, medicine balls, or a combination of free weights and stationary equipment is our choice. The key, overall, is to avoid Zeno's critical error, and be well aware of the distinction between "discrete" and "continuous" events. This empowering distinction will be of value, not only in terms of exercise, but in all aspects of life.3


1Innes KE, Selfe TK: Yoga for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Controlled Trials. J Diabetes Res 2016;2016:6979370. doi: 10.1155/2016/6979370. Epub 2015 Dec 14.


2Skórkowska-Telichowska K, et al: Nordic walking in the second half of life. Aging Clin Exp Res 2016 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print]


3Haider T, et al: Yoga as an Alternative and Complementary Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med 2016 Jan 19. pii: 2156587215627390. [Epub ahead of print]

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Testimonial

I was referred to Heartwood Holistic by some friends. Their exact words were, "Dr. Drew is amazing! And Debbie at the front desk is wonderful!" They were right! At most doctor's offices you go in for the initial visit and fill out pages of paper work only to be asked those questions again once you get seen by the physician. Not so here. Dr. Drew zeroed in on what was ailing me and presented a plan of action by the end of my first visit. I've been a regular and don't plan on changing up anytime soon. I look forward to my visits there 1.) for the relief 2.) the staff. Everyone is so friendly and they actually care about your wellness. Alexis is a special treat! She is very committed to her craft and just a wonderful person. Ask her for the Moxa and just relax on her amethyst heating pad. Dreamy!! You can't go wrong here. Looking forward to my Rolfing session with Aaron. Thank you, HHH family!

Ashley D,  August 2017


I am so thrilled to have come across this little gem of a place! I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful couple this past week and was able to get in to the clinic for a chiropractic adjustment. I currently live about an hour away from the wellness center, but I'll be making the drive just to see them for my health needs. Dr. Drew was so attentive and thorough. He really listened to me and we discussed what I was accustomed to as far as treatment goes. He takes careful time with each client and truly cares about your health. After 15 years of visiting many different chiropractic doctors, I can quickly get a read on the type of care I'll receive. I immediately felt at ease and confident with him. I was able to chat with his lovely wife, Alexis, as well and am anxious to set up an appointment with her. This is no ordinary wellness center. They offer so many options for treating a vast amount of health challenges. They see and treat the body as a whole, which is the only way to find true health.

Kari P, February 2017

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