The Natural World

The natural world functions very well on its own. Left to their own devices, members of the tens of millions of species on our planet thrive and prosper without relying on outside agencies.

In order to grow abundantly, plants consume carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients from the soil. Likewise, herbivorous animals consume plants whereas carnivorous animals consume other animals. Insects eat a wide variety of foods, including plants, fruit, other insects, detritus (dead leaves, stems, and twigs), and even blood. Many types of bacteria and fungi recycle decomposing matter. Whales, the top predator in the oceans, may consume more than a ton of plankton per day in addition to fish, squid, and other crustaceans.

Every member of every species excepting humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) obtains everything it needs from the environment. Modern humanity is the only species for which the abundance provided by the global ecosystem is insufficient.

For instance, mountain lions, raccoons, and coyotes don't need sleeping pills. But humans spend more than $1.5 billion per year on the sleep aid Ambien. Dolphins, antelope, and bluebirds don't have problems with blood glucose levels. In stark contrast, the annual cost of diabetes medications in the United States was $12.5 billion in 2007. In the wild, oak trees, tuna, and elephants don't need nutritional supplementation. Humans, however, spend more than $23 billion annually in the United States alone. What is wrong with this picture?

As a species, humans have the unprecedented ability to manipulate and drastically alter the world in which we live. Also aside from epidemic infectious disease, there exists no natural check on human population growth. As populations expand, resources become scarce. Populations flocking to urban enclaves not only leave behind the countryside but also local sources of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry. Canning, packaging, and transportation of food over long distances become necessary to supply the energy needs of cities. But only calories and not much else are obtained by these methods. Energy is provided but food quality is substantially reduced.

Chronic disease becomes widespread. Diabetes, cardiovascular disorders including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke, and obesity are all the direct result of a severely compromised food supply.1,2,3

Our disconnect from the natural world poses many additional challenges. Our bodies were designed to meet the demanding physical requirements of a hostile environment. But for the most part we don't do physical work anymore. If we don't find satisfactory substitutes for strenuous physical activity our musculoskeletal, metabolic, and endocrine systems easily deteriorate. The consequences include osteoporosis, chronic aches and pains, gastrointestinal problems, and anxiety and depression.

It takes a lot of effort to maintain good health when we're so far removed from the natural world. We need to make sure our diets are healthy and we need to get sufficient and regular strenuous exercise. The short- and long-term benefits include happiness, self-esteem, and ongoing well-being.

1Kesse-Guyot E, et al: Adherence to nutritional recommendations and subsequent cognitive performance: findings from the prospective Supplementation with Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals 2. Am J Clin Nutr Nov 24 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
2Wolfe AR, et al: Dietary protein and protein-rich food in relation to severely depressed mood: A 10 year follow-up of a national cohort. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry Nov 22 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
3Pekmezi DW, Demark-Wahnefried W: Updated evidence in support of diet and exercise interventions in cancer survivors. Acta Oncol Nov 24 2010 (Epub ahead of print)

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Sturgis Chiropractic

824 1st Street
Sturgis, SD 57785

Phone: 605-347-4003

Fax: 605-347-6929

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Buffalo Clinic

202 US HWY 85 STE#105
Buffalo, SD 57720

Phone: 605-375-3528

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Central City

136 Broadway St.
Central City, SD 57754

Phone: 605-717-0074

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Before receiving chiropractic care I was unable to walk one block without hip and low back pain. Now I am able to walk 2 miles without pain since manual manipulation and back exercises. The most special part of my experience with Dr. Johnson was understanding why I have back pain. If you want to live pain free, then see Dr. Johnson."
    Karen Whitewood, SD
  • "The pain in my hip and low back put me at a stop. I couldn't work at all. My back greatly improved with adjustments. Chiropractic care took my pain away. The doctor offered kindness, friendship, and understanding. Not to worry, you will be well taken care of."
    Aldon Whitewood, SD Retired mechanic
  • "Due to arthritis in my neck I was having difficulty moving my neck and could not function. I even found it very difficult to drive my car. Currently at this time I have full mobility and I am proud to say that I am pain free. Dr Gunderson and staff are the best! I prefer a real solution and not pain killers. I feel like a new person... I have more energy, good sleep and my mood has greatly improved. Thank you!"
    Lynn Whitewood, SD Retired