By Dr. Stanton Hom

As we move into our 4th month of social distancing, masks and self-isolation, I think it’s appropriate to address something I take very seriously and personally. 

Why is it some people are persevering through this time with more grit, determination and healing while others are downspiraling? 

Is it luck? Is it chance? 

If you have been following me for enough time, you know that according to all of biology, nothing happens by chance with regard to health and well-being. 

I’ve seen a lot of my fellow West Point friends post recently about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. You may see that pushup contest trending– people do 25 pushups for 25 days to honor the 22 veterans per day who commit suicide. 

This is very important. I was one of those veterans who suffered from PTSD. 

However, it is important to note that PTSD is not reserved for the military. 

COVID-19 will cause PTSD. 

The murder of George Floyd and Police Brutality will cause PTSD. 

BUT how is it some people find another path to growing through the trauma and coming out the other side stronger, healthier, more adaptable, etc?

I created a video series I’d like to share internally with you all. I want to keep it internal because I want to avoid misconceptions from those who have not been following us for enough time. 

Post Traumatic Growth Pt 1
Post Traumatic Growth Pt 2
Post Traumatic Growth Pt 3

There’s a specific language we use, a specific paradigm I stay within because I’ve done this for so long. And because I’ve seen myself heal from so many different chronic and debilitating problems, one thing I know for sure is that with all of the changes that have been going on, I feel called to serve in a bigger way. 

Our practice has grown through COVID-19 and I’m very proud of our team for that.  When there were questionable and sometimes opposing perspectives with regard to the stay-at-home orders, we had to ask ourselves a very clear question:

Is our care more essential or less essential in times of crisis? 

With quarantine and the threat of a virus, self-isolation for many months, not being able to see others including many loved one’s faces and expressions, racial discriminations and the murder of an innocent black man, police brutality, among the many other stresses it became clear to me. The stress and anxiety that is produced in the body needs to be released MORE rather than less. 

We need MORE adaptability and resilience not less. We need more self-healing/regulating, not less. 

And if there’s anything at our route and core of what we do as family chiropractors it’s this: we help you release the stress your body has a challenge to adapt. And I’ll be honest with you, I’m right there with you. I’ve felt the limits of what my stress could handle. You can ask Victoria, she has witnessed some hard times for me. 

I truly have a deep sense of frustration about when all of this will end. 

I’m concerned about the many figures in authority saying this won’t end until there is a vaccine for COVID-19. I am concerned that on average it takes 7 years to develop a vaccine and yet we have manufacturers racing to get it done by the end of the year

If this doesn’t cause alarm for you, I don’t know what should or what will, knowing that many of these manufacturers have already received full global liability free in their product. Meaning just like childhood vaccines, you cannot sue the manufacturers, the doctors, the hospitals, insurance companies, anyone if there is any adverse reaction. 

Is there any product in the world granted this privilege? 

My wife and I were just looking at car seats. Because Alana is growing and because we have to get a new car seat to accommodate getting one in our second car. 

We care about safety. 

We care about color.

We care about comfort.

We care about ease of installation. 

We even care about whether or not there are chemical flame retardants. 

But one thing is for sure with all these car seats– they’ve gone through rigors of safety testing and are held to the highest standard because if anything were to happen to our daughter, we can take any of the manufacturers to court. They would put out a recall. They could be held liable. 

Why is it  vaccines aren’t held to the same standard? 

Why is it we are racing to a vaccine for a virus that has a 0.26% for the 20% of the population that is susceptible ?  (YES, 80% of the population may not even be ABLE to get COVID)

Why is it we see the cases go up logically because testing has gone up and all we collectively feel as a society is more fear?

Why has our vigilance around masks continued to heighten along with mask shaming when we know they don’t work? 

When the reality is that as testing and cases go up and deaths do not rise to the same degree, the death rate/case fatality rate actually plummets and we should actually FEAR LESS.

In the end, stress and trauma are ubiquitous and chronic in our modern world. Gone are the days where our fight-or-flight systems engage in an instant. But the way we grow through them is simple, but not easy. 

First, we have to know it is not just possible, but rather it is 100% a part of our biology, genetics and neurophysiology. That many people come away from a cancer diagnosis, a divorce, or loss of a loved one stronger than prior is a reality many people in the world experience. We would not be alive today as a species if we did not have post-traumatic growth as a part of our innate intelligence. 

Second, we have to take action in the direction of our greatest adaptability. This includes all the things we have discussed throughout the past few months, but simply put: EAT, MOVE and THINK better.  Tune into our workshop “The Art and Science of Transforming Triggers into Power” for one of the most powerful tools at making post-traumatic growth a reality. 

Third, we have to pay close attention to the miracles, NO MATTER HOW SMALL,  and celebrate them! The reason I say this is we often expect perfection when progress is a far better focus.