is the largest nonmedical healing art in the world. Its name is derived from two Greek words,Chiros (hand) and prakticos (to do/be efficient), meaning “one who is efficient with their hands“, and they do it without drugs or surgery. This natural healing profession attracts millions of people each year; “computer jockeys”, housewives and movie stars; scientists and businessmen; lawyers and laborers; infants and the elderly; professional athletes and “weekend warriors”; they’ll come seeking the unique services that only a doctor of chiropractic can provide, and that is by removing spinal subluxations!
What’s a subluxation, you ask? Subluxations are misalignments of the spine that end up resulting in some type of nerve interference. Most often, someone will know when they’ve subluxated themself simply from pain…but subluxations are often painless. Like tooth decay – which is also painless until the enamel of the tooth is destroyed, pain is often the last symptom. Subluxations often result in painful conditions later if left uncorrected.
The philosophy is simple – there isn’t one person on this planet who hasn’t been subluxated at one time or another! Subluxations occur from early on, and if you haven’t seen the bumps and falls children (ages 2-92) get exposed to, you don’t even need to ask to understand how its possible. However, other factors include poor posture, sports injuries, car accidents, “sleeping funny”…you name it, all cause subluxations. Try living the life of that child and see how often the possibility of subluxating your spine exists. Heck, even natural childbirth can start the process (and if you’ve ever witnessed one, you know what I mean!).
Many people have never been to a chiropractor and they haven’t the faintest idea of what chiropractors do, who should go to one, or how chiropractors help people. In fact, to some people chiropractic is strange and mysterious. These attitudes contribute to one of the greatest health tragedies of our time: the millions who are sick, suffering and dying who are living on painkillers and other drugs, perhaps facing surgery, who were tired and fatigued and ill and have yet never considered trying chiropractic care. In some instances help is literally around the corner.
So, What Do Chiropractors Do?
Chiropractic care is centered around the removal of nerve interference by adjusting the vertebrae. Since the spinal cord and spinal nerves travel down, inside and thru the spine, it’s logical to assume that if the spine does not flex or bend properly, the path that the nerves travel will also be affected. The approximation is too close to ignore. Chiropractors assess the motion of the spine and help restore the proper nerve flow by reintroducing motion to the spine thru spinal adjustments. The spine houses the spinal cord and nerves and has to give way in order for the nerves to NOT experience pressure… and believe me, you’ll certainly know it if it happens! (So for example- let’s say you have a hose feeding a rose bush, and that hose had to be on 24/7 in order for that plant to grow to its fullest and be healthy. Now, put a foot(pressure or interference) on that hose. The diminished flow of water causes that bush to wilt just a little bit. It doesn’t die, but it also doesn’t thrive. Chiropractors “take the foot off the hose”, so to speak.) Ironically, you have 33 pairs of spinal nerves that have to exit the spinal column, along with it’s associated muscles, ligaments, discs, fascia, fat, etc. without ANY external pressure on it or whatever that nerve innervates(or “feeds”) will function improperly – simply by not receiving all the information that nerve supplies. If the spine doesn’t allow for the free movement of the nerves without pressure….OUCH!!
One of the closest associations of the nervous system is to the maintenance of your immune system. There has certainly been enough literature over the past 30 years drawing comparisons between the immune system and nervous system. Given this association, a fully functioning nervous system gives you the best ability to fight off infections and sickness simply because your immune system is prioritized and working at it’s top efficiency. Have you ever noticed that people who have poor posture are generally sick more often than those who keep better posture? This is best seen in those who have jobs in front of computers or are in stagnant positions for hours at a time. Your body also has the ability to adapt to stress, whether physical or the physical expression of mental/emotional stress, but only to a point. It also has the ability to let you know when you’ve not given it the proper rest or taken care of it. For example - If you’ve ever experienced a mental or emotional stress that prevents you from sleeping or eating, it won’t be too long before your immune system gets compromised enough so that you get a sniffle, runny nose, sore throat, etc., and before you know it, you’re sick…it’s your body telling you that you have neglected it’s proper upkeep, posture and maintenance, and now it’s time you HAVE to rest and pay attention to it. Pretty sneaky, huh? Well, there’s the proof your immune system is one of the chief priorities of the nervous system.
But there’s more to consider here…those 33 pairs of spinal nerves don’t just control immune function, innervate the arms and legs and cause pain if they experience pressure. They control EVERYTHING you do, consciously or not. Those same nerves that control strength in the legs also control bowel and bladder function, intestinal motility and reproductive sensation. Those same nerves that control muscles that cause extension in your mid-back also innervate your lungs and heart. Therefore, its possible that a pinched nerve in the midback can also be interfering with stomach, adrenal, heart or lung function given that the nerves do more than just make you move and feel things…every message from the brain to the body goes thru the spine…from voluntary movement to reflexes; from fingernail growth to the .7mg/dl of calcium that’s needed to be in your blood at all times – ALL those messages are run thru your spine via the Nervous System.
In 1895, the year of chiropractic’s discovery, there was only one chiropractor in the world and he had only one patient! But Dr. D.D. Palmer of Davenport Iowa had this new idea: An idea of how to get sick people well, to keep them well, to keep the wealth from getting sick and relieve humanity from sickness and suffering without pills, potions, lotions, prescriptions and surgery. This new idea worked. In fact, it worked very well and it continues to do so. D.D. Palmer is known for delivering the first CHIROPRACTIC adjustment on September 18, 1895, but what made his approach different from the ancient approaches mentioned above was that his was INTENDED to move specific vertebra. As D.D. said, “I am NOT the first person to replace subluxated vertebrae, for that art has been practiced for thousands of years. But I am the first person to use the spinous and transverse processes as levers.”
People began to travel from far away to be cared forand in many cases, stayed to study this promising new healing art. In spite of chiropractic’s newness, it began to take holding growth throughout the world. Dr. Palmer’s discovery has been a blessing tomillions, and has changed the perceptions and thehealth of millions of individuals.
Why GO to a Chiropractor?
I’ve had many people come in with many different symptoms and experience relief… migraines, back pain, sciatica, menstrual cramps, asthma, eczema, allergies, sprained ankles, rotator cuff syndrome, fallen arches, etc. I also have patients who have no symptoms at all come in to get checked and adjusted regularly. It’s been said in the past that every chiropractic success story was a medical failure. I’ve treated people for a number of different spinal problems and have had other conditions resolve themselves…not that it was my original intent, but sometimes patients will not tell you all of their problems until one of them goes away and the only thing that they did differently was to see a chiropractor. Cause and effect will tell you that when the spine and nervous system function properly the human state of balance, harmony and health can be restored. The patients who feel the best for the longest period of time get checked regularly for subluxations.
What I Believe…
I believe that there are many chiropractors over the 114 years of chiropractic care that have said things better than I could. While I know that I would not like to see us go back to the times before drugs and surgery, they do have their place, but mostly in emergency care. Pain relievers do not cure any disease – they never have and they never will. The same can be said of anti-inflammatory medications. And I have yet to see a pill relieve joint pressure or nerve interference. Physical injuries require physical means of treatment. There are no exceptions to this, and there are no magic pills to take that restore health.
Our body is the best doctor, and if we remove the interference to our natural function we will feel better, heal better and live longer. The human body has an inborn or innate natural healing ability that needs to be reawakened and unleashed. Periodic chiropractic examinations and adjustments and unlock your hidden healing ability.