That is a question that many people ask, especially as they consider alternatives to the medical practices of drugs and surgery. Yet, depending upon whom they ask, they will get many different answers.
In the past if you asked a medical doctor about chiropractic, the response may not have been quite positive. Today, however, many medical doctors not only refer their patients for chiropractic, they also choose this safe and natural care for themselves and their families as well.
This is true because chiropractic education and research has come a long way. We spend as much time as a medical doctor getting our degree. We also are well versed in the sciences including anatomy, physiology, nutrition and other studies that are relevant to the advancement of a proactive wellness model of healthcare.
Studies have shown that in many cases chiropractic is beneficial and typically more effective than drugs or surgery. Studies have also shown that chiropractic is one of the safest healthcare treatments available.
If you ask a chiropractor how to define it, we might get pretty technical and say something like, “The discipline of detecting and reducing vertebral subluxation” or “A science, art and philosophy which utilizes the inherent recuperative abilities of the body and deals with the relationship between the spinal column and the nervous system and the role of this relationship in the restoration and maintenance of health.”
[ What is Subluxation- An interference of the nervous system due to a misalignment and/or abnormal motion of spinal vertebra which causes improper communication with associated organs, muscles and tissues of the body.]
Yes, these are true statements, but what do they mean to the average patient? What does this mean to you?
If you were to ask a patient of chiropractic the questions, you might hear something like, “Chiropractic has brought me back to a life without pain and with freedom of movement that I haven’t experienced in a number of years” or “I have noticed incredible changes in my body, mind and spirit since starting chiropractic.”
What wonderful testimonials! And these are but a few of the things you might hear from someone that has tried chiropractic care. However, despite the glowing recommendations, it still leaves you wondering, “What exactly is chiropractic?”
Here is chiropractic in a nutshell.
1. Your body is a self-regulating, self-maintaining and self-restoring organism.
2. Your brain and spinal cord, “the central nervous system,” controls, communicates to and coordinates every organ, tissue and cell of your body.
3. Anything that interferes with this communication such as vertebral subluxation causes dysfunction leading to disease and then symptoms.
4. Anything that removes this interference, such as a chiropractic adjustment, restores proper communication and allows the body to function efficiently and heal itself.
So, a chiropractor is a doctor that can locate the vertebral subluxations and remove them through the use of specific adjustment techniques.
How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic is more than just a “structural” approach to health. Yes, it is true that a chiropractor will remove subluxations caused by structural issues, and yes, it is true that this helps to restore health and wellness.
But, in addition to structural components, chiropractic focuses on the whole picture. It does not just focus on the bones and nerves, but on your life. While speaking with your chiropractor, you will be asked about your spine, but also about how well you eat, if you exercise, your stress level and ways you reduce stress, your family life and so on.
Then, using all this information, your chiropractor will create a treatment plan based on correcting the cause of your subluxations and possible associated symptoms.
This makes perfect sense. For instance, if you have a leaky tire on your car, do you go to the gas station and fill it up day after day, or do you go to the tire store and have it repaired or replaced? The same is true for pains you may suffer. Why would you take pain meds daily when you can remove the subluxation and get to the root of the problem?
When you have a subluxation, your chiropractor will correct it through an adjustment to the spine. This adjustment puts your body back into alignment, allowing communication between the brain and body to flow freely.
Subluxations often do not go away and stay away with just one adjustment. Several adjustments over the course of a few weeks to several months may be necessary. Remember, chiropractic isn’t about simply relieving pain on a temporary basis. The goal is to fix the problem, keep it fixed, and keep it from happening again.
There are many different types of chiropractic procedures and techniques. Some techniques work better for some people and others for other people. It is important to find the one that works for you and use it as part of your overall health care strategy.
So, there you have it – you now know what chiropractic is and what it does. As you learn more and more, you will understand its effectiveness and its growing popularity.
As the American Chiropractic Association website states:
“As evidence supporting the effectiveness of chiropractic continues to emerge, health care consumers are turning in large numbers to chiropractic care — a form of health care aimed primarily at enhancing a patient's overall health and well-being without the use of drugs or surgery. More than 22 million people visited doctors of chiropractic last year for a variety of conditions, and more and more medical doctors are referring their patients to doctors of