Not sure how to explain chiropractic to your friends and family? Keep reading…
What is Chiropractic All About?
The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek chiros and praktikos,meaning “done by hand”. Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, and it is now practiced in over 100 countries. Chiropractic is a safe and natural form of health care and is well-known for helping people with their aches and pains, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye!
Chiropractic care focuses on optimizing your body’s own ability to function at its best. It achieves this by removing interference on the nervous system. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive and drug-free approach to health. Chiropractic does not include medications or prescription drugs, which often cover up important symptoms. A health symptom is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that it is an important signal one should not ignore. Medication may provide temporary relief but it often doesn’t address the underlying issues. Chiropractic care focuses on addressing the cause of your symptoms as opposed to just camouﬂaging them. When your body is functioning properly, it has a tremendous ability to regulate and correct its own problems.
What is a Subluxation?
The spinal cord has 31 spinal nerves that exit between the spinal bones. Although the spinal column offers protection for these sensitive spinal nerves, their well-being can be disrupted if the spinal bones become misaligned. Subluxations are misalignments of the spine, incurred when the body is stressed beyond its capacity to adapt to its environment (physically, bio-chemically and psychologically). Subluxations create interference on the nervous system, which is the master system, and can compromise the vital communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Since we live our lives through our nervous system, we need to ensure that it is working at its best to achieve optimal health.
Sound confusing? Here is an analogy I tell my patients to help them really grasp the concept of a subluxation. What happens when you plug too many items in an electrical outlet? The breaker linked to this speciﬁc outlet will trip, right? If you go to the back panel and look at all the breakers, you will see that they are all aligned except one – the one you have tripped. A subluxation is just that – your body “tripping” because it has been stressed beyond its capacity to adapt. The stress could be a physical stress, a fall or hours in front of the computer. It could be a psychological stress, receiving bad news or an aggravating teenager. It could be a biochemical stress like eating greasy fast food or not drinking enough water. Do you see my point? Now, everybody has a different level at which they will “trip” their panel. We are all different depending on our body’s capacity to adapt! My patients often think that there has to be a big physical event or activity to cause a spinal subluxation – not so! Subluxations can occur in any of the three dimensions – physical, psychological or biochemical.
The Four Important Truths of Chiropractic
Chiropractic is based on four self-evident truths:
1. The body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism.
Self-healing – when you cut yourself you have the ability to heal because you are a living organism (this would not happen with a cadaver);
Self-regulating – your heart is beating right now and you’re not telling it to do so. Your stomach is also digesting the food you just ate without you commanding it to.
2. “The nervous system is responsible for coordinating the function of every cell, tissue and organ in the body.” – Gray’s Anatomy.
This statement is rather self-explanatory – the nervous system is the master system and controls everything.
3. Subluxations (spinal misalignments) are the number one cause of interference with the body’s innate ability to heal itself and self-regulate through the nervous system.
4. Chiropractic is the only healing science responsible for locating and correcting subluxations through the chiropractic adjustment, thereby restoring the body’s ability to heal itself.
Types of Chiropractors
There are two types of chiropractors: a limited-scope chiropractor, who focuses mostly on pain relief, and a wellness chiropractor, who will deal not only with your body’s signs and symptoms but will focus on the function of your nervous system and on the lifestyle stresses which may be causing your health challenges.
A wellness chiropractor will not only assess you for subluxations but also for the underlying causes in every dimensions of your life – physical, biochemical and psychological. A complete lifestyle evaluation will allow the chiropractor to make speciﬁc recommendations on those three dimensions and help diminish the negative stresses which may be perpetuating your subluxations. From time to time, you will be reassessed and your care program will be modiﬁed according to the changes and progress you have made in your life.
I always tell my patients that they have a choice in terms of what they want out of their chiropractic care. Symptomatic care may deal with a current health crisis, however wellness care will allow one to function optimally and effectively cope with lifestyle stresses. Studies are showing that patients under regular wellness care have better overall immune functions.
Feel free to pass this along to your friends and family so that they too can understand what chiropractic is all about. Interested in booking a chiropractic assessment click here.
Wellness on the Go co-written by Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp