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ABOUT CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Chiropractic is a system of health care with roots that go back to every major civilization in human history (Hippocrates, for example called the spine "the key to health"). Chiropractic was "discovered" by D.D. Palmer from Davenport, Iowa in 1895 and developed by his son B.J. Palmer through the first half of the 20th century.
CHIROPRACTIC IS FOUNDED ON SOME VERY BASIC TRUTHS ABOUT HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
1. That we are innately intelligent, self-regulating and self-healing organisms with an unceasing pursuit of balance with our external and internal environment (called "homeostasis") and that this occurs over our entire life span from first breath to last.
2. That the nervous system is the physical structure in the body which provides the pathways for the organism's innate intelligence to express itself in every part of the body.
3. That the spine, while having other roles is most importantly the protective housing for the most delicate and critical part of the nervous system, the brain and spinal cord (or Central Nervous System).
4. That the spine, being made of individual segments called vertebrae (including the cranium and pelvis) can, as part of the adaptive response to stress (physical, emotional and chemical) become mis-aligned beyond the body's ability to correct on its own (similar to a fever or inflammation that doesn't self-limit). These mis-alignments are called "Subluxations".
5. That Subluxations can, over time, adversely affect the ability for the nervous system to properly interpret information from all parts of the body back to the brain and subsequently affect the ability for the nervous system to send proper signals from the brain to all parts of the body in response. This interference in nerve function can result in dis-ease in the body. Since the central nervous system directs all function in the organism there is no inherent limit to the way this can result in ill health.
We are innately intelligent, self-regulating and self-healing organisms with an unceasing pursuit of balance with our external and internal environment — this occurs over our entire life span from first breath to last.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT CHIROPRACTIC
Most people are aware to some degree of the long-standing mistrust the medical profession has had for chiropractic and while there has been some improvement, the years of contention have resulted in much mis-information regarding who we are and what we do.
• 1. Chiropractic is a treatment for a symptomatic health condition.
Chiropractic is not a symptom-relieving method of addressing the body's problems. Rather it is a way of inherently improving the body's ability to normalize function on its own. When you 'feel' better as a result of chiropractic care it's because you 'are' better.
• 2. Patients become 'addicted' to care and have to go back forever in order to continue to feel better.
Chiropractic is extremely effective at helping the body improve function, but over time our bodies continue to adapt to stress and subluxations can continue to occur. Think of it like your teeth. One visit to the dentist for fillings and a cleaning does not mean a lifetime of healthy teeth (thus the concept of "dental hygiene"). Spinal hygiene or maintenance is the reason many patients continue to get periodic care in the interest of being healthy.
• 3. Chiropractic adjustments are painful.
In my office experience patients almost never describe adjustments as uncomfortable. They are gentle, specific and easy to tolerate.
• 4. Chiropractic adjustments are dangerous and can cause injury.
The incident rate of injury in our profession is around 1 in 12,000,000 adjustments. Compared to many of the medical procedures performed and pharmaceuticals prescribed in this country chiropractic is extremely safe.
• 5. Chiropractic is only helpful for musculo-skeletal conditions such as back and neck pain.
As described earlier, nerve transmission from the brain is responsible for directing all function in the body, including organs, the hormonal and immune systems. Therefore, interference to the nervous system from abnormal behavior of the spine can result in ill health in any tissue of the body. Common anecdotal feedback I frequently get from patients in response to care includes better immune function (fewer viral and bacterial infections and improved allergy behavior, etc.), improved digestive function, more energy and better quality of sleep, improved respiratory function (asthma, etc.) and attention problems and ear infection issues with children, to name a few.