Typically when someone mentions “chiropractic” it brings to mind thoughts of back or neck pain, perhaps the result of an auto accident or a work-related injury; but there is so much more to chiropractic care.
Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease,” and this truly sums up the goal of wellness chiropractic care. Not to be “anti-medicine,” but to assist patients in living a lifestyle that will rarely, if ever, require it.
What is Chiropractic?
Based on the Greek word “Chiropraktikos”, the word chiropractic can be broken down to the root word chiro, which means “hand”, and the word praktikos, which translates to “practical science”. So, chiropractic, in its most basic form is “to practice scientific work by hand”.
As Edison once postulated, the Family Wellness Chiropractor doesn’t give medicine or shots, but, instead, they give advice on how to properly care for your body, treating it with respect, and recognizing that we have within us everything we need to live healthy and thrive.
Many are not aware that chiropractors are the originators of the wellness movement, being the only healthcare professionals who recognize the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
What is Wellness?
While the term “wellness” has been around for years, it has only been in the past 50 or so that it has truly been defined; and Family Wellness Chiropractors have spent at least the last 50 years educating their patients on the benefits of a wellness lifestyle.
Proper nutrition, exercise and routine chiropractic care help the body perform at maximum efficiency, resulting in improved function, a term that has been used by chiropractors to help patients understand the benefits of chiropractic care and its role in true wellness.
What is Subluxation?
The body is made up of muscles, organs and glands that are controlled by the nervous system, and the nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The brain sends signals down the spine and to the nerves, which tell the heart to beat, the lungs to breathe, the stomach to digest, the glands to produce necessary hormones, and so on. If there is even the slightest misalignment in the spine, it will create nerve interference or subluxation and interrupt those signals.
It’s when these signals are affected that the body begins to lose proper function and symptoms begin to occur. Mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize these symptoms as simple alerts from the body that there’s something amiss, but instead as something that must be eliminated with chemicals or pharmaceuticals.
They don’t seek true health and wellness, but rather choose to mask the symptoms being created by nerve interference or subluxation.
What do Family Wellness Chiropractors do?
Your Doctor of Chiropractic will perform an analysis of your spine to find where the problem lies using one or more of the following:
- X-rays to actually look at the vertebra themselves to check for misalignments causing subluxation
- Surface electromyography (SEMG) to measure nerve signals and look for interference caused by subluxation
- A nervoscope to detect and measure heat differences in the tissues along the spine since misalignments and subluxations irritating the nerves will produce measurable heat differences
- Static or motion palpation, feeling for tenderness or a lack of motion in the vertebral joint while either introducing motion to the joint (motion palpation) or not (static palpation)
- Posture or leg check will reveal where the body is out of alignment
Once your Family Wellness Chiropractor has made a determination, they will present to you the results of their analysis in what is called a “report of findings”. During your report of findings, they will go over where your back is subluxated, if at all, and what course of treatment they would suggest to bring you relief.
Who do Family Wellness Chiropractors help?
Your Doctor of Chiropractic can help everyone, from a newborn just hours old to a toddler or teen, adults of all ages and pregnant women.
At every stage of our lives, things happen that can affect your spinal alignment. Even the process of being born may cause a slight misalignment of the spine resulting in colic, digestion and elimination issues, breastfeeding difficulties and more.
Toddlers just learning to walk spend a lot of time falling, potentially causing repetitive stress to the spine resulting in subluxation.
Teens playing sports may experience the same, and, of course, adults who’ve never seen a chiropractor are going to have subluxations resulting from these very same childhood spinal traumas on top of strains from lifting or turning wrong, falls, and other typical adult spinal challenges.
How long does treatment take?
For those who are just looking for relief from the pain or other symptoms of subluxation, treatment can be as few as 6-12 adjustments with what is typically called, relief care. Once the vertebra is gently adjusted back into alignment the symptoms may be relieved right away. However, for those who don’t want their symptoms to return, the best treatment course will include corrective or rehabilitative care.
The fact is, the body is self-regulating and when it detects that something is wrong it will try to correct it. Meaning, when one vertebra is out of alignment the body begins to adapt and another vertebra may move to compensate (similar to when building a tower of blocks, if one is protruding slightly to the left then another one above or below it must protrude to the right in order to counterbalance).
What this means to your spine is that the muscles and tissues around that vertebra have begun to self-correct and accept this misalignment as normal; any false move or over-exertion may have that vertebra moving back out of place. It could take as little as three months or more than six months to a year, but eventually, that subluxation may return and with it, your original symptoms.
This is why your Family Wellness Chiropractor will suggest that you allow enough time for your body to adapt to the correct alignment of your spine. Once aligned, the final step is Wellness Care. This will typically require less frequency of visits as your spine is back in alignment, and your choice of healthier eating and exercise habits may mean you’re the healthiest ever.
There is so much more to chiropractic than neck and back pain relief. Your Family Wellness Chiropractor is the only healthcare professional dedicated to the overall health and wellness of your entire family through wellness lifestyle instruction and education.
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