26 Jun Chiropractic 101
Chiropractic (meaning done by hand) is a primary health care profession. It addresses health issues and maintenance of health via non-invasive techniques (i.e. without the use of drugs or surgery).
The chiropractic philosophy of health is based on four main principles:
- The body has a natural health potential
- This health potential is dependent on the normal/healthy functioning of the nervous system
- Restrictions/misalignments in joint motion, or ‘subluxations’, prevent normal function of the nervous system and interfere with this health potential
- Chiropractic removes these areas of interference and addresses the causes of them
Chiropractic has been established for over 100 years and in its course of development has become the third largest health care profession in the world and continues to grow. Chiropractic focuses on the fact that we are genetically designed to be self-healing, self-regulating organisms who have the potential to maintain health throughout life. The optimal functioning of the nervous system forms the basis of our approach as it is 1 of the 4 essentials of life (the others being oxygen, water and nutrients). Together with the brain, the nervous system controls every function in the body including muscles, joints, organs, glands, and the immune system.
Focusing on getting people healthy and keeping them healthy for a lifetime is the key to the chiropractic approach. Chiropractors are now well know, but often for dealing with injuries. Although this is true the main focus of a chiropractor is to identify any underlying causes of a specific injury. The spine is the focus of treatment although the whole body is addressed.
The spine surrounds and protects the spinal cord which is the collection of wires that carries information from your brain to your body. Any interruption in the quality of the signal traveling through these wires (to and from the brain) will lead to the body functioning below optimum. Research shows that restriction (lack of movement) in spinal joints effects the quality of the signals that travel in and out of the brain via the nerves and the spinal cord. Maintaining healthy movement of the spine is therefore essential in maintaining healthy nerve function. Your chiropractor will assess you for any regions of restriction and/or misalignment and remove those dysfunctional areas, helping your body function at an improved level.
Often spinal dysfunction, like dental cavities, can exist for many years without a person noticing. This leads to decreased function in the muscles and nerves surrounding that joint and therefore the strength of that joint is effected. This can explain why, on occasion, people suffer excruciating symptoms after executing the simplest of tasks (e.g. picking up a pen) that should not cause injury in a perfectly healthy individual. Chiropractic aims to identify these areas of dysfunction before they become a problem alongside dealing with any current complaints that you may be suffering from
In summary Chiropractors:
- Analyse your body for nerve stress though stiff spinal joints or spinal misalignments
- Remove or ‘adjust’ these misalignments
- Provide on-going care and education for long-term health