Inside Out!

~by Sheila Garcia

What is chiropractic?  And is it for you?  And how does it compare to doctor care?

The word “chiropractic” comes from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action), and simply means “done by hand.” Note that the word “chiropractic,” while a bit awkward, is the actual name of the profession. A chiropractor practices chiropractic (not chiropracy, chiropractics, or even chiropractic medicine).

Chiropractic is the method of natural healing and preventative treatment most chosen by those seeking complementary, supplementary, or alternative health care for acute and chronic conditions.

Back and neck pain are the chief complaints for which people seek chiropractic help. Through manual spinal manipulation, chiropractic care is a holistic therapy that focuses on maintaining healthy musculoskeletal and nervous systems to ensure overall wellness.  While some people visit a chiropractor to relieve pain in the lower back or to treat sciatica, neck pain, whiplash or headache, if you visit a chiropractor, you will find that they view you as a whole person and not the sum of your parts. They work to ensure your optimal health and wellness.  Here are some of the positive ways chiropractic can be a positive health factor to work either alongside your medical health care provider or in and of itself:

Triggers your body’s ability to heal
Chiropractors recognize that many factors affect your health, including exercise, nutrition, sleep, environment and heredity. Chiropractic focuses on maintaining your health – naturally – to help your body resist and fight disease, rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease.

Involves no drugs or surgery
A broad range of techniques are used to locate, analyze and gently correct vertebral misalignments (subluxations) in the spine. Chiropractors may use manual adjustment, electrical muscular stimulation, ultrasound or massage. But they never use pharmaceutical drugs or invasive surgery. Chiropractic is a natural method of healing that stimulates the body’s communication system to work more effectively to initiate, control and coordinate the various functions of the cells, organs and systems of the body.

The research about chiropractic care is growing. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, recent studies show that spinal manipulative therapy performed by a chiropractor, along with exercise, relieve neck pain more effectively than medication.

Furthermore, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported that an integrated approach to health care, including chiropractic care, results in a 51.8% reduction in pharmaceutical costs and 43% fewer hospital admissions.

You should consider seeing a chiropractor if you experience frequent pain in your back, neck or joints, as well as headaches. This is especially so if intense soreness follows accidents, household chores, or prolonged periods of poor posture.  But you should also consider chiropractic should you have a cold, sinus infection or allergies, ear aches, jaw problems, or even bunions!  They should also be considered for preventative measures to build your immune system.

Chiropractors bring the musculoskeletal structure into proper alignment. They change the position of your body and apply pressure to particular points along the spine that are not properly aligned. This results in a popping noise similar to the one created when you crack your knuckles. The noise is created by a change in pressure in your joints as gas bubbles are released.

By adjusting the spine with their hands at particular pressure points, chiropractors unblock nerve energy and allow it to flow better down your spin and throughout your entire body. The brain then sends messages down the spinal cord and out through the nerves to the rest of your body. If certain nerves are squeezed by a twist in the spine, they won’t function as well as if they were straight. Chiropractic care allows the nerves to work at their most optimum ability, allowing the body to heal at its optimum ability.  Repeated visits can, over time, realign your spine to optimize overall health.

Some chiropractors provide nutrition advice, exercise recommendations, ergonomic and lifestyle counseling and so on. The successful management of chronic conditions may require a combination of these major components. This holistic approach can reduce the need for potentially addictive pain medication or invasive surgery.

Thus chiropractic focuses on the integrity of the spine and its surrounding tissues as a means to enhance normal human function and health, working on keeping you healthy from the inside out.  Creating and continuing a healthy lifestyle may include chiropractic, especially if the legacy you’re building involves the one shot you get to live this life well!  One life!  One legacy!

Some resources for this article:
Annals of Internal Medicine
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

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