Chiropractic: A Natural Healing Alternative
Health is defined as not merely the absence of disease, but a state of total physical, mental, and spiritual well being. How we achieve and maintain health can be simple or complex, depending on whether the cause and effects of the problem are addressed. Part of the cause or an effect of the problem is often related to Chiropractic.
Chiropractic is composed of Science, Art, and Philosophy. The Science of Chiropractic has developed over eons. The advent of modern Chiropractic was in 1895, when Dr. D.D. Palmer aligned a vertebra in Harvey Lillard’s spine, restoring his hearing. The alignment of the vertebra of the spine is a health practice dating back to Asia and Europe, and is not a new concept. Dr. Palmer stated that the Science of Chiropractic was based on the concept of “tone.” He stated that “tone” is expressed in function by normal elasticity, activity, and strength of a structure. Variation in “tone” is evident in a state of “dis-ease.” An integral cause of lack of tone is nerve interference caused by an alignment issue in the body, called a “Subluxation.” Restoring proper nerve function by correcting Subluxation utilizing a Chiropractic “Adjustment” is tantamount in Chiropractic practice.
The Art of Chiropractic is how Subluxations are analyzed and removed. The beauty of the Art of Chiropractic is its diversity. While the mutual goal of all Chiropractors is to find and remove Subluxations, how this is performed varies according to the idiom of the individual Chiropractor. Hence, the experience of receiving a Chiropractic Adjustment can differ widely depending on the Chiropractor, and sometimes by the individual session.
The Philosophy of Chiropractic is based on the concept of “Innate Intelligence.” The “Innate Intelligence” present in the body, according to Dr. D.D. Palmer, is the animating force, the “spirit,” which sustains and maintains the body. Nerve Interference (caused by Subluxation) impinges on the expression of this essential life force, causing aberrations in structure and function.
According to Dr. D.D. Palmer, there are three causes of Subluxation; Trauma, Toxins, and Autosuggestion (the emotions). Trauma is typically physical, and can either be sudden in onset like an auto accident or a fall, or gradual like a repetitive motion injury. Toxins can influence alignment in several ways. Poisons can affect the nervous system directly such as Mercury or Lead poisoning, or indirectly like the biotoxins left after a virus replicates. Toxins are often ingested as well. My biochemistry teacher in Chiropractic College once said that whatever you put in your body is either food or toxin. Either you can integrate it biochemically into the cellular matrix or it must be stored or excreted. Either process can create biochemical disturbances which affect the nerve system, and hence the alignment of the vertebra by irritating the nerves at a dermatomal (spinal nerve) level. Finally, Dr. Hans Selye’s groundbreaking work on stress clearly demonstrates the effect of stress on the physical body, including the musculoskeletal system through overproduction of adrenalin.
Chiropractors often work with nutrition. The effects of internal biochemistry issues due to hormone imbalances and ingested toxins can often be helped through the use of supplements. It is obvious to most people that good nutrition helps maintain alignment and general health.
Sometimes the alignment and tone of the bones of the foot can affect the alignment of the rest of the musculoskeletal system dramatically. In these cases, many Chiropractors work with orthotics. Orthotics often involve a casting of the foot and manufacture of an insert which is placed in the shoes to alter the mechanics of gait as well as to provide cushioning and support.
When people think about Chiropractic, they typically think of back or neck pain. The presumption most folks make is that Chiropractic is for pain in the back or neck. While these are some of the most common reason people seek out Chiropractors, there are many other health challenges Chiropractic can help with.
Essentially, the Nervous System is interwoven throughout the body. If one were to view the entire network of nerves without any other tissue, it still looks like a human frame. The Nervous System is remarkable in many ways, especially in its necessity as the master control system of the body.
When the frequency of nerve transmission is awry, whatever structure, tissue, or organ enervated begins to malfunction, or lose “tone.” Commonly, this is evidenced by alteration of structure and function in the spine and musculoskeletal system. This loss of tone and subsequent function can also create many health problems whose cause is sometimes unnoticed by many health care providers. When Subluxation is the cause, Chiropractic is the solution in these cases.
While not all conditions are caused by Subluxation, many conditions can be helped by the removal of it. Many seemingly incurable problems can respond positively to Chiropractic care. Essentially, it is often considered best to begin treatment with the least invasive methods and graduate as needed to more invasive, risky procedures and methods to achieve health. This is one of many reasons why Chiropractic excels as a health care alternative.