The basic, core definition of health is described as a state of “normal function.” So ultimately, if you wish to begin seeking health you must first find out what it is that causes you to function normally (or optimally).
Interest in biking, swimming, running, doing yoga, lifting weights, taking supplements, and eating the right diet for your body type has reached a historic high. This recent fitness and nutrition fascination has been perpetuated by the current realization many are coming to that it is vital to play an active role in your health if you plan on keeping it or getting it back. All of these activities and many more:
- Enhance the overall well-being of your body
- Help you to overcome and prevent illness
- Give you energy
- Improve your appearance
- Can lengthen your life
Yet, none of these cause you to function. Case in point: taking a corpse out for a long bike ride or feeding it vitamin C does nothing to create health or function.
To find what really causes you to function you have to go to your anatomy and not to the gym or the health food store. What “causes” function is the Central Nervous System or CNS. The CNS is composed of the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves and it totally controls all functions and healing in the human body. As the central generator of all life, it needs maximum protection. Thus, the CNS is located inside the armor-like bones of the spinal column and skull.
To have “normal function”--and as a result be considered healthy--the Central Nerve System must work without damage or interference. The most common, and in fact very likely way, to interfere or cause damage to the Central Nervous System is with the spine. “Abnormal” position of the head and spine and subluxation (misalignment of individual vertebrae) will interfere with the CNS. This interference will cause the organs of the body not to function or heal “normally.” By definition, the result is abnormal or less than optimal health.
“Vital information travels from the brain and spinal cord to all of the parts of the body. But, not only does information travel down the nerve, but at the same time information from the peripheral parts of the body is being sent back to the brain and spinal cord. When this information is interfered with, a problem arises in the body.”
--Daniel J. Murphy, DC; Spinal Biomechanics, Harrison, 1992, p.366
Before any body part or any body function can be described as “normal” or “abnormal,” healthy or unhealthy, we must first have a clear definition of what “normal” is. For example, if normal blood pressure is 120/80, then a person with blood pressure of 150/100 would have high, “abnormal” blood pressure. In only the last few years medical, anatomical, mathematical and engineering researchers have been able to clearly define “normal” spinal alignment. This research has been published in the world’s most prestigious medical journals and presented at the leading spinal symposiums around the world.
There are two proven ways to evaluate normal or abnormal spinal alignment:
1. Postural examination (posture is the window to the spine)
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a Chiropractor determine if I have a Subluxation?
The first visit usually begins with a health history to determine your current health status. If you have a specific health problem that brought you to the office, the chiropractor will address your concern (please bear in mind many people visit the Chiropractor when they have no symptoms).
The second part of your first visit will be a detailed physical, orthopaedic, neurological, and Chiropractic examination. X-rays may be necessary to uncover structural and functional problems in the spine or other joints.
The findings of these examinations are explained on the second visit and a plan of Chiropractic adjustments may be recommended. Patients who are in severe pain or were injured may also receive some physical therapy during the initial part of their care.
Chiropractors have a strong commitment to patient education and expect patients to learn how to protect their spine and nerve system – to live Optimal Life, naturally! We also teach patients how to tell the “Chiropractic Story” to others.
What do adjustments feel like?
After the adjustments, many patients report a sense of well-being or a feeling of calmness. Others feel improved mobility. Inflammation or muscle spasms may delay these positive effects. Chiropractors excel at making adjustments comfortable and effective.
Chiropractors are specialists in Neuro musculoskeletal conditions. They are trained to restore the misaligned vertebrae to their proper position in the spinal column. They do this manually, utilizing the Chiropractic procedure known as “spinal adjustment”. Your chiropractor, in most cases, will use his or her hands in applying corrective pressure to the spine in a specific direction and location. The manual force or thrust helps restore the alignment and mobility of the vertebrae. In some cases, the chiropractor may use instrumentation to detect subluxations and adjust the spine.
Can I adjust myself?
No, but you can manipulate yourself. It is possible to bend or twist to create a “popping” sound, which sometimes accompanies a spinal adjustment. Unfortunately, this is usually counterproductive, making unstable areas of the spine even more unstable. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs. In fact, if a medical practitioner, physical or massage therapist or a friend tries to “manipulate” or “crack” your neck or back, tell them to “back off”. They are poorly trained and can injure you.
Chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific spinal joint. Even a chiropractor must be adjusted by another chiropractor.
Is Chiropractic care safe?
Yes. A New Zealand government study concluded that Chiropractic adjustments are “remarkably safe.” Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever is about 100 times more risky.
In fact, adverse effects of medical treatment is the principal cause of death in people under 45 years of age, as well as being the leading cause of morbidity and permanent disability. Costing Australians $401 million dollars per year and consumed 16% of Australia’s total annual health system expenditure for injury. 17% of hospital admission results in adverse events, 5% results in death, and 50,000 people per year are permanently disabled as a result of their medical treatment (from The report, Health System Costs of Injury, Poisoning and Musculoskeletal Disorders in Australia 1993-1994).
Yes, Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.
What type of education does a Chiropractor have?
Becoming a Chiropractor requires a five year, full time university education with an emphasis in the biological sciences. Our Chiropractor has completed about the same number of lecture hours as medical practitioners have. However, since Chiropractors choose not to prescribe drugs or perform surgery their education emphasizes neurology, diagnostic imaging, physiology, spinal adjustment techniques and clinical subjects. Chiropractors are therefore well educated.
Traumatic Birth Syndrome
Traumatic Birth Syndrome is not a new condition. A researcher by the name of Duncan measured the amount of force it would take to severely injure a baby’s neck during delivery. He found that 41kg of force was enough to cause stillbirth, while less than that would cause the spinal joints to sprain. Duncan commented, “This is not what most obstetricians would consider a great force.”
Because of the additional weight and stress on the framework of the body in pregnant women, Chiropractic adjustments can help lower the incidence of pain in the low back and legs, and between the shoulder blades. Many chiropractors care for expectant mothers in the regular course of their daily practices. It is wise, however, to first inquire about the experience of your chiropractor in caring for pregnant women and what he or she recommends for you.
Chiropractors, scientists and experts agree that in order to be healthy you must understand the following:
There is a greater dimension to health than just feeling good.
“Health is a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” – Dorland’s Medical Dictionary
Experts agree the key to health is function.
You and I can’t replace missing body parts; therefore, the key to health is function. Since the nerve system controls the function of all the parts of the body, we must keep it free of interference to be healthy. If you interfere with the nerve system you will lose optimum function and health.