Chiropractic is many things: a philosophy, a science and an art. The foundation upon which it is built is the realization that health is the body’s normal state and good health is perfectly natural. Chiropractors know that the body possesses a unique internal wisdom that continually strives to keep the body in a state of good health. This innate intelligence controls our heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and all vital bodily functions. It is also the guiding, healing force which allows our body to self-heal and self-regulate, permitting us to adapt naturally to the influences of the internal and external environment. The ability of the body to maintain good health is dependent on its ability to adapt to the environment. Ensuring this capability is one of nature’s most remarkable communication networks: the nervous system. The nervous system is comprised of the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves. The brain sends mental impulses to each of the more than 100 trillion cells in the body, instructing them on how to function properly. These mental impulses are transmitted from the brain via nerves passing through the spine. Vertebrae in the spine can become misaligned and will interfere with the body’s natural communication process. These misalignments are referred to as subluxations. Subluxations can arise from three types of stress– chemical, emotional and physical. The effect of spinal subluxation is interference of the nerve pathway to cell, tissue or organ. Without a normally functioning nervous system, the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate will become impaired, resulting in poor health and disease. Chiropractic seeks to identify, analyze and adjust subluxations. The Doctor of Chiropractic restores the body’s nerve function by adjusting the misaligned spinal vertebra into its correct position. With nerve function improved, bodily processes are permitted to become more natural and healthy. Chiropractic’s aim is to ensure that the body’s natural health-ensuring processes are allowed to function without nerve interference due to misaligned vertebrae. Chiropractic does NOT provide ‘sickness’ care, ‘disease’ care, or ‘symptom’ care. It provides HEALTH CARE. As a philosophy, Chiropractic recognizes that the body has a natural ability to express its health potential to the fullest. As a science, Chiropractic deals with the relationship between the spine and nervous system and its effect on the body’s innate ability to express and maintain good health. As an art, it entails knowledge, skill and dexterity to locate and correct subluxations that impair and rob the body’s ability to maintain optimal health and wellness.
Chiropractic Philosophy differs dramatically from a Medical Philosophy of health. Medicine believes that in a diseased state, drugs are prescribed or organs are removed or transplanted to keep the system ‘functioning’. This approach to health is termed an OUTSIDE, IN approach where external factors such as drugs and surgery are used to effect a change on the inside of the body. Chiropractic Philosophy knows that innate intelligence flows via the nervous system to every cell, tissue and organ of the body and since we self-heal and self-regulate, blockage to the nervous system by way of subluxation will impair nerve flow. This causes malfunction of the body, eventually resulting in disease. This approach to health is termed an INSIDE, OUT approach where the body is stimulated by an adjustment to correct itself naturally. Chiropractic neither removes or adds anything to the body it only stimulates self-healing. The problem with a medical approach to HEALTH is that medicine deals with sickness care or crisis care and NOT wellness care or true health care. The side effects of drugs and surgery are the 3rd leading cause of preventable death and the 4th leading cause of death in North America.
Every baby needs to have a healthy spinal column. It is the framework that will support your child throughout his or her growing years and into adulthood. Studies have shown that newborn infants often enter the world with spinal trauma and stress due to the birth process. Even under the best conditions, birthing can be difficult for the infant who has spent nine months cradled in the dark, warm “waterbed” of the womb. It’s very important to have your infant checked by a chiropractor shortly after his or her birth to be certain that there isn’t any nerve interference. Periodic checks should continue throughout your child’s lifetime. Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D., was one of America’s leading pediatricians and a vocal proponent of home delivery. In his consciousness-raising book, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, he discussed how babies born in the hospital are six times more likely to suffer distress during labor and delivery, eight times more likely to get caught in the birth canal, four times more likely to need resuscitation, four times more likely to become infected and thirty times more likely to be permanently injured. In 1987, the German medical journal, Manuelle Medizin, published a report of a study, which examined 1,250 babies five days after birth. Of this group, 211 suffered from vomiting, hyperactivity and sleeplessness. Upon examination, 95 percent of these children had spinal subluxations. After being adjusted, all the infants became quiet, the crying stopped, their muscles relaxed and they went to sleep. The same report said that they found over 1,000 infants with nerve interference in the upper neck area which caused a variety of clinical conditions, ranging from central motor impairment to lowered resistance to infections, especially those of the ears, nose and throat. In one case history, an eighteen-month-old boy suffered from tonsillitis, frequent enteritis, conjunctivitis, colds and earaches. Because of all these ailments he had trouble sleeping. After his first spinal adjustment the little boy began to sleep through the night and it wasn’t long before he was in good health. One of the greatest gifts you can give your newborn is a complete spinal examination by a doctor of chiropractic
Wellness and Optimal Health starts with having a normally functioning Nervous system. It is simple: our nervous system controls every cell, tissue and organ of the body. If there exists any interference of nerve flow, primarily caused by vertebral subluxation, our ability to function normally is impaired. Interference to our nervous system interferes with life processes and our healing and regulating abilities, thus ultimately causing disease to occur. Viruses and bacteria only attack compromised or weakened cells of the body. When our immune system is working at its optimum, we have the ability to fight off most disease, naturally. All we, as human beings, need is a nervous system free of nerve interference. Doctors do not heal, nor do chiropractors – chiropractors simply remove subluxations that impair nerve function and impair our healing processes. Once a subluxation has been removed, nerve flow is normalized and our innate intelligence is free to flow, allowing the body to heal itself. The definition of health is, “An optimal state of physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Interestingly, this definition is from Dorland’s Medical Dictionary. It describes a Chiropractic definition of health. Chiropractors and Medical Doctors differ philosophically when it comes to health. Chiropractors believe that health is more than living disease free – health describes optimum function throughout life. It includes a drug and medication-free lifestyle, good nutrition, proper rest, minimized stress , regular exercise, positive mental attitude and regular chiropractic care to remove subluxation – the most serious and devastating effect on your nervous system and your health.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is the most common chronic disease, affecting up to 30 percent of the population. It is the most common reason for chronic sinus and nose problems. Children and young adults are the most common age groups affected by this disease, although many older adults and elderly people also experience symptoms. Allergic rhinitis is defined as an inflammation and irritation of the nasal passages due to seasonal and year-round allergens. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itching of the nose, and post-nasal drip. Chiropractors approach allergies and sinus problems by looking to the body’s inner healing ability and determine if there exists an imbalance in the immune system caused by blockage to nerve flow in the body. Subluxations are the most common cause of nerve interference in the body, and when it affects energy flow to the immune cells and tissues, internal immune function may be compromised. Dr. Ronald Pero studied hundreds of patients on long-term chiropractic care and found their immune systems to be 200-400% stronger than others. The secret lies in the relationship between the healing chiropractic adjustment and how it improves nerve flow in the body. This nerve flow allows the body to function normally again, therefore boosting the body’s internal immune system. Many chiropractic patients have experienced natural correction of allergies, and even a natural draining of the sinuses with every adjustment. Research supports this: Long Term Remission and Alleviation of Symptoms in Allergy Patients Following Spinal Adjustment for Reduction of Vertebral Subluxations Background: An association between visceral disease and immune dysfunction from sympathetic segmental disturbances secondary to vertebral subluxation has been put forward by chiropractic, osteopathic and medical practitioners. We report on the positive results of a controlled study using chiropractic adjustments to reduce subluxations in patients with Crohn’s disease and allergies. We also discuss possible mechanisms for the relationship between visceral and immune dysfunction and subluxation. Methods: We divided 57 Crohn’s disease patients into two groups. A treatment group consisting of 17 patients and a control group consisting of 34 patients. 6 patients were excluded from the study because of their symptoms, progress and changes in blood test values and because vertebral subluxations were present only in the lumbar region. With all patients continuing their present medication, we subjected the treatment group of 17 patients to spinal adjustment in order to reduce the vertebral subluxations in the thoracic and lumbar regions and compared them with the 34 patients who did not receive spinal adjustments. Results: Of the 17 patients who received spinal adjustments, 12 showed long-term and stable remission of their symptoms and 9 experienced an alleviation effect. We found that vertebral subluxation is a common and characteristic finding in patients with allergies and Crohn’s disease. Conclusion: According to the results of this study the possibility may be considered that chronic nerve compression secondary to vertebral subluxation in the thoracic and lumbar regions had a significant effect on the immune function of these allergy and Crohn’s disease patients. It is further postulated that this nerve compression leads to a chronic functional disorder having a significant effect on digestion, absorption of nutrients and liquids, conveyance of food as well as various other functions of the digestive tract extending to excretion.
Chances are you know somebody that suffers with asthma. Did you know that lungs have small little sacs called alveoli with a surface area of 40-50 square miles? They use 90 gallons of pure oxygen or 3000 gallons of air in a 24-hour period. Breathing is a specific and delicate process that is highly dependant on nerve supply to keep it functioning normally. The process involves air being brought into the body through the mouth or nose, down the windpipe, bronchi, and finally to the tiny air sacs (alveoli). Along this pathway the air is cleansed, filtered, purified and warmed. This whole process is fully guided through the function of your nervous system. If your nervous system fails to guide this process, you lose the ability to breathe normally. There are an estimated 17 million Americans suffering from Asthma with 5.3 million being children. The prevalence rate for asthma increased by 87% among US children between 1982 and 1995. Among the general population the asthma prevalence rate increased by 61.2% during the same period. Asthma is the seventh most prevalent chronic health condition in the US and the leading serious chronic illness of children. Asthma is the number one cause of school absenteeism attributed to chronic conditions. Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalizations among children under the age of 15 and accounts for almost one in six paediatric emergency room visits Asthma costs the U.S. approximately $11.3 billion per year Improper spinal/nerve function along with food/environmental allergies are generally what brings on attacks that can be life-threatening. Asthmatics quite commonly feel condemned to a life of bronchodilators and steroid based drugs, which we know have serious side effects. These side effects can either be immediate or may develop over a lifetime of chronic use. Any natural approach that decreases the suffering of asthma is extremely valuable. So, what can you do? Chiropractic care has a very good track record of helping adults and children with asthma. Chiropractic helps to restore proper nerve function through the spine to the lungs and surrounding structures.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve of the wrist, which supplies nerve flow to the hand, becomes irritated as it passes through a tunnel like bones of the wrist. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness of the wrist, hand, and fingers, which sometimes awaken the patient during the night. It may affect anyone that does repetitive tasks with their hands such as secretaries, carpenters, computer workers, musicians, and assembly line workers. Studies indicate the condition occurs most often between the ages of 30 to 60 and is five times more common in women than men. Medical treatment includes drugs, cortisone, splints, and surgery, all showing a poor success rate. As a result of these poor medical outcomes, Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. concluded; “Since the medical treatment for this condition is so often unsatisfactory, I have for years been recommending that my patients consult muscle and joint therapy specialists.” It is interesting to note that subluxations in the neck may also complicate and cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when nerve flow in the neck is compromised, reducing the nerve flow to the arms and especially the hands. In fact, research demonstrated that out of 1,000 cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, a large number of these sufferers had neck arthritis, a condition of long-term neck subluxations. Chiropractic care is focused on correction of neck posture as well as correction of subluxations in the neck and wrist joints, allowing the flow of nervous system energy to occur normally down the arms to the hands. Conservative chiropractic care of cervicobrachialgia Glick DM, Chiropr Res J, 1989; 1(3):49-52 Cervicobrachialgia, also known as “brachial neuritis” or “brachial neuralgia” involves neck and arm pain that can be described as “sharp,” “stabbing,” or “aching,” with acute sudden onset. The pain is in the shoulder blade, the side of the neck and may continue through the upper arm. This is the case of a 42 year-old woman diagnosed with the above condition who had suffered a fall skiing during the prior week when symptoms began. Upper cervical x-rays revealed the atlas to be displaced laterally to the right and rotated anterior on that side. Immediately following the first adjustment the patient reported noticeable relief in symptoms. 48 hours later she received a second adjustment. Three days later she was checked again and did not need an adjustment. The double crush in nerve entrapment syndromes. Upton, ARM, McComas AJ. Lancet 2:329, 1973. 67% to 75% of patients who had carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy also had spine nerve root irritation.
Research shows that patients suffering from digestive disorders can respond very well to Chiropractic care. Subluxations in the mid thoracic and lumbar regions can impair nerve flow to the stomach and intestines. Researchers Discover Possible Link Between Crohn’s Disease and Spinal Problems. According to a recent study, researchers in Japan say there is a possible link between Crohn’s disease and interference to the nervous system from spinal misalignments. The research was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research and grew out of a previous study involving more than 3,000 patients with allergic diseases and over 1,000 non-allergic patients. It focused on the relationship between immune functions; spinal displacements called vertebral subluxations, and how reducing those displacements resulted in improvement, and in some cases complete remission, of symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the small intestine but it can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. The inflammation causes pain and makes the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea. There are many theories about what causes Crohn’s disease but none has been proven. The most popular theory is that the body’s immune system reacts to a virus or a bacterium by causing ongoing inflammation in the intestine. Treatment for Crohn’s disease includes corticosteroids to control inflammation but while these drugs are considered the most effective for active Crohn’s disease, they can cause serious side effects, including greater susceptibility to infection. Immune suppressing drugs are also used to treat Crohn’s disease.
Pregnancy should be a time of excitement and eager anticipation, yet for many women the entire experience can be plagued with discomfort, pain and even illness. Women undergo numerous hormonal and structural changes throughout a pregnancy, which will affect the function of the spine, joints, muscles, nerves and ligaments. Some of the common health issues affecting women include: Back pain Headaches Neck pain Stress Carpal tunnel syndrome It is easy to see postural changes throughout pregnancy; the center of gravity changes, the weight of the baby places increased pressure on the spine and pelvis, and changes are also seen in gait pattern. In addition, numerous hormonal changes occur. Previous accidents, emotional stress, tension and overexertion can exacerbate these stresses as well. Over time, these collective stresses can shift the spinal bones or vertebrae out of their normal alignment, creating nerve pressure and interference. An example of this is sciatic nerve pressure, which can cause severe pain and discomfort. Most of the time, expectant mothers are told they must live with the pain during their pregnancy, however this is simply not true. Women can choose to minimize or eliminate suffering from aches and pains during their pregnancies with the natural approach of Chiropractic. A recent study revealed that 70% of expectant mothers experienced low back pain at some point during their pregnancy. Pain is a warning sign that something is not functioning properly and must be dealt with as soon as possible. As weight gain increases, the propensity towards developing more and more pain increases exponentially. Because drugs and medication can cause fetal damage or malformations, it is important to avoid them whenever possible. As the expectant mother progresses through her pregnancy, the fetus develops and the mother’s uterus and surrounding tissues change and enlarge to compensate for the tremendous growth of the fetus. In a normally aligned and balanced pelvis, all the muscles, ligaments and tendons that have direct and indirect connection to the uterus will maintain their normal supportive function. In a situation where the pelvis and supporting muscles and ligaments are misaligned, there can be increased pressure, restriction or constraint of the uterus. Uterine constraint can interfere with fetal development and fetal position in the uterus. And it can hinder the natural development of the spine and nervous system in the fetus. Furthermore, it can prevent the baby from moving into a normal position for birth, thus leading to prolonged delivery times and potential complications. In another study, women receiving Chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% shorter labor times than the group not receiving Chiropractic, and multiparous subjects reported 39% shorter labor times. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with Chiropractic care. Research has shown that women who receive chiropractic care during pregnancy have approximately six hours less time spent in labor than women who do not receive chiropractic care. Women who receive prenatal chiropractic care also have approximately three hours less of labor during subsequent pregnancies. An American Medical Association (AMA) study showed that pregnant women under chiropractic care have an easier pregnancy and delivery. The study, by Irvin Hendryson, MD, revealed that pregnant women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester were able to carry to term more frequently and deliver children with more comfort
Correct posture is a function of a normally maintained body. Just like an automobile requires proper wheel and tire alignment to function optimally, the human body requires proper spinal alignment and muscle tone to maintain a normal posture. Correct posture is determined by a series of spinal joints, muscles, discs and ligaments. Each of these parts of your body’s anatomy functions as a whole in providing normal posture. The spine is composed of bones, joints and discs which, when placed in the correct posture, are capable of withstanding high degrees of stress. The spine is extremely flexible yet it also provides protection for the spinal cord, nervous system and supports the internal organs. It acts more like a flexible spring, which is capable of withstanding forces, rather than a stick, which when enough force is applied to it, will eventually break. Due to the fact that human beings walk erect on two legs, we must withstand a high degree of external stress, namely, gravity. Gravity continually acts to compress our body and its effects can lead to poor posture if our body cannot withstand it effectively. Our spinal posture is unique. In the neck or cervical region, the spine curves forward, in the mid-back or thoracic region, the spine curves backward and in the lower back or lumbar region, the spine curves forward again. Subluxations arise when our alignment is at fault. This is seen in cases when the spinal curves are either too large or too small. Normal posture is seen in patients when a line passes from the ear to the shoulder, down to the hip and knee and to the ankle. If you do not line up along these lines, your posture is abnormal and will produce subluxations. Posture is also assessed by your Chiropractor by viewing the spine from behind. You should notice that the spine is basically straight up and down and that it does not tilt to one side or the other. Also, the shoulders and hips, when viewed from behind while standing, should be even. This means that one shoulder or hip is not higher than the other. Scoliosis is a spinal condition in which the spine, when viewed from behind, tilts to one side or the other. This can lead to a lot of back pain and compression of the internal organs as well. Scoliosis can be detected at an early age and its progression can be slowed until full growth is seen, at adulthood. It is therefore imperative that their Doctor of Chiropractic examine all children at an early age in order to detect scoliosis or other spinal conditions.
Most back, hip and knee pain arises from abnormal foot posture. This is because these regions connect through the feet and when the feet are aligned properly, the foundation of the body is in the correct posture. The arch of the foot determines foot posture. A high arch causes you to walk on the outside of the feet and it will rotate the knee outwards, causing bow legs. A low arch causes you to walk on the inside of the feet and it will rotate the knee inwards, causing knock knees. Both conditions cause over-rotation of the knee and the hip as well as abnormal back posture. Left over time, these areas respond with subluxations, pain, disability and possibly arthritic change due to degeneration of cartilage. Orthotics support the feet in their correct posture, eliminating the pressure and pain caused by abnormal feet and will allow your adjustments to hold better, improving posture throughout the entire body.
Subluxation means misalignment. A Vertebral Subluxation refers to a spinal bone, which has become misaligned. Subluxations exert pressure on the nervous system, causing nerve interference. Subluxations can arise from stress: physical, chemical or emotional. Physical stress is the most common type of stress. Examples are motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, slip and fall injuries, and the process of birth. Birth produces vertebral subluxation, especially when the delivery involves forceps, vacuum extraction and even assistance by hand. Up to 70 pounds of pressure are exerted on the newborn’s head and neck, causing serious subluxations to develop. Chemical stresses affect the nervous system. Examples are chemical pollutants in our environment, drugs, alcohol and a poor diet. These substances can act to irritate and hinder the optimal function of the nervous system, as well as many other systems of the body, causing negative chemical imbalances. Emotional stress can put a great demand on the spinal joints, muscles and the nervous system. Emotional stress seen when we are caught in a long lineup, traffic jams, have family and marital problems builds up the tension in our muscles and joints, and if left alone uncorrected for a long time, will eventually lead to headaches, spinal pain, high blood pressure and anxiety attacks, to name a few. Tension is increased primarily in the upper back, shoulders and neck muscles and will produce subluxation. Emotions also play an important role in healing because negative thoughts can reflect in impaired healing. Optimal health and healing starts with providing the body the best possible environment to grow and develop in. Doctors of chiropractic are primary health care practitioners who believe in wellness or a preventive lifestyle. Whether it is physical, chemical or emotional stress,which is placed on the nervous system, the outcome is negative. Vertebral subluxation will develop, causing further nerve interference. Whenever the nervous system is interfered with, the connection between brain and body is impaired, and there may be malfunction of any cell, tissue or organ of the body.
In a developing human being, the nervous system is the most important system. It is so important that it is the first system of the body to develop. The brain is the central command center, sending electrical signals or nerve impulses down the spinal cord to all regions of the body. The spinal cord and related nerves are a crucial communication link between the brain and the body and without them, normal function of the body would not exist. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord which function almost like a command center, sending nervous impulses of information down to different levels of the spine. Here the spinal cord branches off into 31 pairs of spinal nerves on each side of the spine. These nerves combine with others and then branch out to the far reaches of the body. There are 3 types of nerves: pain nerves, autonomic nerves and motor nerves. The most important and most common are the autonomic nerves and motor nerves. Autonomic nerves are under direct innate control and control your heart rate, your blood pressure, respiration, growth, immune function and digestion, to name just a few functions. Motor nerves control muscle function. Both the autonomic nerves and the motor nerves are so important to life that they make up over 90% of all nerves. The remaining nerves, 10% of the total, are the pain nerves. Unfortunately, pain nerves become active long after poor health has occurred. Pain is a very poor indicator of health as many conditions such as heart disease, cancer or even dental cavities can exist without pain. Subluxations, or misalignment of the spinal bones, can cause interference of any of these nerves at the site where they exit the spine. Subluxations arise from stress and poor posture. Left unchecked, subluxations will eventually interrupt self-healing and self-regulating function, leading to poor health and disease.
Headache research shows significant improvement with chiropractic care. Subluxation correction is natural and thousands of times safer than taking any pain reliever for headache and/or migraine. Experts acknowledge Chiropractic care for Headaches… “We’ve been able to put together a scientific explanation for how neck structure causes headaches… Chiropractors have been saying for years.” –Peter Rothbart, M.D., F.R.C.P.C North American Cervicogenic Headache Society “X-rays findings link the cervical spine with tension type headache”-Arata Nagasaw, M.D. Research physician – Japan “One of the most thorough studies of migraine patients… over a fifty year period found patients receiving chiropractic care showed an improvement or cure rate of 72% to 90%”-Studies compiled by Dr. Stuart Wight, D.C. Edinburgh, Scotland “I was astonished by the results I got for my own headaches as a result of chiropractic care. As a neurologist I am aware of the many causes of headaches requiring medical or neurological care but was not aware that chiropractic could provide results of such magnitude…”-Gary Gerard, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology Published in the ACA Journal, December 1991 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 1998