It's a Pain!

According to some estimates, between 70-80% of the adult population will, at some time, have serious back pain. And an ever growing number of us will turn for relief to a type of doctor whose focus is neither the prescription of drugs nor surgery - the chiropractor.

Chiropractors first came to official status in the late nineteenth century though there are records of similar healing practices dating back to Ancient Greece. Today, hospitals are increasingly adding these specialists on staff and public/private insurance companies often provide coverage for their services. Yet for many, the role of the chiropractor is still a mystery.

Just what is chiropractic medicine?

As a basic tent, chiropractors believe there is a natural healing power within the body that keeps us in biological equilibrium and that the central nervous system acts as its communication network.

Chiropractic healing is designed to maintain the integrity of this system through a holistic approach including lifestyle choices and, when necessary, physical intervention to correct blockages to the flow of energy through the system. The most common form of this blockage is a misalignment of the vertebrae in the spinal column.

What causes misalignment...?

...Trauma to the body from a variety of sources - falls, accidents, occupational or emotional stress, sports, aging, even the birth process. In fact, many chiropractors say we are constantly experiencing misalignment, but most of the time the problem is minor and self-correcting. However, when it's not, the blockage which occurs can lead to nerve irritation, pain and, consequently, lower energy levels, loss of muscle tone and strength, abnormal bone and joint motion, and physical and.or psychological stress.

So chiropractors work to relieve the pain cause by misalignment?

Yes, but that's only one aspect of the treatment. Pain may be a symptom of a misalignment; but as every tissue and cell in the body is connected to the nervous system, anything that affects the functioning of this network can affect the functioning of others areas of the body as well. And if the normal transmission of healing energy is compromised by a blockage, there is an obvious lessening of one's immunity which then sets the stage of illness and disease to take hold.

How are misalignments corrected?

Treatment involves exerting precise pressure to the segment of the spine (or the extremities) where the blockage exists. The pressure may be sudden and forceful or more probing and gentle depending upon the nature and location of the problem. Correction might be accomplished in a single session but, more likely will require multiple treatments. The resulting shift of bone and tissue back into proper alignment eases nerve pain and releases the natural flow of energy through the nervous system, thereby bringing the body back to its normal state of integration.

How are chiropractors holistic?

Though much of chiropractic treatment focuses on this type of manual correction, many practitioners offer additional therapies to enhance the healing process including acupuncture, physiotherapy, ultrasound and massage. And there is always a strong emphasis on prevention of problems through consultation on diet, exercise, work habits, etc.

After all, the ultimate goal for the chiropractor is the promotion of natural health and the maintenance of the normal balance and harmony of the body. To do this, each individual is encouraged to take active, personal responsibility for his/her own life and health and the, if problems should arise, to begin the healing from the inside out!


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