A NATURAL APPROACH TO HEALING THE BODY
Chiropractic medicine is a uniquely American form of medicine. Chiropractors train with a traditional four-year medical school curriculum, but instead of a focus on medications, the chiropractic student learns how to administer manual medicine with his hands. A chiropractic student spends approximately 500 additional hours, above and beyond standard medical training studying anatomy, kinesiology, and hands-on treatment of the human body. But there is a much more critical difference between chiropractors and medical physicians: traditional medical doctors treat disease and trauma with emphasis on reducing symptoms, whereas a chiropractor focuses on assisting the body’s fantastic self-healing ability. A chiropractor learns the philosophy of healing that sees a person as a complete organism and not merely a collection of diseases or symptoms to be dissected and drugged piece by piece. Chiropractors understand that the body’s structure and function are intimately related and that to heal, a person must heal structure for function to improve. Many people already know that chiropractic can help with back pain, neck pain, and other structural problems. Few realize that chiropractic is an elaborate healing modality that works directly with the nervous system and brain to treat many neurological problems. Chiropractic can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve immune function. It can cure problems like esophageal reflux, bronchitis, colic in infants, constipation, asthma, ulcers, and migraine headaches.
Chiropractors do not prescribe medications, by choice, however they are still physicians and are licensed to diagnose and treat disease and injury. This makes them different than physical therapists (PT), massage therapists (LMT), and nurses (RN), who are valuable contributors to medicine but do not have the ability to diagnose.
HOW CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT WORKS
Chiropractic treatment is known as an adjustment because the procedure adjusts the nervous system. The brain controls your body through a series of nerves, and when working correctly, the body functions and heals as it was designed to do. Nerves can get injured and then fail to communicate correct information to the brain, causing pain, and illness. Chiropractors call areas of the body where nerves are damaged Subluxations. Chiropractic adjustments correct Subluxations and allow the brain to communicate to the body, which increases health and function. Subluxations are caused by Physical Traumas, Chemical Toxins, and even Emotional Thoughts. Most Subluxations happen in the spine where nerves exit between the bones; in this area, nerves can easily get injured by arthritis, herniated discs, and even strained muscles. Although rarer, Subluxations can also happen outside the spine in the peripheral nervous system, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or even in the brain itself as we see in cases of stroke. Chiropractic adjustments are performed in a variety of ways depending on the individual patient's history, some include using devices, and sometimes the Chiropractor will use his hands.
In our clinic we use 3 primary methods to determine the location(s) of the subluxation(s), x-ray, ultrasound and physical examination. I think it is important to mention that according to the State of Florida Board of Medicine only a licensed chiropractor has the legal authority to diagnose and treat a subluxation. Many times I have heard form other health care providers that subluxations do not exist or that they do not understand how to diagnose a subluxation however it must be remembered that the term subluxation is specific only to chiropractors, a medical doctor, as an example may diagnose an L5 disc herniation and the chiropractor would state that the same patient has a subluxation at L5. In this case both doctors are correct and it is important to recognize this.