Chiropractic – Can it Help You?
If you hurt your back on the job, chances are your insurance company will send you to a chiropractor for treatment.
With an estimated 13 million patients annually, and 35,000 licensed and trained practitioners, called doctors of chiropractic (D.C.s) this “hands on” therapy is now America’s second largest health care system. Chiropractic, which literally means “done with the hands,” refers to the use of physical manipulation, generally of the spine.
In Palmer’s mode of chiropractic, nerve-system function and thus all over bodily health depend upon the correct alignment of the 24 spinal vertebrae. “Correct” means that no nerves are pinched by displaced or subluxated (partially displaced or immobilized) vertebrae.
A “misaligned” vertebrae interferes with the nerve supply to various organs or muscles, and dysfunction results. If, for example, you have indigestion, heartburn and stomach discomfort, a chiropractor may tell you that your 6th thoracic vertebrae (in your midback) needs adjusting.
Poor circulation in the feet, swollen or weak ankles, leg cramps or cold feet may indicate that your 5th lumbar vertebrae (at the top of your buttocks) needs work. Chiropractic doesn’t claim that misalignment always causes these problems, but that chronic subluxation maintains or worsens such problems because of stress on the nervous system
Chiropractic Branching Out
These days, many chiropractors have branched out from the original Palmer method and incorporate such techniques as physical therapy, nutritional counseling and muscle rehabilitation into their practices. Some encourage their patients to see them as primary care physicians.
Chiropractic is the first choice for potential relief from all obvious musculoskeletal complaints, such as back pain, aches and strains, whiplash injuries, arthritic conditions, sciatica, bursitis and restriction of movement. But if can also be effective against a host of indirect conditions, including allergy, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders, neuritis, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, shingles, sinusitis and constipation.
The success of chiropractic treatment depends largely on the training and education of the practitioner. It’s worth your while to research where a practitioner was trained; some schools teach only the Palmer method while others encourage a broader approach that emphasizes scientific studies and related therapies.
Donald Epstein is the developer of Network Chiropractic, one of the fastest growing disciplines in the chiropractic field. Since 1984, he has instructed thousands of chiropractors in his methods, and Network has become known not only for light touch and gentle spinal adjustments that distinguish it from more forceful manipulations common to other forms of chiropractic, but for its wide range of healing incidents reported by those receiving chiropractic care.
Besides relief from a host of ailments normally considered outside the scope of chiropractic, such as allergies, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, dyslexia and learning disabilities, many people also experience dramatic emotional releases in the form of laughter, tears, screams, shaking and intensified breathing patterns as psychological traumas from the past surface and are resolved. You can understand why chiropractic is an important part of alternative medicine.