The art and science of the practice of Chiropractic has been around for over 100 years and can be a valuable tool for the person seeking improvement in health and wellness. Chiro- is derived from the Greek word for hand and praktikos – meaning the practice of or practical. Generally speaking Chiropractic focuses on finding small misalignments in the spine or vertebral column termed subluxations (luxation is a complete dislocation) and aligning the relationship of one vertebrae to the next one. These subluxations or misalignments in the spine are commonplace and can happen due to posture or chronic repetitive movements as well as acute pathology, injury and even pregnancy.
Chiropractic has over the last hundred years become mainstream moving from Eastern philosophy to becoming a part of Western medicine. Fundamentally, traditional Western medicine had treated the disease or pathology or symptom from the outside in with computer diagnostic equipment, medications and surgery. In contrast, Chiropractic is based on diagnosing the underlying cause of the disease or symptom with the premise that the central nervous system and related sympathetic and parasympathic system controls all body functions and operates like a computer program. The nervous system is comprised of nerve pairings which are split to perform their respective functions. Each pairing is split into a sympathetic branch to the muscles for fight or flight instincts as well as a parasympathetic branch for rest and digestion functions.
With a general understanding of the history and philosophy of Chiropractic let us now look at how this discipline can be used to assist in the achievement of improving and maintaining health and wellness. Few if any of us are fortunate enough to get through this life without experiencing spine or extremity misalignments. These misalignments can come as early as the birthing process! Then from toddlers through school age adolescence it is rare to not be involved in accidents such as falls, sports accidents, car accidents, poor sleep and sitting postures. As we get old enough to work there becomes more opportunity for postural imbalances and work and auto accidents. Then as we age into hopefully better health habits we face new obstacles in the form of arthritis and generally decreased activity. The list of who can benefit from Chiropractic is a simple answer…everyone can to some extent. How much one can benefit and how often treatment is required depends on many factors including age and acuteness or age of condition.
Chiropractic is by nature not a treatment of conditions but rather an alignment of the body to heal itself by being able to function as efficiently as possible. With that being stated however, patients have increasingly chosen Chiropractic to improve and at times alleviate symptoms such as headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain as well as helping with arm and leg pain and numbness, disc problems and much more.
Most importantly Chiropractic should be considered as a resource in achieving and maintaining an optimal state of health and wellness. Chiropractic has become a leader in alternative medicine and natural healing. With much criticism by Western medicine and western model insurance companies, Chiropractic has had to prove its necessity through word of mouth for much of the past hundred years.
Starting with the champion San Francisco 49er’s of the 1980’s Chiropractic became introduced into the NFL with documented positive outcomes for the star players of the team. Many of the players were in fact documented attributing Chiropractic to helping prolong their careers. Today it is commonplace for all sporting teams from high school to professionals to have Chiropractic be a part of the healthcare team.
Health and wellness therefore requires a combination of considerations to achieving optimal function. Chiropractic can be used effectively to achieve and maintain efficiency as well as assist following any occupational or environmental stressors that create injury, postural or nerve imbalances. Remember, do all you can to achieve health and wellness…the quantity and quality of your life depends on it. Best wishes.
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