Introduction to Chiropractic Care
How was chiropractic discovered?
Chiropractic was discovered by Daniel David Palmer in 1895. D.D. was a self-proclaimed magnetic healer, using his hands to restore the energy flow of the body. There was a janitor in his office building that had not been able to hear for approximately seventeen years. One day D.D. offered to help the janitor, Harvey Lillard, if he could. D.D. palpated Harvey’s spine and found a bump on his neck. Harvey explained that he had “heard a snap” one day while bending over and then the bump appeared. D.D. placed his hands on the bump and gave a thrust. Harvey’s hearing was restored and chiropractic was discovered.
How does chiropractic work?
A person’s spine is made of twenty-four bones called vertebrae. At the top of the spine is the skull which houses the brain or master computer. From the brain, the nerve impulses travel down the spinal cord (which is protected by the vertebrae.) Nerves branch out between the vertebrae and travel to all areas of the body. A person cannot take a step without the brain telling the body to move. When the vertebrae become misaligned or “out of place,” they put pressure on the nerve. This is called a “subluxation.” The message from the brain is slowed down and the life energy carried by the nerve is unable to reach the organs and tissues at 100% of its potential. A chiropractor aligns the vertebrae through gentle adjustments to the spine, relieving the pressure on the nerve and allowing 100% of the nerve energy to reach the tissues it serves.
What are the effects of subluxations?
It is easy to understand if you compare the nerve to a hose. If your garden is desperately dry and needs moisture to grow, you will hook up a hose and water the garden. However, if someone comes along and steps on the hose cutting off the water supply, the garden will become sick and eventually die. Likewise, if the hose is released, the water supply will be restored and the garden can grow. Your body reacts in the same manner to subluxations. After a subluxation has existed for a period of time, symptoms will occur. The various symptoms of subluxations differ greatly. In some cases, the person may experience pain, numbness, or tingling. In other cases, the symptoms may go unnoticed except that the person is more susceptible to colds, tires more quickly or starts having problems with an internal organ. Remember, the energy which travels down the spinal cord and through the nerves serves every area of the body. Therefore, any area of the body can be affected by a subluxation.
When does the first subluxation occur?
Often the first subluxation occurs at birth. Think of that fragile spine being twisted and turned as the doctor pulls the infant through the birth canal. Can you imagine how much trauma that causes? Learning to walk, riding bikes, and climbing trees are often other causes of subluxations. Adolescents who participate in sports also experience problems. As adults, there may be auto accidents, work injuries or stress that affect the spine. Many of the activities of daily life can cause subluxations.
How long will it take to heal?
It all depends. Many times a subluxation has existed for a period of time before the person starts experiencing symptoms. The muscles of the spine have adapted to the incorrect position of the vertebrae. For that reason, it may take a series of adjustments before the muscles become accustomed to holding the vertebrae in the proper position. The muscles have to be retrained. It is almost like playing tug-of-war with your body for a while. The doctor adjusts the spine and the muscles, ligaments and tendons pull it back out. Many patients will not seek chiropractic care until the symptom appears. By that time, the vertebra has been misaligned for some time. That is why periodic spinal checkups are so important; prevention is the key to maintaining health.
What do chiropractors do?
Let’s first understand what they don’t do. They will not prescribe drugs, perform surgery or treat symptoms. They find and correct the cause of the symptoms; that is, they find and correct subluxations.
How do they treat the cause?
Chiropractors gently move the bones of the spine into place which relieves the pressure on the nerve. When the spine is aligned, the body receives the energy needed to heal itself naturally.