What is Chiropractic?
To get an understanding of the purpose of Chiropractic, we need to go back to how we define Health.
What is Health?
Health is when our body is able to adapt and function according to our internal and external environment. If you go outside on a cold day with barely a t-shirt on, you would expect to feel the cold, get goosebumps and start shivering. Or when you have a meal, you would expect the digestion process to start when you introduce food into your stomach. That happens because your nerves constantly monitor what is happening to every cell, tissue and organ in your body and sends this information back to your brain (the control centre) through the spinal cord. When the communication line between the body and brain is 100 percent, the body can maintain, regulate and heal itself: This is Health.
The Role of the Spine in Health
The Spinal Cord is housed within the spine, which plays two essential functions:
- The spinal cord's conduit: The delicate spinal cord is housed within the vertebral column. A healthy spine allows the communication of the body and brain to flow efficiently and with clarity. A broken spine causes paralysis.
- The body's frame: The elegant design of the spine - how the bones are stacked, how each part plays its role and how they all function together, imbues the spine with incredible strength, flexibility and resilience. With its role of supporting the body, the spine provides the muscles the frame to move the body. The spine and muscles play a delicate balance of support and movement. Succinctly put: the bones support and the muscles move the body.
As we go through life, we are faced with stress: some are good and some are bad. Bad stress can cause the body to become out of balance, the body becomes overwhelmed and compensates. Part of this results in the joints of the spine to undergo changes that stops it from doing its proper function: it stops being strong, flexible and resilient. This leads to an improper communication line between the brain and body, and causes the muscles to take up some of the supporting role. This is what chiropractors term a subluxation.
The Role of Time in Health
In the immediate short term, the imbalance caused by the subluxated, compensated spine provides little to no change to the body: it can still function the way it should, albeit less efficient and less balanced. Because time is a stressor, the passage of time (whether it be days, weeks, months or years) and the stresses of everyday life causes the spine to be more subluxated, more compensated, less healthy and less efficient. The muscles grow tired, fatigued and start complaining. Back pain, neck pain or headaches appear: symptoms to let us know that something has gone wrong and needs attention. At this stage, some people who suffer from these symptoms go to a chiropractor.
The Role of Chiropractic in Health
The role of the chiropractor is to examine and assess the spine for subluxations and compensation, remove the subluxations through chiropractic adjustments and restore the spine back to its full capacity and function. This is carried out using specific chiropractic techniques.
The benefits of chiropractic care include:
- The relief of pain and inflammation,
- The reduction of muscle tension and tightness,
- The improvement of joint range of motion, strength and integrity,
- The improvement of body balance and equilibrium,
- The improvement of muscle strength, flexibility and endurance,
- The improvement of energy efficiency and conservation,
- The improvement of Brain-Body connectivity,
- Increased sense of wellbeing.
When the spine is restored and maintained to do its proper function, the body has the greatest chance to be healthy throughout life.