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So, just what is chiropractic anyway?
It's all Greek to me!
Simply put, it is Greek for “done by hand”, or to give it more meaning “the art or practice of healing by hand”.
A more modern perspective
In the eyes of medicine and the public chiropractic is often just seen as a possible cure for back pain. An increasing number of people however (both medical and non-medical), realise that chiropractors use a comprehensive range of soft tissue techniques, stretching, exercise and lifestyle advice, allowing an assortment of pain conditions, trapped nerves and injuries to be treated. Following this comprehensive advice leads to an increase in health and wellness which in turn will help prevent many of today’s big killers – heart disease, cancer and diabetes for example.
Chiropractic there are long medical definitions and there are simple ones...
...the quickest method for the manual resolution of stress...i.e. natural pain relief
The US Department of Health Education and Welfare defines chiropractic as:
“…a discipline of the scientific healing arts concerned with the pathogenesis, diagnostics, therapeutics and prophylaxis of functional disturbances, pathomechanical states, pain syndromes and neurophysiological effects related to the statics and dynamics of the locomotor system, especially of the spine and pelvis.”.
What a mouth full!
We define chiropractic as
“a system of health care which releases one of the most serious forms of stress from the body, loosely termed ‘spinal nerve stress’ or subluxations. As we know, stress is implicated in everything from recurrent colds and emotional problems, to heart disease and cancer. So think of chiropractic as the quickest method for the manual resolution of stress”.
In summary, chiropractic is a highly skilled, scientific, neuro-musculoskeletal discipline which aims to maximise health primarily through spinal adjustments.
Treatment plans vary from person to person and the nature of the complaint. If there is nothing wrong with you and you are simply curious as to how good chiropractic can make you feel then you may only need one or two treatments to 'feel' the positive difference it can make. If you are suffering from a long-term condition then it may take at least six months of care.
Ever since Chiropractic was founded in 1895, its proponents have been extolling its virtues. It started life as a miracle ‘cure all’, with polio and tuberculosis being among the most common complaints seen by the early practitioners. There were even those who claimed chiropractic cured their cancer.
The medical profession which was only 50 years old itself at the time, found the idea that the human body could cure itself if the spine was realigned quite alien to their philosophy.
But, in 1917 when the Influenza endemic gripped the world, killing more people than World War One, it became clear chiropractic was invaluable for the care of infectious diseases.
For in the worst hit areas of the United States, those undergoing regular chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation had a 40,000%, that’s right FORTY THOUSAND percent, better chance of survival than those who had only medicine.
Conspiracy Theory, Cures Without Medicines
This was both a blessing and a curse for the chiropractic profession.
It was a blessing as chiropractic’s contribution to health was officially recognized by law in a number of US states.
It was a curse as it made the medical profession and the fledgling drug companies very nervous, causing them to conspire to destroy chiropractic.
This all came to a head in the 1970’s when a group of chiropractors took the American Medical Association to court and it was proven there was indeed a conspiracy between the AMA and the pharmaceutical companies, and they were forced to stop their underhand tactics.
This is why chiropractors generally believe conspiracy theories, as it happened to us!
Is There an Inverse Relationship Between Chiropractic and Drugs?
Our own observations of long term chiropractic patients suggested to us that there are great all over health benefits.
We have noticed that people aged 70 and over with a recurrent history of back pain and 20 years or more of chiropractic were significantly healthier than those presenting at a similar age with recent onset of back pain and no history of chiropractic treatment.
By this I mean those having had 20 years of chiropractic were on less drugs, usually none.
Apart from our own experience and observations there is plenty of medical evidence of the link between poor health and spinal alignment or poor posture:-
Overwhelming Evidence linking Chiropractic with Health and Wellbeing?
98% of Disease - Posture related?
Autopsies carried out by medical doctors at the beginning of the 20th Century concluded that 98% of all disease was postural related. These findings were backed up by Professor Henry Winsor in the 1920’s who demonstrated quite clearly the relationship between specific areas of the spine and organ disease. Ask us for a copy of the Winsor Autopsies leaflet for more information.
Manipulation Increases Blood Flow = Better Health, Many Times Safer Than Aspirin - Australia
Two Australian doctors performed upper cervical manipulation (chiropractic adjustments in other words) on a large number of their patients to see what happened.
Not only did neck pain and headaches disappear, but over a longer period (20, 30 or more manipulations) they found that patients with high blood pressure, dizziness, hearing difficulties, dementia, and a number of other complaints got better.
Their conclusions were that manipulation improves blood supply to the brain and therefore makes you healthier no matter what is wrong with you.
The type of manipulation these two doctors performed is exactly the same manipulation that some detractors of chiropractic are claiming cause great harm.
The reality though, is that neck manipulation is between 100 and 10,000 times safer than taking aspirin, and far more beneficial.
Chiropractic Patients Stay Younger and Healthier - USA
Studies carried out in the States over recent years on chiropractic patients have shed further light on long term benefits.
Those who had more than 40 treatments were found to have more enzymes protecting their DNA. DNA protection means staying younger and healthier.
Widespread Health Improvements From Manipulation - Sweden
Studies in Sweden in1999, and the USA more recently looked at the effects of manipulation on different areas of the spine.
The more areas of the spine treated, the better the overall health effects.
Cardiovascular problems, respiratory problems, tinnitus, vision, digestion and allergies all improved.
Poor Posture \Impairs Nerve Function and Causes Internal Bleeding
In 1978 Alf Brieg MD found abnormal posture causes changes inn the spinal cord, stretching the tiny nerves and causing internal bleeding. This in turn impairs nerve function and that of the organs or muscles supplied by that nerve.
Poor Posture in Aging Population Associated With Early Death - USA
Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 1958, JT Freeman concluded that haemorrhoids, varicose veins, intestinal problems, osteoporosis, general poor health and early death all associated with poor posture in the aging population.
The American Journal of Pain Management in 1994 printed an article stating posture effects breathing, pain, balance, vocal ability, immune function and overall health.
With so much research and evidence it is no wonder that an increasing number of people are turning away from medicines and towards natural methods of pain relief for backs, necks, shoulders and other pain.
If you are in any pain or discomfort why not give Chiropractic a try and phone or email your nearest Pain Relief Centre now.