The word “chiropractic” comes from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) and literally means “done by hand.” Instead of prescribing drugs or performing surgeries, chiropractors use manual adjustments of the spine to allow the body’s natural state of health to fully express itself.
Like conventional medicine, chiropractic is based upon scientific principles and empirical observations. Care is based upon the practitioner’s rigorous training and clinical experience. Unlike conventional medicine, which focuses on attempting to treat disease once it occurs, chiropractic attempts to improve the health of the individual in an effort to avoid illness in the first place. Most people would rather be healthy and avoid illness, if they could. This is one of the main reasons for the big upsurge in the popularity of chiropractic. People are recognizing the benefit of seeking an alternative to traditional medicine; one that will help them achieve and maintain optimal health.
Chiropractors understand that a very common cause of pain and disease is the misalignment and abnormal motion of the vertebrae in the spinal column called a vertebral subluxation. Chiropractic works by removing (adjusting) these subluxations in the spine, thereby relieving pressure and irritation on the nerves and returning the body back to a state of normal function. Chiropractic is not about treating any pain, disease or disorder but rather to bring the body back to its natural state of health and well-being. As a result of normal structure and function, many symptoms do go away, but again, that is not the main focus of the chiropractor.
While numerous studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care and subluxation correction has shown to help people with overcome back pain, neck pain, headaches, whiplash, sports injuries and many other types of musculoskeletal problems, that is just the tip of the iceberg! It has also been shown to help people with high blood pressure, decrease the frequency of childhood ear infections and improving asthma. It is important to understand that chiropractic is not the treatment for any disease or condition; it’s primary goal is to restore balance and communication between the brain and the body. When the body and brain in are optimal communication, pretty much anything is possible.
The chiropractic approach to healthcare is holistic, meaning that it impacts your overall health. Many chiropractors also recognize that lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, rest, how you think and your environment impact your health. For this reason, chiropractors often recommend visiting other wellness providers to compliment your chiropractic care so that you can make changes in your lifestyle to help you benefit most from your adjustments and help your adjustments last longer (hold in adjustment).
What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to detect and correct what are called spinal subluxations. The word ‘subluxation’ comes from the Latin words meaning ‘to dislocate’ (luxare) and ‘somewhat or slightly’ (sub). So the term ‘vertebral subluxation’ literally means a slight dislocation (misalignment) of the bones in the spine. The Greek definition of ‘lux’ means light; so from that perspective it can be said that when a person has a subluxation, he/she has a lower expression of light or energy. Although this term was adequate in the 1800s when much was still misunderstood about the human body, today the word ‘subluxation’ has changed in meaning to capture the complex of neurological, structural and functional changes that occur when a bone is ‘out of place.’ For this reason chiropractors usually refer to subluxations of the spine as the “Vertebral Subluxation Complex”, or “VSC” for short.
Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxation have on the tissue of the body. In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system is functioning free of interference from subluxations. Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.