Chiropractic Wellness Patients:
The chiropractic perspective on health and disease emphasizes two fundamental concepts:
- the structure and condition of the body influences how the body functions and its ability to heal itself
- the mind-body relationship is instrumental in maintaining health and in the healing processes.
Although chiropractic shares much with other health professions, its emphasis and application of philosophy distinguishes it from modern medicine. Chiropractic philosophy gravitates toward a holistic (“total person”) approach to healing which combines elements of the mind, body and spirit and maintains that health depends on obedience to natural laws, and that deviation from such laws can result in illness.
Chiropractic Philosophy includes:
- emphasis on patient recuperative abilities rather than surgery
- recognition that dynamics exist between lifestyle, environment and health
- understanding the cause of illness in order to eliminate it, rather than simply treat symptoms
- recognition of the centrality of the nervous system and its intimate relationship with the capacities of the human body
- balancing benefits versus risks of clinical interventions
- recognition of the primary importance of monitoring progress closely through appropriate diagnostic procedures
- a patient-centered, hands-on approach focused on influencing function through structure
- focus on early intervention emphasizing timely diagnosis and treatment of conditions that are wholly functional and reversible
Chiropractic philosophy blends an effective combination of conviction, critical thinking, open-mindedness, and appreciation of the natural order of things. Chiropractic focuses on the establishment and maintenance of a relationship between patients and their environment which is most conducive to functional well-being.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand.” Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body’s inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic address are as varied and as vast as the nervous system itself. All chiropractors use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient’s condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Doctors of chiropractic use the same time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other doctor. In addition, they provide a careful chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.
The examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function is what makes chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of movable bones which begin at the base of your skull and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated network which influences every living tissue in your body.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in a disfunction of the spinal column segments or vertebra, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.
Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of chiropractic often refer patients for medical care when those interventions are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists and other health care professionals now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation practice environments.