As a chiropractor who has practiced for almost 25 years, I continue to be surprised (and a little disappointed) that more people don’t recognize the positive role that Chiropractic care can play in their children’s and in their own lives. Today, I hope to help you understand the value a little better.
Thanks to the medical establishment, most people think of chiropractic in terms of a quick fix for lower back or neck pain. While chiropractic may help with these issues, this represents a very limited view of an art & science that has really been around for thousands of years.
Hippocrates is quoted as having said “in case of disease look first to the spine.” Throughout history there have been practitioners who were the ancient equivalent of the modern-day chiropractor. In fact, the results chiropractors got during the great flu pandemic of 1917 were one of the major factors that lead to the California Chiropractic Initiative of 1922, recognizing that we are separate & distinct from medicine. But like many other ancient forms of healing, chiropractic fell out of favor with the advent of drugs, surgery and the symptomatic approaches established by modern medicine. While most people are at least aware that chiropractic care exists, herbal medicine, homeopathy & many other forms of care have been so vilified by modern medicine that many people equate them with witchcraft, quackery and worse. The real truth is that most of that is propaganda and organized medicine did, among other things, promote leeches and blood letting well past the 1900’s. It was only their steadfast organization, pressure, propaganda & boycotting of anything non-medical that lead to the decreased popularity of these forms of care. Ultimately, chiropractic is the only non-allopathic healing science that survived this assault (until the recent resurgence of others). In fact, in 1985, the AMA and several other organizations were found guilty of collusion and anti-trust for trying to systematically destroy chiropractic as a profession in the United States.
I bring this up because to this day, people have negative views of chiropractic but have no idea where those views came from. I like to say its like the wallpaper of the way we grew up; so intimately connected with the American view on health, we don’t even see it.
So what is chiropractic & how might it help you & your family? The basic tenants of chiropractic have little to do with back pain. Chiropractic theory states (and modern medicine has proven) that misalignments in the spine (subluxation) can put stress on delicate spinal nerves & cause them to misfire. Indeed science has shown us that as little as 10mm of mercury pressure- about the pressure caused by weight of a dime- can cause mis-firing of nerve impulses in the spine. If you think realistically about this, you realize you could likely have several areas like this in your own spine right now and be totally unaware of it. Further, all the nerves in your entire body ultimately connect to nerves that enter & exit the spinal cord so when you think about it, every function in your body, from your heart beat to your hormone function to your immune system & more depends on the messages of nerves running into & out of your spine. AND you have NO way of knowing if all these messages are getting thru unimpeded or not. The chiropractor’s job is to make sure they Are.
Well, this all sounds like it makes good sense, you may be thinking; but what is the practical aspect of this? What can I expect chiropractic care to have an effect on? While we can’t say with 100% certainty that chiropractic will have an effect on any particular problem, I can say that in my 25 years experience, the care I’ve provided has had a positive effect on problems as varied as ADHD, colic, asthma, allergies, back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia and more. I can also say that pregnant woman under chiropractic care have easier deliveries & recoveries and that difficulty nursing can often be traced to a baby being less able to latch on to one breast due to spinal subluxation in the neck. The bottom line is that every function in your body will happen better when it is unimpeded.
Recently I have joined the staff of Community Health Centers in SLO and I’m happy to be able to provide care to many patients who have been unable to obtain it in the past because they’ve had no insurance coverage. If you have CenCal, Medi-Cal or Medicare, you are allowed chiropractic care and do not need a medical referral. Unfortunately, most chiropractors cannot afford to see these patients (or see them & charge them a discounted cash fee) due to the low reimbursement rate. At CHC, they are a majority of the patients we see.