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Health Is Normal

When chiropractic was discovered in 1895, a lack of health would often bring the administration of harsh patent medicines containing alcohol, cocaine, mercury or arsenic. In the midst of this, a healer, experimenter and freethinker by the name of Daniel David Palmer in Davenport, Iowa asked a simple, yet profound question: 

“I desired to know why one person was ailing and his associate eating at the same table, working in the same shop was not. Why? What difference was there in the two persons that caused one to have pneumonia, catarrh, typhoid or rheumatism, while his partner, similarly situated, escaped? Why?” 

Great question. Palmer went on to discover that it’s smarter to focus on the person with the disease, than focus on the disease in the person. That’s still true today. We start with the assumption that good, vibrant health is normal. Our second assumption is that if you’re not experiencing optimal health, something must be interfering with your natural, inborn ability to self-heal and experience life to the fullest. Yet, our tendency is to look outside ourselves to some of the more common culprits: 

Bad luck. Accidents often fall into this category—being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Germs. Blaming a cold or the flu solely on germs overlooks one essential ingredient—being a hospitable host!

Genetics. The newest fall guy is having a “bad gene.” Yet, DNA expression is often a reaction to our environment. 

We consider a much more significant influence to your health: the integrity of your nervous system.

Your Nervous System

How Chiropractic works

Your nervous system, consisting of your brain, spinal cord and all your nerves, is the most vital system of your body. Its purpose is to coordinate and regulate all the other systems of your body as well as help you adapt to your environment. Just a few of the jobs it looks after, without a conscious thought from you are:

- Producing stomach acid after a meal

- Communicating with the immune system

- Increasing your pulse when climbing stairs

- Reducing your blood pressure when seated

- Learning to crawl, walk or ride a bicycle

-  Producing pain when touching a hot stove

- Perspiring to cool you when it’s hot

Your nervous system controls every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. Your DNA may determine your height or the colour of your eyes, but your nervous system controls and regulates how your body functions.

If your nervous system were to be impaired, interfered with or compromised so nerve messages to or from your brain were distorted, parts of your body may not work as intended. Stroke victims and those confined to wheelchairs are tragic and severe examples of this simple neurological fact.

That’s why the most significant parts of your nervous system are protected by bone. Your brain is protected by your skull and your spinal cord is covered by the moving bones of your spinal column.

Yet, even with this protection, interferences can happen. Especially along the spinal column. The most common (and overlooked) cause is stress.  

Effects of Stress

These days, stress is so common it’s often seen as “normal.” Since it’s unlikely that we can eliminate stress in our lives, improving our ability to withstand and accommodate it is important for our health. There’s good stress and bad stress.

Positive Stress Negative Stress
A workout at the gym Lack of adequate sleep
One-day water fast Daily diet of fast food
Learning the piano Paying the bills
International travel Airline seats
Trying new foods Getting food poisoning
A glass of wine Ten glasses of wine

Generally, stress falls into three categories:

Physical Stress – Repetitive motions (painting the ceiling), postural distortions (falling asleep with your neck twisted) and whiplash injuries from a car accident are physical stresses. So are slips and falls. Even a difficult birth or learning to walk.
Emotional Stress – Ever face an impossible deadline at work? Or grieved the loss of a loved one? Notice the posture of someone who is depressed. Anger, or a sense of hopelessness, are common forms of emotional stress that may affect the spine.
Chemical Stress – Today’s environment constantly assaults us with chemicals. Drugs, preservatives, tobacco, alcohol, pollen, pet dander, detergents, fabric softeners and a host of other substances that can affect our nervous system and muscle tone.
Stress produces a reaction in your body. Besides increased levels of stress hormones, the fight or flight response may produce spinal joint dysfunction. Think of it as your body’s circuit breaker.

Spinal Joint Dysfunction

If you suffer from spinal dysfunction, in which spinal bones are stuck, fixated and not moving properly, your ability to turn and bend can be compromised. When a spinal bone loses its normal relationship with the bone above or below it, it may set in motion a cascade of effects:

- Reduced joint motion

- Nerve irritation

- Inflammation

- Muscle spasm

- Disc bulging

- Joint degeneration

- Pain

- Numbness in the hands and feet

- Pins and needles sensations

As a short-term solution to overwhelming physical, chemical or emotional stress, spinal joint dysfunction is a brilliant coping strategy. Yet, when this stress response doesn’t resolve in a timely manner, or the stress is chronic, it may lead to other consequences.

Chiropractic is a natural healing art which detects the presence of these spinal joint dysfunctions and reduces them using chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractic Adjustments

After a thorough examination, a chiropractor adds energy to your spine at an opportune time and place to help your body “right” itself. Think of a chiropractic adjustment as a gentle “nudge” to help restore better movement to the spine.

While the word chiropractic comes from the Greek meaning “done by hand,” there are many ways to adjust the spine.

Whether done with actual hands, various types of handheld instruments, blocks that harness the effect of gravity or by other means, a chiropractic adjustment is distinguished by the chiropractor’s intention.

It surprises many to learn that the intent of chiropractic adjustments is NOT to treat a disease, reduce pain or any other symptom.
Granted, that’s a frequent result, but that’s not the purpose of chiropractic adjustments! Instead, the intent of chiropractic adjustments is to help revive your spine’s ability to function more normally.

Helping your spine and nervous system to function to the best of its ability is the century-old basis of chiropractic. Treating symptoms and curing various diseases is the practice of medicine. Both have their place.
What do chiropractic adjustments feel like? Usually quite pleasant. Often patients mention that not only do they move better, but that they feel more “connected” and report a pleasant sense of ease and well-being. That’s important.

How Long to Receive Chiropractic Care

Have you ever tried to lose weight? Then you know it takes more than giving up a single dessert or just one workout at the gym!

It’s the same with chiropractic adjustments. Simply put, each visit builds on the ones before. This consistency creates the momentum necessary to make lasting changes to your spine.

We noticed that by the time many people consult our clinic, they’ve had their spinal problems for some time. This makes it more difficult and time consuming to retrain and strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support the spine.

Healing, like all processes takes time. And everyone recovers at his or her own pace, based on their age, condition and countless lifestyle choices.

Some of the factors that can affect the recovery process include:

- Keeping your appointments

- Drinking more water

- Being at a healthy weight

- Eating healthier foods

- Appropriate exercise

- Getting sufficient sleep

- Being mindful of your posture

There are many others, so be sure to ask for specific steps that you can take to enhance the healing process. Chiropractic care is a partnership approach to better spinal health.

Finally, remember that how long you benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.