Health is a spontaneous occurrence when the conditions are right. As chiropractors it is our job to teach our patients what these conditions are…not just treat their back pain. Sure, chiropractors do a great job of treating back pain…In fact, Consumer Reports ranks chiropractic #1 for back pain treatment.
Personally, if all I did was treat back pain or just musculoskeletal problems, life as a chiropractor would be boring. I learned early in my career that the chiropractors that seemed to have the largest most successful practices were the ones that did more than treat back pain…they were trusted health resources.
After-all, according to original chiropractic doctrine, chiropractic, which means "done by hand", is first and foremost a philosophy. The Philosophy of Things Natural. Chiropractic is based on the premise that what's natural is perfect. You cannot improve upon nature. You can either work with it…or against it. Working with it steers us in the direction of health. Working against it steers us in the direction of illness.
The body does not need outside intervention to be healthy…it is it's natural state. What we don't need are things that interfere with with our natural state. Things like processed foods, high fat diets, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pollution, sedentary lifestyles, stress, lack of rest, and Vertebral Subluxation.
Vertebral Subluxation is a condition that results from physical, chemical, or mental stresses that the body is unable to adapt to, resulting in sickness and dis-ease…and yes back and neck pain. It's what chiropractors treat…we coined the term.
The nervous system is the first organ to develop in utero. Then the nervous system controls the development of the rest of the body…and continues to control all bodily functions from birth to death.
The nervous system is so important that it is the only organ in the body to be completely encased by bone to protect it. The vertebrae is cut-up into 24 move-able segments called vertebrae. When the bones are in alignment (their natural state) they protect the nerves as they branch off the spinal cord and travel to the rest of the body. Every cell, tissue, gland and organ in the body has a nerve connected to it directly or indirectly (hormones and blood cells) controlling their function.
When you suffer a vertebral subluxation, which can actually occur during the birth process (how many of us were born?) it can interfere with your natural state of health and result in symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, digestive problems, irregular heart beat…it just depends where the nerves are going that are being interfered with. Sometime there are no symptoms at all. Which is why it makes sense to get checked about once a month…with or without symptoms.
Chiropractors locate, identify, and correct subluxations…it's what we do.
We also teach our patients about how to prevent what we treat. What I call "creating the conditions of health". Here are the components of a healthy chiropractic lifestyle:
1. Proper nutrition with an emphasis on natural foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables.
2. Plenty of rest, preferably with a cervical pillow.
3. Aerobic and strength training (lots of core exercises).
4. Stress Management such as visualization/meditation.
5. Regular chiropractic adjustments and check-ups.
6. Lots of pure H20 (1/2 your body-weight in ounces per day).
7. No smoking, drugs, or excessive alcohol.
A chiropractor should be more than just a back pain doctor…they should be a health resource. They should have a rolodex of information they can share with their patients to help steer them in the direction of health. This blog is part of my rolodex. Honestly, I can't imagine what it must be like to be only a pain doctor. Pain is a symptom not the actual problem. And so are just about all health problems.
Adjust your lifestyle choices and create the conditions of health…and watch your symptoms dissapear…because heath is your natural state.
NOTE: I know there is a limit to how much we can recover from certain ailments, no matter how perfect an environment we create for healing. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to reach our health potential. Your chiropractor can help.
Dr. Eben Davis is founder and clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in downtown San Francisco. To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors call 415-392-2225.