What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is based on a vitalistic philosophy, which recognizes simply, that life, and therefore health, is an expression of an inner wisdom--an innate intelligence animating every cell within our genetic design.  Our own inner intelligence is far superior to any we can try to substitute from the outside.

Vertical Subluxaction and Nerve ChartChiropractors work with the spine, not necessarily because it is the source of neck and back pain, but because it houses and protects the central nervous system--that system which monitors, controls and regulates all body functions, allowing the body to adapt to its environment, both internal and external.  Biologists call this dynamic process, "homeostasis".  This ability to adapt remains central to the body's ability to maintain its health and sustain life. 

Every vital life sustaining process, whether it is digesting our dinner or responding to potential infection, depends on the integrity of this communication network between the brain and the body.

Since the majority of visits to a chiropractor are for the care of back and neck pain, most people only think of chiropractors as back doctors.  Furthermore, since most back and neck pain is caused by the presence of acute or chronic vertebral subluxations (the small spinal misalignments that a chiropractor corrects), chiropractic care has developed an enviable track record in the care of these patients.  The scientific literature is replete with references to chiropractic's superiority in treating patients with back pain--and with unequaled patient satisfaction.  This public perception of chiropractors as primarily back doctors, continues to dictate utilization trends (by healthcare consumers) and even insurance coverage for chiropractic care.

Unfortunately, the results of pigeon-holing chiropractic and subsequent under-utilization of care is tragic.  The majority of spinal subluxations are painless and can persist for many years without symptoms, while silently undermining the body's function and health in significant ways.  Since the central nervous system is so vital, the body has wisely built in a system of protection.  Around the brain, we have the skull, or cranial vault, and around the spinal cord is a system of protection for the spine -- 24 moveable segments which have the dual role of protecting the central nervous system and providing the axis for the entire musculo-skeletal system.  The very thing that is designed to protect the spinal cord can actually interfere with it, due to misalignment of the spine or "vertebral subluxation".

All subluxations are caused by stress that overwhelms the body's resilience and coping ability.  Physical stress can occur as the result of a car accident or slipping on an icy sidewalk, improper posture, occupational trauma or birth itself.  Emotional stress can be the result of significant emotional trauma or the inability to adapt to a stressful situation.  Chemical trauma can result from the use of prescription or illicit drugs, inadequate nutrition, or environmental toxins.  By interfering with the body's ability to self-regulate, adapt and heal.

Health, then, is truly an inside-out phenomenon.  Most therapeutic interventions are designed to speed up or slow down function.  The chiropractic goal is to normalize functions.  By correcting vertebral subluxations, the chiropractor removes a significant impediment to nature's inborn ability to heal.