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Natural Cures Blog Carnival on Chiropractic Care

Chris Stepian

Chris Stepian

Chiropractic’s Role in a Healthy Lifestyle

by Christopher M. Stepian

Have you ever heard how exercise was discovered as an effective “treatment” for diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or depression?  Not one specific drug or surgery could ever have such a widespread beneficial effect without the side-effects.  Chiropractors have historically claimed to be able to treat a wide range of problems from standard musculoskeletal issues like low back pain to other visceral (organ-based) diseases including headaches, infertility, asthma, and much more.   Let’s take a further look at why this might be true.

The medical community sees exercise as a treatment for disease, when in reality, it is a vital component to everyone’s level of well being.  The cellular, physiologic events that benefit the body because of exercise are limitless.  Here are a few.

1)  The Western diet, consisting of fatty plaques and inflammatory foods, causes “road blocks” in the body’s arteries and veins.  Exercise clears up the road block by increasing blood flow throughout the body, speeding up the traffic by removing the “accident.”

2) When we exercise or move, it is the brain’s duty to relay messages to the muscles that a particular action is desired.  Body exercise is also brain exercise because of this workload.

3)  The connective tissue of the body consisting of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones works by the “use it or lose it” principle.  Being self-limiting and smart, if we don’t do exercise, the human body will no longer waste energy on repairing and growing these tissues, causing decreases in size and strength.  Exercise uses these tissues, allowing for the maintenance of function long into old age.

These are three simple examples as to how exercise benefits us.  When the body is given everything it needs including the very necessary component of movement, life long, optimal health is the effect.

Exercise includes almost any movement that the body is capable of from walking to running to lifting weights to doing yoga.  It is all beneficial as long as you are moving.  People often first show up in the chiropractor’s office when they show some sign or symptom, most often some type of back or neck pain.  This occurs because the whole body is not moving optimally, or in other words, the body does not have the strength, endurance, mobility, or stability in order to operate as the human body is intended to.  Think about it; only in the past century have we sat all day working on a computer or watching television.  Throughout most of our history, we had to hunt, cook, clean, pick fruits and vegetables, prepare shelter, take care of family, play, dance. We moved almost all day!  Movement is required for health.

This is where the chiropractor has a role in health care.  The chiropractor is a movement specialist, most often of the spine.  He or she is able to see where the spine is not moving as it should and provide movement.  When the chiropractor has a true understanding of function, he or she is able to take it further, being able to treat the limbs, providing mobility through adjustments and specific muscle work, providing strength, endurance, and stability through rehabilitation and exercise.  With this understanding, it is easy to see how chiropractic can help issues related to muscles, bones, and the way the body moves.

The chiropractic treatment of musculoskeletal issues is where the general public’s understanding of chiropractic ends.  The problem is that there are so many theories attempting to make the connections between a chiropractic adjustment and a patient’s positive physiologic response such as the resolution of headaches, asthma, and ADHD or colic in children only to name a few.  But to date, there is no widely accepted theory as to why chiropractic is effective.  People do not trust what they do not understand.  Also, many people generally complain that once you go to a chiropractor, you have to keep going back.  For those who are movement deficient, lifelong chiropractic care would be beneficial.  As said before, movement needs to occur often, and when you don’t move, the chiropractor can help you move.

What science has found is that moving the body, particularly muscles and joints, provides sensory information carried by the nerves to the brain.  Here is where chiropractic is truly powerful.  When sufficient information is provided to the brain, the brain can function optimally.   You can see this mechanism of sensory input allowing the brain to function in a real life example.  Stand up on one leg and close your eyes.   What happens?  Now stand up on one leg with your eyes open.  Did you notice a difference?  Were you able to stand on your leg much more easily with your eyes open?  Your eyes are sensory organs that take in visual information about your environment.  When you use them, your eyes relay sensory information about where your body is, in space, allowing your brain to efficiently activate feet, leg, and core muscles to keep you upright when you exercise.  This is, in a sense, what a chiropractor is correcting when giving an adjustment.  The adjustment is a moving of a joint, allowing it to move as it is supposed to, providing sensory information to the brain for optimal function.

So how does the adjustment help in the treatment of headaches and other symptoms?  When people experience headaches, they often also have neck pain or immobility.  People with asthma often have thoracic spine immobility between their scapula or wing bones.  Children with ADHD or colic often have neck or pelvis immobility due to birth trauma.  These signs and symptoms occur because the same nerves that relay information from the brain and to the muscles also go to the organs involved in visceral (organ-based) diseases.  Understanding the interconnectedness of the muscles, nerves, and organs, it is easy to understand how incorrect movement correlates with the disease caused by sub-optimal function of organs.  By adjusting or moving an immobile joint that uses the same nerves as an organ, both movement and organ function become optimal.  The body’s standards for movement must be met if disease is to be prevented.

There are many reasons why people choose to use chiropractic care and many different services that chiropractors choose to offer.  People often ask me “why should I go see a chiropractor?”  I tell them: if you treat your body properly exercising on a daily basis in a healthy manner, then you may not need chiropractic care.  But realize that the movement of muscles and joints provided by exercise is a bodily requirement for well being that is needed on a daily basis.  If you aren’t moving optimally on a daily basis without pain, then chiropractic care may be helpful and provide you with the treatment or education needed in order for you to be self-sufficient and independent of all health care practitioners.  And symptoms, specifically in the form of pain, are signs that you are treating your body badly, proving that it needs something you are not providing it.  Every symptom has a cause.  Chiropractic care can be the step up needed to empower people towards a movement-filled, healthy lifestyle.

Christopher Matthew Stepian will graduate from New York Chiropractic College in Depew, NY, in November of 2009.

Spread the Word, Nature Heals!

Spread the Word, Nature Heals!

Natural Cures Blog Carnival Logo–Artwork Credit: Digital Trash

Now it is your turn! Submit your experiences of chiropractic care, how it has helped you, why you recommend it by email to kim.hartke at gmail.com or in the comments, below.

Here is our first carnival “barker,” Local Nourishment blog submits Chiropractic and Mobility issues.

This entry is from a blogger who says poison ivy is a pain in her husband’s neck, so she is submitting a natural cure for poison ivy.

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Comments

  1. Chris- I have been seeing a chiropractor for one month. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis in my right wrist, and since being treated by my chiropractor and having my wrist realigned numerous times, I am able to move it more than I have in years! I am amazed and humbled by the experience of realizing how much I don’t know about my body. Could it be the misaligned bones in my wrist that were exacerbating the arthritis? Who knows, but the pain decreases everyday. I also just got orthotics to see if they help with the RA in my knees! Thanks for the info on how chiropractic care helps the body! -robin

  2. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Robin–thanks for sharing this great news! Please also investigate the No Nightshades diet. I have several blog articles about it, you will find them if you put the word nightshades in the search box. Apparently, even rheumatoid arthritis can be helped by avoiding certain foods.

    Kimberly

  3. i did not thought that exercise does alot on the well being of the human body.

    Banxietyy07’s last blog post..Disclaimer,Privacy Policy & TOS

  4. Exercise is very important and its very good for the body. I have been experiencing Sciatica for about three months and the pain was worse at night, that means many sleepless nights. Consulted Dr. John Kostidis at Chiropractor Avon, IN. The treatment that he gave helped in controlling the pain and yes most important he suggested some exercises to do regularly, which helped to strengthen the back.

  5. Very well said Christopher! As a practicing chiropractor and a lifelong strength athlete I’m in complete agreement with your comments about movement and exercise.

    I was a pre-med student and a competitive weightlifter when in college. Afflicted by lower back pain which really limited by sports success I sought the advice of the med school faculty. Long story short it was the very poor probability of cure with surgical methods of my OWN back that led me to become a chiropractor.

    I share this story, and my subsequent successful outcome with chiropractic methods, with all my patients and on my website
    Wellness Care Chiropractic .

    Movement, specific exercises, and expecially the muscle-lengthening flexes of the Active Release Techniques have become central to my practice. I encourage you to consider them for your own future practice.

    Best of luck to you!
    .-= Dr.Grant Stowell, DC´s last blog ..Frisco Chiropractor Uses ART® For Sports Injury =-.

  6. Very nice article Chris. If you haven’t already you should check into Dr James Chestnut and the eat well, move well, think well philosophy. I think you would find it interesting.

    Dr. Travis Heckes D.C.
    ComfortChiropractic&Wellness

  7. I would say, everything in moderation. yes, exercise is good….. but too much exercise can actually damage the body and accelerate joint degeneration. Sports people for example and joggers are more likely to contract oseoarthritic wear and tear of the hip and knee joints with an increased likelihood of neding surgery for replacement. So…. evrything in moderation is a good maxim I think (in any area)
    .-= Sciati @ natural cures for sciatica´s last blog ..Back Pain Relief Through Varied Natural Treatments =-.

  8. Exercise is good,we can get a lots of benefits from here.When most people think of chiropractic techniques or care, what first comes to mind is perhaps the standard neck or back adjustment. However, in order to understand why chiropractic care is so useful, it is important to be aware that doctors of chiropractic have a lot more tricks up their sleeves other than just the famous back or neck adjustment.visit this site,you can get a lot of information from this site.

  9. The chiropractor is a movement specialist, most often of the spine..moving is part of exercise we can get a benefits in exercise or any kind of exercise.in exercise we produce a good healthy body.

  10. Very well written article on the benefits of exercise and chiropractic. Chris should have a long career in chiropractic if he continues to get the message out so eloquently.

  11. Learn to cook. By cooking your own food, you can leave processed foods behind, creating more healthful, less expensive and better-tasting food that requires less energy, water and land per calorie and reduces our carbon footprint. Cooking your own food is good for you and the planet!

  12. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Thanks, Seattle chiropractor! You must be a Weston A. Price member!

  13. Great post! I workout regularly to be healthy but I still see my chiropractor because I feel so much better when I do. I guess a balance of both would still be most effective. – Carol

  14. chiropractor31 says:

    At Fish Creek Chiropractic, your Calgary Chiropractor, we are proud to offer a wide selection of massages for Calgary residents. Please contact 403-271-7224 for your Fish Creek Chiropractic to book an appointment or to discuss any health issues you may have relating to Chiropractic or Massage Therapy in Calgary.
     

  15. As this one is exclusively looking one of the most extreme source to know about the incredible exceptionalness of the Chiropractic curing method. I really love this one so much because of this one really working like a booster to increase our flexibility and circulation. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Thanks for sharing. Chiropractic nowadays are a great help since more and more people feel pain, stress, get sick and going sometimes to the doctor needs a schedule or appointment.

  17. I recently visited one of the best seattle chiropractic offices. The Chiropractors and their assistants do an amazing job of keeping their staff and patients comfortable and treated well. It really was a good impression on everyone!

  18. Very well written article on the benefits of exercise and chiropractic. It just makes sense to make sure your foundation is strong and working properly.

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