You may have noticed that we chiropractors ask our patients a lot of questions. Common questions you may hear include “How are you sleeping?”, “How’s your digestive function?”, or “How are your energy levels?” You may be wondering – how can chiropractic help with so many different conditions? Read below to find out how.
Chiropractors are primarily focused on the nervous system – the body’s main communication system. When you want to pick up a cup of coffee, for example, your brain sends signals down nerves telling your muscles to contract to grasp your mug. Likewise, when you’re hungry your digestive system sends signals via nerves to your brain telling you “I should eat something!”. In this way, your nervous system is responsible for complete body coordination. A simple metaphor for this could be a marching band. The members of the band are your body’s cells – your muscle cells, heart cells, fat cells, etc. The conductor (your brain) conveys messages to the band members about when to play, how loudly to play, how quickly to move their feet. How does this communication take place? The conductor waves a baton (your nervous system) so that the band plays and moves in perfect harmony.
What would happen if the conductor forgot her baton? Then she would have no way to communicate with the band. The band might be able to play in synchrony for a while, but eventually chaos would ensue. The flutes would be playing faster than the clarinets, the tubas would play too loud, the trumpets would march faster than the trombones. Soon the band would completely fall apart.
The same thing can happen with your body – this is what chiropractors would call a subluxation. When bones in your spine shift out of alignment, they can compromise your nervous system. This can then cause miscommunication between your brain and your body’s cells. Much like the uncoordinated marching band, your body can begin to run out of synchrony – your thyroid may run on overdrive, your metabolism may slow down, your liver may not sufficiently detoxify, you might experience pain.
These symptoms are what chiropractors call secondary conditions – conditions that result from subluxation. Since your nervous system can be impeded at any level of the spine and because any portion of the nervous system could be affected, these secondary conditions can vary widely in their presentation. This is why chiropractic care can help in such a wide variety of situations – and also why the chiropractor may ask so many questions about how your body functions. Chiropractic care really is good for every body – no matter what an individual’s symptoms may be.