Let’s be honest. Chiropractic confuses people.
I’ve been called a “back-cracker” a “back pain doctor” and even “a fake doctor” by less kind individuals. Most people just look at me quizzically when I say I’m a chiropractor. Or they tell me their dad had back surgery, or that their knee hurts - can I fix it quick?
I try not to let it bother me too much. It’s nothing personal. Chiropractors view health much differently than about 99.9% of the population which tends to confuse people. I remember when I started chiropractic college and discovered what chiropractic truly was - the confusing time as I shifted my view of health from an allopathic to a salutogenic mindset. Big confession - because I grew up thinking of health in an allopathic way, I sometimes can still get slipped up in my health mentality. So what is chiropractic? Guess what. I can teach you by the end of this blog post. It’s honestly that simple. Chiropractors of old defined chiropractic as…
“a philosophy, science, and art of things natural; a system of adjusting the segments of the spinal column by hand only, for the correction of the cause of dis-ease.”
Pretty simple right? Let’s break it down. A chiropractor adjusts the bones of the spine (aka vertebrae). We do it by hand. We do it to “correct the cause of dis-ease”.
Uh….what? What does “correct the cause of dis-ease” mean? Dis-ease (not to be confused with disease) is exactly what it sounds - it’s a body lacking “ease”. It’s a body that’s not quite working right. Sometimes when your body lacks ease you feel symptoms. You might feel tired, or have back pain, or have trouble digesting your lunch. You might be more susceptible to ear infections or the flu, feel anxiety or depression, or have migraines. Get this - you might not notice any symptoms at all!
Okay...so now we know what “dis-ease” is. But what causes it? In chiropractic, we know that the cause of dis-ease is subluxation. A subluxation is a spinal joint that has misaligned and put pressure on nerves. When pressure is put on nerves, they can’t work correctly and the body can’t function properly. In a state of subluxation, the brain can’t communicate effectively with the body. Without proper communication within the body, the body isn’t “at ease” with itself and its surroundings.
So a chiropractor is really an expert at two things. The first is finding subluxation. We find joints in the spine that are misaligned and putting pressure on nerves. The second job is to correct those misalignments - what we call an “adjustment”. When subluxations are corrected, the body can be “at ease” and function properly.
This is pretty simple, but I’ll admit...it’s a different way to view health, right? It’s different to think of health coming from within the body versus from outside. This mindset takes practice, but the more you master it the healthier choices you’ll make. Congrats - now you know what chiropractic is! Do me a favor and go tell all the people :) Hopefully at my next dinner party someone will say “Guess what...I was checked for subluxation yesterday!” instead of “Hey...wanna go ahead and crack my neck?” Haha. I can only hope...