What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a manual therapy that relies on a holistic approach to health-care, and supports the body’s own ability to self-regulate and heal. It aims at preventing illnesses and improving overall health and function. In essence, chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, and its optimal functioning, by removing interferences (that chiropractors call “subluxations”) caused by stressors. Indeed, our bodies sometimes have to recover from falls or occasional sleepless nights, but many stressors are part of our daily life without us noticing them. Bad posture, poor diet or smoking are also harmful habits that the body has to overcome. Chiropractors consider these physical, chemical and emotional stressors as potential disruptors, leading the body to offset their noxiousness at the expense of the nervous system.
In their practice, chiropractors pay special attention to the spine as it wraps and protects the spinal cord, which is actually an extension of the brain into our bodies. They more precisely detect and correct subluxations in the spine and may do so using a variety of techniques. As they lose their correct biomechanics, subluxated vertebrae most often cause neurological interference. Although each technique addresses them differently, they all aim at restoring both movement and function.
The reason why focusing on the nervous system is so important is simply because it is the nervous system that governs and controls any other system in the body. It is our nervous system that takes care of our heartbeat, our breath, our digestion, the balance of our hormones and even our mood. Let your nervous system express itself the way it needs it and you will have the chance to meet the best version of yourself!
Chiropractic care is designed for anyone, from infants to seniors, who wishes to take care of their health in a natural way. Everyone should keep their nervous system free from interferences and operating at an optimum level. When the nervous system is free of interference, the body can heal and thrive.
Chiropractic incorporates many different techniques encompassing a vast range of therapeutic approaches with different focuses. I will adapt the approach I use to suit the person’s needs and objectives in the best possible way. The visit may incorporate joint or bone adjustment and/or manipulation, soft-tissue work, organ mobilization, nutritional advice, exercise advice, lifestyle and psychosocial advice.
The most common technique among chiropractors consists of specific “high velocity low amplitude” manipulations or “thrusts” delivered to hypo-mobile articulations with the purpose of restoring motion through specific and carefully calculated vectors. This is done to stimulate sensory neurons (that make us feel things) to send signals to the brain, and like so restore optimal nerve transmission throughout the nervous system. As this technique induces motion in an articulation you could expect the joint to cavitate (make a “click” sound) followed by an immediate sensation of decompression and relief.
During the adjustment, the chiropractor may perform a manual thrust to correct the biomechanics of the subluxated joint. There may be a click/crack/pop sound, however it is not the sound of a bone moving out of place or breaking. Such sound is called a cavitation, and is the result of gas releasing from the synovial fluid within the joint capsule due to a rapid pressure change. Despite urban myths, the cavitation phenomenon is not only harmless, but beneficial when applied to a truly subluxated joint, as it encourages joint lubrication, motion, cartilage nutrition, and appropriate neurological input.