Hello Hilltop Family!
Chiropractic has always defied the “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” mentality, often producing intangible results that it is referred to as quackery or pseudoscience by those who do not understand it fully. But it is far from magic…
Chiropractic: The Mind-Body Connection
Since its inception, chiropractic has been “a system of adjusting the segments of the spinal column by hand for the correction of the cause of disease,” and makes use of a set of principles that guide doctors to help their patients: The 33 Principles of Chiropractic. The major premise is that there is a Universal Intelligence in all matter that continually gives to it all its properties/characteristics and actions/functions, thus maintaining its existence (keeping it alive) and that the expression of this intelligence through matter is the Chiropractic meaning of life. Again, this is not theology or religion. Chiropractic is a health profession that stresses the connection between mind and body (between spiritual and physical), following the mindset of vitalism.
Chiropractors who follow this vitalistic mindset and provide wellness chiropractic care (as opposed to pain relief chiropractic care only, which follows along the lines of mechanistic thinking) tend to look at the patient as a whole person, as something greater than the sum of its organ-components. This is called holism or holistic healthcare. We recognize that the individual is not just a set of static signs and symptoms that need to be removed at all costs but a dynamic life whose health status is ever changing as a result of the personally unique combination of biological (physical), psychological (spiritual), and social factors (physical and spiritual) that produce either health or disease depending on the type, amount, and duration. Meaning we look at the person’s whole lifestyle, at their whole life since birth (even before), and the environment in which they and their ancestors live(d), both from a physical and spiritual standpoint. Doing this in addition to analyzing family and personal history, observational signs of disease, and subjective symptoms the patient has of course. Because when focus is placed only on the tangibles (the signs and symptoms), we could miss where they came from exactly and why they are happening to begin with or the causes of them. Hence, why there are people out there who seek medical counsel and come back with no diagnosis and nothing “wrong” with them that a medical doctor can find even though they have symptoms.
Because of this, those chiropractors who wish to go beyond pain relief with their guidance must have knowledge in areas of anatomy, biology, biomechanics, immunology, physiology, pathology, radiology, pharmacology, psychology, philosophy, public health, and surgery plus more (as doctors, chiropractors do have training in all these subjects in school just like medical doctor do but many don’t use this medical training to their fullest extent). This gives the doctor the knowledge to view the person as a whole to begin with instead of with the narrowed focus that comes with pain and symptom relief only. To me, pain relief (on both the patient and doctor end) is simple healthcare. It takes much more background knowledge, analysis, and work to approach health holistically. Which may be why many people only want and why many health practitioners only provide that symptom relief kind of care: it’s quick and easy. But at what cost?
The holistic way of thinking recognizes that the body cannot be healthy in one part and ill or diseased in another and those who practice this seek to connect the dots between the malfunctioning parts and the whole person. Chiropractors specifically look at how the skeletal architecture or structure of the human frame relates to the functioning of the body, understanding their intimate connection as the spine protects the nervous system, which is the system that regulates all functions of the body in order to maintain homeostasis (a relatively constant internal state or a state of equilibrium/balance within the body). We look for the causes instead of at the effects of poor health, focusing more on the functioning status of the body rather than the symptoms because of the understanding that any interference in the nervous system diminishes the flow of wellness energies (both physical and spiritual) and that sometimes, this interference does not cause symptoms and changes in quality of life on the outside.
In order to assist the patient in removing this interference, holistic chiropractors are committed to the conservative, natural approach of health care, excluding the practice of drugs (this includes over the counter medications like Ibuprofen) and surgery. At the very least, using these medical interventions as last resorts. This is because we approach health from the inside out, tapping into our already present, internal healer known as Innate Intelligence (which is the limited, concentrated part of Universal Intelligence in a living being). The function of this Intelligence is to adapt some of the forces and matter of the universe in a constructive manner, meaning Innate Intelligence takes what is going on outside of you (the physical, emotional, and chemical stress of your life) and helps you to be able to live in that environment as optimally as possible. It keeps you alive, heals you, and keeps you well. As long as this ability is not overwhelmed by the stresses of life, the conservative treatments and proactive self-care measures holistic practitioners recommend are enough to support Innate Intelligence and keep the body well.
In light and love,