What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic has been around for a few thousand years, although most people aren’t aware of the fact that manipulation of the bones of the head, spine and extremities may have begun in ancient Egypt, and was also utilized in early Greece. The word chiropracticliterally translates as “healing hands,” from chiros(hands) and practic (the use of). The recent version of this art re-emerged during the twentieth century when a deaf man’s hearing was restored after spinal manipulation of his upper neck.
How does it work?
How could an adjustment (a manipulation of a bony portion of the body) possibly restore such a function as one’s hearing? Since nerves either originate or pass through the brain or spinal chord, these are two likely places to affect the nerves and the subtle electrical impulses they carry. The spine is made up of twenty-four movable segments, held together with muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. These segments, or “vertebrae,” allow for movement of the spine in a regulated manner without producing damage or injury to the sensitive nervous components that lie within them. If a vertebrae’s movement becomes either excessive or restricted it may affect the corresponding nerves.
Addressing the head & extremities
This principal applies even to the bones of the head, which were once thought to be immoveable once the skull had completed its development. However, we now know that in healthy individuals the skull may remain moveable throughout one’s entire life. The chiropractor therefore usually focuses on correcting the spinal region, but sometimes may also address the skull or extremities—other areas where similar nerve distortion can take place. Such manipulation may restore healthy bone movement and therefore aid normal nerve function.
What else may affect the nerves?
The question arises: “Are all nerve symptoms related to bone misalignment?” – Definitely not. Nerves can be affected by many factors, including nutritional deficiencies; poisoning from neurotoxins like pesticides and food additives; side effects of medications; physical trauma; bacterial, viral or yeast conditions; and even hypoglycemia and emotional stress. In these situations adjustments may offer only minimal relief, but when provided in conjunction with other appropriate therapies will support a better functioning nervous system.