There is a time and place for everything in the healthcare space.
- A time for surgery
- A time for medication
- A time for natural supplements
- A time for physiotherapy
- A time for chiropractic
Dr. Virgil Strang said that in the future the best doctor will not be a medical physician or a chiropractor or a specialist (but certainly not an insurance company or a government agency).
He said that the best doctor in the future would be a philosopher: i.e., someone who does not prescribe any treatment at all, but instead diagnoses the effects and also the underlying cause of your condition in order to refer you to the most appropriate healthcare practitioner or team of practitioners.
In other words, it takes the doctor’s own ego out of the equation!
It is my belief that all doctors, specialists, and healthcare practitioners are sincere in their desire to help their patients be well. Although we may fight bitterly behind closed doors (and sometimes publicly) about what appropriate treatment is or is NOT, I believe that we are overall united in a desire to assist humanity.
So you may be wondering, “Where does chiropractic fit in the healthcare space? How can it help me? How is it different from physiotherapy or massage or osteopathy?”
Well, here are my thoughts for your consideration.
How is chiropractic different from physiotherapy?
The line has really gotten blurred over the years, and different people WILL have different opinions. Let me offer mine, which is from a historical perspective.
The purpose of physiotherapy is to strengthen and rehabilitate the body so that it can function the way that it is supposed to. Typically, physiotherapy focuses on muscles and ligaments but also works on retraining the brain and nerve system in some instances also (e.g., vestibular physiotherapist).
Traditionally, physiotherapists would prescribe exercises and before certain mobilisations or stretches through the body in order to improve its function.
And guess what? These approaches often work great! When you suffer an injury but your body is structurally intact, that is when physiotherapy works best!
Now, let me have you consider the possibility that you are doing EXACTLY what your physiotherapist is having you do BUT you aren’t getting the results you might expect. Why is that?
Often, it is because there is something wrong structurally! That is, the alignment or motion through the joints of the body is not working properly. As a result, the muscles are not able to work properly either.
This is where chiropractic fits into the equation. It is when you are doing all the right exercise, but your body just can’t quite seem to resolve the underlying problem on its own.
The purpose of chiropractic is to restore function through the joints of the spine so that the master control system of the body - the brain, spinal cord, and nerves - are capable of transmitting messages, which allows the body to function the way that it is supposed to. Typically, chiropractors use a precise type of spinal manipulation in order to correct the alignment of the points in the spine.
While chiropractic may be similar to osteopathy, the general difference has to do with the application of the force.
Generally speaking (and from a historical perspective), osteopathy was concerned with restoring blood flow through the body and improving global movement using long-lever manipulation.
Alternatively, chiropractic was concerned with restoring nerve function in the body and improving segmental movement using short-level manipulation, a method called an “adjustment.”
Especially here in Australia, the two professions have mixed over the years with lesser distinction. Nevertheless, I hope you may appreciate the difference with chiropractic especially that its greatest value is in helping people when the common forms of medicine or physiotherapy are unfortunately NOT working the way that you would normally expect.
Then, if chiropractic adjustments are able to help restore normal motion and function in the body, we would hope that those other treatments including physiotherapy should work even better the way that they are designed.
So not only are chiropractic and physiotherapy different, but they are NOT actually substituted for each other! And ideally, they should be able to work together to help people achieve the best possible results when dealing with neuromuscular health issues.
How can chiropractic improve my health?
Chiropractic does not treat the effects of pain or disease. Chiropractic is focused on restoring normal body function with emphasis on the neuromuscular system.
Because the nerve system ultimately controls all body function and healing, chiropractic adjustments may have the potential to help your body work the way that it is designed! When that happens, people may be able to notice all kinds of health improvements that go well beyond pain.
Nevertheless, the most common improvements that people experience are of a neuromuscular nature:
- Shoulder pain and tension
- Low back pain and sciatica
- Neuralgia or “pinched nerve” type sensations
- Vestibular disorders including vertigo and dizziness
- TMJ and facial disorders
- Chronic pain disorders including fibromyalgia
Because it is ultimately your own body that does the healing, it is not the chiropractor who actually treats any of these conditions directly. Still, when the body is clear and able to function it is designed, you may have a much greater probability to experience relief and enjoy a greater quality of life.
How is upper cervical chiropractic beneficial in improving your healthcare?
In chiropractic, there are actually over 40 different techniques. Why? Because there are no absolute things that solve every problem.
It’s the same reason there are so many different medications on the market. People need different things at different times.
One of the most powerful and important divisions of chiropractic is known as “upper cervical chiropractic.” The focus of upper cervical chiropractic is on the two bones in the top of your neck at the base of your skull - the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2) - which can have a profound effect on the health and function of your entire body.
Because these vertebrae protect and connect to your brainstem, which controls and coordinates every vital life function in your body, a misalignment in this area of your body may have the potential to cause any number of problems!
An upper cervical chiropractic doctor has completed post-doctorate certification in a specific technique. There are 6 distinct techniques used by upper cervical chiropractors to adjust the atlas and axis.
One of the most important methods is known as the “Blair technique,” which recognises the individual differences in the shape of the bones in every single human being. Because no two people are exactly alike on the outside or the inside, the Blair technique is a customised approach that uses an individualised adjustment in order to achieve the greatest potential for positive change.
Unlike forms of general spinal manipulation, there is no twisting, popping, or cracking the neck with a Blair upper cervical adjustment.
The procedure begins with a detailed history and analysis including neurological and muscular diagnosis plus a 3D x-ray exam that helps identify the exact location, direction, and degree of any misalignment in your neck (NB: there are over 500,000 combinations that the upper 4 vertebrae in your neck can misalign)!
Once a Blair chiropractic doctor is able to determine the combination (or combinations) that are most likely, they are able to prescribe a course of care for the ultimate purposes of helping restore the normal function of your neck over a period of time with the least amount of intervention necessary for the greatest long term stability and outcomes.
How can upper cervical chiropractic care help you?
If you would like more information about Blair upper cervical chiropractic care, please check out our website, YouTube, and other social media pages for a wide variety of videos and topics.
If you would like more specific information to find out if upper cervical care may be right for you, we would like to hear from you. Our principal chiropractor, Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, offers a complementary 15-minute over-the-phone consultation to answer any questions you may have. Dr. Hannah is an advanced certified instructor with the Blair upper cervical chiropractic society.
He is an international lecturer, published author, and recognised leader in the field of atlas chiropractic healthcare.
Our practice, Atlas Health, is the premier centre for Blair upper cervical chiropractic in Australia. Our mission is to help people with chronic health challenges - often people who have been everywhere else but “all my tests keep saying things are normal” - find relief and long-term solutions so that they can enjoy the quality of life that they desire more.
Our office is located in North Lakes (north Brisbane).
If you would like to schedule a consultation, please click the Contact Us link at the top of this page, or call us direct at 07 3188 9329.
It is our privilege to assist you.
Atlas Health Australia - “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”
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