What do you think of “Chiropractors”
As a bit of a fun exercise, I’d like to challenge you to think of all the TV shows and movies that you’ve seen in your life. I’m sure that you could list a dozen shows with solicitors, medical doctors, and maybe even dentists … but how many times do you remember a chiropractor?
I know of only 3 TV shows and only 2 Hollywood movies where a chiropractor is portrayed. … I’ll put the obvious one out there, Two and a Half Men, which is as an absolutely dreadful representation of chiropractors. So what are the other ones?
Unfortunately, with one exception (hint: it’s a Tim Robbins movie), chiropractors are typically portrayed poorly in popular media. As a result, the three most common terms that come to people’s minds are “back pain,” “neck pain” or “cracking.”
In my opinion, the Australia chiropractic profession really hasn’t done as much as it needs to let people know what it has to offer the world. Yes, it has something to do with the spine … but why does the spine matter? And are all chiropractors the same?
The answers to these questions are very important! And in my experience, most people don’t know what the actual answer is!
If they did, I personally believe that the media would take a much fonder view of chiropractic in Australia and what they have to offer the world!
So what is chiropractic all about then, REALLY?
Are Australia chiropractors all the same?
Before answering that question, let me ask another one (or two): Are all chiropractors the same? … Or are there generalists and specialists?
Years ago, if you needed someone’s professional services, you would probably ask your friends of the family first if they had any good recommendations. If not, then you would probably go to the phone directory and pick an ad based on feel: i.e., does the ad look nice, and does this look like a reputable place?
The modern equivalent is if you Google “chiropractor north lakes” or “chiropractor near me” or “neck specialist Brisbane” or something like that. Then you go to the webpage (as you are doing right now!), read a few quick blurbs to get a vibe, and if so, make an appointment.
My point is that when it comes to something as important as your health, you will probably do some research FIRST before committing to anything. It has to make sense and it has to feel right.
The one hiccup with picking a north lakes chiropractic centre from a random directory is that you may not know exactly what you’re getting. For example, let’s say that you Google “restaurant near me.” You’ll get everything from pizza, Thai, McDonald’s, Indian, etc. Of course, you would know that there are different types of restaurants, and so you would narrow your search based on the type of food that you want.
Similarly when it comes to something like “chiropractic,” there are actually dozens of different types of chiropractors!
The difference is that you probably don’t know this!
In medicine, it is obvious. There are medical doctors who specialise in the heart, the lungs, in surgery, in obstetrics, in hormones, in pediatrics, in women’s health, etc. And they are formally recognised for it. They get to call themselves spiffy things like a “cardiologist” or an “orthopaedist.”
In chiropractic, the same thing is true. However, in Australia, there is no actual word for a chiropractor to describe any additional qualifications or special interests. Even the word “specialist” is restricted. Now, I do get it … to a point. It prevents people from claiming to have a specialty because they’ve taken one extra course on some post-doctorate topic.
On the other hand, those practitioners who have genuine advanced knowledge can would, therefore, be able to assist very specific segments of the population, their expertise remains relatively unknown to the general population … like not being able to advertise the type of food that you make in your restaurant.
Thus, from doing a simple Google search for “chiropractors north lakes” or something like that, everyone looks the same. As a result, the myths and generalisations persist that "All chiropractors do is crack the neck or the back for neck and back pain, but that you can get the same thing from a physiotherapist instead.”
It’s kind of a lengthy introduction, so my apologies for that. What I hoped to do was simply set the stage to give you the right context to understand what I will discuss next:
- That there are many different types of chiropractors
- That you know what to look for to find the right professional for you
- That chiropractic and physiotherapy are not the same things, and
- That chiropractic is something that goes beyond the treatment of sickness or disease.
So, let’s get into it.
Do Physiotherapists and Chiropractors do the Same Thing?
I learned a few years ago that the physiotherapy professional was actually founded in Brisbane! The idea was that through physical movement and rehabilitation of the muscles and joints of the body that people could function better and experience less pain.
In some ways, chiropractic is similar … and its others, it is markedly different!
Chiropractic was founded in the USA in 1895 after a deaf man had his hearing restored! The focus, thus, is not on the muscles but on the brain, spinal cord, and nerves - i.,e., the central nervous system - in its ability to control and coordinate all the functions of the body.
Consider how long you could survive with our food, water, or air. Even without a heart, you could still survive a few seconds. But if the brain supply to the rest of the body is severed, you would not be able to survive even one second.
THAT is the system that chiropractic works with, and that is the reason the emphasis is on the spine. The concept is that a type of misalignment known as a subluxation - ie., an injury that doesn’t break or dislocate, but gets entrapped at just the wrong angle that your body cannot fix the problem on its own - can disrupt the normal function of the nervous system. Even a few millimetres, if it disrupted the function of your body by 1% can cause problems.
Not always all at once, mind you. But if you had 1% unpaid interest COMPOUNDED over a few years or even decades, that small amount can start to make a big difference.
So in chiropractic, the focus is on correcting these types of misalignments to allow your nervous system to work the way that it is supposed to.
Many times when people are looking for a north lakes chiropractic centre, they are doing so because they have a certain problem that they want to treat: headaches, migraines, neck pain, dizziness, vertigo, low back pain, sciatica, etc.
But unlike physiotherapy and other treatments out there, chiropractic is not concerned with just treating the symptoms. Chiropractic is concerned with the cause of the symptoms in the first place. And if the symptoms are the result of a misalignment in the spine that has caused a gradual breakdown in the body’s function leading to pain, we want to be able to address THAT cause for the ultimate purpose of allowing your own body to be able to treat itself.
In this way, chiropractic isn’t a treatment for any disease or condition, but - like a good diet and exercise - it is an approach to allowing you to be as neurological as healthy as you can be.
What are the differences among chiropractic north lakes?
So now that you know what a chiropractor is, now what are the differences among them?
- There are many chiropractors Australia who use manual manipulation where they “crack the spine into place.” Others take a different approach by using non-cracking methods.
- Some use instruments to adjust, including wedges or mechanical levers in the tables. Others use hands only.
- Some work with special populations like athletes, pediatrics, or rehab.
One point that you have the right to be confused about is that when it comes to chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteopathy, and acupuncture, there are many practitioners who mix or blend various treatment modalities. For example, you may be a combination of different therapies like physiotherapy and some osteopathy … but from a chiropractor!
So you have the right to be confused! And again, unless you’ve really done your research, you may not know what you’re getting just from Googling “chiropractors north lakes.”
We can’t speak for all chiropractors Australia, but what we can say is that our north lakes chiropractic clinic uses only 100% chiropractic methods. In other words, our focus is 100% on the health and function of your nervous system.
We personally believe that “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” So if it is physiotherapy that you need, the best person to work with is a physiotherapist. If it is a massage that you need, the best person to work with is a massage therapist.
But if there is something affecting the function of your nervous system - and if “that something” is a misaligned vertebra in your neck - then it is chiropractic that you need. And that is what we want to make sure we can offer you the best.
What is an Atlas Chiropractor?
So on the topic of special interests and special divisions of chiropractic practice, you may be curious to know what an Atlas chiropractor is.
An Atlas chiropractor is one whose focus is on the alignment of the two bones in your upper neck - the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2). Not to dismiss the importance of the entire spine, but these two vertebrae have a unique relationship with your brainstem in a way that can affect the function of your entire brain and body. Unlike the lower bones in your spine that have interlocking joints that limit the amount of movement they can have, the atlas and axis are capable of 360 potential degrees of movement.
It has been calculated that there are 270 possible combinations that just the top two bones in the neck can misalign. And if you consider the angulations of the top 4 vertebrae in your neck, there are over 500,000 possible combinations!
For these reasons, the upper neck cannot be treated just as an extension of the rest of the spine. The neck is something completely different! And it can manifest as so many different types of conditions. Just some of the conditions that are associated with problems in the neck include the following:
- Headaches, migraines, neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, and even sciatica
- Dizziness, vertigo, neuralgia, facial and TMJ problems
- Concussions, whiplash, and even certain types of neurological conditions including subtypes of multiple sclerosis
At present, we are the only north lakes chiropractic centre that focuses exclusively on this method of chiropractic. It is unfortunate that there are do few Australian chiropractors who offer this specific type of “upper cervical” or “atlas specific” work despite its supreme importance of the health and function of the entire body.
We firmly believe that unless the alignment of the upper neck is correct, everything else will never be as well as it could be.
Who is Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, North Lakes Chiropractor?
Dr. Jeffrey Hannah is an Australian chiropractor in north lakes providing upper cervical specific care.
Originally from Canada/USA, Dr. Jeff has been part of the North Lakes community for the past 10+ years (and remembers it from when the Westfield Shopping Centre was still new!). He is a second-generation chiropractor.
Literally the fortnight before moving to Australia, Dr. Jeff was involved with the care of a young man whose remarkable health transformation prompted him to change his entire direction and dive head-first into the world of upper cervical chiropractic care.
(He wrote about it in his first published book, The Doctors Who Give no Medicine (2012),
Dr. Jeff first studied the Atlas Orthogonal (AO) technique and was a member of the atlas orthogonal chiropractors directory. In 2012, he was introduced the Blair Atlas Technique, and over the next year made the gradual transition. “I found to be more accurate and versatile than AO . It’s because it’s not always the atlas. It’s the most important one! But if the actual problem is at the axis (C2) or lower, I needed something that could address that too.
Dr. Jeff would go on to earn advanced certification in the Blair technique, and he is still the only advanced certified Blair atlas chiropractor in Australia. He currently teaching this atlas chiro system for other doctors in Australia and is one of the only chiropractors in Australia who has studied more than more atlas chiropractic systems. (He has also studied the QSM3, Knee Chest, NUCCA and Toggle Recoil work).
Dr. Jeff hopes to lead a movement to help revive upper cervical chiropractic so that this important yet relatively unknown form of healthcare can be available in communities around Australia.
Can we Help You?
I hope this article has been informative for you: providing you a bit of background on what chiropractic is - what it is not - and how this different approach to healthcare called “Atlas chiropractic” may be able to help improve your quality of life no matter what condition you experience.
Indeed, many of our clients have been to “all the specialists, but no one can figure out what’s going on!” We don’t promise any cures or guarantees, only that we will do our best to be able to help. And if there is something we can do in a different way that you have not been explored - even if you think you’ve done and tried everything else already - we would be happy to assist.
Would you like to have a chat with Dr. Jeff to discuss your particular condition and if he believes that we may be able to help you? If so, you can send us an email or give us a call at 07 3188 9329, and we can schedule a 15-minute complimentary phone conversation.
Our north lakes chiropractic office is positioned to serve the Brisbane and Sunshine Coast communities. If you are outside the Brisbane chiropractic area, please feel free to ask us if there is an upper cervical doctor in your area that we can refer you to.