Chiropractic philosophy begins with the principle that the human organism has an innate power to maintain its own health. The art of chiropractic focuses on adjustments to correct spinal malfunctions, called subluxations, in order to remove interference to the spinal cord and the nerves that exit between the bones of the spine. Science has found that the nerve system controls all other organs and tissues of the body, so a nerve system functioning at its best facilitates the body’s ability to cope with disability and disease. Because of its potential to enable patients to live healthier, more fulfilling lives, chiropractic has been called “The Big Idea.”
The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic, stressing the patient’s overall well being. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment and heredity. Chiropractic focuses on maintaining optimal health naturally so that the body is better able to resist disease, rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease. Chiropractors use natural, drugless, non-surgical health care and rely on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities.
Chiropractic is whole-body health care with the vision to see the human body as much more than the sum of its parts. Chiropractors see their patients as more than people coming to their office with a set of symptoms. Their vision encompasses the entire individual in all of his or her unique complexity, and they work in partnership with their patients to ensure optimal health and wellness in all facets of their lives.
This unique health care approach views the body as having an innate, natural ability to adapt to changes in its internal and external environments and maintain itself in a state of health. Traditional medicine and its allied health fields typically views the body from a more mechanistic standpoint — as a system of parts that can be altered through outside interventions to produce certain results. Both approaches have important roles to play, but they are fundamentally different.
Chiropractors focus on the nerve system (the brain and spinal cord) which manages the body’s vast chemical interactions to help ensure proper function. The brain sends messages through the spinal cord across a huge network of spinal nerves to deliver information to every cell, organ and system of the body. This information system coordinates the myriad chemical reactions that dictate how well you sleep, how food is digested, your ability to concentrate, physical coordination, the capabilities of the immune system and all aspects of body function.
When bones of the spine become misaligned or move out of their normal position, they can distort the flow of information from the brain to the body. Without the proper information from the nerve system, the body cannot function to its full potential. That’s why chiropractors gently correct these misalignments (or vertebral subluxations) — to correct interference to the nerve system and the body’s ability to control and coordinate its many functions.
(Palmer College of Chiropractic-2006)