Monday, August 23, 2010

Chiropractic: Solutions Beyond Pain Management

A Message From Dr. Amy A. Elliott

What fascinates me the most about chiropractic care is the world of possibility it provides. Recently, a woman who came to our clinic for pain issues asked me a question after her second adjustment. “Is it possible that my head is clearer from getting an adjustment?” she asked. She continued to tell me that she’d been operating in a “brain fog” that day until she got off the adjusting table. Moments like that always remind me of the true power of a chiropractic adjustment.

At some point in time, we, as chiropractors, did ourselves a disservice. We promoted ourselves as experts in curing back pain. While it is true that chiropractic care offers relief to various musculoskeletal conditions, focusing on pain discredits the true importance of the chiropractic adjustment.

Using the spine as a window into a person’s state of health, it is easy to see how chiropractic was oversimplified as a method to fix backs. The spine, however, is not simply a conglomeration of bone, muscles, ligaments and intervertebral discs. They work together to house and protect your nervous system. This intricate network delivers messages to and from every part of your body, from your brain to your liver to your fingers and toes. If a roadblock is present to any part of the superhighway that is your nervous system, information cannot travel efficiently to its final destination.

These roadblocks are caused by things that we encounter in our daily lives: thoughts (sadness, negativity), trauma (car wrecks, poor posture, repetitive movements) and toxins (air we breathe, food we eat). Our bodies process, integrate and adapt to all of our experiences. Sometimes these adaptations occur in the spine, compromising the nervous system’s ability to work as well as it could. Chiropractors refer to these interferences to the nervous system as subluxations.

As a chiropractor, my goal is to remove all subluxations from your spine. This helps your nervous system to operate freely thereby allowing all systems of your body (movement, respiration, digestion, reproduction, cognition) to function at higher levels.

Many people come into a chiropractic clinic with a pain complaint, and often they leave with relief AND improved quality of life in other arenas that they hadn’t even considered would be helped. This leads me to my own “Aha!” moment, an experience that had a lot to do with my decision to become a chiropractor. I was in my final semester of undergraduate school in the Fine Arts program, preparing for my senior show and suffering massive insomnia. My boyfriend, now husband (Dr. Jon), convinced me to see a chiropractor because I didn’t want to take drugs and I’d already tried therapy and exercise. Though skeptical, I was so exhausted after months of little sleep that I was willing to give it a try. After just a couple of visits, I was sleeping like a baby. Beyond that, though, I realized that I just felt better in general. I continued to come in for a monthly visit for preventative purposes. Reflecting back about six months after my initial visit, it occurred to me that I hadn’t had a single panic attack in the time that I’d been under chiropractic care. Prior to that, I’d struggled with anxiety and panic issues for approximately five years. Chiropractic helped me regain my ability to move through life with more ease. Since then, I’ve also experienced remission of symptoms related to a pituitary tumor I was diagnosed with in 1997. Additionally, my Endocrinologist told me that it would be difficult for me to get pregnant with this type of tumor. At age 32, I conceived and gave birth to my daughter, Emery. I attribute these successes to chiropractic care, supported by healthy lifestyle choices.

It has come to my attention that many people are unaware of how chiropractic can help them. Chiropractic adjustments can improve your quality of life in many ways. Are you a chiropractic patient? If so, how have you benefited from care? In the upcoming weeks, follow us online to see testimonials from some of the patients at our clinic (if you have a story to share, let us know next time you’re in!). Learn about how their lives have improved through chiropractic, and be sure to share this information with your family and friends. You just might help them to live a better life!

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