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What is Chiropractic?

Patient getting an adjustmentLong time patient asked me, what is chiropractic? Hard question really.

Even with years of study and a few more years of practice, a short answer is difficult. Textbooks will say it is a philosophy, a science and an art.

It’s hard putting it into words, without changing the real meaning of it. Nevertheless, I’ll give it a shot, because that’s the risk with any thought of the mind.

The premise of chiropractic is life itself. There is a force within us that makes us alive. Some will call it the soul, chiropractors call it the innate. The body heals itself through the innate. Each living person is able to heal themselves.

Chiropractic is a tool to liberate the energy of the body, which can be affected by structural restrictions throughout the spine or other levels of the nervous system. So I’m not moving a bone, I’m allowing the person to be at a higher potential.

My philosophy is to help when I can help and know when to let go. Sometimes the person is affected by something more emotional or chemical and helping the structural body is just besides the point.

My philosophy is to accept the person as they present themselves and do my best to give what needs to be given or take away any excess. I try not to force even when my gut tells me that it would help them. Usually it doesn’t.

My comprehension of science is a lot more logical and that’s why I prefer the scientific approach. Science uses logical and reason. There is no way around it.

I treat the conduction of the nervous system, anything that interferes with it, on many different levels. Could it be through the facets joints of the spine, because of a bulging disc or because of a tight muscle further down the way. Could it be connective tissue adhering to organs or glands or a meniscus in the knee that is twisted and affecting the innervation of the muscles down the leg.

All of that, I am interested in and analyzing intensely during a session. You could be having knee pain or shoulder pain or headaches, it’s the same to me. There’s an imbalance, a pattern I’m looking for and I test the body to know what it needs. That’s the science.

The Art of it is also something clear to me and which I enjoy greatly. The intuition or just feeling the moment, knowing when the patient’s body is able to take in the adjustment. The art is also the adjusting skill, like a martial art. Having a clean technique is the art of it. Knowing when to deliver the thrust, and just listening to my body as much as to the patient’s body. A well calibrated adjustment, in the right window, does wonders. We call it the “OH BABY” moment, when you just feel you are at the right moment, at the right angle and a tiny little well placed thrust is going to completely free up the restriction.

So taking all that information, can I answer this fundamental question? Chiropractic is all of that. It’s taking these pillars and channeling them during the chiropractic treatments each day.

Annabelle Gerrard D.C.

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