“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” ~Thomas A. Edison
The advice on diet and nutrition that is right for people in the peak of health is not always right for others. I am writing this article on chiropractic care because it has made such a difference in my ability to function, and may help you to get your body in better shape too. The Edison quote above reflects how they see the world.
Like many people, for years I visited a chiropractor sporadically when I injured myself or my back went out on me from stress, but a few years after fibromyalgia struck me at age 58, that changed. I rely on the advice of my chiropractor far more than that of my primary care doctor – and all the specialists she sent me to who haven’t known how to help me feel better – because each one was looking at one process out of context of the rest.
I could barely walk. I was on a scooter and in a wheelchair 10 years ago, 4 years after my first fibromyalgia diagnosis, and today I walk with just a cane or two for balance. I can travel, I garden, I’ve acted on stage, I sing back-up in regular gigs at elder facilities, write, and can do many but not all things other people my age do – instead of being confined to my living room with blurry vision, a foggy brain and severe pain. For that I thank several knowledgeable chiropractors.
Chiropractic care is not just for back and neck pain – Everything in our body is interconnected – and you can’t just look at one system at a time to understand what is going on in a person’s body – and not everything needs a pill. Doctors in traditional “allopathic medicine” are looking for pathogens or to figure out what medication to prescribe to relieve your symptoms. When I need an antibiotic or other medicine, I see my medical doctor. But the ones I have consulted didn’t know much about how to keep me WELL.
What does a chiropractor do and how is he or she trained?
Doctors of Chiropractic have as much or more training as a Medical Doctor and a year more than a Doctor of Physiotherapy – your physical therapist. Their first focus is on structural problems in your spine called “Subluxations” (great simple explanation there).
The thing is, everything in our body is controlled by our nervous system, and our nerves run from the brain – command central – down the spine to send messages to all the various parts of the body – and back again for feedback. When one or more of our vertebrae are misaligned, the flow of energy and neural messages from the brain to the body is altered, disrupting normal functioning in one or more distant areas of our body. Subluxations are known as “silent killers” because when they go undetected, your health can slowly deteriorate. The altered messages affect not only the skeleton and muscles, but also our organ functioning, our biochemistry…everything in the body moves or does not move according to instructions from the brain. So amazing to contemplate!
Chiropractors are also specifically trained in nutrition, and correcting nutritional imbalances that can also cause symptoms, unlike MD’s. Because so many of us who go to a chiropractor for pain also suffer from inflammatory conditions or autoimmune diseases like I do, they have become very adept at advising patients in many areas of wellness. Of course they understand body mechanics and can advise on exercises to do or not do as you heal.
My chiropractor took x-rays of my back and also used a heat sensor to find areas where there were blockages in neural pathways out of the spine. I have been on a weekly chiropractic maintenance program for several years, and x-rays show my spinal alignment is gradually improving. My chiropractors helped me develop a regimen to relieve my pain, recommended medical foods and supplements specifically formulated for my condition, as well as specific stretches and exercises. They advised me on overall exercise (important but gentle and preferably in a warm-water pool) and explained why if I overdo it, it may take days of fibro-flare to finally be myself again. My chiropractors taught me about the glycemic index and its relation to inflammation, informed me about gluten intolerance and supervised the cleanse that led to my becoming gluten-free and a vegetarian, which has reduced my pain levels a lot, so I was able to increase my level of activity – and, of course, there was the losing 50 pounds part that I love!
If you have trouble with diet and exercise – and weight management – because your body is not functioning at its peak – maybe you are tired all the time, or your stomach objects to the healthy foods you know you should eat, or exercise is causing unexplained pain, etc. – I highly recommend you consult a (gentle) knowledgeable chiropractor for treatments and recommendations to restore your body to health.