What Does A Chiropractor Do?

Excellent question! Chances are if you were to drop by the offices of 10 different chiropractors and ask them…

“What exactly are you doing for your patients that helps them feel better and heal?”

… you’d get 10 different answers! Not to mention if you were to watch them work with patients you’d see 10 different methods of patient care.

This is a problem, yes?!

How can you decide if seeing a chiropractor rather than another type of doctor is the right decision for you if you can’t get a straight answer about what a chiropractor does and how it all works?

 

By the time you finish reading the next few paragraphs, you’ll have it all figured out!

 

There are only 2 basic types of chiropractors and it’s rather easy to tell the difference – Straight vs Mixer (we’re still talking about chiropractors, not cocktails) – but before those terms make sense you have to know a little of the back story.

 

It seems far-fetched, but it’s true… the chiropractic profession got its start when someone’s hearing was restored after an adjustment to the spine. There are a couple different versions of the story out there, but the basic facts remain the same… Harvey Lillard, a janitor in the building Mr. D.D. Palmer worked, had a significant hearing problem that was suddenly and unexpectedly resolved when D.D. Palmer pushed (adjusted) a bone that felt out of place and stuck in Harvey’s spine.

 

D.D. Palmer was trying to help the back pain Harvey was having which was why he was looking at his spine, but when he attempted to adjust the bone that felt out of place and stuck it was Harvey’s hearing that was restored! That lead to the idea that manipulating the bones in the spine can be a potential treatment for hearing problems.

 

The patient’s that followed didn’t have their hearing problems resolved, but many of their other health problems responded favorably. This lead to the idea that manipulating the bones in the spine can be a potential treatment for all sorts of health problems. But not all the patients were responding as expected… some got better, some didn’t and at the time the leaders of the profession didn’t know why. Answering that question was the life mission for B.J. Palmer (D.D.’s son) who is known as the developer of chiropractic.

 

After nearly 30 years of meticulous and rigorous work B.J. was able to answer the question, but his answer divided the profession into two camps… Straight vs Mixer. Dr. Palmer’s answer was this: the purpose of chiropractor is to locate and correct a vertebral subluxation thus allowing the patient’s nervous system to operate at its full capacity.

 

A vertebral subluxation is the term chiropractors use to refer to the bone that’s stuck out of normal alignment. If that happens in just the right spot in your spine it can cause problems with your nervous system function – which is a bad deal because of your nervous system controls and coordinates the function of every other muscle, organ, gland, and tissue of the body.

 

B.J. also discovered that in order to find the location and nature of the vertebral subluxation safely and accurately a chiropractor needs to use x-rays and an objective way of measuring nervous system function. Gone are the days of adjusting several areas of the spine and hoping for the best and here are the days of objective and predictably effective chiropractic!

 

In the 1930’s when this all happened most chiropractors were not in a financial position to acquire an x-ray machine or a thermography scanner (the object tool used to measure nervous system function) so they decided to stick with their current methods (these are the mixer chiropractors). And some chiropractors decided to follow B.J. Palmer and use the most objective and proven effective method, even though it was difficult to get started (these are the straight chiropractors).

 

Fast forward to today and you still have two options. The mixers are the chiropractors that adjust multiple areas of the spine (or arms, hands, feet, knees, hips, …) in addition to using all sorts of equipment and gadgets in an effort to reduce whatever symptoms the patient has on that particular day. Never is there a visit in which the patient doesn’t have some type of treatment and adjustment and there is little to no objective analysis of the spine, hence the treatment goes on forever and is the answer to everything.

 

Then you have the straight chiropractors (the term has nothing to do with sexual orientation) that do only the following… objectively measure nervous system function and if found to be abnormal they will objectively determine if a vertebral subluxation is causing the nervous system problem and if so they will locate it. Once located they will adjust the bone in question and then remeasure to the nervous system function to make sure it worked. That’s it.

 

The astounding track record of straight chiropractors for getting results stems from the fact they can effectively and predictably improve nervous system function which in turn helps the whole body work better… from hearing to asthma, to a kink in the neck or back. Straight chiropractors know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and when they need to do it (not on every visit).

 

If you want a potentially quick, but short-lived solution to your aches and pains then a mixer chiropractor (the most common type of chiropractor) is a good choice. If you’re wanting a long-term solution that doesn’t require weekly visits for the rest of your life… then a straight chiropractor is what you’re looking for.

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