Chiropractic Concepts of Health Maintenance
Throughout history, man has been searching for that mythical “Fountain of youth” This quest for eternal youth and well-being affects the health care industry. Billions of dollars are spent annually on elixirs, fad diets, rejuvenation resorts, cosmetic surgery and the like. Countless hours and much effort are being spent to look “young and healthy”. But do many achieve that goal?
What is this thing called “health?” It is more than just the absence of disease. Health must be viewed as an evolving state, a process that starts at birth and continues until death. The health care crisis now raging throughout our country has caused many people to start asking some very pointed questions about the type of care they are receiving and whether the current model of health care needs to be changed. Terms that appear in almost all discussions relating to health care are, “maintenance” and “disease prevention”.
The concept of health maintenance is not new to the chiropractic profession. Throughout chiropractic’s more than 100 year history, it’s practitioners have promoted the concepts of the body’s ability to adapt to it’s environment. Many chiropractors hold as a basic tenet that many disease processes involve an improperly functioning nerve supply to the organs or tissues. Chiropractic health care primarily focuses on examining and evaluating the spine and pelvis to determine if any one area of the spine is malfunctioning or if many areas of the spine are causing abnormal body movements. If present, these subluxations (malfunctions) may contribute to stresses that influence the nervous system and compromise its ability to adapt and function.
We have been taught since childhood that if there are “no symptoms,” we are well. We have been preconditioned by advertising media to believe that any time a symptom appears we need simply “pop this pill” or “swallow that liquid,” and all will be well. Drugs and medications have become so commonplace that we do not question whether we should take them or not, but rather, which ones are “faster” or “stronger.”
In reality, we often only hide the problem (symptom) by medicating it. We do many things to fool ourselves into thinking we are well: avoiding activities which cause pain: not eating foods which cause distress: by attributing our symptoms to “just getting older.” By continuing to approach our health in this fashion, we are, in essence, avoiding or masking the symptoms, rather than attempting to identify the underlying cause of the body’s malfunction.
The chiropractic approach to well-being typifies the new and changing attitude toward health. It is based on the concept of “maintaining health” versus “treating disease.”
Chiropractic health maintenance is gaining in acceptance and public support because its concepts and ideas about health care are rational. When a person understands the chiropractic concept of health maintenance, advertising gimmicks, catchy phrases and clever jingles lose their attraction. The premise that the body (unless it has a genetic deficiency or an acquired problem(s) that can overwhelm the body’s defence mechanism) is capable of maintaining health, when given proper essential ingredients, is basic to chiropractic. Adequate nutrition, water, rest, clean air, exercise, a positive attitude and a properly functioning nervous system are critical requirements for maintenance of good health. The chiropractic profession has frequently spoken out on health issues such as obesity, sedentary life styles, the overuse and abuse of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, the increasing rate of iatrogenic (doctor caused) diseases, and many other environmental and social issues which affect the quality of our lives.
Chiropractors teach that health is not a commodity which can be purchased in a tablet or bottle: it can only be obtained and maintained by allowing the natural recuperative powers of the body to function unimpaired. Locating and correcting spinal subluxations (dysfunction) may help to prevent more serious conditions from developing.
Today, we read about “health maintenance” as if it were some new and revolutionary discovery. Health maintenance is being emphasized by every group interested in the delivery of health care. Chiropractic has for many years offered a stimulating challenge to people interested in an alternative to the usual “treat only the symptom” type of care.
A few simple questions can help determine the type of health care best suited to each individual’s needs.
“Why did I get sick?” “Is it because some mysterious virus or germ singled me out to be sick?” “Am I sick because my body has a low resistance which allowed me to become susceptible to a disease process?” “ What is the cause of the problem?”
These questions can be better answered by dealing with the underlying problem,rather than masking the symptoms on a temporary basis, which often allows the illness to become more serious. The benefits of this health maintenance approach are becoming more obvious every day. The chiropractic profession teaches the advantages of looking at the individual as a whole person (holistic) rather than treating the effects of an isolated symptom.
Health maintenance is gaining considerable support from those who understand the significance of this concept. Health cannot be purchased in a bottle, or a tablet, but it can be lost very quickly. If health could be purchased, we would have no sick millionaires.
This site will explain and illustrate the concept of chiropractic as a health profession. Your doctor of chiropractic (D.C) will outline a plan for when you should return so he or she can monitor your condition and determine the need for care. The interval and procedure will be tailored to your individual needs and health problems. Characteristics such as weight, lifestyle, stress (emotional and physical), occupation, age, spinal abnormalities and details in your personal health profile, will be considered by your doctor when he or she makes a determination about your case.
Many people find that regular chiropractic care, as part of a total health care program, enables them to function and perform to a higher potential. Outcome measures are continually being developed to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic care. A preliminary report form Alternative Medicine, Inc. (AMI), which is a multi-speciality group, promoted the use of doctors of chiropractic as primary care providers. The data, which preliminary, suggests that using chiropractors as the entry provider reduced global health care costs by more than 50 percent. Further analysis of this data is in the process. The public is becoming more aware of the benefits of this approach to health. Millions of people are now utilizing chiropractic services for their health care needs.
From children to older adults Chiropractic can relieve pain, improve postural alignment, increase mobility, facilitate the healing process and help maintain good health.
Chiropractic can be part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what a patient’s age.