Chiropractic doesn’t cure backaches!
Understanding the system God designed for life and healing
It may surprise you to read that chiropractic doesn’t cure backaches. It doesn’t cure neck pain, headaches, sprained joints or pulled muscles either. It doesn't treat spinal degeneration, spinal curvature, asthma, allergies, sciatica, carpal tunnel, TMJ, shoulder pain, hip pain, poor posture, ear infections, or any of the countless things many chiropractors claim to treat or cure!
If it does none of these, what does chiropractic do?
Unlike medicine, which attempts to cure disease, chiropractic removes interference so that your body can heal and cure itself. This may sound like mere semantics, but our way of speaking reveals and determines our understanding, which dictates action. For you to make intelligent choices regarding your health care, you need an accurate understanding of how your body works, what can cause disease, and how removing interference promotes health.
The chiropractic profession has only been around for a little more than a hundred years, but the principles on which it is based are ancient. Hippocrates once said, “Look first to the spine for the cause of disease.” We find spinal manipulation being used in traditional cultures many hundreds and even thousands of years ago.
Today, science confirms the importance of the spine: The vital energy for life travels from the brain to every part of the body via a system of nerves that exit at the base of the skull and travel through the center of the spine. The nerve system also provides the means for communication from the various parts of the body back to the brain. These nerves connect to every organ, tissue and cell of the body through the bones of the spine. To be healthy, 100 percent of the brain’s energy and communication must reach every part of the body.
The bones of the spine fit closely together in a compact stack that allows freedom of movement as well as firm structure. Over time, gravity and other stresses cause the bones of the spine become misaligned with one another. This alters the spaces through which the nerve system travels causing pressure on and irritation to the nerves. Studies show that pressure merely equivalent to the weight of a quarter can decrease the conductivity of energy through a nerve by as much as 60 percent.
The most common spinal interference is called a vertebral subluxation. A chiropractic adjustment moves the misaligned vertebrae in the direction of proper alignment allowing the body to reposition the bone and restore the energy flow from the brain to the body’s compromised tissues, organs and systems. The result is a return to health. It's as simple as that — and no other health professional can accomplish what the body can do for itself!
Many chiropractors also offer other natural and vitalistic services to help patients regain and maintain their health, but none are as important as the chiropractic adjustment.
Vitalistic vs Mechanistic Paradigms
The vitalistic paradigm maintains that a vital force, which exists outside the body, animates the body. In Genesis we read that “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Gen2:7
Without this life force we are but piles of elements and compounds. Life, which is present before we are formed, instructs the sperm to seek out and join with the ovum. Life orchestrates the development of every cell, organizes trillions of cells into the wondrous complexity of the human body, and sustains us every moment of our lives according to the divine, perfect plan.
Historically, this vitalistic approach led to understanding the human body as an entity composed of body, soul and spirit. The spiritual aspect of mankind has nothing to do with religion, rather it has to do with man's connection to the force of life, the Creator.
Today, many healing professions, chiropractic among them, take into account the reality of the vitalistic approach. But, somewhere along the way, modern medical science separated itself from this holistic understanding. Some speculate that this separation occurred when researchers began expanding medical knowledge by dissecting cadavers. To gain acceptance of the practice of dissection, these researchers explained that body and spirit were not connected. Others say it was Copernicus’ discovery that the earth revolves around the sun, contrary to the biblical understanding that the universe revolves around the earth, which initially broke science away from its vitalistic roots.
Regardless, all of science is now devoid of anything but physical influence. Medical science looks only inside the body for the source of creation, organization and animation. The field of genetic research provides a prime example of this mechanistic paradigm. Although genetic understanding is valuable and important, it focuses attention on the examination of the blueprint and ignores the spiritual connection with the author, the Creator.
Medical science must return to a vitalistic perspective to understand the principles of chiropractic. As B.J. Palmer, the foremost developer and philosopher of chiropractic, said, “The purpose of Chiropractic is to reconnect man the physical to man the spiritual.” That is, to restore the wholeness of body, mind and spirit. Life must flow from above down, inside, and out with no interference for humankind to express its full potential. Health is inherent to that expression.
The Bottom Line
Simply put, the chiropractor's job is to locate and correct any interference to the flow of vital energy and communication that courses through the nerve system. When the nerve system is clear of such interference, the body functions at 100% according to its perfect design. With 100% function, all systems are go - healing, regeneration, immunity, digestion, elimination, muscle function, joint function, etc. - and we can look, feel and act young and alive. Healthy!