What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractors are specialists in the location of interference of the nervous system and how that interference relates to the function of your spine and nerves. It is a drug free, safe and gentle health care that is the largest natural healing profession in the western world helping millions of people every day.
Chiropractic is the art of healing which unleashes your body’s ability to heal itself be realignment of the spine, allowing you r nerves to function at their optimum and hence turn on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Why 'turn on' your nerve function? The nervous system controls all of your body, and a system of nerve free of interference means that the brain can send and receive clear and vital information from your body allowing the best possible function.
The first recorded chiropractic adjustment was performed on September 18, 1895, by Dr Daniel David Palmer, a Canadian-born teacher and healer. Dr Palmer was, at the time, studying the cause and effect of disease.
His patient was Harvey Lillard, a janitor working in the same building as Dr Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. Mr Lillard, who had complained of hearing problems for over 17 years, allowed Dr Palmer to examine his spine.
Dr Palmer discovered a "lump" on Mr Lillard's back and suspected that a vertebra might be out of place, which he then repositioned with a gentle thrust. After several such treatments, much of Mr Lillard's hearing was restored.
Since Dr Palmer's first chiropractic adjustment, the art and science of chiropractic has progressed significantly. Today, advanced techniques, diagnostic procedures, sophisticated equipment, scientific research, and the growing acceptance among other health care professionals makes chiropractic an easily accessible and natural health care choice.
In New Zealand the chiropractic degree is 4 years, however prior to entering the chiropractic degree certain pre-requisites must be met consisting typically of 1 year of pre-medical papers which are similar as your GP will have completed.
The first two years of the chiropractic degree are focused on anatomy, physiology and diagnosis along with technique and philosophy. The third and fourth year of the chiropractic degree focus further on diagnosis, chiropractic technique, radiology, and practice management, during these years the chiropractic student must complete a number of clinical hours under the supervision of experienced chiropractors on real clients.
A certain number of hours must be achieved in patient diagnosis, patient management, technique proficiency, and radiography. Only at this point is a student qualified to sit the Chiropractic exit and Board examinations to become a registered chiropractor able to practice chiropractic.
Post-graduation chiropractors are required to take up additional postgraduate study and continuing education to keep their knowledge, skills and expertise up to date throughout their career.
Every year New Zealand chiropractors are required to be registered and licensed by the New Zealand Chiropractic Board and issued an annual practicing certificate.
Because only 10% of your nervous system perceives pain, the other 90% is what makes your body function. So it is possible to have nerve interference and not have the symptom of pain, by the time pain is a symptom many spinal problems are advanced.
Seeing your chiropractor reduces the nerves dysfunction through returning the spine to normal function before the pain symptom arrives. Chiropractors refer to this spinal dysfunction as a ‘subluxation’.
What is a Subluxation
Chiropractors view the vertebral subluxation as a biomechanical malfunction of the vertebrae (bones that make up your spine). This biomechanical dysfunction causes a disruption that aggravates the nerve roots, tensions the spinal cord and may also irritate the blood vessels which branch from between each vertebrae.
Causes of Dysfunction and Subluxation
Falls, jarring, accidents and trauma are the obvious causes of spinal dysfunction but the causes are not limited to this, often repetitive actions, postural problems, occupational hazards, lifting, lack of rest, lack of exercise and stress are causes of dysfunction and subluxation.
Chiropractors assess and locate the areas of dysfunction within your spine, the areas of subluxation, this is done through knowledge of the spine and its anatomy, knowledge of muscles and their interactions with your spine and knowledge of how the nervous system effects your body. Once the area of dysfunction has been located through this analysis your chiropractor will ‘adjust’.
An adjustment can include pressure from the chiropractors hand at a specific location in a specific direction and force, or it may involve the use of a specially designed table that allows the chiropractor to modify the direction, force and speed of the adjustment. Other techniques may also be employed and these will be explained and demonstrated at the time of the treatment should they be required.
Methods used at The Chiropractic Health Centre include; Thompson Drop, Diversified, Gonstead, Activator, and soft tissue release.
The Chiro Blog
Receive updates on our latest news stories and tips for a healthier back: