Chiropractic and medicine can trace there ancestory to Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician of 400 B.C. Most of us have heard of the physicians Hippocratic Oath, that says in part “above all, do no harm.” Though his philosophy and teachings still influence modern health care, his views of health, disease and their treatment lacked the specific protocols that are a mainstay of modern medicine and chiropractic.
Throughout history there has been a common thread among lay healers and many physicians as to the importance of proper biomechanics as they relate to good health. The Chinese developed crude manipulation techniques along with accupuncture principles to treat disease almost 4000 years ago.
Chiropractic as it is known today made its start in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer went beyond assumptions on spinal relationships to disease and developed detailed hypothesis on spinal dysfunction and specific disease processes. He also moved beyond crude manipulation and traction to introduce the specific, high speed, short lever adjustment to address specific spinal structures.
The very first modern adjustment was performed on a man named Harvey Lillard. Harvey had lost most of his hearing following an accident. With a little coaxing, Dr. Palmer convinced the patient to let him examine his spine. He found a peculiar feeling spinal bone in his upper back; with this he convinced Harvey to let him try his new treatment. As the story goes D.D. “racked” the vertebra back into place. The men heard a loud “pop” during the procedure and Harvey’s hearing soon returned. Being a smart man, Dr. Palmer started to tout his new treatment for hearing loss. Unfortunately for the vast majority of the patients, hearing was not restored. However, a large array of other ailments began to respond to this new treatment which Dr. Palmer coined chiropractic, meaning “by the hand.”
Modern chiropractic has had significant changes in diagnostics and treatment. It is now common place to use diagnostic tools such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI’s), surface elecromyography and adjunctive treatments such as electronic muscle stimulation, interferential stimulation, ultrasound and various traction devices just to name a few.
The goal of treatment however, remains unchanged: Improving, or restoring to normal, the function of the nervous system and the complex system of bones and soft tissue that protect it. The goals remain the same because the human body has not changed in several thousand years let alone the last 100.
The nervous system controls and influences every aspect of our being. It does not matter if you are talking about digestion, breathing, circulation, immune function, movement or cognitive skill, they’re all are dependent on the nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to work normally or at all!
You can survive weeks without food, days without water, minutes without oxygen/blood, but eliminate nervous tissue and you cease to exist as a person immediately.
Why should I try chiropractic care?
My simplified answer is this: Almost without exception, the patients who have undergone a treatment program feel better, sleep better and manage stress better after their care than they did before. I believe that this is due at least in part to past injuries. We have all had injuries, mild ankle strains, wrist injuries, muscle injuries some of which occurred and our body managed the healing process without our knowledge. Our spine has been subjected to dozens if not hundreds of small injuries and sometimes big ones. There is a very high probability that some of those injuries did not heal correctly. It is a proven fact that the healing process though amazing, is far from perfect.
The purpose of chiropractic as I see it, is to find those areas that did not heal properly and with the specific chiropractic adjustments help the body to undergo proper healing. Unfortunately stabilizing old injuries can take time, but fortunately, the pain associated with those underlying problems usually can be controlled rather quickly.