What’s Really Going On? – The Big Idea of Chiropractic as a Wellness Strategy

The most consistent piece of advice that was given to me before starting up my own practice was this: “Open Humbly.” More than a handful of mentors from different walks and philosophies offered the same wisdom. What they meant by those simple two words is – your starter practice is not your dream practice. Whatever vision I had for my “dream practice” did not need to come to fruition in the first attempt. The mission for the first practice was even simpler: get open and start serving! Those two words, “open humbly,” crossed my mind before I made every single decision and every purchase during the pre-opening phase. Legally, we did not need the Insight nerve and muscle assessment machines to start seeing people. We did not need the digital x-ray machine either. The equipment we use in the office to assess the exact state of your nervous system and spine was responsible for 60% of our start-up costs… so why did we make such a huge investment if it was not required?

The reason we spent triple for start-up on our technology and equipment is because with more accurate information, we can zero-in on the main issues, which saves us time, effort, and money in the long run. With this information, we can KNOW exactly where to work, eliminate guesswork/trial-and-error, and get the results quicker. As you will read later, I am a total nerd when it comes to human physiology and wellness lifestyle strategies. Every day we learn more about how the body responds under chiropractic care. It goes a step further; the measurements that we obtain daily with our technology is contributing to a much larger body of research currently being conducted in our field aimed at objectively measuring the autonomic response to a consistent chiropractic routine. We already know that the autonomic nervous system has everything to do with total health and vitality, as well as longevity, so we believe that autonomic balance is what we should be observing and measuring as we adjust. On that thought, let’s dive a bit deeper.

As a practitioner, as well as a lifelong learner in this field of chiropractic, without a doubt the most interesting and fascinating phenomenon that I have come to observe and realize, is that regardless of the technique applied, people GET WELL under chiropractic care, period. Keep in mind, I am a classically-trained scientific thinker, so my first thought after this realization is – how can that even be possible? If one doctor adjusts only the first cervical vertebra in every patient, and another doctor adjusts the pelvis or the fifth lumbar when indicated, how do they both get the results? If, let’s say, the problem in one patient is the fifth lumbar, how does the upper cervical practitioner change that if he/she never touches it, and vice-versa? What’s the common denominator between the techniques? Another observation that I have made is the difference between physical or structural changes and functional changes in patients under consistent chiropractic care. Sometimes, there are cases where a significantly misaligned spine straightens out after a conservative chiropractic corrective care plan, which is nothing short of amazing and speaks for itself. Other times, the physical changes are not significant, but the patient still experiences a “complete 180” as far as body function and overall health. I have seen this phenomenon many times, and as a doctor trying to reason through, frankly, it still baffles me. We examine our patients and determine what we believe to be the root cause(s) of their health concerns. We demonstrate that measurable problem on an x-ray, posture assessment, or range of motion exam. We apply a technique to reduce or correct that problem, but sometimes those desired changes do not occur, but the patient still experiences better focus, better sleep, less allergic reactions, less sickness and missed days of work, longer and better workouts, better diet adherence, more discipline and intent with healthy lifestyle strategies, etc. So, we address the structural framework because it gives us a starting point and allows for certainty with the application of a chiropractic technique, but the real fun occurs when we sit back and watch how people change, not just symptomatically or with range of motion, but with respect to autonomic nerve function and overall health and vitality.

How can we scientifically explain those changes? The truth is that we are still working on it in 2018, but we have a pretty good idea. Surprisingly, the chiropractic field has a relatively inexistent source for funding any high-level research, not to mention the ethical conflicts with the design of an ideal population study in some cases, so we primarily rely on our case studies and what we see in our clinics. However, as our technology evolves, our ability to measure objective criteria improves, which increases our chances of scientifically observing what is changing within the physiology of consistent chiropractic families. I believe that improvement in autonomic nervous system function is the common denominator between patients who get well under care, regardless of the physical manifestations of the corrective plan. We know that in order for the brain and nervous tissue to develop and continue to function and thrive, it requires proper stimulation. The same way you have to continue to work out your muscles if you don’t want them to shrink. We also know that 90% of the stimulation to the brain comes from spinal movement. What better way to stimulate the brain than to provide a specific and precise, safe, and gently-applied skillful adjustment to the richly-innervated spine? Also, remember that the brain is responsible for controlling and coordinating every single function within the body, so if healthy body function requires a healthy brain, and a healthy brain comes from proper stimulation, then by moving the spine in a healthy way, we can CHANGE THE BRAIN, which ultimately determines health outcomes. This is the BIG IDEA within chiropractic, and this is our goal with all of our practice members. If we had not have invested in the technology that measures the autonomic function – namely, infrared thermography, surface electromyography, and heart rate variability through pulse wave profiling – then we would probably still see these amazing changes in our practice members, but we would have no way of objectively quantifying and reporting those changes.

We here at RISE Chiropractic believe that neurologically-based chiropractic corrective and supportive care should be a staple of each family’s lifestyle habits for vitality and longevity, regardless of the age of the patient. If you are ready to evolve your family’s health, including your children, give us a call to schedule a complimentary consultation at (337) 324-3031 today! We look forward to serving you.

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