The Role of Chiropractic in Wellness
By Jonathan Wise D.C.
In order to grasp the concept of wellness and chiropractic, we need to understand the four basic principles of chiropractic. Principle one states: The body is a self-regulating and self-healing organism. This means that without interference, the body will always try to heal itself to homeostasis or near-normal. Principle two states: The nervous system is the master system that regulates and controls all other organs and tissues and relates the individual to their environment. The nervous system controls every thing ranging from the heart, the liver, muscles, spleen, the respiratory system, even the microscopic cells of the body. Principle three states: Spinal biomechanical dysfunction in the form of vertebral subluxation complex may adversely affect the nervous system’s ability to regulate function. Finally the fourth principle states that the central focus of the doctor of chiropractic is to optimize patient health by correcting, managing or minimizing vertebral subluxation through the chiropractic spinal adjustment. In other words, the Last two points can be summed up by this, “Subluxation is Bad, Adjusting the Subluxation is Good.”
To answer this question further, we need to be specific in the definition of a chiropractor. So, what is a chiropractor? Chiropractic is a natural healthcare science that places an emphasis on the relationship between structures of the body, predominately the spine, and function of the body that is regulated through the nervous system. Chiropractic also looks at the patient’s nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. The practice examines the combined effect of these factors on a patient’s overall health and the prevention of disease.
Chiropractors acknowledge that the body has an inborn tendency to stay well. In medicine, this concept is called “Vis Medicatrix Naturae,” meaning healing power of nature. In chiropractic, we simply call this “Innate Intelligence.” Dr. Cleveland lectures that the role of the chiropractor is to examine the patient, specifically the spine, to determine if there is proper spinal motion and position, because the issue is this, this nervous system that regulates and controls the body, it consist of the brain, the spinal cord and all the nerves that branch from the brain and spinal cord, they go to all parts of the body. They go to the heart, the liver, muscles, spleen, and the respiratory system, etc... Science tells us that this body is either directly or indirectly regulated through the nervous system. Many people think of chiropractors as bone doctors. The better interpretation is chiropractors are nerve doctors. We adjust the joints and bones to remove the interference to this nervous system, to restore its ability to express its inborn healing potential.
The Role of Chiropractic in Wellness can be best stated by taking a look at the course; Philosophy of Chiropractic I. In the Chiropractic paradigm, Dr. Cleveland III would say that there are three consciousnesses of chiropractic. There is this one consciousness in the chiropractic mindset that says: “I am the stiff neck and sore back practitioner, so send me the stiff back and sore backs.” The second consciousness says: “I see the statistics, I am good at back pain, stiff necks and headaches, but I would like to deal with those pediatrics allergy cases, the bed wetters, this disease, that disease, any disorder that result because of subluxation.” The first two are not necessary bad, they are just different. Finally, the third consciousness in chiropractic, one that Dr. Cleveland says has the highest merit says: “Yes I have seen the data. I am good with back pain, stiff neck and have seen some miraculous cases come through my clinic with the visceral disorders and so forth. But my broader goal is to address the patient’s subluxation, before it predisposes to insult the nervous system to produce physiology gone wrong” (Subluxation à Pathophysiology à Pathology). This is what we call at Cleveland Chiropractic, the practitioner who embraces the wellness concept of chiropractic.