In fact, professional sports mega-superstars like basketball Hall-of-Famer Michael Jordon and USA Olympic Skier Lyndsey Vonn credit chiropractic with helping them perform at ultra-high levels, day in, day out.
According to The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, "chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health."
The Origins of Chiropractic
D.D. Palmer - Father of Chiropractic
The "founding father" of chiropractic, Dr. D.D. Palmer, developed a theory that spinal misalignment caused nerve pressure or irritation which in turn caused various ailments. He realized that the structure and condition of the body influenced how the body functioned and its ability to heal itself, without the use of drugs or surgery.
This simple philosophy has healed people and has prevented unwanted injury and illness for over a century! But to fully understand the chiropractic perspective, one must learn a bit about the nervous system, or how our bodies are "wired."
Our "wiring": the complex human body
The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. The brain is divided into sections and stores and receives an incredible amount of information. But this information needs a way to get in and out. Nerves provide a pathway for this information to travel, and the spinal cord is made up of bundles of these nerves. The spine both houses and protects the spinal cord.
Nerve dysfunction can result from any number of factors, such as falls, accidents, stress, tension, or over-use. These events can alter our "wiring" and create pain or discomfort in our bodies.
Pain and/or discomfort: getting to the source
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to locate the source of the pain or discomfort- it may actually be far from the actual location where the symptom is occurring- and then we correct or adjust the joints in the body and set it up to heal on its own.
Of course, the type of correction or adjustment employed by the chiropractor depends on the condition being treated, but you get the main idea. The important thing to remember is that chiropractic success occurs by addressing the source of the problem, not just masking the symptoms.
Helping the body heal itself: holistic efficiency
Because helping the body heal itself involves many facets, chiropractors also provide lifestyle advice to help prevent illness and injury. Diet & nutrition, fitness, ergonomics, and other areas in your life contribute, or diminish, your overall health. By making the right choices, one can live a life full of wellness and vitality.
The writings of Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.), Galen (130-200 A.D.), and even ancient manuscripts of the Egyptians, Hindus, and Chinese reveal some principles common to chiropractic. Its place in modern health care is largely attributed to Dr. Daniel David Palmer, who founded the first chiropractic collegein Davenport, Iowa, in 1895.
In the late 1800s, Dr. D.D. Palmer was a healer and a teacher trying to understand the cause and effect of disease. His first chiropractic adjustment was performed in 1895 on a man who was deaf. The loss of hearing was associated with his back "giving out" while working several years prior to meeting up with Dr. Palmer. Dr. Palmer was able to restore his hearing by realigning the man's spine.
The second such adjustment provided relief for another patient who was suffering from heart trouble. Dr. Palmer theorized that "if two diseases, so dissimilar as deafness and heart trouble, came from impingement, a pressure on nerves, were not other diseases due to a similar cause?"
He began developing his adjustment techniques and was soon getting results with many different conditions, from colic to ear infections to headaches. Dr. Palmer went on to found the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Iowa. Because of its success in healing, the new profession grew quickly.
All 50 states and many countries recognize chiropractic as a health-care profession. Today, there are more than 50,000 chiropractors in the United States alone, and there are 26 chiropractic colleges worldwide. Chiropractic is one of health care's fastest-growing fields simply because it's safe, natural, drugless, non-invasive, and effective.