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Posts Tagged ‘posture’

What does a chiropractor really do?

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 1, 2008

That’s a fair question, especially if you’ve never been to a chiropractor and someone has recommended that you try one.  Some folks (even some who have used chiropractors for years) will tell you “they crack your back or neck and the pain goes away”.  Others might tell you they correct the alignment of your spine and your body works better.  Still others may tell you chiropractors specialize in making you “believe” you feel better.

And while there may be some truth in all of those perceptions, they simply don’t tell you “what” the chiropractor is doing.  Certainly, with some chiropractors you may feel and hear what may seem to be strange noises.  Trust me though, nothing is cracking!  And while some chiropractors DO focus on the alignment of the spine, THAT really isn’t the objective of chiropractic, either.  And while us chiropractors (and MDs, too) want to believe the major benefit to you is what WE do for you, the “placebo effect” can’t be minimized, either.

So then, just what does the chiropractor do?  Well, there are lots of “things” the chiropractor might do while you’re in their office.  BUT, there is ONLY one thing the chiropractor does that o other professional is trained to do.  That ONE thing your chiropractor does is to locate a bone in your spine that is slightly out of alignment with the bone above or below it and putting pressure on either a specific nerve OR the spinal cord.  When we find that misaligned spinal bone, we gently and specifically help it move back to where it should be.  When that is accomplished, we SHOULD stand back and watch your body HEAL ITSELF!

It really is THAT simple.  Now, it’s not always as simple as that because most of us let our bodies get to a point of degeneration that it has to retrain itself toward holding its proper alignment long enough to both heal and retain your health.  BUT the ONE thing we chiropractors SHOULD do is to simply remove A source of interference in how your body communicates with itself.  Anything else a chiropractor might do is more palliative and financial than it is beneficial to your health.

We call what we do an “adjustment”.  Some call it a manipulation, which is just wrong.  We’ll talk about that in another post.  But, if nothing else make sure your chiropractor “adjusts” you regardless of whatever else they want to do or tell you you need.  Because the ONE thing the chiropractor offers that no one else does is “the adjustment”.

I’ll write soon on how to tell if you might need an “adjustment”.  Stay tuned.

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Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Health care, Health Issues, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your Mama Was Right: Posture Matters!

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on March 19, 2007

Almost everyone has a memory of their mom (or dad) constantly reminding them to “Stand up straight! You don’t want to grow up with bad posture. Do you?” Or as one of my friends puts it, “Stand up straight and act like somebody!” While most parents dutifully admonish their kids to stand tall, they may not realize just how important that advice really is. There are many reasons why good posture matters, including self-esteem, career performance, even significant health considerations.

Let’s talk about how your posture affects several aspects of your life. At the end of the article, we’ll offer some tips on how you can start today to improve your posture and your life.

How you approach the world has a tremendous impact on how you feel about yourself. What’s the first impression you have of someone with slumped shoulders or their head drooping down? Honestly, that person is giving the impression that they’re beaten, sad or hopeless.

Life can be tough. Things happen to everyone that can hurt in so many ways. One way to respond to life’s calamities is to withdraw and become inward. When this happens and a person’s confidence is shaken they look defensive and passive. A slumped posture is almost like curling up in a fetal position while standing, hoping that no one will bother you. Unfortunately, most folks won’t bother with you in that posture.

On the other hand, good posture with your head up and shoulders back is a strong indicator of inner strength and self-confidence. A strong, self-confident person tells the world “Here I come. Give me all you’ve got!” When you stand tall, you tell yourself “I can! I will! I must!” From the standpoint of building and maintaining a strong self-image, one of the most important habits a parent can teach their child is to stand tall, keep your head up and your shoulders back. It will help that child withstand many of life’s challenges throughout his/her life.

There are many ways that an employer, customer or potential client will decide how you fit into their plans. One of the most important, yet subtle, ways others evaluate you is your body language. Let’s say you’re competing for a promotion to a management position with an equally qualified competitor. If the only difference between the two candidates is that one has poor posture and the other looks like a Marine, who wins? The Marine always wins. Every employer wants managers that are confident and show confidence in every way. And in some ways, poor posture communicates the same message as when someone won’t make eye contact. People wonder if you have something to hide. Good posture is like a good handshake. People make judgments about you based on their first impression. Make a good first impression. Stand tall. Head up. Shoulders back. Stomach in. It will pay you great dividends. Posture affects your health in several ways. From a purely mechanical standpoint, if things aren’t lined up the way they were designed, they simply wear out faster. People with arthritis in the joints or spine in their forties and fifties have generally had posture problems their whole life. Any good mechanic will tell you that poor wheel alignment will eventually cause all kinds of structural and mechanical problems with your car. It’s the same with your body. Structure affects function.

As a chiropractor, I see sick and hurting people all the time. One thing they all seem to share is some sort of posture problem. Sometimes, they come to me with pains in the neck and shoulders from driving or sitting at the computer for long hours at a time. Or, maybe a hip, leg or low back problem caused by sitting on a too thick wallet. Probably the most subtle, yet more important, effects of poor posture are neurological problems that can result. Often, people come in with strange problems from migraine headaches to high blood pressure corrected after adjustments to the upper neck. Everyone knows the plight of Christopher Reeves, the former star of the Superman movies. He was thrown from his horse and broke his neck and damaged his spinal cord. The actor was not only paralyzed from the neck down, but also unable to have normal bodily functions without the aid of machines until his eventual death. Postural problems can indicate similar, yet much more subtle spinal misalignments and neurological problems.

Many people have postural problems that may have resulted at birth that only become apparent later in life. Others may have had other trauma caused by injuries from sports, fall or auto accidents. Unless corrected, these problems only get worse with eventual health implications. Because these subtle misalignments and the posture problems they cause don’t involve broken bones, they’re generally not identified with medical diagnoses. For the most part, only chiropractors are trained to identify, locate and correct these misalignments.

So if you find yourself slumping and slouching, do something about it. Practice standing up straight with your head held high and eyes looking forward, not down toward the ground. Pull your shoulders back while tightening your stomach muscles and tucking your butt in. If you find that your posture problem is hard to correct and might also be related to other health problems, find a wellness-oriented chiropractor or e-mail me and I’ll help you find one in your area.

Stand up straight and tall. Let the world know you’re strong, confident and healthy!

Posted in Alternative health care, Chiropractic, Health care, Life, motivational, self help, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »