Vertebral Subluxation and The Understanding of Chiropractic
Chiropractic is a science, philosophy and art.
First, chiropractic is the science of understanding that abnormal joint function due to misalignment of the spine (and extremities) as a result of trauma – major trauma such as childhood falls and injuries, car accidents, and athletic injuries; and minor trauma from the cumulative affects of postural stresses – these misalignments, known as vertebral subluxation, cause neurological dysfunction and degeneration of joint tissues.
Second, chiropractic is the philosophy that the body has a built in intelligence – an innate intelligence - that will always seek a state of homeostatic health. Chiropractic recognizes that this innate intelligence is what heals a cut, fights an infection, and runs the body’s myriad of complex functions to maintain health and fight disease. Chiropractic also recognizes that this innate intelligence can by interfered with by a condition called vertebral subluxation - the abnormal misalignment, position and/or function of spinal vertebral segments (and extremity joints).
Third, chiropractic is the art of assessing where the body’s inborn or innate intelligence is being interfered with by subluxation and correcting the subluxation through what is called chiropractic adjustments.
The Birth of Modern Chiropractic
There is evidence that some form of ‘manipulation’ has existed for thousands of years in ancient Egypt and China. From a more modern or scientific perspective, chiropractic was ‘discovered’ in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, a healer from Davenport, Iowa. Mr. Palmer theorized that if the spine became misaligned (subluxated), it would impact the health of organs or tissues downstream from the nerves that exited the spine at the level of the misalignment or subluxation. He tested his theory by examining and adjusting a man named Harvey Lillard, who had been suffering from deafness for many years.
Upon examining Mr. Lillard, Mr. Palmer found an area of what would later be described as subluxation. He then ‘adjusted’ that vertebra over a period of days; Mr. Lillard hearing was restored. At that point, Mr. Palmer thought he’d found ‘the cure for deafness’; upon hearing of this ‘treatment’, many people who were deaf flocked to his clinic. Finding and adjusting subluxations restored hearing to a small percentage of these deaf people who came to see D.D. Palmer; but these same people started healing from rheumatism, asthma, constipation, acne, headaches, back pain and many other health conditions – thus giving birth to chiropractic as we know it today.
How have chiropractic patients had miraculous recoveries from such diverse conditions as infertility, high blood pressure, hearing loss, and enuresis (bed wetting)? By freeing the master system of the body – the nervous system – from interference, that’s how.
Chiropractors correct mechanical stress to the spine (called vertebral subluxation) that creates irritation and interference to the flow of information across the complex and sensitive nerve system. This is the same reason why the healthiest families in the world, not to mention elite atheletes like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Jerry Rice, make regular chiropractic care part of their health regimen, not simply for pain relief.