"I Don't Believe in Chiropractic"
Question: Dear Dr. Harvey,
I have been trying to get a friend of mine in to see you. She has bad low back pain and has been to see her M.D.; however she is still in pain. I told her how you have helped me and my family, and I know you could help her. Yet no matter how much I try to get her in, all she says is, "I don't believe in Chiropractic." This is very frustrating for me. What can I tell her?
Not a day goes by in my practice that I do not hear a story similar to this one. It is frustrating for some patients as well as for most of the Chiropractic profession. Chiropractic is not a "belief"; it is a science, a philosophy, and an art. It is the science of finding the subluxation that is causing pressure on the nervous system. It is the philosophy of treating the body in a non-invasive and natural way. It is the art of adjusting the body by hand to restore the body's normal function.
Look at gravity, for instance. Gravity is not a "belief." It is a natural law. It works. It doesn't care what you believe in or what your opinion is - these things don't matter. Drop your keys - at home, at work, when you are feeling good or bad - what always happens? They fall toward earth, whether you believe they will or not.
In Chiropractic we have a saying: "The power that made the body can heal the body." This power or innate intelligence is known by many names. It is the intelligence that developed your body from two cells into trillions of cells in an organized manner. This intelligence is carried throughout your body by the nervous system, which controls all the functions of your body: heart rate, liver function, metabolism, blood flow, wound repair, etc. It is the first system to develop in the body, and the one that controls all of the body's functions for your whole life.
Research has shown that even slight pressure on the nerves will prevent the nervous system from functioning normally. Whether or not you believe this makes no difference, just like the gravity example. Research has also shown that when pressure is taken off the nerve, the nerve will function better. When your nervous system functions better and the interference between the brain and the body are removed, you will have better health. It's that simple.
If you don't believe in Chiropractic, what do you believe in? The medical system that kills or hospitalizes over 100,000 people a year from harmful drug reactions? This doesn't sound like something I want to "believe" in. Do you think that Chiropractic would be around if it killed over 100,000 people a year? I doubt it! Yet this happens year after year with medicine and most of society just accepts it. Well I don't!
The main point to understand is that Chiropractic is not a belief. In Chiropractic we locate where the pressure is on the nervous system and do as much as we can to reduce that pressure by adjusting the spine back into a more normal alignment over time. Various additional techniques such as massage, exercise, acupuncture, supplements, and stretching may also be used to help. The main goal, however, is to get the pressure off the nerve and help the body to heal itself - no matter what the condition.
So the next time someone says "I don't believe in Chiropractic," tell them it doesn't matter. Chiropractic works, and the sooner you start care the better it will work for you.
©2009 Dr. Harvey