Why The Heck Am I Here?: A Chiropractic Tale

It’s halfway through the day and I’m examining Mike while he’s lying face down on the table and I’m testing a leg muscle to determine how his spine needs to be adjusted.

We’d started working together a month before. Mike had come into the office, full of trepidation about seeing a chiropractor, to get treatment for abdominal pain and digestive problems. He’d suffered for the last two years and seen a long list of doctors. Numerous trips to emergency rooms and even hospital stays hadn’t resolved his suffering. Seeing a chiropractor was a “last resort” and he didn’t really expect answers.

He’s done well. He’s just told me that he is around 85% better and has discontinued all of his medications that weren’t working anyway.

What made the difference? Chiropractic care. Adjusting his spine.

I wondered if he really understood, or not, what was making him better. “Do you know why I’m adjusting your spine?” I asked. “Not really,” he replied.

In that moment, I realized I’d done him a disservice. He didn’t understand chiropractic – what it was doing for him, and could do for others.

Chiropractic adjustment to the spine and other joints of the body restores neurological organization. Chiropractic adjustment of the spine and other joints of the body adjusts tone of the nervous system.

“Tone is the standard…of health; any deviation therefrom is disease.”

DD Palmer, founder of chiropractic, wrote these words in 1910 and was persecuted for them because they were so unscientific and outrageous. But, now neurological science has caught up with DD Palmer.

We now know that the nervous system is essential to organization and regulation of body systems and functions. How essential? The primitive brain and spinal cord are the first tissues that specialize from undifferentiated cells in the early fetus. Peer-review research is currently exploding with greater understanding about how primary the nervous system is to body functions.

We now know that nerves must have a certain amount stimulation to be healthy – not too much or too little. Too much and the nerve degenerates; too little and the nerve degenerates (transneuronal degeneration) – the right tone is essential.

Twice as much of the nervous system brings information to your brain (afferentation) than sends signals out to the rest of your body (efferentation). The brain has to have good information to know what to tell the body to do. Chiropractic care adjusts the precision of afferentation to the brain so that it knows what the body needs. Because when the brain has good information it knows how to command the body to get well and stay well.