Structure = Function: Chiropractic Care for Optimal Function
Aug 01, 2017 03:55AM
By Risa Sloves
“Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the cause for many diseases.”
~ Hippocrates, 460-377 BC
Chiropractic care is a distinct science, art and philosophy of health and healing. Chiropractic science concerns itself with the relationship between the structure (primarily the spine) and the function (primarily coordinated by the nervous system) of the body as that relationship affects the restoration and maintenance of health.
Since our brain and nervous system control the function of our cells, tissues and organs, it is vitally important for our nervous system to operate at 100 percent for optimal health. Our spine protects our spinal cord; when a spinal bone shifts out of normal alignment, it may produce abnormal motion and damaging pressure on spinal nerves. This condition is known as vertebral subluxation; if present, it may interrupt the vital nerve flow within our bodies. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to correct subluxations which interfere with normal body function by performing gentle spinal adjustments.
Research has shown that correcting vertebral subluxations is not only effective in eliminating symptoms—such as pain—without the use of drugs or surgery, but chiropractic care has profound effects in restoring health. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost the coordinated responses of the nervous system and immune system. In 1975, Ronald Pero, PhD, the chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute and a professor in environmental health at New York University, began researching the most scientifically valid ways to estimate individual susceptibility to various chronic diseases. His research in this area includes over 160 published reports in peer-reviewed journals.
In one study, Pero’s team measured 107 individuals who had received long-term chiropractic care. The chiropractic patients were shown to have a 200 percent greater immune competence than people who had not received chiropractic care. They also had a 400 percent greater immune competence than people with cancer or serious diseases. Pero concluded that, “Chiropractic may optimize whatever genetic abilities you have so that you can fully resist serious disease...I have never seen a group other than this show a 200 percent increase over normal patients.”
Impact on Sensory Processing
When caring for children of any age or ability, a team approach incorporating many different health professionals is optimal, and pediatric chiropractic care is an essential component.
Many sensory processes take place within the nervous system at an unconscious level. Although we are familiar with the senses involved in sight, smell, taste, touch and sound, we may not realize that the nervous system is also responsible for the senses of movement, force of gravity and body position.
Cells within the skin send information to the brain regarding light touch, pain, temperature and pressure. The inner ear detects motion and changes in head position. Components of muscles, joints and tendons provide an awareness of body position. An optimally functioning nervous system is critical to incorporating all of this sensory information.
For most children, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood development. However, for some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When the process of sensory integration is disordered, problems in learning, development and/or behavior may become evident. These may range from over-sensitivity to under-reactivity to incoming sensory stimulation. Unusually high or low activity levels; gross or fine motor coordination problems; and delays in speech, motor and language skills are a few of the potential issues.
Pediatric chiropractic care provides vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile stimulation that is essential for the proper development of a child’s nervous system. Chiropractic is not a treatment for autism or sensory processing disorders, just as it is not a treatment for any other disease or health condition. Simply, it is a gentle, non-invasive treatment to restore optimal structural balance and neurological function.
Dr. Risa Sloves is one of 10 board-certified pediatric chiropractors in Connecticut. She practices with her husband, Dr. Mark Joachim, who is also a chiropractor, and additionally specializes in the BioSET Allergy Elimination Technique and nutrition. Connect at 203-838-1555, CTChiropractic.com or AllergyEliminationNorwalk.com. See ad, page 7.