Dr. Troy Dreiling – Chapter 7 Excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter Seven of Dr. Troy Dreiling’s book.

Health Is a Multi-Faceted Equation

The common goal of chiropractic treatment is to restore the body to its natural state of health. When the body is confronted with the stressors of daily life, the immune system can be weakened. When this happens, the communication throughout the body’s nervous center can be blocked or impaired. When the immune system is healthy and the body is properly aligned, the body can sustain and fight off illness and disease. Maintaining a healthy body is a combination of proper alignment and a healthy lifestyle. Chiropractors educate their patients on both.

Your body is designed to heal itself. The nervous system is what controls your immune system. If you’re run down, your body is less able to cope with germs and infections and that’s when you will start to exhibit symptoms of illness such as a cold, the flu, or other types of compromised immune functions. If your nerve system is strong and healthy your body is more able to fight off and deal with these germs. Chiropractic care focuses on helping you maintain a strong and healthy nervous system, resulting in a healthy body and lifestyle.

Treatment by a chiropractor works to restore the body by removing obstacles such as a misalignment. Chiropractic treatment seeks to provide wellness by removing the cause of the symptom and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

Nutritional Needs for a Healthy Body

Daily living exposes us to free radicals which not only can cause illness and disease but contribute to the aging process. Free radicals have a negative impact on how we look, and how we feel. Free radicals occur when an electron in an atom in our body becomes unpaired and searches for another electron to pair with. This search for another unpaired atom causes damage to our cells and causes a chain reaction creating more free radicals.

Free radicals occur in everyday life. They are made worse by: • Poor diet • Smoking • Drugs • Stress • Injury • Sun exposure • Pollution • Exposure to toxic chemicals • Aging • Infection Free radical damage can lead to: • Cancer • Heart Disease • Diabetes • Arthritis • Autoimmune disease • And many other diseases. Free radicals can damage the molecules in our body, such as protein, fat, even our DNA. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that protect the body and fight off free radicals. These vitamins give free radicals the electron they are looking to pair with before they damage our cells. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, vitamin C, 90 ~ TAKE CHARGE of YOUR HEALTH ~ and vitamin E. These vitamins help strengthen your immune system making it easier to ward off illnesses like the flu, colds, and other infections.

Beta-carotene

Beta carotene is a substance the body converts into Vitamin A. It’s a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the cells and boost the immune system. Vitamin A is needed for new cell growth, healthy skin and hair, tissues, and vision in dim light. Although known for its red, orange and yellow pigments, there are many green vegetables as well that contain high amounts of beta-carotene. High sources of this important nutrient include: • Carrots • Pumpkins • Sweet Potatoes • Spinach • Collards • Kale • Turnip greens • Beet greens Words Defined: Beta-carotene Beta-carotene is one of a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids. Beta-carotene and other carotenoids provide approximately 50% of the Vitamin A needed in the American Diet. 1 91 ~ TAKE CHARGE of YOUR HEALTH ~ • Winter squash • Cabbage Other sources for Vitamin A include: • Beef • Broccoli • Cantaloupe • Apricots • Liver • Milk • Butter • Cheese • Whole eggs Vitamin C Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is another antioxidant that strengthens our immune system and regulates our body to protect it from infection. While it is needed for the growth and repair of tissues, it’s also important to help make skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It heals wounds and forms scar tissue. Vitamin C aids the formation of collagen to hold the cells together. It also is needed for healthy teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It is another vitamin which is important for eye health. Fruits with the highest sources of Vitamin C are: • Cantaloupe • Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit • Kiwi • Mango • Guava 92 ~ TAKE CHARGE of YOUR HEALTH ~ • Papaya • Pineapple • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries • Watermelon Vegetables with the highest source of Vitamin C include: • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower • Green and red peppers • Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens • Sweet and white potatoes • Tomatoes and tomato juice • Winter squash Note: Cooking vitamin C-rich food or storing them for a long period of time can reduce the vitamin C content. 3 If you are not getting enough Vitamin C you can experience illness or discomforts including: • Anemia • Bleeding gums • Decreased ability to fight infection • Decreased wound-healing rate • Dry and splitting hair Interesting Fact Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for asthma patients. Asthma patients often need vitamin C in larger doses because it acts as an antioxidant in their lungs and air pipes. This is one of the most underrated vitamin C benefits. 2 93 ~ TAKE CHARGE of YOUR HEALTH ~ • Easy bruising • Gingivitis • Nosebleeds • Possible weight gain due to decreased metabolism • Rough, dry, scaly skin • Swollen and painful joints • Weakened tooth enamel. • Scurvy (due to severe vitamin C deficiency) 4

Dr. Troy Dreiling – Chapter 6 Excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter Six of Dr. Troy Dreiling’s book.

Like the building of a house, chiropractic does things in a certain order so that the spine can be strong and work correctly. For instance, when building a house, you must have a strong foundation before you try to put up walls. Equally as important, you must have walls before you add on the roof.

The same is true for your body. You must go through a plan of care in the right order so that it can heal itself fully and correctly.

There are three general phases of chiropractic care: the initial intensive or relief care; rehabilitation care; and wellness or maintenance care. Let’s take a look at each.

Initial Intensive or Relief Care

For the most part, patients report to a chiropractor because they have pain. In fact, more than 70% of patients specify back and neck problems as the health problem for which they are seeking chiropractic care.

In the initial intensive or relief care phase of chiropractic care, the main goal is to get rid of your pain and stabilize your condition as quickly as possible. Since pain is usually the last symptom to show itself and the first to resolve itself, progress is seen very quickly.

The number of times you visit a chiropractor during the relief phase will vary based on your particular condition. Typically, however, this phase lasts from a week to a month, with visits three times per week.

Corrective / Rehabilitative Care

The next phase is rehabilitative care. Do you believe that if you have no pain then you must be healthy? If so, you agree with most people, but like them, you would be wrong. Pain is a poor indicator of health and typically only appears after a disease or condition has been present a long time.

Let’s look at a few examples. A cavity in your tooth only begins to hurt when it has hit the nerve. At that point, you are looking at some major dental work. When it was a simple cavity, you had no pain. Or perhaps you can think of diabetes. By the time a diabetic feels leg pain, the diabetes is causing poor circulation to the extremities, often leading to severe procedures such as amputation. An earlier diagnosis could have prevented this with medication.

What does this have to do with your spine? Pain in your spine usually means a problem has advanced. The reduction of pain is great but does not mean the problem has been resolved. That is why you need rehabilitative care.

By the time you have reached the rehabilitative phase, you once again feel like participating in your normal activities. If you do so, however, without continued care, your pain is likely to reappear because your condition has not yet been fully stabilized.

The goals of rehabilitative care include:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Increased muscle control and coordination
  • Increased balance
  • Reducing fear and avoidance of normal activities

This phase of care can take a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of your condition. Typically, the amount of care is not quite as frequent as relief care.

However, it is important to realize that your condition may have taken years to develop, so it will take time to correct. For instance, the pain associated with low back pain may resolve easily with chiropractic. The problem is that recurrent episodes are common. This has been shown to be a problem in the multifidus muscle that cannot become strong and healed without rehabilitation.

In addition to regular adjustments during the rehabilitative phase, care may be accompanied by rehabilitation exercises, nutrition, and modification of daily habits.

Wellness / Maintenance Care

Once you have finished corrective / rehabilitative care, you then move on to the wellness phase. Your wellness program will be designed specifically for you and will include such things as good nutrition and exercise.

A good way to look at wellness care is to relate it to car care. We all know that it takes a long time for an engine to blow, but with regular maintenance, the car will run well for many years and many miles. Similarly, it takes a long time to develop subluxations in the spine. With regular wellness care, the vertebrae will not have a chance to get out of line. Treatment frequency can range from once per week to once every two months.

The goals of this phase of chiropractic care are:

  • Improving health
  • Encouraging normal spinal function
  • Preventing the return of the original condition
  • Catching small problems before they become serious

Wellness care is very important, especially given the state of health in the United States. Healthcare spending in the United States exceeded $2 trillion in 2006 and is projected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2017. 5 The problem is that most of this money doesn’t go for “health” care but for “sick” care.

Economist Paul Zane Pilzer summarized the situation well: “The sickness business is reactive. Despite its enormous size, people become customers only when they are stricken by and react to a specific condition or complaint … the wellness business is proactive. People voluntarily become customers – to feel healthier, to reduce the effects of aging, and to avoid becoming customers of the sickness business. Everyone wants to be a customer of this earlier stage approach to health.”

Dr. Troy Dreiling – Chapter 4 Excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter Four of Dr. Troy Dreiling’s book.

Proactive Approach to Pain

Many Americans suffer from chronic pain. In fact, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics, more than one-quarter of Americans (26%) age 20 years and over – an estimated 76.5 million Americans – report that they have had a problem with pain. They awaken in the morning in pain and go to bed at night in pain. And for many, sleep is interrupted due to pain. Such pain limits activities and limits life enjoyment. But what can a person do?

The old view solution was to see a medical doctor who would most likely prescribe pain medication. Of course, as time went on, more and more medication would be needed in order to combat the pain. And that was if you were lucky enough to be helped by the pain medication in the first place.

If the pain persisted, surgery was often the next avenue of care. The problem with surgery is that the “cure” often leaves chronic pain sufferers in more pain. Perhaps a different pain, but pain nonetheless.

The old medical model is a model of disease. The first line of defense is to mask the symptoms. The second line of defense is to surgically repair. This is very different from the wellness model practiced by chiropractors.

Chiropractors do not seek to mask symptoms. Instead, we seek to help the body function at its most optimal level by fixing subluxations in the spine. We seek the cause of the problem.

In order to understand how chiropractic can help chronic pain sufferers, it will be helpful to define pain.

Pain is not a bad thing in and of itself. Of course, for those experiencing it, it is no fun. However, pain is the body’s way of sending an SOS to the body. The message is that something is wrong and the SOS is loud enough that it
can’t be ignored.

If a person feels a sufficient amount of pain, they will stop doing the activity that is causing the pain. This is the protective mechanism built into the body to help prevent further injury.

Pain is useful as long as it is keeping us healthy. However, pain can get out of control. It can continue long after its usefulness has been achieved.

Pain that stops you from injuring yourself further is called acute pain. It is the body’s response to injury. For instance, if you twist your ankle while hiking along a trail, the pain you feel is acute pain. Chronic pain is that which persists far beyond the twisted ankle.

Chronic pain has many sources:

  • Injuries that did not heal correctly or completely
  • Long-term disease
  • Injuries to the nervous system

Of course, there are other potential sources, but no matter what, the source of chronic pain is one that encompasses an unresolved issue with the body.

The biggest problem with chronic pain is that it starts a vicious cycle that leads to more pain. The longer we feel pain, the more our body tries to accommodate the pain. This is often through unusual body movements and posture, and through a reduction of activities. The more the body accommodates the pain, the more difficult it is to get rid of it. It can be a
very difficult cycle to break.

This is where chiropractic care comes in. Specific chiropractic adjustments can help reduce or even eliminate many kinds of pain and has been shown to be especially effective with chronic pain.

How can chiropractic help when medication cannot? Chiropractic principles state that although injury or illness may be the original cause of pain, everything that happens to the body involves the nervous system.

  • Any impact to the body will involve the skeletal system in general and the spine in particular
  • Disease causes muscular issues. Muscles affect the way we move. Movement and posture effects the spine.
  • Blocked nerve impulses are due to subluxations in the spine.

Chiropractic’s role is to establish the normal function of muscles, joints, and the nervous system, thus eliminating the root causes of chronic pain.

Studies have shown that chiropractic treatments are among the most effective pain management plans. Chiropractic is low-risk. It has no side effects like those associated with medication. And best of all, chiropractic may not only manage pain but can eliminate the cause of pain altogether.

Dr Troy Dreiling – Chapter 5 Excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter Five of Dr. Troy Dreiling’s book.

Not Risky Business

So, you may be asking, are there any risks associated with chiropractic? Risks are small and typically involve some mild soreness or aching after an adjustment. This is the same kind of soreness found after exercise. It simply means that your muscles, bones and ligaments have moved in ways they are not used to. Based on studies, this minor soreness typically fades within 24 hours. In most instances, however, patients feel immediate relief.

Why is chiropractic so safe? First of all there are no drugs. Drugs can have potentially dangerous side effects. Secondly, there are no surgeries. If there are no surgeries, then you cannot have surgical complications.

Possible Risks of a Common Medical Treatment

One of the most common treatments prescribed by medical doctors for neck and back pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDS. These drugs carry significant risks far greater than a bit of soreness from an adjustment.

Such risks include:

  • Potentially life-threatening allergic reaction
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Increase the risk of heart attack
  • Increase the risk of stroke
  • Skin reactions
  • Cancer

In fact, according to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, nearly 33% of hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding are due to NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen. 2

Even such advice as bed rest can cause problems. These problems include:

  • Muscle atrophy
  • Heart and lung weakness
  • Bone mineral loss
  • Blood clots

Chiropractic has none of these risks.

What Have the Researchers Found?

Chiropractic researchers are involved in studying the benefits and risks of chiropractic care. All available studies, literature and case studies show that chiropractic treatment holds an extremely small risk for many different reasons.

  1. Education
  2. Training
  3. Postgraduate education
  4. Basic philosophy

The basic philosophy of chiropractic is that the body can heal itself and that it is not the job of a chiropractor to heal. The job of a chiropractor is to remove subluxations so that the body can operate fully.

Canadian researchers analyzed scientific literature on chiropractic and stated the following:

“Chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of llow-backpain. Chiropractic management is greatly superior to medical management in terms of scientific validity, safety, cost-effectiveness and patient satisfaction.”

Another analysis of the literature in Ontario found that:

“There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low back pain. Some medical treatments are equally safe, but others are unsafe and generate iatrogenic (doctor-induced) complications for low back pain patients. Our reading of the literature suggests that chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of low back pain.” 4

 And the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that:

  • Serious complications from specific chiropractic spinal adjustments is rare
  • Specific chiropractic spinal adjustment should be used before considering surgical intervention
  • Prescription drugs such as oral steroids, antidepressant medications and colchicine are not recommended for acute low back problems.

AMA Tries to Vote NO

So, where do the reports of danger originate? Most of the misinformation and misunderstanding comes from the American Medical Association (AMA).

This determination to have chiropractic seen as something unsafe and performed by “quacks” pretending to be doctors began as far back as the early 1960’s. At that time, the AMA tried to eliminate chiropractic as a profession. The purpose was to keep medical physicians from referring patients to chiropractic among other things such as have access to hospitals, doing joint research projects or teaching at colleges. To do this, they told its membership, medical students, insurance companies and the general public that chiropractic was an unscientific cult.

This attitude has changed and we see many referrals from physicians all over the country to our clinic for results. I always encourage patients to hire doctors that support their decision to seek out chiropractic care. Many of the old physicians and biased attitudes have faded away. I believe the patient has a choice in picking their team of health care providers and the chiropractor should be always be welcomed from other doctors to help the patient get the best care and best results possible.

In 1976, five chiropractors filed a lawsuit against the AMA for violation of the Sherman Anti-trust Law. Finally, in 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals stated that the AMA intended to “destroy a competitor,” and that there was evidence “showing that the AMA was motivated by economic concerns.” It also stated that the AMA doctored evidence to try to prove that chiropractic was unsafe.

One of the studies most touted by the AMA talks of 113 cases of injury after spinal manipulation. What you won’t hear, however, is that these 113 cases were over a period of 53 years and that only 66 were injured after manipulation was performed by a licensed chiropractor.

If we look at the numbers, we will find that:

  • There are over 60,000 chiropractors in the U.S.
  • Approximately 286 million adjustments or more are made each year

Therefore, the injuries sustained through manipulation are about one case per 286 million adjustments. Stated in statistical terms, the risk of manipulation to the neck is 0.0002% or two to three cases per million.

Now let’s look at that number and compare it to the risk of death from surgery to the cervical spine – 700 per million.

So, you can see, chiropractic manipulation is far safer and as studies have shown, far more effective, too!

Looking at these numbers in comparison to what is happening in the medical community will help you understand more fully the safety of chiropractic. Let’s take a look at drug injuries.

Dr Troy Dreiling – Chapter 3 Excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter Three of Dr. Troy Dreiling’s book.

Time to Define

As more and more individuals seek alternatives to potentially harmful drugs or surgery, chiropractic has been gaining a lot of momentum. It is true that chiropractors do not prescribe medication, as this is not part of our model of health. The chiropractic wellness model is all about nervous system health. When the brain and spine have no communication barriers, no subluxations, then the body is working at its optimum level and many health issues can be eliminated or prevented.

The same is true concerning surgery. Chiropractors do not perform surgery as this is considered a last resort within our proactive model of healthcare. So, in this respect, a doctor of chiropractic is not a physician that works within the reactive “sickness” model but chooses to help patients within a “wellness” model or paradigm.

Both a medical doctor (MD) and a doctor of chiropractic (DC) are indeed well educated with degrees from government accredited schools. The difference is in the way we look at health and healing.

Doctors of Chiropractic deal with people, not diseases. We work to help each patient experience greater levels of health, vitality and improved bodily functions through maintaining or correcting nervous system integrity. Medical doctors have a completely different model and, therefore, have a completely different education to complement that model.

Both of these models have a place in our society. The medical doctor model is one of emergency and reactive situations. If you have a broken bone, are experiencing a heart attack, or are bleeding, then a medical doctor is the professional for you. However, if you are suffering from many types of chronic health issues or non-emergency aches or pains, then the chiropractic model may work best for you.

Thousands of Hours of Proof

A chiropractor is well educated, with an educational emphasis on science. In fact, the requirements to become a chiropractor are extremely rigorous and are as or more intense than many other healthcare professions.

Being accepted to chiropractic school is no easy feat. To do so, a prospective chiropractor must have completed two to four years of undergraduate classes with an emphasis in science. This depends on the chiropractic college and the state where the student wishes to practice. This is similar to the requirements of medical students before entering medical school. Once accepted to the school, another four years of schooling is required and the focus on science continues.

The first two years of chiropractic school consists of courses similar to the following:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Public health
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Biochemistry

The later years are more specialized including such courses as:

  • Chiropractic philosophy and practice
  • Chiropractic diagnosis
  • Adjusting methods

Additionally, there is deeper training in anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition, diagnosis, x-ray and a variety of therapeutic techniques that aren’t taught in other health care fields.

The purpose of the chiropractic education is to teach students to recognize and care for patients that are experiencing the effects of vertebral subluxations and disorders that are related to the neuromusculoskeletal system of the body. Students also learn how to adjust the spine so that the nervous system functions at its optimal level. Some Chiropractors specialize in correcting the upper cervical subluxations which is a precise and accurate adjustment to the top 3 neck vertebrae. There is a tremendous amount of research coming out now on the amazing benefits that upper cervical chiropractic care has to offer.

Chiropractic promotes the wellness model of health. The essence of chiropractic is that the body has the innate ability to heal itself and resist disease processes as long as it is functioning properly with no interference. Therefore, in addition to adjustment techniques, students learn a variety of other wellness ideals such as diet, exercise, and nutrition.

It is true that the coursework is rigorous, but the student’s education does not end in the classroom. Students must spend hundreds of hours as an intern under professional supervision. The purpose of an internship is to ensure that those graduating with a doctor of chiropractic degree will have all the experience needed to provide safe and effective care to their patients.

Although some of the classes are different, DCs and MDs spend nearly the same number of hours in the classroom. Both MDs and DCs cannot practice without passing a licensing exam. And finally, to continue to practice, a chiropractor must take clinical continuing education classes.

Let’s Talk About Accreditation

In the United States, there are 18 chiropractic colleges:

  • Cleveland Chiropractic College
  • Life Chiropractic College West
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic West
  • Southern California University of Health Sciences
  • University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida
  • Life University, College of Chiropractic, College of Arts and Sciences
  • National University of Health Sciences
  • Palmer Chiropractic University Iowa
  • Northwestern Health Sciences University
  • Cleveland Chiropractic College
  • Logan College of Chiropractic
  • D’Youville College, Chiropractic Program
  • New York Chiropractic College
  • Western States Chiropractic College
  • Sherman College for Straight Chiropractic
  • Parker College of Chiropractic
  • Texas Chiropractic College

More than 14,000 students attend these colleges each year.

Having 18 schools with a great enrollment does not, however, say anything about the quality of the education found inside the walls of the colleges.

That is where accreditation comes in.

The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), a nonprofit organization and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting agency for chiropractic, has been setting the standards since 1974. The CCE sets standards not only for curriculum but also for faculty, facilities, patient care, and research. Additionally, admissions requirements of chiropractic colleges, as well as licensing board requirements are highly influenced by the CCE standards.

For instance,

  • Undergraduate courses must include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, psychology, English and the humanities. All science courses must also have associated labs.
  • More and more states require a Bachelor’s degree in addition to a DC to practice.

Dr Troy Dreiling – Chapter 2 Excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter Two of Dr. Troy Dreiling’s book.

Your MD and Health

What exactly does being healthy mean? We use this term all the time. “I went to the doctor and she said I was healthy” or “My grandma is very healthy and rarely has to visit the doctor” or “I wish I could get rid of these aches and pains so I could be healthy.”

Have you ever really considered what you mean when you say or think these things? “Healthy” is one of those words that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In general, the idea of health between the medical model and the chiropractic model of care differs significantly.

Ask a medical doctor what health is and they will likely say, “A state free from disease.” This definition does not state what health is, but what it is not. It is not a disease. So, according to their definition, if you do not have a specific disease you are healthy.

But, what if you have:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach disturbances
  • Body pain
  • Fatigue

Unless there is a specific disease attached to these complaints, you are still considered healthy. In pain, yes. Healthy, yes. How can a person be healthy if they have health complaints?

On the other hand, sometimes a healthy body does have health complaints. It’s true! At least if you think of a body that is acting correctly as one that is healthy.

For instance, if you have eaten food and now have what is known as food poisoning, your body will respond by vomiting and getting diarrhea. This means that your body is functioning in a healthy manner. Yes, you have symptoms. Yes, you feel terrible. But your body has recognized the “poison” and is working efficiently to rid the body of this poison.

Other signs that some say show lack of health that can actually mean your body is reacting in a healthy manner include:

  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

So, what is health if it isn’t about symptoms?

Chiropractic Health Is True Health

Chiropractic does not look at health in terms of what it is not, but in terms of what it is.

The World Health Organization defined health as “a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Chiropractors understand the intimate relationship of a healthy body to the nervous system, which of course includes the vertebral column. The nervous system controls everything in your body. All your cells, tissues, organs and systems get information from the nervous system and learn what they are to do and not to do based on that communication.

Since this is true, real health is about how well your nervous system can communicate with the rest of your body. That is why subluxations cause such big problems.

Subluxations cause a block of communication. This blockage causes a variety of disease and illness.

It is amazing how many people come to a chiropractor with a spinal complaint, only to realize that chiropractic care has resolved not only their back pain but other issues as well. Reducing subluxations creates positive results through the entire body!

Mechanist vs. Vitalist

Essentially, the medical model of health sees the body as a machine – a series of parts that need attention. That is why there are specialists – specialists deal with your parts.

  • Cardiologist = Heart
  • Gastroenterologist = Digestive system
  • Urologist = Urinary tract
  • Podiatrist = FeetOrthopedist = Bones
  • Gynecologist = Female reproduction
  • Neurologist = Nervous system

In order to “fix” the machine or “get rid of” disease, these specialists look to drugs to alter blood chemistry. In many instances, this approach does not address the root of the problem.

Those that see the body as a whole are known as vitalists.

A vitalist doesn’t see the body as just a sum of parts but realizes that the body has an “innate intelligence” – an ability to heal and the desire to be whole and well. Chiropractors are vitalists, along with acupuncturists, homeopaths, and naturopaths, among others.

The purpose of vitalist care is to restore your body to balance so that it can perform at the optimal levels. We do not merely mask symptoms and declare health when the symptoms are gone. Instead, we look for the root cause of the problems and work to eliminate that root cause.

Generally speaking, chiropractors are both mechanists and vitalists, at least in respect to the following:

  1. Mechanist: Chiropractors pay attention to the mechanics of the spine.
  2. Vitalist: Chiropractors look at a dis-stressed or altered nervous system and how it affects the entire body, understanding that correcting the subluxation will allow the body to heal itself.

Dr Troy Dreiling – Chapter 1 Excerpt

This is an excerpt from Chapter One of Dr. Troy Dreiling’s book.

What Is Chiropractic?

That is a question that many people ask, especially as they consider alternatives to the medical practices of drugs and surgery. Yet, depending upon whom they ask, they will get many different answers.

In the past if you asked a medical doctor about chiropractic, the response may not have been quite positive. Today, however, many medical doctors not only refer their patients for chiropractic, they also choose this safe, natural and effective care for themselves and their families as well.

This is true because chiroprac­­­tic education and research has come a long way. We spend as much time as a medical doctor, if not more, in getting our degree. We also are well versed in the health sciences including anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, health formulas, nutrition and other studies that are relevant to the advancement of a proactive wellness model of true healthcare. The type of health care that assists in helping you restore and maintain your natural ability to be whole and well rather than cover up your ailments with dangerous drugs or controversial surgeries.

Studies have shown that in many cases chiropractic is beneficial and typically more effective than drugs or surgery. Studies have also shown that chiropractic is one of the safest healthcare treatments available. In my opinion, it should be used as the first course of care to help aid in restore life and health to the body and drugs and surgery being the last resort.

If you ask a chiropractor how to define chiropractic, we might get pretty technical and say something like, “The discipline of detecting and reducing vertebral subluxation” or “A science, art and philosophy which utilizes the inherent recuperative abilities of the body and deals with the relationship between the spinal column and the nervous system and the role of this relationship in the restoration and maintenance of health.”

Yes, these are true statements, but what do they mean to the average patient? What does this mean to you? Later in this chapter, you will learn about the chiropractic vertebral subluxation (CVS) and the neuro-musculoskeletal system(NMS), but suffice it to say, at this point, that chiropractic is helping your brain and body talk to one another without any interruptions.

If you were to ask a patient of chiropractic the questions, you might hear something like, “Chiropractic has brought me back to a life without pain and with freedom of movement that I haven’t experienced in a number of years” or “I have noticed incredible changes in my body, mind and spirit since starting chiropractic.” Other patients will report improved sleep, better digestion and elimination, better exercise and nutrition.

What wonderful testimonials! And these are but a few of the things you might hear from someone that has tried chiropractic care. However, despite the glowing recommendations, it still leaves you wondering, “What exactly is chiropractic?”

Chiropractic Defined

Here is chiropractic in a nutshell.

  1. Your body is a self-regulating, self-maintaining and self-restoring organism.
  2. Your brain and spinal cord, “the central nervous system(CNS),” controls, communicates to and coordinates every organ, tissue and cell function of your body.
  3. Interference with this communication such as the vertebral subluxation causes dysfunction leading to dis-ease,dis-stress and then ultimately negative symptoms and or pathology.
  4. Removing this interference, with a specific chiropractic adjustment, restores proper communication and allows the body to function efficiently and heal itself.

So, a chiropractor is a doctor that can locate the vertebral subluxations and remove them through the use of specific adjustment techniques.

Chiropractic is a science, art and philosophy. A diagnosis is made through testing and observation and then care is delivered based on clinical experience and continued training.

This is the same process that a medical doctor uses. The difference is that a medical doctor treats with drugs and surgery in order to deal with the symptoms of pain and illness. Chiropractic, on the other hand, works on the root cause by helping to remove the interference in the body. The approach to care is by making specific chiropractic adjustments to correct the subluxations and helping to balance the electrical communication and neurological disturbances in the body.

And what about the art and philosophy? Chiropractic is the art of restoring the body to its natural state utilizing many different techniques and styles. Healing injury or pain is simply a wonderful side effect of restore the body to a state of wholeness.

The chiropractic philosophy is the understanding that the body wants to function correctly and be as healthy as possible and that our bodies know how to do this and will do this as long as there is no interference.

Vertebral Subluxations, pressure, disturbance, imbalance or irritation of the nerves, is interference. Research shows that pressure/irritation on the spinal nerves causes the body to break down. Removing that pressure causes the body to begin to move towards a more whole and healing state. Chiropractic’s goal is to remove that pressure.