A Guide to Understanding Chiropractic


by David M. Coonrad, D.C. / May 2013

History will substantiate that the nineties was a pivotal time in this country when a dramatic shift occurred in the way Americans approached their individual health needs. The New England Journal of Medicine published a survey that revealed 85 million Americans were using alternative methods for their health care needs, spending nearly $14 billion of which over $10 billion was out of pocket (not covered by insurance).

Dr.David Eisenberg of Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted the national study. His study was based on more than 1,500 randomly chosen adults,and estimates that the 425 million visits to alternative care offices was more than the number of visits to the family doctor,general practitioner and pediatrician combined (388 million visits). Back pain, allergy, anxiety and headaches were among the common reasons provided for seeking alternative care. Classic end-stage diseases such as cancer were also reasons given. Thus, this study marked the established acceptance of alternative treatment methods as more popular than medical care. Leading this national movement into alternative methods is the chiropractic community. Without question, chiropractic is the most widely accepted alternative health care method utilized today.


Chiropractic is a safe and natural method of healing that promotes optimal body function by locating and correcting misalignments of the spine that cause nerves to malfunction. Since chiropractic treatments do not involve the use of prescription drugs,the patient is not subject to the devastating side effects that powerful medications can produce.

Did you know that prescription drugs are the cause of an estimated 100,000 deaths per year in the United States? That is 6 times more than the number of AIDS deaths per year.

How many times have last year's medical breakthroughs (Thalidomide, Fen-Fen, Baycol, Lipitor, Phenylpropanolamine, etc.) become this year's medical disasters?


Chiropractic philosophy states that all life is part of a universal intelligence and every living thing possesses an innate or inborn wisdom or intelligence. When fully functional, your innate intelligence controls all body functions and determines the most appropriate healing priorities. Innate knows exactly when, where and how to heal your body. Chiropractic provides your body with the opportunity to heal itself without turning to potentially harmful medications that are designed to mask symptoms rather than correct their cause. In essence, we often say, "The power that made your body,heals your body."


Chiropractic is based on two major principles: 1) The body is self-healing and self-regulating in its natural state,and 2) The nerve system is the master system of the body and it controls all other functions. Spinal misalignment or Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) causes the human body to lose its ability to heal and regulate itself.


Often referred to as nerve interference,VSC is caused by the misalignment of one or more of the vertebrae in the spinal column. This causes alteration of nerve impulses traveling throughout the body. To better understand this concept, visualize yourself traveling along the highway, encountering a detour and driving miles out of your way to get to your final destination. Similarly, a mental impulse traveling along your spine's superhighway is diminished, altered or detoured when it encounters VSC (nerve interference). These garbled and/or misdirected messages diminish your overall health and wellness.For your body to function at its peak, messages must be clear, timely and delivered without interference to the proper locations. In this example, good health could be likened to pleasurable traveling on an unobstructed superhighway.


Subluxation occurs when you are overwhelmed by physical, chemical and/or emotional stress. Events such as falls, minor car accidents, sports injuries, the birth process, disappointment, spousal disagreement, loss of a loved one, depression or overwork can cause subluxation. Considering today's stressful lifestyle it is vitally important that we all receive regular chiropractic check-ups to ensure our nervous system is functioning at its optimum potential for overall health and wellness.


Chiropractic is celebrated for relieving physical aches and pains; however, there are many other symptoms you may be experiencing that are the direct result of spinal subluxations. Vertebral Subluxation Complex diminishes your body's ability to perform its necessary functions in any given circumstance. When you are subluxated, you may become aggravated or stressed very easily, react too slowly,become easily confused or tired. Headaches (including migraines), numbness or tingling are frequently the result of subluxation. You may have difficulty making sound decisions or find yourself on an emotional "roller coaster." Your resistance may be lowered which makes you susceptible to recurrent infections. Plus, symptoms of organ dysfunction including indigestion, allergies or menstrual problems may appear.

In short, subluxation dramatically alters your perception and ability to effectively manage daily situations and events. Your immune system is significantly weakened and your body structure is "thrown out" of balance. In such instances, injury, illness and disease may not be too far behind.


Computer technology has been applied to the detection of VSC through non-invasive methods of surface electromyography and infrared thermal examination. Surface EMG testing indicates spinal muscle imbalance caused by subluxation. Infrared thermal testing verifies the temperature of the skin on each side of the spine to determine inflammation caused by subluxation. By combining these objective tests with additional examination procedures, the doctor of chiropractic can clearly detect indications of VSC. While under care, these same tests are utilized to monitor and re-evaluate your progress.

"An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure."

It is extremely important to recognize that although you may not currently be experiencing pain or symptoms, our sophisticated technology will immediately pinpoint areas of nerve disturbance before you begin to develop symptoms due to subluxation. One of the most valuable aspects of chiropractic is its ability to prevent conditions from surfacing. By choosing to receive care when you are not sick (Wellness Care), many conditions may be completely avoided. This proactive approach to health could save you time, money and further damage to your body. Early detection and correction of subluxation can prevent numerous problems from arising in the future.

What is the value of avoiding a headache, cold, flu, ulcer, or possibly a heart attack?


VSC is corrected through a series of low-force spinal adjustments. The chiropractor locates and corrects the subluxations that may manifest themselves as headaches, body aches, fatigue and confusion. Remember, chiropractic corrects the cause of your symptoms, not the symptoms directly. As nerve interference is eliminated and the spine moves back into its proper alignment, your innate intelligence will direct your body to function more efficiently. Typically, you will begin to feel vast improvement in your physical condition as the life-force energy is restored and your structure rebalances itself.


The adjustment is the application of a specific, gentle force to your spine. The chiropractor examines your spine both visually and physically and inspects other indicators (leg length, hip position & postural imbalance) that help detect the most severe areas of subluxation. The location of the adjustment is determined by the condition of your spine and is not necessarily applied in the same area as your pain and discomfort.

By gently touching the spinal segment that is in most need, the chiropractor is able to release the tension that holds the segment out of place. After a series of very light touches, the chiropractor may push on the vertebrae and create a clicking sound as the bone moves back into proper position.


You will receive a suggested treatment schedule based on the findings of your initial examination. The frequency of adjustments is dependent upon your overall condition and the amount of spinal degeneration discovered. As nerve interference is eliminated and your spine moves back into alignment, your treatments will become less frequent. Once your spine returns to its optimal state, you will want to schedule regular "wellness" visits to help keep your spine in its proper alignment, maintain a healthy nerve system and prevent future problems.


Some people respond almost immediately, others experience relief on a more gradual basis and, unfortunately, some people do not get symptomatic relief at all. However, a study completed at the University of California at Irvine College of Medicine reported that there was a dramatic improvement in the wellness and quality of life for patients receiving Network Chiropractic care. This clearly indicates that in spite of not achieving full relief; those people are still enjoying life more as a result of receiving adjustments.


Modern medical care is excellent for the treatment of life threatening illness and severe acute trauma. When you are severely injured or dangerously ill, medical care is highly recommended. In addition, a medical physician should be consulted any time you have a condition that you feel requires diagnosis or medical care.

Unfortunately, the medical profession has taught us to be fearful of symptoms. They have taught us that we "need" medication to recover from routine illnesses. Consuming medications can undermine the body's attempt to heal itself. The "side effects" of routinely prescribed medications are frequently worse than the condition they were prescribed to originally aid. It seems like each week we hear an announcement regarding removal of another drug from the market because it kills or maims the very patients it was supposed to assist!

Unnecessary medical treatment causes 50,000 deaths per year. Iatrogenic (doctor-caused) disease causes another 50,000 deaths per year. Considering this data, we feel chiropractic is a very safe and viable alternative to modern medicine.

Symptoms are the body's warning signs of a problem in need of correction. By covering up the symptom(s) with powerful and dangerous medications, we frequently short circuit the body's innate wisdom as it attempts to heal itself. It is normal for our bodies to provide us with warning signs in the form of symptoms. However, we need to heed the body's call for assistance by seeking chiropractic care and other natural methods first. If these conservative and natural methods are ineffective, then medicine can be utilized.


People of all ages can benefit from chiropractic care. As a matter of fact, everyone should be checked for subluxation including infants. Consider that the first subluxation usually occurs during the birth process when strong pressure is exerted on the baby's head, neck and shoulders as he/she tries to escape from the birth canal. This first subluxation frequently sets the stage for a myriad of childhood illnesses such as earaches, frequent colds, asthma, skin conditions, headaches and even the possibility of learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Thus, everyone needs to be checked for subluxation.


When we feel fine, we tend to take our health for granted. But when we are sick or hurt, we can't seem to think about much else. Starting today, you have the opportunity to make "good health" a priority in your life and the lives of those you love. By seeking chiropractic care, you are taking the first step toward reaching your full health potential. Chiropractic is one of the essential ways you can take better care of yourself. And remember,when you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others. Please take a moment to imagine what your family life would be like if everyone was healthy and cooperative.

Isn't it time to look at your health from a different perspective?


It is our sincere hope that chiropractic will change your life like it has for millions of others around the world. We are excited about what we do at Valley Natural Health. As you secure a greater knowledge of chiropractic, we hope that you will want to join us in accomplishing our mission of healing as many families as possible by referring your loved ones to us for care. We maintain an established policy of evaluating your entire family at no charge during the first two weeks of your care with us. Please arrange these appointments for your family with the front desk staff on your next visit or by calling 201.634.9004.

Please refer us to a relative or friend so he/she will learn more about the health benefits of chiropractic care.

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