Everyone’s common perception is that the only reason that they should see a chiropractor is if they have back pain, neck pain, headaches or things like that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy when Billy’s back pain gets better, Susie’s sciatica goes away, and Nancy’s neck pain feels better. I’m happy to help those people. But the reality is, everyone thinks that we’re back doctors, and the truth is we’re really nerve system doctors.
Your nerve system is just a communication center. It sends messages from the brain down to the end user, which might be a tissue cell, it could be a muscle cell, it could be a heart cell, or it could be a liver cell. Whatever it is, they’re all connected to the brain. They all get information, and then information goes back to the brain exactly what that organ is supposed to be doing. You have an innate intelligence, an inborn wisdom that runs, regulates, and actually heals your body. It’s so important to understand that it’s more about your nerve system and the functions.
Yes, the spine is our avenue of approach, but what I’m always trying to affect, whether it be an adult or a child, is the nerve system. Now, every adult has a spine, and if you have a spine, you need a chiropractor, just like if you have teeth, you need a dentist, just like if you have a car, you have a mechanic. People use us when they’re in crisis, but really it should be more about healthcare and self-care, which is prevention. We do the self-care, which for dentistry is brushing and flossing. For chiropractic, it’s like stretching and exercise. The healthcare part is going to the dentist for your periodic checkups or going to the chiropractor for periodic checkups.
Then there’s crisis care. The person who’s bent over, they have so much back pain or they can’t move their neck, and they’re coming in in crisis. They know what to do at that point and they’re usually going to come in to try and get some relief care. But when they come in, I try to explain, “You know what? There’s a little more to chiropractic than just your back aches and neck aches.”
As a matter of fact, if you use chiropractic for your back aches and neck aches, you’re really only getting 10% of what chiropractic has to offer. 90% of your nerve system doesn’t have anything to do with sensing pain or moving muscle. That’s what controls your heart, your lungs, your kidney, your spleen, your intestines. When you have a massive amount of interference or pressure on the nerve system, organs don’t work properly. It just goes to show that when you interfere with nerve transmission, it has a really big effect on your quality of life and how your nerve system works.
Now, here are the top 10 reasons adults should seek chiropractic care:
1. Remove Nerve Interference
Chiropractic is the largest natural healing progression in the world. The holistic approach to the body, removing nerve interference is so far-reaching in the body. Every cell tissue and organ in your body is controlled by that nerve system, and removing interference has a positive effect on your overall health and wellness. That is my number one.
2. Relieve Pain Without Medication
Like I said before, chiropractic is often thought of as effective for back pain, neck pain, sciatica, and other painful conditions when people can’t take medications. The great thing about chiropractic, there’s no side effects to what we do. We don’t put anything into the body, we don’t take anything out of it.
3. Alleviate Stress
It can help alleviate a lot of the physical manifestations of stress. We always talk about stress because it’s an imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic. Our sympathetic nerve system is fight or flight, puts us into overdrive, we get all wound up. If a gunshot went off, we’d be like, “Oh my God,” and we’d be all tense and our visual acuity and our pain acuity and everything goes up and our muscles get tense and tight. But parasympathetic, by stimulating the cervical and then the sacral area, that’s the area of the nerve system that’s more responsible for calmness and healing and rest and relaxation. So, when people are in sympathetic overdrive, by balancing the spine, we can get that neuro balance a more normal resting tone. Most importantly, it changes our hormones, because your nerve system tells your hormonal or endocrine system what to do, when to secrete this, when to secrete that. If that’s out of balance, then everything gets crazy.
4. Slow the Progression of Osteoarthritic Change
The number four one I like because as we get older, we all get to see these degenerative changes in people’s spine, like that 75-year-old guy who looks like a question mark. He didn’t just wake up one day, look in the mirror, and say, “Oh crap. What happened to me?” That happened slowly over time, stress, tension, poor posture, accidents, falls. People who live in a repetitive stress world, people sitting at their computers for hours and hours and hours, or someone who’s a trash hauler, bending down, picking up bags, throwing them into the truck, lifting, lifting, lifting every day, all need to maintain that spine. The better the spine is aligned, the less friction there is, the less friction in the joints means less degenerative change, healthier cartilage, and less osteoarthritis. It helps slow down the progression and manage osteoarthritic change. That one’s a real big one there, talking about prevention of DJD by improving the mechanics of the spine.
5. Improve Immune System Function
As I said before, there’s a lot of evidence in number five, that the immune system function is related to nerve system function. There’s a lot of research out there, and they did these horrible experiments where they would inject a rat with a pathogen and measure the immune response. Then they would use a laser scalpel and sever the neural connections to the immune system and inject another animal. They found there was such a decreased response in the immune system when the nerve system was cut out of the equation that they established that link right away. Bill Myers wrote a book, Healing in the Mind, and talks a lot about that.
6. Regulate Blood Pressure
There’s some really cool evidence showing that upper cervical adjusting can have an effect on blood pressure regulation. How many people do you know that are on blood pressure medications? Once they go on them, they never go off.
There’s an opportunity to improve regulation through the nerve system since your nerve system monitors and regulates the blood pressure, by clearing out interference, it can optimize the way your body works and the control mechanisms to regulate blood pressure can be improved.
7. Improve Digestion
Number seven on my list is improved digestion. Again, for the same reasons. If we irritate the nerves that go to the stomach that leave from the mid-thoracic spine, how do you think you’re going to digest food? Anytime you irritate a nerve enough and you create an increased amount of impulses, it’s going to cause spasmodic IBS type of digestion. Or if we dam it back, if there’s enough pressure on those nerves and we dam it back, it’s going to result in less nerve energy going there or less impulses, and then we’re going to have weaker digestion or no motility and that’ll lead to constipation. All these things can improve the function of the digestive tract, because, again, everything is neuro-regulated.
8. Get Better Sleep
Better sleep is another one. Sometimes the most common thing that we hear after their first couple of adjustments, they come back and they’re like, “Doc, I’m actually sleeping better.” Or they tell me they have things like more energy or improved athletic performance.
9. Increase Nerve System Functionality
The nerve system is your information superhighway. If it’s running like that cruddy dial-up internet that we had 20 or 25 years ago as opposed to a DSL or a T1 line, or now I think the latest rage is that fiber optic stuff, the faster it goes, the more efficient our computer is. Our computer in our body is our brain and it runs this machine, so that connection is so important.
10. Manage Scoliosis
Then number 10 on my list here is scoliosis management, those lateral curvatures that develop, the prevention and management of disc injuries, because when you improve the mechanic of the spine and things are lined up better, there’s no uneven pressure on the disc which stops the disc from bulging, and that’s a real important part of it.
There is more to chiropractic than just treating your back aches and neck aches, and just because you don’t have any symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. Chiropractors are lining things up and getting all the pressure off the discs and the delicate spinal nerves. The removal of the irritation to the nerve system optimizes the immune system and allows the body to heal, run, and regulate. So, the number one reason to get started with chiropractic care is to optimize the nerve system and enable the body to function holistically without using drugs or surgery.
Dr. Gregg D. Rubinstein, D.C., is a midtown Manhattan chiropractor with over 20 years of experience providing customized chiropractic treatment services to a wide range of clients in the Midtown Manhattan/West New York City area. Dr. Gregg Rubinstein and 57th Street Chiropractic can be reached at (917) 534-6484 and is located at 119 West 57th St. in New York, NY.