What's An Adjustment?

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The primary focus of chiropractic is simply to adjust the spine and remove those things which interfere with the body's natural normal healing ability.

Spinal adjustments to correct subluxations are what make chiropractic professionals unique in comparison with any other type of health care professional. The term "adjustment" refers to the specific force chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally.

The objective of the chiropractic adjustment is to reduce the subluxation, which results in an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, reduced muscle spasm, reduced pain and improved function. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas in the spinal joints that sounds like a "crack." The sound sometimes surprises people the first time they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the person tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible "cracking" does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or the person having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. Some adjusting techniques are designed to move the spine in a way that does not produce the audible sound at all. Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain.

Ultimately, the goal of receiving adjustments should be to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, chiropractors can use and recommend a variety of natural healing methods, including adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, and counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. The primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body's natural normal healing ability. The adjustment of the spine is the primary objective of a chiropractor. There are some chiropractors who also adjust the extremities and use other forms of physiological therapeutics including the use of electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction, neuromuscular re-education, and a variety of manual therapies.

Increasingly, chiropractors' offices are becoming full service wellness centers providing a variety of wellness services. A new trend that chiropractic wellness centers offer is wellness coaching. Some programs offer coaching at the wellness center, while others offer wellness coaching via telephone, email, or online instant messenger in an effort to make it more convenient. Chiropractic wellness centers may offer seminars in a variety of subjects such as spinal alignment, improved posture, and ergonomics, as well as programs on weight management, relaxation, smoking cessation, nutrition, and exercise. Some even offer pre- and post-natal healthy baby programs. The increasing number of chiropractic centers providing extensive wellness programs makes it convenient and affordable for just about anyone to adopt a wellness lifestyle. Chiropractors understand that within each of us is an innate wisdom or healthy energy that will express itself as perfect health and well-being if we allow it to. Therefore, the focus of chiropractic care is to remove any physiological blocks to the proper expression of the body's innate wisdom. Once these interferences are reduced, improved health is the natural consequence. Who wouldn't want that?

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    -Cathy Hand Cunningham
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