What is Chiropractic?
So let me set the scene for you before I answer the question, “Does chiropractic work?”
- Chiropractic is a profession that helps identify and relieve issues related to your skeleton, joints and soft tissues. Usually, the treatment is performed by hand.
- Therefore, a chiropractor is interested in helping you with these issues.
- The methods and techniques individual chiropractors will use vary though. With many different competing philosophies regarding what the role of chiropractic is and what the scope of their practice should be.
I became a chiropractor because I was getting a lot of back pain in my twenties, and chiropractic was the only profession that helped me get comfortable. At the time, I thought it was miraculous, as no one had been able to help me with any of my physical problems for many years. By becoming a chiropractor, I thought that I would also be able to help others that had suffered like me. I was really pleased about having found a useful, practical profession!
The type of chiropractic I was trained in initially was the diversified chiropractic technique (DCT). This involved quick thrusts to a joint to force a release from it; often helping to improve the motion in that joint. This technique would very often relieve my back pain and I thought that it was the solution I had been searching for.
Working as a chiropractor
After several years in practice, I realised I was still slowly deteriorating, despite working hard to maintain my health and having ongoing chiropractic care. I told myself “Not to worry. I just need to work harder and be more consistent with my exercises, treatment and nutrition.”
You can find out more about the issues I was suffering with and what treatments I learned and tried out here – Recovery from chronic pain with Advanced BioStructural Correction.
The standard model of care that I was taught was basically to loosen up the areas of the body that are stiff/tight with DCT and stretches and strengthen the areas that are weak with exercises. Sounds like a good thing to do right?
Well, after some time, I noticed that the same pain would keep returning. No matter how regularly I was treated; no matter how well I stuck to my rehabilitation and conditioning exercises; no matter how hard I trained a certain muscle, it would eventually still fail and I would be in pain.
- Why would the same area keep failing?
- Why did I need to work so hard just to function normally?
- What was the difference between me and others my age that seemed fine?
These questions bugged me all the time.
Something was missing
I still was not satisfied with the results I was getting for myself or my patients, so over several years, I did hundreds of hours of research on all sorts of health topics, on top of my chiropractic education. I knew that I must be missing something important; I could not accept that this was as good as it gets.
I used myself as a guinea pig to test many different treatments. A lot of this seemed to help me but in the long term, I was still getting worse!
Being a member of many professional groups and forums, I would ask how others were getting on in the profession; maybe it was just me? People seemed to be having different experiences but many had ongoing issues that they were “managing” but not curing.
During seminars and meetings, I would question my fellow practitioners on what techniques they used, which tests were useful, which protocols they used, successes, failures, etc.
After nine years I was still dissatisfied that I could not fix myself or my patients to my expectations. I was getting plenty of people out of pain, but they were not getting back to what I considered full function – and I wanted to feel amazing which I was not!
Is there a better way?
I started to wonder if my profession was not as awesome as I had first thought. In my mind, either we can fix people or we cannot, and I thought I was meant to be getting people back to 100%. I then started to ask myself the question, “Does Chiropractic work?”
As I continued searching for an answer, I came across a protocol called Advanced Biostructural Correction – ABCTM. As soon as I read the basic premise I knew I had hit on something promising. The more I learned, the more everything fell into place.
In maths and physics, the best theories are often very simple and the basic theory of ABCTM is this:
- Many physical injuries that you experience, cause bones to be pushed out of place – misaligned.
- Your body can use many of its 600+ muscles to pull some but not all of these displaced bones back into alignment.
- Therefore our bodies have only a partially self-correcting mechanism.
- The bones that remain out of place
- To get a damaged body healthy and working properly again you correct only the bones the body cannot self-correct, letting the body do the rest.
“The injury at the root of many of your problems is a bone out of place in a direction that there are no muscles or combination of muscles to self–correct. “
Pretty simple theory right? In practice, the situation can get very complicated, because you may have dozens or even hundreds of these injuries at different times in your life, and because you cannot self-correct them, they accumulate. This leads to different symptoms as time passes but ultimately your condition worsens.
I have practised this way since 2014 and I have found it to be extremely consistent and comprehensive in its theory, methodology and outcomes. I only use this method now and I have found that this community of forward thinkers is more in tune with my way of thinking, hence why I left the chiropractic profession.
Psychologists have known for a long time that past traumas can affect us today. Well, it seems as though the same is true for the body too.
I hope that this gives you an insight into the challenges facing many therapists working today and why I left the chiropractic profession.
It’s a biomechanical problem
In my opinion, physical injuries are a biomechanical problem so you need someone who thinks like an engineer or mechanic as well as having a biological understanding. Due to what I have learned during my journey so far I have radically changed the way I diagnose and practice in my clinic.
Nowadays, I pay meticulously close attention to your injury history, right back to childbirth, as that seems to be the key to understanding your current situation. When I dig around a little, it becomes apparent to both of us that you have actually been having problems for a very long time. It’s just that you never considered that they were all related to the same underlying issues.
The method a chiropractor uses is what is most important
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of chiropractic techniques. Not many people know that! So when someone is searching for a chiropractor, they will usually look at cost, location, reputation, etc; assuming that the actual treatment is mostly similar. From my research into this area, I found that I could group a lot of these techniques and methods into those that push spinal bones forward and those that push spinal bones backwards.
So the thing which depresses me still to this day is that it seems likely that the key direction that you cannot self-correct in your spine, are bones that have been pushed forward. I was taught to manipulate spinal bones into this very direction in the past.
It may have contributed to my body getting worse even though I was working so hard on my health. The treatments I was having were getting me out of pain, but biomechanically, they were not very helpful.
Nowadays, I only push spinal bones in the opposite direction – backwards never ever forwards. This works extremely well for me and my patients. I have found that not only can you get pain relief but the biomechanics, posture and function of the body also immediately and simultaneously improve.
I work on any and every bone in your body that needs correcting, including the facial and cranial bones. I test my clients from head to toe every visit and I make sure I correct every bone misalignment that needs it. At the end of each treatment, you should be effortlessly upright.
The difference between one person and another is which of their bones are affected, in which order did it happen and how long ago. These three variables are enough to produce many different complaints. When a client presents with several symptoms and lots of complaints, I can break their injury history down chronologically and it always makes perfect sense.
It makes sense!
I used to wonder how I could have missed something so obvious. The reason is that if you have been educated to think in a certain way, it becomes very difficult to think outside of the box. The answers are right in front of your face but you are oblivious to them.
I cannot tell you how easy it is to understand and explain complaints when you get the underlying theory right. It is a joy to go to work now and I am constantly on the lookout for tougher and tougher cases to challenge the model. Both I and my ABC colleagues have not been able to “break the model” yet; so far it is a very robust theory and the protocol is very safe. In my book that is an incredible achievement.
Testing myself, I also learned that excessive nerve tension meant that my nerve signals were not getting through to my muscles correctly. Despite their size from all my training, many of my muscles were weak, especially if I bent forward as this increased the tension and gravity pulled me more forward. Now I knew why I had always hurt myself when bending. Almost all of my symptoms could be explained with a simple theory.
I do not want others to suffer like myself and my family members; trying therapy after therapy yet still getting worse as the years pass. I do not believe that once we get hurt there is no way to help ourselves and we just have to make do.
I do not think that physical injury is a disease; it seems to me, a biomechanical issue.
Medical students get even less education on biomechanics and yet GPs are the people that have to deal with the most number of patients with physical injuries. This seems awfully unfair on them in my opinion.
Fortunately for me, my grounding in lots of physics and maths meant that when someone presented a biomechanical model of injury to me instead of a disease model, it made instant sense.
Challenges in the profession
An issue we face is that healthcare is it becoming more and more specialised to the point that few people understand the whole body. If you don’t understand how everything interacts with each other and is intimately linked, it can make it difficult to make sense of the whole person.
I make it a point to continue to educate myself on the physical, biochemical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspect of being human so I can better understand the “whole”.
What I have learned doesn’t mean that I will stop searching. That is the beauty of science; there are always improvements to be made to everything in life and as a scientist, I am not the sort of person that gets complacent. I want the best results for myself and my clients.
Does chiropractic work?
So “Does chiropractic work?” Well, it can work but it depends on the method the chiropractor uses. With Advanced BioStructural Correction, I have been getting 99% symptom improvement success and 100% posture improvement. Compared to other technique this is night and day. I have the confidence in this method to help almost anyone that seeks help with their structural health.
I hope this helps shed some light on why perhaps no one has been able to help you so far. If something you have read in this article resonates with you, I may be able to help you get to the root of your problem. Please click on the link to tell me your story and book in your free consultation with me.
Level 3 ABCP, ENCC, MIABC, MEIABC
Registered Advanced BioStructural Correction Practitioner™
Registered EndoNasal Cranial Correction™
Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine
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