“Does chiropractic really help with that?”
At Family First Chiropractic, we get this question a lot. The short answer is: “If the problem comes from the spine, then YES!” The body has an intricate communication system called the nervous system – the brain sends messages down the spinal cord housed in a conduit formed by the bones of the spine. Those messages travel along the nerves that exit the spinal cord between the spinal bones to reach all the organs and tissues of the body. The spine acts as a suit of armor to protect the nervous system. When a bone is out of place in the spine, also known as subluxation, the loss of normal spinal structure can put pressure on nerves, causing that message to slow down, become garbled, or be completely interrupted. This is how the process of dis-ease starts.
In the 1920s, a medical doctor, Henry Winsor, set out to disprove the correlation between chiropractic adjustments and documented instances of patients’ health conditions showing improvement. After analyzing the spines, nerves, and end-organ disease of human cadavers, he consistently found a direct or indirect connection between the abnormal spinal alignment and the condition of the nerves that supplied the corresponding organ responsible for the patient’s reported disease process. This discovery revolutionized how he viewed the impact of improved health through chiropractic adjustments. The person who set out to disprove holistic chiropractic care’s efficacy proved just the opposite.
Regular chiropractic adjustments allow the body to function at its highest efficiency. By ensuring that the spine is in a healthy normal alignment, a person can reduce stress on the nervous system so that it can work at full capacity. Imagine trying to water a flower bed with a hose that has a kink in it. At best, the water trickles out, or worse, the water doesn’t flow through the hose at all. Subluxation, or misalignment of the spinal bones, is like that kink in the hose. When you undo the kink, the water can flow. When a chiropractor adjusts the subluxation, it removes the pressure on the nerve so that the communication can flow properly—improved communication within the body results in partial or total relief of dis-ease and dysfunction.
For these reasons, many people utilize regular holistic chiropractic care to help their body function at its best. One specific benefit that chiropractic patients experience is a more robust immune system. Patients with asthma, allergies, gut issues, high blood pressure, anxiety, and more have seen improvement in these conditions with holistic chiropractic care. Principled holistic chiropractic care focuses on getting to the root cause of the problem rather than using a variety of treatments to mask symptoms.
How Our Holistic Chiropractic Care Plan Works
1. Be Heard
Quality time with a health professional, so you can be truly heard and understood, isn’t all that common. We understand that. This is why, on your first visit, you will meet with one of our doctors and share your health concerns and struggles so we can understand exactly why you are here and what you want to achieve. The doctor will determine what testing is necessary to find the source of your health concerns and answer the biggest question of all: Can Holistic Chiropractic Care Help?
2. Discover How We Can Help You
Every new patient should feel like they are making the right decision for their health. This is why our doctors explain what they are looking for in the testing, so our patients know exactly what is going on, instead of just being a bystander. We will share everything we discover from your testing and exams, including if we can help you. In the unfortunate event that we cannot help, our doctors will provide any additional resources they feel would be appropriate to assist you.
3. Achieve Your Health Goals Together
Whether you just want to be out of pain, or you want to get back to golfing without limitations, or you are desperate to get a restful night’s sleep, we will be with you every step of the way. We’ll achieve your goals
How Do I Know If I Have A Subluxation?
The only way to know if your health concerns could be related to the condition of your spine is to have a spinal checkup performed by a chiropractor. At Family First Chiropractic, all new patients receive a comprehensive consultation, full chiropractic spinal exam, postural analysis, and any other necessary tests or X-rays. Our doctors utilize the Gonstead Technique, which involves five specific components of spinal analysis. You can learn more about The Gonstead Technique HERE. Based on your exam findings, the doctor can recommend what course of action would be needed to address any spinal conditions revealed by the exams.
When analyzing exam findings, the doctors investigate the spine to determine if subluxation, or spinal misalignment, is present and how long it has been there. Subluxation is when a bone has moved out of healthy normal alignment. When spinal misalignments are left uncorrected, degeneration and arthritis can begin as quickly as two weeks after the misalignment occurs. When the body has an outward symptom due to a spinal misalignment, it typically means that the subluxation has been present for a while. Only 10% of our nerves are pain and feeling nerves. The other 90% of the nerves coordinate our bodily functions. If nerves have been struggling to function with pressure on them (like a “kink in the hose”), the messages traveling along those nerves are becoming fragmented or trickling through at less than full speed. Over time, you could notice things like slow digestion, slow circulation, limited breathing abilities, inhibited adaptation to environmental toxins or impurities, and other functional symptoms.
When a problem has been present for longer, correcting it takes longer. Just like the dirty dishes that sit in the sink for days, the cleaning process will take more effort and more time. It’s much easier to clean the dishes right away. Correcting spinal misalignments is similar. Regular weekly chiropractic adjustments can prevent developing spinal issues and allow the body to experience correction and relief of associated symptoms before they become more severe. Even after more serious issues have developed, it can be possible to reverse some of the damage to nerves and organs by restoring healthy normal spinal alignment and allowing the body to heal and function at a higher level.
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Holistic Chiropractic Care for Organic Conditions & Diseases
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and can often involve increased mucus production in the airways. This can make breathing difficult and trigger shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing, a whistling sound when you breathe out.
Common asthma symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, wheezing when exhaling (the most common sign of asthma in children), trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath, and coughing or wheezing attacks that get worse from a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.
We can’t cure asthma, but we can control its symptoms. Holistic chiropractic care focuses on whole body health, including addressing asthma symptoms like wheezing or difficulty breathing. Asthma causes airway inflammation and airway constriction, resulting in breathing difficulties. Proper function of the nervous system allows for a reduction in inflammation and increased immune system function. Specific chiropractic adjustments allow for proper nerve communication that will ensure the whole body is functioning at optimal levels of health. Improved nervous system function also improves immune responses that can help combat asthma symptoms. Children and adults with asthma under regular chiropractic care have found that their breathing ability increases, and the severity of their asthma symptoms decrease significantly.
Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance. For some people, this could be pollen, bee venom, pet dander, or a specific food. Often, something that causes an allergic reaction in one person will have little to no effect on others. One specific function of your immune system is to produce antibodies to protect you. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular substance as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you encounter a substance your immune system has identified as harmful, it reacts by producing antibodies to protect you from the perceived attack. This reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system.
The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can’t be cured, holistic chiropractic care can help relieve your allergy symptoms by mitigating the intensity of your immune system response.
Allergy symptoms, which depend on the substance involved, can affect your airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include a runny nose, sneezing, pain or tenderness around your head and neck, coughing, wheezing or breathlessness, itchy skin, a raised rash (hives), diarrhea, feeling or being sick, and swelling of the eyes, lips, mouth or throat.
A benefit to chiropractic adjustments for allergy treatment is that they can help regulate histamine and cortisol levels in your body. Curbing histamine production is a big help during environmental allergy season, as the presence of histamines within the body is responsible for many allergy symptoms. Having a chiropractor perform cervical adjustments can relieve the tension on your brain stem, allowing your throat to relax. This relaxation allows the sinus passages in your head to drain, making you feel better faster without medication.
Digestive problems are prevalent in the U.S. and affect 60 to 70 million people, according to the Digestive Disease Statistics for the United States report prepared by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Common digestive disorders include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, and hiatal hernia. The most common symptoms of digestive disorders include bleeding, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, pain, nausea, and vomiting.
If the vertebrae in the spine are improperly aligned, nerve impulses meant to control the digestive system, including the stomach and intestines, can be slowed down or fragmented. This lack of clear communication results in many commonly reported digestive ailments.
High Blood Pressure
According to the National Institutes of Health, elevated blood pressure is a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80. High blood pressure is a systolic pressure of 130 or higher or a diastolic pressure of 80 or higher. Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some of the most common signs of high blood pressure. Often, these are late signs that high blood pressure has existed for some time.
In a study by the University of Chicago Medicine, specific chiropractic adjustments contributed to lower blood pressure among hypertensive patients with misaligned vertebrae in the upper neck.
Anxiety & Depression
According to the CDC, about one out of every six adults will be affected by depression at some point in their life. Depression affects about 16 million American adults every year, and depression can happen at any age and in any type of person.
Many people who experience depression also have other mental health conditions. Anxiety disorders often go hand in hand with depression. People with anxiety disorders struggle with intense and uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, fear, worry, and panic. These feelings can interfere with daily activities and may last for months or even years.
There is an interesting correlation between high blood pressure and disorders of anxiety and depression. Increased blood pressure causes excess stress on arteries. When arteries experience additional strain due to high blood pressure, this results in systemic inflammation and increased levels of cortisol (stress hormones). When the body has physical symptoms of elevated levels of inflammation and cortisol, this lowers a person’s capacity to deal with the mental stressors of anxiety and depression.
Because chiropractic adjustments can lower blood pressure, holistic chiropractic care can also help decrease symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help those suffering from mental health issues feel more at ease because holistic chiropractic care can manage both physical and mental/emotional symptoms. After every chiropractic adjustment, some of the crucial hormones that help boost mental health are affected. These include Neurotensin (helps eliminate stress-induced pain), Oxytocin (increases feelings of social bonding), and Cortisol (neutralizes pain originating from inflammation).
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of conditions can chiropractors in West Omaha treat?
While holistic chiropractic care does help with a variety of health conditions, it is not considered a treatment. Holistic chiropractic care focuses on removing interference to the nervous system and allows the body to function better. As a result, conditions like asthma, allergies, constipation, anxiety, and high blood pressure can improve.
Do chiropractors believe in the ability of the body to heal itself?
Absolutely! The body was designed to function perfectly. This means that life flows within the body without interference in the nervous system. Our lifestyle inevitably causes interference within the body due to subluxations. With chiropractic adjustments, those interferences can be reduced or eliminated.
How often should you see a chiropractor?
The frequency of your adjustments depends on your chiropractor’s findings in your initial exam and your personal health goals.
Can chiropractors help with pain?
Chiropractic adjustments can help with pain if the pain results from subluxation of the spine.
Can holistic chiropractic care cure diseases?
While holistic chiropractic care cannot claim to “cure” disease, it can help the body to heal and function better. Removing interference to the nervous system through a chiropractic adjustment can help the body’s communication system (the nervous system) and immune system perform better. This results in the body’s ability to heal and repair.