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As successful and widespread as chiropractic is becoming, many myths floating around in the general public are being put to rest. Times have definitely changed as chiropractic now moves to the forefront of healthcare. Nevertheless, the fact is that many people still don’t understand what chiropractors do and why chiropractic works. Let’s clear up a few of the common yet outmoded and limiting myths about chiropractic.
Chiropractors are licensed as primary health care providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world. While the competition to attend chiropractic school is not as fierce as medical school, the chiropractic and medical school curricula are virtually identical, with a few exceptions. Chiropractors actually have more hours of education than their medical counterparts. The chiropractic curriculum also focuses more on treatment of dis-ease in the body, while the medical curriculum focuses on the diagnosis and management of conditions.
Chiropractors receive extensive training, combined with many hours of practical work. Just like conventional medical doctors, chiropractors are medical professionals that are subject to the same testing, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Workers’ Compensations programs cover chiropractic, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic.
The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their education or diagnostic ability, but in their philosophy and preferred method of treatment. Chiropractic philosophy is centered in the premise that the body is self-healing and self-regulating, as long as there is no interference to the expression of its Innate Intelligence. Medical philosophy is centered in the use of chemicals and surgery to treat the effects of that interference. Consequently, medical doctors are excellent in crisis care. However, chiropractic care is excellent in wellness care and prevention, treating the whole person that has the condition. Chiropractic care is aimed at treating the cause of disease, and not just the symptoms and results of disease. By removing nerve interference through the chiropractic adjustment and providing lifestyle coaching, the body is restored to optimal physiology and homeostasis.
The American Medical Association’s opposition to chiropractic was at it’s strongest in the 1940s under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. He tried to portray chiropractors as unscientific. Up to the late 1970s and early 1980s, the medical establishment purposely conspired to try to destroy the profession of chiropractic. In fact, in a landmark lawsuit in the 1980s found that the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and was ordered to pay restitution.
In the 20 years since, the position of most medical doctors has changed; mostly because of several major studies that showed the superiority of chiropractic in treating a host of conditions, coupled with a better understanding among medical doctors about what chiropractors actually do. Many hospitals across the country now have chiropractors on staff and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. Chiropractors and medical doctors are now much more comfortable working together in cases where medical care is necessary as an adjunct to chiropractic care.
It would be silly to think you could do maintenance on your car just once and expect the car to last very long. Can you imagine doing only one or two oil changes on your car? Yet many people take better care of their cars than they do their bodies! You only get one body is this lifetime. How many cars will you own in your lifetime? More importantly, while you may be able to do replacement parts for your body, there is no replacement part for your nervous system. It has been said that once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to keep going the rest of your life. Well, you don’t have to do anything. Health is a choice and a responsibility. It is much like going to a dentist, exercising at a gym or eating a healthier diet, as long as you keep it up, you continue to enjoy the benefits.
Many years ago dentists began educating the public to understand that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt or develop problems, and that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. It is important to recognize that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences wear and tear when you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep and bend. And even faster wear and tear develops if you exercise on a subluxated spine. Regular chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy great benefits of chiropractic care even if you receive treatment for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a lifestyle. Just like exercise or healthy eating.
Strokes are definitely a serious event, no doubt. There are still some uninformed yet well intentioned medical doctors who tell their patients to avoid chiropractic adjustments to the neck due to the risk of stroke. Of course there is a possibility of this happening, but it is less than the possibility of being struck by lightning! On the other hand, you are 70,000 times more likely to suffer a stroke from the daily use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks. You are also 37,000 times more likely to suffer a stroke for some unknown reason than to suffer a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment. When administered by a trained and licensed doctor of chiropractic, adjustments are extremely safe.