Q & A
What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic (in Greek chiros and praktikos means “done by hand”) is based on the premise that the body is a self-healing organism. The central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) is the master system controlling and coordinating every function of the body, and communicates with every muscle, organ and cell. When subluxations are present, the body is unable to function at its optimal level to obtain its greatest healing potential i.e. dis-ease processes will occur.
What is a subluxation?
The spine consists of 24 moveable bones called vertebrae. Between these vertebrae lie the discs. Disc derangement causing improper motion of the vertebra leads to a disruption in the nervous system deterring the body from functioning at its optimal capacity. Even the most minimal amount of interference in that communication from the brain to the cell will cause dis-ease. This derangement is called a SUBLUXATION.
How is your Gonstead Chiropractor different from other practitioners in the field?
Your Gonstead Chiropractor meticulously finds and removes these subluxations by hand (called an adjustment) with the specific intention of restoring nervous system function and health. She will go beyond what most chiropractors consider a spinal assessment and will conduct a thorough analysis of your spine using five criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.
1) Visualization – your chiropractor is an expert in looking for subtle changes in your posture and movement which could indicate troubled areas.
2) Instrumentation – your chiropractor will use a dual-probed heat reading instrument called a nervoscope. She glides this instrument down your back in order to look for areas of abnormal nerve heat distribution which could indicate nerve dysfunction and joint swelling.
3) Static Palpation – your chiropractor runs her fingers over (palpates) your spine in a static/stationary position. She is looking for edema/swelling, areas of tenderness and tight muscle fibers.
4) Motion Palpation – similar to static palpation, the chiropractor palpates your spine while bending it in different directions. She determines how easily or difficult each segment of your spine moves. Lack of motion is one of the components of a vertebral subluxation.
5) X-ray – “to see is to know, to not see is to guess” we don’t guess when it comes to your health care. In order to determine the overall structural abnormalities, to determine the condition of the discs, observe phases of degeneration, misalignment of the spinal bones, to rule out fractures and pathology, it is necessary to take x-rays of the entire spine. This examination is an important analytical tool and provides the doctor with a blueprint for correcting and maintaining the health of your spine. This is the Gonstead difference!
How long will my care last?
The state of health one wishes to attain is a personal quest. There are three stages of care to be aware of: relief, corrective and wellness. It is hard to determine how quickly a patient can achieve their goal as many factors are involved (ex. acuity/chronicity of complaint and patient’s commitment to care and compliance).
Relief care – the first stage of care for most patients. This initial phase focuses on relieving pain and discomfort, and alleviating symptoms. But don’t stop care here! Pain and symptoms are the last to show up and the first to go away. The underlying cause of your dis-ease has not been completely addressed, yet.
Corrective care – the second stage of care addresses restoration of function and tissue healing. This is often when a patient “feels better” and may decide they “should be able to go out and play _____ now”. Though one may be feeling better, the injured tissues are still healing. To continue through this stage means that you will address the cause of your dis-ease and prevent recurrences. It is extremely important that the patient comply with the doctor’s recommendation about home exercise and appointments. Most of what ails us did not occur over night. Healing is a process and takes time.
Wellness care – this final stage of care is when one decides that this lifestyle of prevention is for them. Here the patient and doctor focus on preventing new injuries, minimize flare-ups of old ones, and prevent degenerative spinal processes (subluxation degeneration of osteoarthritis). The doctor will recommend periodic spinal check-ups, just as one would visit a dentist to have their teeth cleaned to prevent detrimental damage.
How did I get subluxated?
There are three reasons we become subluxated and lose our curve: physical, chemical/toxins and thoughts (autosuggestion).
Physical trauma is broken into two subcatergories: macrotrauma (car accidents, sports injuries, falls, etc.) and microtrauma (repetitive motions such as our work/driving/sleeping habits).
Chemically we are mainly talking about nutrition (salt, sugar, caffeine). Some foods promote inflammation or react with our body’s chemistry (such as preservatives) or enhance scar tissue formation. There must be balance to what we put into our bodies. Toxins may include products we use on our bodies or expose ourselves to.
Thoughts/autosuggestion is the third cause. Stress plays a big part in most people’s lives. Stress leads to increased levels of cortisol (an adrenal steroid). At high concentrations it becomes a tissue toxin and leads to weaknesses and susceptibility to injury.
Who should receive care? Newborns? Young? Old? Pregnant? Sick? Seemingly healthy?
Everyone with a nervous system and spine! Blue, green, purple, tall, small, triangular! Chiropractic is for everyone. Subluxation can appear quite early in life from birth trauma. And though one may “feel” fine, you never know how well your nervous system is functioning and defending off dis-ease until you are checked. There is no such thing as a sudden heart attack or sudden anything, only undetected dis-eases probably developing over many years. And yes chiropractic is gentle enough for those with not so strong bones (ex. people with osteoporosis or newborns).
Will chiropractic help me with my condition?
Yes. No matter how far along a dis-ease process, a person should have the chance to fight it off at their optimal level of function and health, whatever that may be.
We accept cash, check, credit card and health savings cards to make payments. We do not accept insurance; however, we can provide a superbill. After we receive payment for a date-of-service, we provide a superbill for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement according to your plan. You can call your insurance provider to find out your "out-of-network chiropractic benefits".