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Chiropractic – Philosophy, Art and Lifestyle

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Jacey chiropractically adjusting a baby

The chiropractic approach to health is one of harmony and vitalism. Chiropractic is based on the scientific premise that the body is a self-regulating and self-healing being. In Australia there are over 215,000 consultations each week (1) including the elderly, mothers, fathers, children and newborns.

Chiropractic care is focused on supporting and sustaining health by maintaining the integrity of the structure (primarily the spine, and pelvis) and function (the nervous system) of the body through chiropractic adjustments and a pro-active healthy lifestyle.

It is important that chiropractic is part of a woman’s pre-conception and pregnancy healthcare plan. Chiropractic care supports a woman’s body throughout pregnancy by facilitating her adaptation to carrying a growing child and reducing back pain (2). Chiropractic care provides the best opportunity for optimal baby positioning, intervention-free labour and a safe and natural delivery.  

Chiropractic care for children is essential for optimal neurological development. Babies experiencing poor latching, poor digestion and elimination, poor alertness, failure to thrive, poor movement and poor sleep are indicators of a body not in harmony. Doctors of chiropractic will promote a chiropractic check-up for all newborns.

Chiropractic Philosophy

The spine and skull encase the central nervous system; brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerves start at the spinal cord and pass between each vertebra and connect to each and every cell of your body. The nervous system controls every cell, system and body process. It is the first part of the embryo to develop and the last to switch off when you die. Without a nervous system we would not exist. The nervous system relies on a good healthy lifestyle and an interference free existence to create an optimal working body.

Stress causes interference to the nervous system. Stress can be in the form of physical stress (falls, birth trauma, accidents, poor posture, poor habits), chemical (poor nutrition, environmental, poor hydration) and emotional (grief, loss, lifestyle stress, anger). Each time our body encounters stress, many physiological and neurological changes occur. A cascade of events follows, leading to a state of dis-ease. The body will adapt as much as possible, but will not be able to function optimally. Over time, we can see evidence of acute and longstanding dis-ease as pain, sickness, illness, poor immunity, disease, fatigue, chronic illnesses etc.

A doctor of chiropractic is specialized in identifying the symptoms of dis-ease that may not normally be correlated by mainstream medicine. They will assist your nervous system to restore harmony and health through chiropractic adjustments and lifestyle advice. A doctor of chiropractic will look at your whole body, but will focus on the spine.

When you encounter stress, we can see an adaptation in the spine. The vertebrae can become subluxated (a joint that is not well positioned or moving well) and alters the neurophysiology of the area. This irritates and impairs nervous system function. A nerve that exits the spinal cord at this level will not be able to function correctly. This leads to a break in communication from your body at the peripheral end of the nerve back to the brain. Over time subluxation will lead to spinal degeneration and permanent levels of dis-ease. Chiropractic adjustments can counteract spinal stress and aid in preventing it in the future.

Chiropractic Art

It takes hundreds of hours to learn how to make specific chiropractic adjustments to correct subluxations. A doctor of chiropractor knows how to adjust you in a safe and effective way.

In Australia a doctor of chiropractic must have minimum of 5 years of university training. A doctor of chiropractic spends the same and in many cases more hours learning anatomy, embryology, physiology, orthopaedics and diagnosis than many medical degrees. A doctor of chiropractic is a primary health care provider and the only practitioner to focus on the nervous system.

Chiropractic Lifestyle

The chiropractic lifestyle is focused on you being the best you can be now and in the future. Doctors of chiropractic aim to work with you throughout your life to encourage vitality and dis-ease prevention. The chiropractic lifestyle recognizes is takes daily practices to ensure optimal health. Families who practice a chiropractic lifestyle understand the important of chiropractic adjustments, good nutrition and stress management for anyone at any age.
Doctors of chiropractic can help prevent difficult births and help reduce caesarian rates by reducing intrauterine constraint. Chiropractic adjustments remove musculo-skeletal causes of intrauterine constraint (3) giving adequate room for baby to move and grow. Chiropractic care provides the best possible chance of a safe and easy birth for both mother and baby.

The Webster Technique is the technique used exclusively by doctors of chiropractic to remove torsion and tension in an expecting mother’s pelvis. Be sure to find a doctor of chiropractic who is certified in the Webster Technique.

As a child learns to stand and walk they experience hundreds of bumps and falls sending jolts through their spine. Any bump can cause a vertebral subluxation. A child may experience pain or a scare momentarily and then it is quickly forgotten but the spinal dysfunction can remain for years to come. Chiropractic breaks the degenerative cycle.

Good nutrition is essential for an optimal functioning body. Every new cell is created from the food we digest. Doctors of chiropractic help you chose healthier options educate you on common food myths and ensure you and your family get the best nutritional recommendations available.

Emotional stress can be debilitating to your health. The chiropractic lifestyle acknowledges personal, work and financial stress negatively affects our health. The chiropractic lifestyle promotes exercise, meditation and practicing positive thoughts and mindset to support body harmony and counter negative emotions.

The chiropractic lifestyle encourages families to create a health and wellness network within their community. Doctors of chiropractic are primary healthcare practitioners therefore a referral from your GP is not necessary. However more and more GP's are referring to doctors of chiropractic via the Enhanced Primary Care Program (EPC).

For more information about chiropractic and to find a chiropractor near you, please head to the Chiropractors Association of Australia website www.chiropractors.asn.au and the website for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association www.icpa4kids.org.

Reference List

(1) Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2004-2005). National Health Survey: Summary of Results. (No. 4364.0). Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
(2) Lisi  Anthony J. (2006) Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain of Pregnancy: A Retrospective Case Series. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health
51(1), e7-e10
(3)Pistolese  Richard A. (2002) The Webster Technique: A chiropractic technique with obstetric implications. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics  25(6),E1-E9

Jacey Pryjma (B.Sc Chiro, M.Chiro. CACCP) is the founder of Well Kids, an inspiration, information and motivation source for families promoting a naturally bright future for children. Known as Dr Jacey to her paediatric clients, Jacey is board registered chiropractor from Macquarie University. She is certified in the Webster Technique and by the Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice and the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics. Jacey can be contacted via email jacey@wellkids.com.au. www.wellkids.com.au

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