Back in the day (has it really been 27 years?) I didn’t understand Chiropractic. I didn’t know that spinal manipulation (which chiropractors call “spinal adjustment”) involves moving a joint beyond it’s usual range of motion but not beyond its the range of motion the joint is designed to move.
Spinal adjustment is by far the most common treatment a chiropractor performs here in the US. Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) describes techniques where the hands are used to manipulate, massage, mobilize, adjust, stimulate, apply traction to, or otherwise influence the spine and related tissues.
When I learned that Chiropractic doctors believe many of the same things I believe, I was ready to listen.
Chiropractors generally believe:
Our bodies have a natural and powerful ability to heal itself.
Our body’s structure – bones, joints and muscles – and capacity for healthy function are closely intertwined.
Chiropractic treatment helps balance our body’s structure and function and promotes self-healing.
It makes complete sense now. The benefits of manipulating the spine, range from temporary pain relieve to long term wellness.
I asked Dr. Hawkins if chiropractic could really help relieve pain. He recognizes that chiropractic isn’t a “cure all”, more of a way to get to the root of the problem.
There are many causes of pain. Pain fibers in the brain that identify pain could be emotional, chemical or mechanical; a pinched nerve, twisted ankle, sprained back, slipped disk, herniated disk, degenerative disk disease. Ultimately it’s what brings the pain receptors to the brain.
Dr. Hawkins said, “When the body has its proper input from its environment, it’s able to respond appropriately. Most of our problems occur when the body is not able to adequately receive the signal so it can respond properly”
An ‘adjustment’ will straighten the spine so that the joints are moving correctly to help the brain get the information and send correct signals to the body. Instructions for all bodily functions, for example to contract the muscles at the appropriate time will be correctly sent.
Dr. Hawkins believes in good nutrition and provides a form for patients to track their consumption. He has recognized that sometimes people don’t realize what they’re eating until it’s documented. He encourages his patients to modify their eating to have the best results.
When asked about recommendations of supplements, Dr. Hawkins told me about his education. He has been trained as an internal health specialist with the Loomis Institute where he studied the effect of enzymes on our health.
I also asked Dr. Hawkins about exercise. He recognizes the value of exercise and encourages us to find an exercise program that is appropriate for us, and do it, but not over do it. Dr. Hawkins recommends swimming for people with MS. We need to listen to our bodies he said, and get the proper rest that we need. Moderation in all things is his motto.
Dr. Hawkins also said Massage Therapy has many benefits.
He believes our bodies were created to heal themselves yet recognizes there is a time for pharmaceuticals. He suggested we communicate with our medical doctors about any supplements we’re taking and make sure our chiropractor knows our pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Hawkins has agreed to answer your questions about Chiropractic treatments. Click on the contact tab above with your inquiries.