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Chiropractic aims to aid the human body’s own innate intelligence, which seeks balance, or homeostasis, among systems in the body. Chiropractic also emphasizes that proper structure is necessary for proper function and holds that the nervous system is the primary coordinator of function throughout the body.
In homeostatic balance, bodily processes work in concert. When we suffer an injury or become infected, the body automatically repairs itself or attacks the infection. When we’re too warm, we perspire; when too cold, we shiver.
Because of the importance of the nervous system in regulating the body, it needs to function at full capacity. It is the role of the chiropractor to identify and remove the barriers to neurophysiological (nerve function) balance. This promotes homeostasis.
In order for systems to function well, they need to be structurally sound. For example, when our neck muscles tighten, we can’t fully turn our head. When our lung tissue is damaged, we can’t breathe effectively.
This principle of structure and function applies to all body structures, from its systems to its tissues and even to its individual cells. For this reason, chiropractic uses non-invasive approaches, such as manual care and healing nutrition to minimize potential damage to normal bodily structures.
Chiropractic theorizes that nerve and organ dysfunction is often the result of misaligned vertebrae of the spine. When the vertebral segments become injured, fixated, or malaligned, soft tissues become irritated, adjacent muscles often tighten, and nerves can be irritated and their function impaired. This is called an “intervertebral subluxation.”
This very common condition results from trauma, postural stress, congenital abnormalities, disc degeneration, and the toxic effects of infection. Simple daily living puts everyone at risk for this quite common condition.
Chiropractors use spinal assessment and adjustment to reduce the subluxation, and thus alleviate irritation of the nerves. Because the spine is such a complex structure, adjustments often involve multiple levels of the spine and even the extremities. The goal is balance and normalcy, and the cause of the stress may lie at a distance from any point of discomfort.
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