What if health weren’t just the absence of disease but the pursuit of an overall healthy life? That is the idea of holistic health, also known as vitalism.
That was one of the founding principles laid out in the WHO’s constitution. Doctors have focused on treating the symptoms for hundreds of years rather than addressing their root causes. Holistic health takes the WHO’s approach, focusing on overall health rather than disease treatment alone.
Chiropractic care is one such means of holistic health. The question is, how do chiropractic services fit in with the holistic health approach?
In this article, we’ll discuss how your chiropractor can help you live the wellness life you’re looking for.
What Is Holistic Health?
The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” Holistic health, as the word holistic implies, is an all-encompassing way of living. It’s a lifestyle, whereas traditional medicine is more of a practice.
Traditional medicine, which is mechanistic in nature, begins and ends when you go to the doctor. The doctor treats your body as a machine with many parts. They see symptoms as a bad thing that needs to be taken care of immediately. They apply a generic “fix” that they’ve used for the last thousand people with similar symptoms.
Our current western medicine model doesn’t care if you get better. This approach to health intends to provide temporary relief targeted at the disease and nothing else. Some may say they want you to remain sick, so you return for the same reason next month.
How Holistic Health Differs from Traditional Medicine
Traditional medicine is impersonal, temporary, and targeted. Traditional medicine believes:
- The body is a machine made up of a bunch of parts.
- If those parts experience symptoms, this is bad, and those parts need to be removed.
- The whole body is equal to the sum of the parts. Thus by knowing the parts, you understand the whole.
- The body is inherently weak and defective and prone to injury, illness, and disease. When the parts wear out, you can just replace them.
- Treatments are based on theories about the body and are applied to everyone ignoring individual differences.
Holistic medicine, on the other hand, believes that:
- Humans have an innate healing ability, and the body knows how to heal and repair. Symptoms are an intelligent response to daily stresses and should not be disregarded.
- The body is greater than the sum of its parts, having qualities the parts cannot have alone. Knowledge of the parts does not give the doctor complete information about the whole individual.
- The body cannot be fully understood by doctors, scientists, and other intellectual disciplines because the body is greater than the sum of its parts.
- Medical professionals should treat the individual rather than the disease itself. Treatments should be “permanent,” i.e., treat a problem’s root cause rather than symptoms alone.
- Holistic or vitalistic doctors believe the only way to understand the human body is to watch it in both sickness and health. The reactions in both states provide a unique look at how individuals function.
- Treatments should help the person to live a longer, more fulfilling life. There should be a sense of community and team effort in a person’s healing.
- Reliance on natural remedies is preferred where possible.
What Is Chiropractic Care?
You may have seen videos of chiropractic treatment before. A professional can uses specifically directed motion, whether by hand or instrument, to adjust a person’s spine. These adjustments help to “re-align” a person back into their correct form.
Chiropractic care is all-natural. These adjustments correct your spine and help your body release natural endorphins to reduce pain. A Chiropractic doctor will not prescribe addictive opioids to deal with your pain.
To complement your healing process, they might suggest a functional medicine approach. Functional medicine includes a blood test to identify what you lack (or have too much) in your diet. Then the doctor can recommend dietary changes and personalized supplementation for support.
Your chiropractor is there in the long term to make sure you find ultimate relief. Functional medicine attempts to diagnose the actual cause of your symptoms. Bloodwork is the best way to see what your body is lacking.
Many people initially go to chiropractors with pain or symptoms such as chronic back pain. Visit any doctor’s office, and they’ll recommend harsh invasive solutions. These solutions may include surgeries, addictive drugs, and other things that don’t solve the root issue.
A chiropractor does go for the root issue: readjusting your spine and removing interference from your nervous system. For example, doctors of chiropractic suggest nutraceuticals (supplements) that do not have adverse side effects instead of drugs. Instead of psychiatry which uses unproven drugs to treat mental illnesses, they use neurofeedback and other techniques.
How Do Chiropractic Services Promote the Holistic Health Approach?
When you think about it, chiropractic care is holistic. A chiropractor isn’t just interested in making spinal adjustments and sending you on your way. They’re interested in your long-term health, which is why they recommend you come in for multiple visits.
In addition to what is mentioned above, chiropractors may specialize in far more than chiropractic care. We have already mentioned the functional medicine approach. Another service they may provide is neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback tries to identify the negative feedback loops and patterns in your brain waves. This may include bad habits or poor coping mechanisms. Neurofeedback helps train your brain or balance out these bad signals to build a stronger foundation.
What if You’re Scared of Chiropractic Care?
All of this is well and good, but some may find the chiropractic process to be scary. The chiropractor uses sharp twists that cause loud cracks during treatment. This involves turning your neck at sharp angles or putting forceful pressure on your back.
To be clear, none of this is a risk to you. A chiropractor has in-depth knowledge of the body and years of experience to help them. Chiropractors train for years to do what they do, so all of their adjustments are safe.
Further, those “pops and cracks” you hear are the sound of air bubbles released from synovial fluid between your joints. The “popping and cracking” is harmless. Myths for years have perpetuated the idea that this is bad for you, such as cracking your knuckles.
That said, if you still have reservations, there is an alternative. Some chiropractors practice a gentle technique known as Korean Specific Technique or KST. This method involves no popping or cracking as traditional chiropractors do.
Even though there is no popping or cracking, KST is no less effective. Adjustments are long-lasting, and many patients may experience very dramatic changes right after their first visit.
Visit Dr. Dody
Unlike traditional medicine, holistic health considers the entirety of what makes you, you. It employs natural, long-term solutions focusing on the individual over the symptoms. Chiropractic care is one such method that promotes your body to heal itself without drug intervention.
A visit to Dody Chiropractic Center for Wholeness is a commitment to your holistic wellness. Dr. Dody isn’t just a specialist in chiropractic care. He’s an expert in many holistic treatments as well. Visit the new patient portal and schedule an appointment today.