Chiropractic: Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

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Chiropractic: Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
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About the Author

Eryl McCaffrey

Eryl McCaffrey

Eryl McCaffrey is a yoga teacher from Oakville, Ontario and a passionate health and wellness writer. When she’s not reminding students of how powerful they are on their mats, she’s writing about ways to find happiness, peace and freedom in this life. Eryl also loves hiking, singing and jumping out of her comfort zone whenever she gets the chance! Check out her blog.

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Our spines are the backbones of our bodies, literally. Without them, we couldn’t stand up, walk around or bend with flexibility. The spinal cord does the very important work of connecting your brain with the rest of your body, which allows you to control how and where you move. If you want to have a healthy life, you must have a healthy spine. This is where chiropractors come in. By profession, these hands-on doctors adjust the joints of the body to relieve pain and bring some fluidity and life back into your joints. I’ve had friends who’ve seen chiropractors over the years and raved about the benefits, but I still went into my first chiropractic session thinking, ‘is this all it’s cracked up to be?’

A whopping four million Canadians see a chiropractor every year for issues like back or neck pain, headaches, whiplash, sports injuries and arthritis.  Chiropractors do hands-on spinal adjustments based on the belief that surgery and medication isn’t necessary if the body’s musculoskeletal structure is properly aligned. After I got whiplash from a car accident this summer I thought I’d test that theory out and see if these physical ailments could be healed naturally.

I had never been adjusted before, so I was a tad shocked when my chiropractor made my neck crackle like Rice Krispies. However, I left that appointment feeling renewed, lengthened and relaxed. In a short amount of time I started seeing a real change in the way I walked, practiced yoga and moved in general. As I’ve learned, chiropractors treat more than your bones, they actually also work on the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the body. I feel like I now have more space in my body and ability to move without pain—which is a real gift.

Dr. Tara Brown, who’s a chiropractor at Oakville’s Wellness for the Body, says chiropractors are part of the healing process and work on a number of different physical ailments, sometimes at the same time. She says the benefits of seeing a chiropractor include: an improved range of motion and posture, less muscle pain and tension, relief from headaches, increased flexibility, and—even help with colicky children or bed-wetters. Chiropractors also help with workplace accidents, sport injuries, car accidents and repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.

There are some pretty entertaining misconceptions out there about chiropractors, too. I’ve heard everything from, ‘they’ll break your body,’ to– ‘they’re not real doctors.’ Dr. Brown says the most common myth she hears is that chiropractic is dangerous, but she says in reality, “during your initial visit a thorough history and physical examination is done to ensure you have no risk factors for treatment. If something comes up we would be sure to discuss that with you. We are well educated to screen for ailments.”  Dr. Brown refers to chiropractors as non-invasive primary health care providers, who have a strong educational background based in science and research.

I’m passionate about taking care of my health and encouraging others to do so. I’m also very open-minded about alternative, but legitimate treatments. Although I was initially a little skeptical about visiting a chiropractor, I’m really glad I did—and my back is, too. If you don’t want to take it from me, go visit a chiropractor and see how your body responds to it. As always, let your body guide your brain. If in time you find you can’t wait to get cracking, you know this is the right treatment course for you. The path to health and healing is lined with many possibilities, so be curious, adventurous and willing to try out something new.

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