Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chiropractic in a Nutshell

This was originally posted here.

(I'm often asked what chiropractic is, and for a recent presentation to my BNI group, I came up with the following summary - Enjoy!) I'd also like to give a special shout-out to Dr. Reggie Gold, who's writings and lectures helped me clarify some of these points.

Our bodies are -
*Self Healing - "The Power that made the body Heals the body, it happens no other way" - BJ Palmer
*Self Regulating - trillions of cells are working in harmony every second of our lives.

This happens best when -
*There is no interference to the master system of our bodies The Nervous System -
*is the master system of the body
*controls and coordinates every tissue cell and organ in your body
*has limited regenerative capability, and so it is protected by the bones of the skull and the spine
*is the most protected system of our bodies.

The Bones of the spine -
*are mobile, which makes them vulnerable to not functioning properly

Improper Spinal Function -
*can create the Vertebral Subluxation Complex - the VSC

The VSC -
* is caused by Stress - physical, chemical and/or emotional.

When the VSC exists -
*it ALWAYS interferes with the body's ability to live up to its full potential.

The VSC causes -
*limitations on health, healing and performance
*cumulative damage that can become permanent if it is there long enough.

Chiropractic is -
*the ONLY profession that recognizes, detects and corrects the VSC

The purpose of Chiropractic -
*keeping the body as free as possible from the VSC throughout life.

The Chiropractic Evaluation -
*locates the levels of nerve system interference.
*uses state of the art, space certified technology to demonstrate the results of the interference on different parts of your nervous system.

The Chiropractor -
*puts the information from the evaluation and history together with the person to determine a care plan and adjustment protocols.

The Adjustment -
*is a specific force, given at a specific location, in a specific direction, at a specific time.
*is used to remove the VSC, and help to restore the body's ability to self heal and self regulate.

*just about making you feel good (although it usually does)
*just about backaches (or headaches, or neck pain...)
*a cure for ANY disease.

*the detection and removal of the VSC
*about keeping the body free from the VSC and its potentially devastating effects throughout life.
*empowering your body to function at its best.

If you have a spine and a nervous system - chiropractic is for you.
If you experience stress - chiropractic is for you.
If you want better function and performance from your body - chiropractic is for you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Informed Consent

(This was initially posted here)

All health care providers are supposed to be using Informed Consent (IC) in the office. At the root, IC is about each person being able to make their own health care decisions, and not having things forced on them by a health care provider. Legally there are many parts to IC, but the name implies the two biggest: Information/Informing and Consent.

This is from the AMA website, and is a nice summary of the process:

Informed consent is more than simply getting a patient to sign a written consent form. It is a process of communication between a patient and physician that results in the patient's authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention.

In the communications process, you, as the physician providing or performing the treatment and/or procedure (not a delegated representative), should disclose and discuss with your patient:

The patient's diagnosis, if known;
The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure;
The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure;
Alternatives (regardless of their cost or the extent to which the treatment options are covered by health insurance);
The risks and benefits of the alternative treatment or procedure; and
The risks and benefits of not receiving or undergoing a treatment or procedure.

In turn, your patient should have an opportunity to ask questions to elicit a better understanding of the treatment or procedure, so that he or she can make an informed decision to proceed or to refuse a particular course of medical intervention.
It sounds great, right? And it is - when it's actually used.

What isn't recognized in far too many offices that I've seen is the right of the individual to make a choice - to consent or not consent to a procedure once they have been informed of the risks, benefits, and alternatives. I think the place that this is most evident is in pediatricians offices with vaccinations.

This particular post isn't about vaccinations (I'll save that for later), but they are a good example of where IC breaks down most often. I've heard about parents getting kicked out of a pediatricians office if they weren't following the CDC vax schedule to the letter. I've seen firsthand how the risks of vaccines can be minimized to maximize compliance and cooperation. And I've heard about the issue of IC being bypassed entirely when someone other than a parent brings a child in for shots and no questions are asked (that particular incident will likely result in an entire post at some point).

There is, too often in my opinion, an attitude from many doctors that what they are selling is all good, no bad, and so important that their services trump informed consent. This is a scary path to start down, because if we have no say at what gets put into or done to our bodies, who are we giving that right to? The doctor? The government? The AMA? The pharmaceutical companies? Someone else? Where does it end?

In the end, we are each responsible for our own health. We can still choose what to put into our bodies and what to do to them and have done to them. Policies like IC are crucial for us to be able to keep our autonomy! So the next time you go in and see any health care provider, take your health back in your own hands - ask questions, demand answers, and exercise your right of refusal. Just because a perscription is written, it doesn't have to be filled. Just because a procedure is recommended, it doesn't have to be performed. If you don't feel right about something (and yes, I'm fully aware that this can include the services of a chiropractor), ask questions until you do, or refuse the procedure.

Your body. Your health. Your responsibility.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

(Author's note: I wrote this years ago for a health journal publication. I am trying to get all my health writings in one place, so here you go!)

Pregnancy is a time of constant flux - a time that your body needs all the extra support that you can give it. Your body is adjusting daily to changing hormones and size from conception to delivery. Pre-existing unnoticed imbalances in your spine and pelvis become overtaxed during pregnancy. Pains from ligaments and joints you didn’t know existed are common complaints, along with fatigue, headaches, difficulty with activities, nausea, and emotional ups and downs.

Adjustments can relieve and even prevent the discomforts experienced throughout pregnancy. Chiropractic care offers not only natural pain control, it helps to balance the muscles, ligaments and joints under stress, it helps with pelvic alignment, and allows the nervous system to function better. Chiropractic care is safe and effective, even with higher risk pregnancies. There are many different ways for a chiropractor to adjust you, and most chiropractors know at least one extra gentle technique appropriate for you when you are feeling at your most vulnerable and delicate.

If you are planning a natural childbirth, care prior to deliver can play a crucial role. Regular care can reduce the need for interventions at delivery, making birth a more comfortable experience for both the mother and baby (or babies). Proper balance in the joints and ligaments supporting the uterus can allow the baby to assume the best possible position for birth.

Chiropractic care can work in conjunction with traditional obstetric care to manage your pregnancy. It is not a replacement for regular prenatal checkups from your OB or Midwife; it is an additional support that can be an essential ingredient to your prenatal care choices.