By Holistic Health Editor Dr. Mark Frank
Many patients will say “when I hurt” of course!
While adjustments for physical discomfort are important, getting checked out in other situations may prove helpful as well and may even avoid surgery or medications.
Take Emily, whose parents were told after her birth that she failed her hearing test and needed to repeat it in a month.
They followed up at that time only to be told that Emily needed to go to a hospital in Orlando for a specialized evaluation that would require surgery.
Her Mom had been a patient of mine since she was a young girl and she wanted a different kind of opinion. They called the office and we got Emily in for an adjustment. The following day, Emily’s parents took her in for the evaluation and were told there must be some mistake, her hearing was perfect!
Chiropractic a Solution to Constipation?
This same patient would occasionally come in for an upset tummy. Her Mom would relate that she was unable to have a bowel movement for almost a week. After an adjustment her mom said they would have to stop at a gas station as she couldn’t make it home without going to the bathroom.
Another fascinating case was a woman who came in after a severe car accident that required neck and back surgery but still had persistent pain. She didn’t mention in the initial history that she would be constipated for almost a month at a time since the accident and her gastroenterology team could find no reason for it.
After her first adjustment she was relieved that day. This prompted a call from her pain management team to ask what I had given her.
They were quite surprised to learn it was from the adjustment. This was a problem they dealt with every day due to their heavy reliance on opiod medication for pain relief. Her gastroenterologists were so impressed, they wrote in their notes to the insurance carrier that the patient needed regular (no pun intended) Chiropractic care for her condition which was directly related to her car accident.
Chiropractors and structural therapists (osteopaths, cranial practitioners, etc) all over the world report these kind of cases all the time. It is not some specific kind of adjustment that gets the result. It is the inherent unlimited healing potential within each of us. It just needs to be nourished and allowed to flow.
Many other non pain related syndromes present to Chiropractors all the time. Dizziness is very common. GI complaints like GERD in adults and colic in children are very common. Frequently patients will tell me, my knee (hand,elbow etc) acts up and when you adjust my spine, it gets better. Many patients complain of stuffy ears that respond well to adjustments.
Chiropractic Releases Energy Blockages
Why you ask, do these complaints respond to Chiropractic care?
Chiropractors find dysfunctions that they call subluxation complexes. Essentially these are energy blockages. Chiropractic care on a structural level is about optimizing the neurological functioning of the body and removing these vertebral subluxation complexes.
The nervous system can be looked upon as the electrical system of the body.
The brain’s job is too gather sensory information, assess and then transmit a proper response.
Initially Chiropractic was thought to be affecting local areas such as just the back or neck. As neurological research went on, it was found that joints and muscles provide a huge stimulus to affect how the brain works and to target certain desired neurological results.
Problems to the muscles and joints occur due to structural stressors like gravity, trauma, toxicity and repetitive strain disorders. None of us can escape gravity. It is the one common stressor for all of us.
You will notice a common pattern in older patients. As time goes on they develop a head forward posture and forward rounded shoulders. This is not just osteoporosis-this is losing the battle with gravity. When joints and muscles are not moving properly they give off altered signals which go into the brain in the sensory department and eventually effect the motor and autonomic (heart rate,digestion,etc) programs coming from the brain.
This is why when you strain your back, frequently it’s accompanied by a limp (altered motor programs). These altered motor programs can also affect smooth muscles such as the eustachian tube in your ear or the smooth muscle in your bowels. This can cause stuffy ears or constipation or vasoconstriction leading to high blood pressure. Essentially any symptom can result from a nervous system not functioning properly.
Past Pointing Test to Assess Nervous System Health
I like to use in office tests that show subtle dysfunction of the nervous system in the patient’s ability to recieve and transmit information. A simple neurological test I use to test these functions is called the past pointing test.
Have the patient stand, feet very close together, and close their eyes. Some patients will start to fall with just this part of the test.
You are removing the eyes which help tell us where we are in space and the patient is just relying on joint and muscle information going to the brain.
I then ask them to touch the tip of their index finger to the tip of their nose. Then repeat with the other hand. Frequently they will miss with one hand or it will be more difficult. I also will have them march in place with their eyes closed. Without realizing, many will spin 90 to 180 degrees within 50 steps!
This is important information to determine optimal functioning of the nervous system. Some people will recognize this test as one of the tests police officers give for DUI testing. The muscle coordination center of the brain, the cerebellum is very sensitive to many toxins, alcohol being one of the worst.
Many auto-immune patients will have this finding as well because the cerebellum is one of the most common tissues to be affected by auto-immunity second only to the thyroid.
Nutrition is critically important to the optimal functioning of the brain, but that is the subject of another article.
In the meantime realize that motion is life. Get adjusted, do exercise that you love, nourish your body and develop loving relationships.
About The Author
Dr. Mark Frank has been in private practice in Zephyrhills, Florida since 1981. He has traveled the world studying acupuncture, homeopathy, functional medicine, chiropractic and functional neurology in an effort to understand how the human body heals.
He is currently practicing with his daughter Celeste Holstein D.C. Their practice, The Frank Clinic of Chiropractic, is located at 38040 Daughtery Rd, Zephyrhills, FL 33450. www.frankclinic.com (813) 788-0496