You eat well, exercise, and get plenty of sleep, but your neck and back still feel achy at the end of a long day. How about trying a chiropractic adjustment? You just might be surprised how good you feel.
During an adjustment, you simply lie down and relax as a chiropractor gently manipulates various areas of your neck, shoulders and back. Advocates believe it is a safe and natural therapy to help boost the immune system, support healthy tissue function and promote good health. (And who can’t use a little hands-on pampering?)
Some research contends that chiropractic adjustments are safer than drugs and surgical treatments of the neck and back. An adjustment by a licensed chiropractor can alleviate pressure and promote relaxation of paraspinal muscles, release tension between discs and temporarily enhance blood cells’ ability to fight infection. That’s a lot of bang for the buck at about $30 to $50 a session, and it’s often covered by insurance. Time-starved patients especially like that adjustments often can be done in about 10 minutes.
Dr. Lisa Muller Muñoz of Bernards Chiropractic in Basking Ridge explains, “People of all ages can benefit from a series of adjustments or even a single visit. Certainly, one is better than none.” She adds, “I personally have had chiropractic adjustments for more than 30 years. Chiropractic as a lifestyle is a way to remove stress from the nervous system so that all the body’s systems operate efficiently.” And Muñoz knows something about fitness. A former world-class runner, she once won the Maine Coast Marathon in an impressive 2:52:25 and was a contender for the Olympic trials.
Advocates of chiropractic say that, because the spine is the lifeline of the nervous system, a well-functioning spine and healthy nervous system can actually help the body heal itself. When the nervous system functions properly, the cells, tissues and organs are better prepared to resist disease. Chiropractic adjustments also have been known to help alleviate headaches, fatigue, allergies, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and irritability. Expectant mothers report easier pregnancies and deliveries, and some parents even swear by chiropractic for their children.
In fact, Muñoz says her 18-year-old daughter has had regular adjustments since she was a mere two hours old, and the very healthy child has never been given medications. Doctors of chiropractic do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, but they are well-educated with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree after passing a demanding four-part national board examination. They also must apply to and be accepted by a government board or professional licensing board and pass yet another stringent test before hanging their shingles. There are about 50,000 practitioners in the U.S. Doctors of Chiropractic can recommend therapeutic and rehabilitation exercises; provide dietary, nutritional and lifestyle counseling and are trained to perform adjustments.
But are adjustments really necessary for those who exercise regularly? “Working out is helpful to strengthen muscles, but a trip to the gym won’t remove a vertebra’s pressure on a nerve. Only a chiropractic adjustment will do that,” Muñoz says. “If you have back problems or abnormal spinal function, a gym workout could actually put added strain and pressure on spinal joints and a nervous system that already might be stressed.”
Next time you feel like pampering yourself with a pedicure, facial or massage, consider chiropractic in your mix of “feel-good” services. It’s just one more way to nurture your total self.
For help finding a chiropractor, visit the American Chiropractic Society at acatoday.org.
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