In modern day Chiropractic there appears many different practice methods that Chiropractor are using. Underlying this is different philosophies directing these practices.
There is a range of styles, techniques, and viewpoints, which means when you attend you will experience various approach’s to Chiropractic.
Broadly speaking there are two different objectives that a Chiropractor may have when approaching your health, and two different objectives you can have yourself.
The first is a “treatment approach” (therapeutic) and the second is a non-therapeutic approach. At first glance this can seems a little confusing, so let’s go into some detail……
The treatment model
The “treatment approach” is the model that medicine typically uses – take a set of symptoms, work out a name for the condition (diagnosis), and apply a “treatment” to that condition. In the classical example of back pain, there are many different treatment methods, including over the counter medications E.g. paracetamol), stronger medications (e.g. corticosteroids, opioids), massage, stretching, pilates, exercise, rehab, walking) and many more.
The problem with this model is that when a particular symptom or problem goes away, so does the need continue the process. In many cases the solution is a superficial, band aid approach, which simply suppresses or reduces symptoms, without addressing underlying causes. The model is “disease treatment”, and the result is often that people are simply addressing their health at the end stages, when it has progressed, or putting a band-aid on, with the underlying issues continuing.
The non-therapeutic model
In the “non-therapeutic” approach to Chiropractic, the objective is not to “treat anything”. The objective is to improve health. This process of trying to create health in the body is called salutogenesis
It is a revolutionary concept in many regards because the majority of our health care system (?“sickness care system”) is dedicated to the treatment of disease, and very few modalities are dedicated to health creation in its purest sense.
Examples of the difference between the “disease treatment” and the “health creation” models are:
Example 1 – Exercise
a. Therapeutic – using exercise as a treatment for a particular condition e.g. diabetes, weight loss, lung disease. versus….
b. Non-therapeutic- using exercise to create better health, vitality, energy.
Example 2 – Vitamin C
a. Therapeutic – using vitamin C to treat common colds. versus
b. Non-therapeutic – ensuring adequate vitamin C intake at all times knowing that the body requires it for essential functions.
Example 3 – Chiropractic
a. Therapeutic – Chiropractic to treat neck pain, headaches or back pain versus…
b. Non-therapeutic – using Chiropractic to create better spinal function, nervous system function, or development knowing that the body needs good function for good health
The examples are many.
Subtle, but important differences
The examples are many, but the key difference is the health creating activities help a person regardless or whether they have a particular condition or not.
The purpose of Chiropractic
The purpose of Chiropractic was never to be a treatment for one condition or another, or to be a panacea (cure-all) for all diseases. In fact, the purpose of Chiropractic really has nothing to do with “treatment”.
The purpose of chiropractic is to optimize health. This is based on “The body’s innate recuperative power is affected by and integrated through the nervous system.” (http://www.chirocolleges.org)
In Chiropractic we refer to the bodies inherent self-developing, self-healing ability as it’s innate intelligence. In science, this ability is called homeostasis, and the master control system keeping the body in balance is the nervous system.
To be clear it isn’t that there is an either/or approach to these models – if you have a condition of some sort it is natural to look for suitable treatments to solve these problems. But at some point we need to expand our view to see that the bigger goal is health creation – the creation of a you that is healthy, vibrant and well.
These differences appear subtle – and they are. But understanding these differences, and putting that understanding into practice, for you and your family, is the difference between true health creation, and treating end-stage conditions once they have already developed.
To your health and vitality, OptiStart Chiropractic.