The recent safer care Victoria enquiry into Chiropractic for children has highlighted a continual and fundamental confusion about Chiropractic – the myth that “Chiropractic is manipulation”, and “manipulation is Chiropractic”.
This cannot be further from the truth.
Manipulation is a procedure that typically involves a joint “release”, “noise”, “crack”, which is created when a joint is moved past it’s functional (physiological) range of motion. This noise (cavitation), is created when fluid turns to gas, like when you open a champagne bottle.
In Chiropractic we perform a procedure called an “adjustment”. An adjustment is the application of specific contacts, procedures or impulse, to correct the three-dimensional vectors of the subluxation complex. (A subluxation is a joint that is not moving normally, which is impacting on function of the nervous system).
When an adjustment is performed there may or may not be a joint release involved. This means that an adjustment can be performed without manipulation….
So what makes an adjustment different to a manipulation?
The intent of the adjustment is to correct the subluxation.
The intent of manipulation is to “make looser.”
This makes the adjustment a very specific and precise procedure, with attention to the specifics required to correct a subluxation, whilst a manipulation is random, non-precise and non-specific, simply designed to make a joint looser, regardless of the presence of underlying subluxation.
The objective is to allow the body to work better – not to “treat” a specific condition from the outside in. This allows the body to function is a state of better ease.
The methods used to correct subluxation are different than those to manipulate. The analysis is more thorough and considered important. The correction aims to correct all aspects of the subluxation. Manipulation is less precise, non-specific It is conducted with less attention to the characteristics of the lesion.
The key point here is that correction of the subluxation can occur without a joint release, and this is what typically occurs in the care of babies and children. Chiropractic care is gentle, and low force, and most importantly specific, precise and applied with correct intention.