Come with me on a mystical health journey?
It’s true, chiropractors have been outside the NHS and for that we have been condemned and professionally undermined in the past, etc. (even today in some literature). As GPs or physiotherapists often don’t understand what we do, we are often seen as outsiders trying to ‘get in’ via Complementary Medicine or Alternative Medicine.
I don’t care for labels, as I believe what works will survive. That, in short, is chiropractic’s journey at present. It is now recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) as a profession that has achieved satisfactory research to be a part of back pain management, if pain has not naturally settled within six weeks. Chiropractic is now a very medical qualification with use of, and reporting on, x-ray film. Never mind the pathology and neurology (in some courses the total class hours are more than in medicine) the UK College leads in cutting edge research.
Between you and me there is a hidden side to our work. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, and that hidden side is called ‘nature’! I’ve seen it occur in mysterious ways and in explainable ways but it still is mystical.
I like words and their meanings and one that sticks out to me is the difference between physical and metaphysical. The answer is a little scientific to explain that which we don’t know. However, that doesn’t mean what isn’t proven isn’t present. Every day I see reactions that may be put down to a placebo effect, such as pain reduction through talking to a person in need. I think mysticism can be included in the placebo effect and if we can harness it, all the better. Why ignore a natural wonder of the body?
Emotions, and what they can do to the body, are immense. I have laid on a couch in a classroom of 60 professionals – chiropractors, osteopaths, medical doctors, etc. – and found that during the release of tight tissue in my body using cranio-sacral therapy, I spontaneously and unexpectedly screamed at the top of my voice to release stress from a childhood trauma!
Besides a moment of embarrassment, I found that the tension in my body that had been present for years had gone. No manipulation from chiropractors, no medicines, no exercise from physiotherapy. I’d been stuck in a pattern for an entire age and never knew that all my body wanted to do was to scream at the offender! Weird?
I’ve found, through studying the body, that there are always avenues of learning of how this magnificent body of ours works, but it’s a matter of experimentation. Not with strange and obscure treatments, but treatments the body using therapies we haven’t discovered. Assessing whether those therapies can offer us improvement in our lives, one way or another.
From psycho-somatic (‘soma’ being the body) placebo and also unattended emotional historical events, we also have to consider what foods do for us. Its maybe not mystical, but to me it is equally fantastic what poor choices in foods we take into our body, can lead to gut absorption problems, ‘toxicity’ (food sensitivity immune complexes, to be precise) and joint pain. Tidying up our diets, refraining from foods we cannot digest, can lead to instant weight loss, skin clarity, reduction of generalised joint swelling, and joint and muscle pain.
Throw acupuncture points into the pot and they will tell us what the body is doing prior to falling ill (i.e. in adaption), reflexology of the feet, and; how the spine influences nerves in the body which affects their function. The wonders never cease to amaze me.
Take for example the growing evidence the chiropractic college is gathering on colic in babies. One research paper has shown that if you compare commonly prescribed medicine to manual therapy (chiropractic or osteopathy) in babies with colic, manual therapy shows an improvement of 60% as apposed to only 30% using standard medicines. Now, I’d always choose the natural approach with a baby.
It is a minefield out there, but a confident and properly qualified chiropractor or similar therapist who has an open mind and a good reputation, would be able to show you this inner wisdom. Yours is a beautiful body that needs good management (YOU), and the answer isn’t always through medication of the body.
Chiropractors can dip our toes into these unusual wonders of the body, while maintaining a strong sense of medical diagnosis and outcome. Referral to you GP is always a consideration if these therapies prove beyond benefit.
Yours in health,
Michael Noone, BSc, DC – www.kernowchiropractic.co.uk