What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is the science, art, and philosophy of detecting and correcting misalignments in the spine in order to restore normal, healthy communication between the brain and the body.
What do you mean chiropractic is a science, art, and philosophy?
The information on this page would be considered the science of chiropractic. as would the information Dr. Harshe gathers during your new patient spinal analysis.
The technique used in the chiropractic adjustment would be considered the art of chiropractic. Just like a basketball player has to learn how to shoot a jump shot, a chiropractor has to learn how to best administer a chiropractic adjustment. It takes time, practice, patience, and focus to develop the correct technique for a chiropractic adjustment.
The belief in the body’s ability to heal itself is part of the philosophy of chiropractic. This philosophy says there is a universal intelligence in all things. People sometimes incorrectly confuse universal intelligence with religious teachings. Universal intelligence is like a computer operating system, like Windows or iOS, and nothing like a deity. This operating system, or universal intelligence, is what makes an acorn take root, sprout, and grow into a mighty oak tree. This intelligence is the reason why water is two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
This intelligence is also inside each of our bodies, and we call it our innate intelligence. This intelligence is what causes us to gestate inside the womb for 10 months, causes our bones to ossify and grow throughout childhood, and regulates our breathing, heartbeat, and digestion without us having to think about it. Our innate intelligence is designed for one specific purpose: to keep us alive. It’s why we start feeling symptoms when something has been wrong for a while. Symptoms are our innate intelligence’s signal that something is wrong, has been wrong for a while, and if we don’t do something about the symptoms in short order, our innate intelligence will not think twice about robbing Peter to pay Paul in order to keep us alive.
Removing the interference to our innate intelligence’s messages to and from the body is accomplished through the art of chiropractic, or the adjustment. The adjustment is based on the science of chiropractic, or the information gathered during the new patient spinal analysis.
What is upper cervical chiropractic?
Upper cervical chiropractic specifically focuses on the top two vertebrae in the neck, the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2), and the positioning of these two bones in relationship to the overall structure and function of the body. The C1 is the most freely moveable bone in the spine and has a tendency to misalign very easily. This misalignment of the C1 or C2 is what we call in the chiropractic profession a vertebral subluxation. Because of the upper cervical spine’s ease of movement, the actual adjustment is very safe and gentle, and without any popping, cracking, twisting, or turning.
With the exception of most of the cranial nerves, every nerve in the entire body passes through the C1 vertebra. This is the only place in the entire body this happens. If the C1 is misaligned, it can create tension in the ligaments connecting the inside of the C1 to the outer protective layer of the spinal cord called the dura mater. This will undoubtedly interrupt the communication between the brain and body on some level. Short term, this communication interruption may result in foot pain and bursts of lancing pain down one arm. Long term, this may turn into high blood pressure, vertigo, and constipation. Along with the painful tension in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the upper neck created by a misalignment of C1 and/or C2, an entire of host of symptoms may arise structurally and functionally to disrupt your quality of life.
Do you only adjust the neck?
Absolutely not. Dr. Harshe adjusts the entire spine, as well as extremities. In fact, the goal with upper cervical chiropractic is to restore the C1 and/or C2 into its proper positioning so that they will hold the proper positioning as long as possible.
From C3 all the way down the rest of your spine, getting the vertebrae or the pelvis to hold its positioning for long periods of time is not as realistic. It’s normal to give a chiropractic adjustment and not need to adjust C1 and/or C2.
If I get adjusted once, will I need to get adjusted the rest of my life?
Not only yes, but you will want to! Think about it. If you want to learn how to play the piano, you don’t practice one time and play elaborate concertos the next day. Even concert pianists practice hours daily. If you want to get stronger in the gym, you don’t lift weights one time and deadlift 400 lbs the next day. Olympic weightlifters and competitive powerlifters have spent many, many years developing their strength.
Once your pain and symptoms have been reduced or alleviated, our focus will shift to preventing the longterm devastating misalignments we originally found in your spine. In chiropractic, we refer to this as maintenance care. With more stressors in our environment than ever before in the history of mankind, it’s impossible for your spine to hold one adjustment for the rest of your life. Just like the concert pianist wants to maintain an elite level of talent, you will want to maintain your improved health and vitality. It just makes sense to get your spine periodic checkups the way you get regular checkups for your teeth with the dentist.
Is chiropractic safe for children?
Absolutely. All six of Dr. Harshe’s children have received chiropractic adjustments since birth, with Dr. Harshe personally adjusting his youngest three children within an hour of birth. Childbirth is an extremely traumatic experience for the baby, squeezing through that vaginal canal the way he or she does. Because the C1 is so freely moveable, birth will inevitably misalign the C1 and lead to any number of difficulties for the baby, from colic to torticollis to difficulty latching on to breastfeed.
Kids don’t have anywhere near the wear and tear on their bodies that we adults sometimes do, and so their bodies tend to hold chiropractic adjustments for longer periods of time than adults. Because of this, chiropractic adjustments on children are very gentle and typically minimal.
Is chiropractic safe for pregnant women?
Of course! Dr. Harshe’s wife January doesn’t know how she would have gotten through any of her pregnancies without chiropractic care. As the baby grows and develops inside the womb, mom’s organs are getting repositioned and rearranged and her pelvis is loosening up to prepare for the inevitable childbirth. A hormone called relaxin is responsible for all of that loosening up, contributing to frequent misalignments in the spine, and resulting in excessive pain and discomfort. Regular chiropractic adjustments help to alleviate the pain and discomfort, as well as give the baby the chance to reposition him- or herself head down for birth.
Who else can benefit from chiropractic?
Anyone who has a spine! There isn’t a person alive who is healthier with misalignments in their spine than without. Misalignments cause pressure and tension on the nerves and muscles, postural imbalances, and malpositioning to joints that may lead to early degeneration. When those misalignments are corrected by way of a specific chiropractic adjustment, proper brain-to-body communication is restored, and health and vitality return. Because of this, Dr. Harshe believes everyone deserves to benefit from regular chiropractic care!
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