What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic may be a new topic for some people, especially animal owners. Adjustment techniques similar to those used in modern chiropractic date back more than five thousand years. Drawings of humans receiving neck manipulation are documented in an ancient Chinese text called the Nei Ching.
Hippocrates (c. 17,500 B.C.), who is known as the Father of Medicine, also used spinal manipulation. But the Father of Chiropractic is considered to be Dr. David D. Palmer. On September 18, 1895, he placed his hands over the spine of a janitor named Harvey Lilliard.
Dr. Palmer administered a thrust to a fixated vertebra in Lillian’s upper back, restoring motion. As a result of the adjustment, Lilliard reported “hearing the wagons on the street.” This was significant because Mr. Lilliard had been deaf for seventeen years.
Animal chiropractic was rejuvenated in 1989 by a veterinarian—Dr. Sharon Willoughby, DVM, D.C. Over the years, the popularity of animal chiropractic has increased in many states, with Minnesota granting licensure to DC’s. and DVM’s, beginning in 2009. A prerequisite to licensure is completion of a 230-hour certification program in Animal Chiropractic. One-half of the program is “hands on.” Currently in Minnesota, nine doctors (veterinarians and human chiropractors) are certified and licensed in animal chiropractic.
Adjustments for Humans
Chiropractic is primarily concerned with the health of the nervous system and how it interacts with the brain and body to promote wellness and vitality. A chiropractor focuses on the nerve receptors, which can be thought of as sensors in the body. These sensors detect the world around us and the environment within us. When there is an injury or restricted motion in our joints, these sensors tell our body to make adaptations to balance out these changes. These adaptations can be good or bad. Chiropractic adjustments help to correct the bad adaptations so the body can properly heal itself.
A typical chiropractic treatment consists of high speed, low force thrusts to specific joints. These are called adjustments. Muscular and neurological re-education techniques are also utilized to positively affect the receptors involved. Chiropractors focus on the whole body and its well being.