The main difference between wellness care and standard medical care is that wellness care seeks to turn on the body’s natural healing ability. Wellness care does not add something to the system; instead it removes anything that might interfere with normal function. Wellness care trusts that the body is self healing and self regulating. Your body would know what to do if nothing were interfering with it. Standard medical care, on the other hand, seeks to treat a symptom by adding something from the outside – a medication, a surgery or procedure.
Medical Approach vs. Wellness Approach
If a patient has high blood pressure, the medical approach is to provide a drug that artificially lowers blood pressure. This may serve to lower the blood pressure, but ignores the underlying cause that is making the blood pressure high, and runs the risk of side effects complicating the person’s recovery. Whether it’s a nutritional issue, faulty control by the nerve system or a manifestation of stress, the medication could decrease the blood pressure. The problem with that is that the medical approach doesn’t address the cause for the high blood pressure in the first place. That causal factor is still adversely affecting the body even though the symptom of high blood pressure may no longer be present.
The Wellness Approach
Wellness is a state of optimal conditions for normal function not just the absence of symptoms. The wellness approach
taken by a family chiropractor is to look for underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption to normal function (either deficiency or toxicity in how we eat move or think). Then, we encourage natural healing by adding sufficiency and purity in how we eat move and think. When the body is working properly, it tends to heal effectively, no matter what the condition. When the body heals well and maintains itself well, then there is another level of health that goes beyond “asymptomatic” or “pain-free” which reveals an open-ended opportunity for vitality, vibrant health, and an enhanced experience of life. This is true for mental and emotional health as well as physical health.
We Look at the Whole Picture
Like other health-care providers, we follow a standard routine to gain information about the patient. We consult, review the case history, conduct a physical examination, and we may request laboratory analyses and/or x-rays.
Unlike other health-care providers, however, chiropractors also conduct a careful analysis of the patient’s structure and pay particular attention to the spine (The spine is a major area where stresses are stored). We also ask you about your lifestyle: Do you eat well? Do you exercise? How do you deal with stress? Do you have children? What do you do for work? And so on. All these factors allow us to put together the whole picture of how you got to this point and what you need to do to return to your optimal wellness.
We Seek the Origin of the Problem
Using this information, a diagnosis is made. Included in the diagnosis is the probable reason for your pain or discomfort. It is important to note that chiropractors seek the origin of the illness in order to eliminate it-we do not simply treat the symptoms.
If your roof is leaking, would you simply catch the drops in a bucket for years on end, or would you repair the roof to prevent it from leaking? Similarly, if the migraine headache you’ve had all week is being caused by misaligned vertebra and an irritated nerve, do you continue to take pain killers indefinitely, or do you realign the vertebra to prevent the pain? You get the picture.
Chiropractors have a term for misalignments: subluxations. A vertebral subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that protect the spinal cord. It’s a leak in the roof, or static in the communication of your nervous system.
The severity of the subluxation can vary, and there are a number of potential contributing factors that lead to them. They include physical, chemical and mental-emotional stresses. The subluxation can be caused by any number of incidents, from birth trauma to an auto accident to financial stresses.
Then We Help You Fix It
When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The leak is fixed. The static is cleared. Information is flowing again.
To keep the connection clear and the information flowing, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary. We find the lifestyle stresses that are creating the problems and over time we try to remove them to prevent the stresses from building up and recreating the subluxations. Although we try very hard to work with people to remove as much stress as we can, we are also aware that we can’t get rid of all stress in a person’s life. While we can usually spread the adjustments further and further apart, we feel our goal is to balance the stresses that remain in your life with the appropriate care so the stresses don’t accumulate and create subluxations. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.
Another important aspect of chiropractic care is this: the patient’s improvement is the responsibility of both the doctor and the patient. You will be active in your own care -this is essential in optimizing the care you receive.
We Test, We Don’t Guess
Our office is equipped with state of the art subluxation testing equipment, the Insight Millennium. This is the most exciting thing to happen at our office, and likely to chiropractic itself, in a long time. We can now objectively measure any nervous system dysfunction, and also measure your progress and response to adjustments. This means We Test, We Don’t Guess!
When you have a subluxation in the spine, it interferes with the nerve exiting from the spinal cord disrupting communication between the brain and the rest of the body. About 10% of that root is related to pain. The other 90% is roughly divided to 1. Autonomic function – the processes that run without you thinking of them – blood vessels, and glands 2. Motor function – your supporting muscles.
Our state-of-the-art technology has two unique spinal scanning features, the Surface Electromyography (SEMG) and Infrared Thermography (IRT). It allows us to objectively measure any nervous system interference. The scans are non-invasive; do not cause pain or irritation, making these tests totally safe for infants, children, and pregnant women. It simply requires the placement of small probes against the skin.
Here’s a little bit about the two tests:
Surface electromyography scan (SEMG) – The SEMG uses a small electrical signal to graph muscle activity. Specifically, it measures the electrical signal muscles give off when they contract. The more the muscles have contracted around the bones of your spine, the higher the signal. Subluxation will alter the readings.
Thermal scan (IRT) – Thermal scans measures skin temperature at each level of the spine, so we can monitor the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the organs and glands and blood vessels of the body. When nerve function is interfered with, a subluxation occurs and as a result, muscles, blood vessels, and organs may malfunction. A person may have disturbances in the autonomic nervous system that is affecting organs and glands and experience no pain at all.
- Do the Insight Millennium tests hurt? Absolutely not. The tests do not utilize any needles, electrical shock, or heat whatsoever. They are receiving important information from your Central nervous system and it is totally non-invasive. This is especially important for our pregnant members.
- Why do I administer these tests?My purpose for administering these tests is to detect and pinpoint abnormal function in the nervous system. Abnormal spinal function causes Nervous System disturbance. The standard tests will measure: 1) SEMG – the amount of electrical current in the muscles 2) Thermography – skin temperature along the spine.
- Why is it important to monitor the results? I want the best results for the members of my practice. I can easily monitor your progress through periodic exams. Any stress in your spine can disturb the communication of the Nervous System whether or not symptoms are present. In the past, this has been difficult to quantify. Knowing exactly the state of your nervous system is vitally necessary to improving your health and well-being.
- How will this test benefit me? For years, a concern of practice members has been, “Why should I keep coming back when I’m pain free?” or “How do I know if I’m getting the proper amount of adjustments?” Using pain, or how you feel, is a lousy way of measuring health. We’ve all heard of the “healthy” person who felt great and then died of a heart attack the next day or was diagnosed with cancer or had a heart attack. Now we are able to objectively determine the amount and type of care that is best for you. Because of this technology, I can provide a “tailor-made” program to meet your specific health needs.
What is an adjustment?
When chiropractors find an area of your skeleton that is not moving properly, we apply a small, focused impulse into that area to restore natural movement. We may do this with our hands, with a handheld instrument (much like a stapler without the staples), or we may employ the principle of momentum by cocking the table under a part of your body, and then releasing it. The treatments are quick and painless.
Does it hurt?
Under normal circumstances, adjustments do not hurt at all; they feel more like the sense of release associated with a good stretch. If the body part is painful to begin with, the adjustment might feel sore for a quick moment, but you will probably experience a great deal of relief before leaving the office. In fact, most patients comment that they are feeling “much better than when I came in,” even before they get off the table.
How safe is chiropractic treatment?
Very safe, of all the possible treatments for the kinds of conditions that chiropractors treat, chiropractic care is by far the safest. I always use an appropriate amount of force for your body type and tailor the adjusting technique to your personal preference. Also, I explain to you, at every step of the way, what it is that I am doing.
What is the cost?
Initial visits vary based on complexity, but are on average, $100. Subsequent appointments vary between $40 and $60, but are generally $40. We do accept insurance and will file the appropriate forms for you. The cost with insurance is prearranged between you and your insurance company.
How long will I have to keep coming back?
The length of time someone will continue to come see us depends on their goals.
Family chiropractor patients come in to our Little Rock clinic with one of two goals. One patient’s goal is to get out of pain and that’s it. The other type of patient understands the time, energy and effort it took to get out of pain and they would rather continue to make sure they continue to function at their best. Our
Chiropractors office in West Little Rock has specialized testing to show us how your body is adapting to stress so we can better determine your care needs. We work with both types and we align our goals with whatever yours are. The choice is up to you.