Many people are shocked to hear a cardiologist say that a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) should be their primary care physician.
That’s right…I believe a chiropractor should be your primary care physician.
I’ll be sharing more about why I feel that way throughout this article, but here’s one thing I want you to know…
It’s a holistic, natural treatment that has brought pain relief and health to millions of people world-wide. Chiropractic care offers a completely drug-free way of restoring and maintaining health naturally.
Chiropractic care goes way beyond adjustments for back pain and joint relief. Science has shown that chiropractic care may help your body prevent or heal problems such as:
Despite the popularity and effectiveness of chiropractic care, it’s maligned by conventional medicine and in the media. That’s because chiropractic heals naturally, without prescription medications and invasive procedures. Chiropractors are in competition with Big Pharma and conventional physicians who push pills and surgeries. That’s why chiropractic care is shunned by conventional medicine and a media dependent upon Big Pharma advertising dollars.
This article will explore what chiropractic is, how treatments work, why you need chiropractic care, the top benefits of chiropractic care and the reasons why I think the Doctor of Chiropractic is your best choice as a primary care physician.
Here’s how I define chiropractic care:
Your brain and every organ (heart, lungs, liver, stomach, urinary, genitalia etc.) are connected by a communication superhighway called the autonomic nervous system. If this system is dysfunctional because of a spinal misalignment and restricted motion, your health will suffer.
The Doctor of Chiropractic views you as a whole person, not just the sum of your parts.
This holistic approach to healing is ignored by most conventional doctors due to lack of training (especially in how the body can heal without drugs) and insurance company restrictions that dictate medical practices.
One of the prime reasons for chiropractic care involves correcting the damage to our bodies created by excessive sitting and use of tablets and smartphones.
Take sitting as an example. Your body was not designed to sit as much as is commonplace in Western cultures. Excessive amounts of sitting, especially without exercise, hurt your spine and posture. Sitting damages your body’s form and function, creating a litany of medical problems.
Or how about looking at your smartphone. Most do so in a “hunched over” position, on that strains their neck and back. This in turn causes the spine to go out of alignment and places undo stress on your body.
Finally, you need a physician that approaches healing from a natural perspective. Natural healing is the mission of the Doctor of Chiropractic and your health will benefit from a holistic physician with that perspective.
***All Kids Should Be Under the Care of a Doctor of Chiropractic***
The Doctor of Chiropractic uses hands-on spinal manipulation and other natural treatments to enable your body to heal itself.
Called “adjustments,” these spinal manipulations properly align the body’s structure (musculoskeletal system) so the body may heal itself naturally.
Chiropractic treatments may be used as part of other treatment plans.
As a cardiologist, I require all my patients to be under chiropractic care. Despite my training as a DO, I do not adjust or manipulate with my hands. I need the DC on my team to make sure my patients get the best care and the best results possible.
No special preparations are required for chiropractic treatments. Some treatments may require a series of visits. If you have aches and pains, tell your DC. Or, you can tell them you are there because you have hypertension and diabetes. Tell the DC you are they to regain or maintain your health.
During a typical chiropractic treatment, the doctor places you in a specific position to treat affected areas. This is usually done on a specially designed chiropractic table.
Initial treatments may take up to 30 minutes. On-going visits average 5-10 minutes.
You remain clothed during the treatment.
Here are some of the top benefits of chiropractic care supported by research studies and systematic reviews.
Your immune system is your body’s defense system against disease.
The stronger your immune system, the greater your likelihood of good health.
Here’s how chiropractic care supports a healthy immune system.
Your body’s immune system directly functions in conjunction with your nervous system. The pathways of the nervous system require open communication with the immune system for your body to heal and repair itself properly.
Chiropractic care removes any communication roadblocks and keeps the communication pathways open. That’s vital to immune system health.
Here is a full page listing research studies showing chiropractic care supporting a healthy immune system. Ear infections too.
The science is becoming clear. Most (all?) disease is related to immune dysfunction. Get chiropractic and get your immune system corrected.
Researchers at the University of Chicago have shown that chiropractic care can lower high blood pressure.
Under chiropractic care, researchers found a series of adjustments had the effect of two blood pressure medications given in combination, with no adverse side effects!
The procedure involved aligning the Atlas vertebrae with the spine. Read a summary of the study here.
Many research papers have been published showing the positive benefits of chiropractic care on high blood pressure. See a summary here.
Inflammation is your body’s response to toxins, infection and stress.
It’s your body’s way of activating proteins to protect cells and tissues.
When the system works as designed, inflammation is body’s friend. However, due to exposure to toxins in food, personal care and cleaning products, plus mental and physical stresses most place on themselves, this system “over reacts” and is directed against us.
Let me give you the straight scoop any first-year cardiology student can tell you – inflammation leads directly to heart disease and heart attacks.
This study shows how chiropractic care lowers inflammation. And I see it in my patients all the time. Chiropractic lowers inflammation levels in your body.
Abnormal autonomic function is a risk factor for heart disease. Study here.
The autonomic tone also impacts the lungs, kidneys, bladder, gastrointestinal tract, sex organs and just about every other part of your body.
Imbalance in the autonomic tone can happen for a variety of reasons. It’s been identified as a potent and prevalent factor in disease and death.
Chiropractic care is a proven effective treatment to improve autonomic tone, which lessens your risk of heart disease and other diseases.
Heart rate variability is a measure of how much your heart rate bounces around from beat to beat.
The scientific evidence is clear that the more heart rate variability (HRV) you have, the longer you will live.
The fact that chiropractic boosts heart rate variability should come as no surprise. Think about it. Chiropractic improves blood flow, boosts the autonomic system and supports a healthy immune system. It only makes sense that it helps HRV.
Your lungs receive an extensive nerve supply from the spine.
That’s why spinal manipulations that are part of chiropractic care have repeatedly demonstrated significant improvements in respiratory function.
The Journal of Physical Therapy Science reports on a study of lung function that strongly suggests chiropractic care improves chronic respiratory issues and reduces the likelihood of lung-related issues in the first place.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a systematic review of studies involving spinal manipulation and lung function. Both lung function and exercise performance increased after spinal manipulation treatments.
I experienced improved lung function through chiropractic care. So have my patients.
The sciatic is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from each side of your lower spine, through your buttocks and thighs, all the way down to your foot.
Any pain along this nerve is referred to as sciatica and hundreds of millions of people worldwide have suffered from sciatica pain. It’s also referred to as lower back pain.
For decades, chiropractic care has proven to be an effective natural remedy against sciatica pain.
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research advises treating sciatica and lower back pain through spinal manipulations (chiropractic) as the first and primary course of action during the first four weeks of symptoms.
The Journal of North American Spine Society published articles presenting evidence that spinal manipulations were effective and safe ways to treat both acute and chronic lower back pain.
And you know what’s best about all these chiropractic treatments – they are drug-free!
The best treatment to relieve headache pain naturally is through chiropractic care. In fact, headache pain is one of the most common conditions treated by the Doctor of Chiropractic.
The U.S. Library of Medicine lists 290 studies (at the time this article was written) showing how chiropractic care prevents, cure and provides relief from tension and migraine headaches. The science is undisputed – chiropractic care is great for headaches.
The changing weight distribution on the pelvis during pregnancy often results in back pain. It also increases the chances of lower back pain affecting the woman or baby during labor.
You’ve already learned the science showing how chiropractic care alleviates lower back pain, so its ability to help during pregnancy is apparent. That’s why nearly 3 out of 4 women reported relief during pregnancy and labor after receiving chiropractic treatments.
Dr. Joan Fallon conducted a study (The effect of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: A comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic. 1991: 24:31) that found that women who receive chiropractic care spend less time in labor, even for women giving birth a second or third time.
Elite athletes like Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and Sidney Crosby all rave about the impacts chiropractic has had on their performance, treatment of their injuries and their overall health and well-being.
Many professional sports teams have chiropractic physicians on staff to treat their athletes. There are so many Doctor of Chiropractic physicians in the NFL that the Professional Football Chiropractic Society was formed.
From kids playing youth sports to elite level athletes – and everyone in between – chiropractic care elevates sports performance.
I recommend the Doctor of Chiropractic as your primary care physician because the DC knows the body can heal itself, without pharmaceuticals or invasive procedures.
The Doctor of Chiropractic is all about prevention and curing the cause of a medical issue. They take a holistic approach to health and wellness using natural methods for healing and prevention.
Let’s contrast that with medical doctors.
Conventional doctors don’t practice medicine with that same belief. Conventional doctors use Big Pharma medicines and surgeries to treat a medical problem.
They don’t cure anything and, in many instances, make things worse through prescriptions and surgeries.
Chiropractic physicians receive four years of pre-medical undergraduate training and four years of academic doctorial school, in addition to a one-year internship in a clinical setting. There are two levels of National Board examinations and a third level for those physicians using physiologic therapeutics in their practice.
The best way to find a Doctor of Chiropractic that is right for you is to ask for referrals from friends. You can also look at online reviews on sites like Yelp or search the database on the American Chiropractic Association website.
Chiropractic care is included in most insurance plans, worker’s comp plans, Medicare and many others. Sometimes, the DC will not accept insurance. You get what you pay for.
Visiting a chiropractic physician is not big expense. You may have a copay and your out of pocket costs may be dictated by your plan.
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