There’s No Such thing as Chiropractic Massage
For decades, there has been a tremendous amount of confusion between chiropractic care and massage therapy. It’s not surprising considering that many chiropractors employ massage therapists in their offices and often bring them to promotional events. On the flip side some massage therapists perform spinal manipulations and are known for teaching people how to “adjust themselves”.
In spite of the confusion, I have no problems being compared to a massage therapist. I personally think massage is fantastic. A great massage therapist is tremendously helpful in treating a variety of conditions. I even make it a point to get a massage once a month to relax or work on me after a particularly brutal training week.
In short, massage does a great job in loosening tight muscles, breaking up scar tissue in the body’s fascia, releasing endorphins, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, and much more. In the end, it leaves people feeling great. As far as feeling good, a massage has a much better chance of making you feel good than a chiropractic adjustment does. Which brings me to a very important point.
Adjustments DO NOT heal you or make you feel better
Chiropractic adjustments have one purpose: to restore the normal structural alignment of the spine for maximum potential of the brain stem and spinal cord. Whether you’re in pain or feel great, the body will operate better when the spine and nervous system are working in balance and harmony.
Yes, many times that means someone will feel better after getting an adjustment. However, it also means that there will be times where someone does not feel anything, or even feel a little worse after an adjustment. I’ve taken care of patients where their back pain or headaches actually increased for a few days after their first adjustment, only to feel better than they’ve felt in years once the spine was properly reintegrated with the nervous system.
The point is that health is about more than what feels good. Health means that everything does exactly what it is supposed to do at the exact time that it is supposed to do it. And for this to happen, the nervous system needs to be working to properly coordinate all of these functions.
While adjustments do not heal you, they provide your body with a fertile environment from which healing can happen. Healing occurs best when there is a maximum nerve supply from the brain to the body. If there is a Structural Shift, or subluxation in the top part of the neck, then the nerve supply becomes compromised and Secondary Conditions can be the result.
What is Your Objective?
Can chiropractic and massage work together? Sure. I refer many patients out for massage and many massage therapists refer to me. It really depends on the objectives of the patient.
If you’re strictly interested in feeling good immidiately and feeling looser/more relaxed, then chiropractic may not be the right fit for you.
However, if your goal is to correct the foundational structure of your spine, prevent neural/spinal degeneration, and optimize the function of your body so that it has the best chance of healing itself, then chiropractic may be what you’re looking for.
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