It is always good to review some of the science of chiropractic, and make sure we overlay the philosophy, so that you not only understand what is happening in the office and in your body. But so that you can also manage your expectations. For many of my more seasoned patients, you completely understand the idea of getting “sick” after an adjustment.
For those who are wondering… what I am referring to is not actually getting sick, but expressing the symptoms of well. Your body has a God given potential to respond to outward stimuli with an internal effort towards health. If your body requires an immune response, then you would want an immune response to get well. If your body requires inflammation, then inflammation is your best bet to get well (remember, this is in a body that is working correctly – if it is working improperly, then we have a problem).
So back to the whole sick thing. I have had many patients come in feeling the start of a sickness, and following an adjustment the feeling turns into an immediate feeling of sick. Fever, headache, clammy, coughing… the whole story, all within a very short time of the adjustment. Others have had no such symptoms. Why? Why is it good to be either one?
Yes, Ronald is getting an adjustment… perhaps the only reason I would ever stop at McDonald’s!
The key lies here, the goal of the adjustment is a SINGULAR goal. There is no mixing of the goals, it is one thing… to IMPROVE the function of the nervous system. Whatever happens after that is between you and God. If you need an immune response, then it will come with symptoms. If your immune system is working well, then it is likely that little change will happen with the fight that is already going on, but anything could happen, and neither we, nor you, are in control of that.
I know this is actually a really simplistic concept, but it is the most important concept that surrounds what we do. This concept is also the greatest one separating the medical model from the wellness model. The medical model is one aimed at controlling outcomes, it is one that suggests that we can take a hold of one area of the body, and manipulate that area to follow our plan, without ill effect on another area. We have come to the obvious understanding, that there is no way to do that without having some ill effect, so the goal now is controlled ill effect. The wellness model is aimed at a pursuit of overall health, and balance in the body, understanding that crisis could very well be along the path towards better.
Accepting soreness in a workout routine is commonplace. Nobody argues that the soreness is a bad thing, we understand that it is a part of the process towards building greater fitness. Likewise, there are many different types of situations in the body that are actually a sign of greater function, that will cause us to think that we are not getting well. We need to actively pursue wellness, and then work to differentiate movement in the right direction from movement in the wrong direction. The difference is often difficult to understand, but by looking hard, we can find out the truth.
So, all of this to come back to this simple statement. What happens after the adjustment is between you and God. The truth will always hold, that 95% of you will feel better following an adjustment, in so many ways. But my goal is never to make you feel better, it is always to improve function of the nervous system. Period.
Be well, God bless, and stay on the pursuit of health!! – Dr. E