I’ve always been a bit interested in chiropractic, and because I have backpain and headaches fairly regularly, I recently took a chiropractor up on the offer of a free consultation. Turns out this one is a “NUCCA” chiropractor, which believe that the key to all of health is the proper alignment of the first vertebrate, the “atlas.” It’s a pretty big claim, and while I suppose I understand the line of reasoning, it seems rather spurious to me.
So I’ve spent some time the last day or two researching chiropractic and I must say that I am not inclined to pursue it — at least not this NUCCA stuff. I could be persuaded to give a different chiropractor a shot if he seemed legitimate, did not make such vaunted claims, and that sort of thing. My wife, who has a background in fitness training, suggested that the pain in my neck and back could be better treated by a program of strength/resistance training and stretching. Now, I simply don’t like stretching because, well, I’ve never been particularly flexible. But it seems to me that she’s on to something. Her advice was to give that a shot for a little while before taking the plunge (literally and financially) into chiropractic.
Below I’m basically going to deposit some links I came across in my research:
* A book by Samuel Homola, Inside Chiropractic, which is apparently a critique of chiropractic written by a seasoned chiropractor. Here’s a good quote from the book (cited in the review below):
Chiropractic, which celebrated its centennial in 1995, is a curious mixture of science and pseudoscience, sense and nonsense. Much of it is based on the theory that misaligned spinal bones produce nerve interference that causes disease. Many chiropractors claim that correcting these misalignments (“subluxations”) can restore health and that regular spinal adjustments are essential to maintain it.
* In general, there’s lots of very interesting (and very readable) information at saveyourself.ca, which made a lot of sense to me.
In sum, in some ways I am drawn to alternative medicine (like chiropractic), but there are many reasons to be very cautious. Science is not my religion (and doctors not my priests) as it seems to be in our culture, but science certainly has value in explaining the world. You want medicine and healthcare that works.
The part of me that is drawn to alternative medicine is the part that likes to buy organic and shops at Whole Foods — I’m drawn to what seems to be “natural” and not industrialized or processed. (Don’t get me wrong — I eat plenty of industrialized and processed food – but philosophically that is my position). Why pop the pills made by Big Pharma if there is a better, more natural way? Furthermore I do believe that the Creator may well have endowed the body with the ability to take better care of itself than we might realize. I’m not a chance evolutionary result but a preordained and designed creation. At the same time, my theology reminds me that I’m also in a world beset by the repercussions of the Fall and Original Sin and all that. Stuff, like my body, doesn’t work the way it should.
Anyway, I’m beginning to ramble. The point is that there has to be some kind of middle ground, but it sure is hard to find and it sure is hard for a layman like me to know who to trust. People on both sides of the chiropractic debate get pretty worked up about it all. It’s hard to cut through all of that to find the truth. The key to the whole thing has to be finding a good, humble, honest personal doctor whom you can trust.
I just hope I have one. My new doctor seems promising, so I’ll stick with him for now. But I’ll continue to read and learn too. I welcome your thoughts.