Posture: A Manahawkin, NJ Chiropractor’s Perspective
Posture is the Window to Your Health
What does it actually mean to be healthy?
The definition of health is “the state of being free from illness or injury”. Go back and read that again. Nowhere in that definition does it say anything about being symptom free or feeling “good”. From the time we were little girls and boys, we've been taught a belief system about health care that says, if we look good and we feel good then we're healthy. But often that belief gets us into trouble, sometimes devastatingly so.
Do you believe that you can feel totally fine and have disease growing inside of your body?
If you answered yes, then you're absolutely right. Have you ever known anybody that was the picture of health? They may have been a triathlete, ate all the right foods, worked out every day. They felt great, they looked great, and then they dropped dead of a heart attack. This is a great example of why we can't evaluate our health solely by how we look or how we feel.
Then how do we determine if we're healthy?
One of the ways, which may seem surprising, is to use posture. Your spine is the core strength of your body, responsible for holding up your body weight against gravity. The spine also houses and is attached to your very delicate spinal cord. Your spinal cord is the lifeline to your entire body. Your brain regulates the health and function of every single cell, tissue, and organ in your body by sending electrical signals, kind of like text messages, down the spinal cord and out the spine over the vast nerve network. Everything in your body, from the tiniest cell to the largest organ relies on these signals to know what to do, stay healthy, and function properly, ultimately keeping you alive.
Different stresses to your body - falling off your bicycle when you're a little kid, falling out of a tree, sporting injuries (if you’re anything like my boys), sitting with poor posture at your computer or on your phone or playing video games - cause the spinal bones to shift out of alignment. When the spine shifts out of alignment, we call that a subluxation. Subluxations distort our posture putting stress on the spinal cord which must stretch and twist in order to fit into the distorted spinal position. This causes disruptions to those signals traveling through the spinal cord.
We've all experienced this on some level, like sleeping the wrong way and pinching a nerve in our neck causing our arm to go numb. In this example, our spine shifted out of alignment, putting stress on the nerve, blocking sensory information to the arm, resulting in numbness and tingling. The same nerves that innervate your arm are the same nerves that innervate all the vital organs in your body. So, your spine is literally the foundation of life and health in your body.
Postural Distortions Lead to Disease
When you see a person with poor posture, is your immediate reaction that they are sick or healthy?
Postural distortions occur when your body undergoes stress or trauma. It can be from a sudden impact, like falling off a bicycle as a kid, or more subtle stresses, like working at your computer. These stresses and traumas cause the spine to shift or twist out of normal alignment resulting in a condition called subluxation.
When the segments of the spine, or entire regions of the spine, go out of alignment, the overall structure is weakened and the spine loses its ability to hold up your body weight. This will cause your posture to distort placing stress and irritation on the spinal cord and nervous system. Tense, tight, or smashed nerves reduce the electrical signals from the brain into the body that all your organs rely upon to keep you alive and healthy. When the organs don't get the information from your brain that they need, they start to break down and malfunction. This is what causes disease in your body. In fact, spinal misalignments are the most overlooked cause of disease.
We've applied a system of care that is based off of the latest, most state-of-the-art science and technology to correct conditions of your spine. Because most spinal conditions happen in early childhood, sometimes as early as the birthing process, newer technology allows us to correct spinal conditions and postural distortions in a relatively short amount of time compared to how long they're typically going on inside a person's body.
Sometimes we can even correct conditions like scoliosis, if it's caught early enough. That's why we make it a point to check every member of your family. Most spinal conditions don't even cause any pain, especially in children. That’s why, like our teeth, it's very important to get your spine checked regularly starting at birth.
Our Unique Approach
At Healing Hands of Manahawkin, NJ, our office and approach are quite unique compared to other types of healthcare and even other types of chiropractic care. Unlike physical therapy, or even other traditional types of chiropractic, we’re able to correct conditions and make long term fixes instead of just masking over the problem or providing a short term solution. We eliminate the source of pain and the source of disease.
By conducting a digital range of motion exam and a computerized posture screening, to detect and measure all postural distortions that may be affecting your health, we do an unrushed, thorough consultation to determine if postural distortions can be corrected.
Gentle, Safe, and Extremely Effective Care
If you have postural distortions that can be corrected, the care is very gentle, extremely safe, and very effective. Because most postural distortions start in early childhood, there are four areas we will address - frequency of treatments, the muscles connected to the spine, the ligaments that bind the spine in its abnormal position, and the joints.
Frequency Every chiropractic care program is customized to the patient's condition and to their lifestyle goals. Corrective care programs are based on data collected from patients with similar conditions from all over the world, therefore we only accept patients whose health is enough of a priority to commit to a full corrective care plan. You can imagine if the data shows the path to success and you don't follow it, you will not have success in reaching your health and life goals.
Muscles We use a series of very specific exercises called Neuromuscular Re-education to establish new muscle memory in the muscles surrounding the spine. This is so the muscles don't keep pulling the spine back into an unhealthy position and allows for a long term correction.
Ligaments We use passive, decompression traction to remold the ligaments that bind the spine together into the ideal structure. This creates strength and stability in the spine and ensures a strong and healthy posture and body for a lifetime.
We use a series of repetitive, mirror-imaging adjustments to realign the spine into a more stable and stronger structure. The adjustments are very safe, gentle, and effectiveNew patients often try to compare us to their experience with previous chiropractors saying, “well my previous chiropractor took X-rays and did treatment too.” I often ask the question, “did they correct the problem permanently for you?” If they did, you wouldn’t be here. Patients say the difference between our office and the experience they had in the past is that other offices never addressed the muscle or the ligaments, they didn’t have a holistic, multi-faceted approach to care.
We address every facet of the spine and its surrounding musculature in order to make a correction that will have long-lasting effects. In addition to the office visits, patients are given customized home care to restore strength and energy as quickly as possible. This also helps us reduce inflammation, reconnect the brain to the body, and take stress off of the nerves, handling some of the symptomatology for the patient.
What we do at Healing Hands is so different from what people are used to and that’s what gives us a 95% success rate with our patients. There's truly nothing better than feeling better. Patients can visually see the changes happening in their body on an X-ray and also notice improvements in many areas of their life, from things like improved concentration, less chronic diseases, improved organ function, increased tolerance for activity, better pain tolerance, and so much more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does insurance pay for this type of care?
Insurance is really designed for sick care, so it's very limited for chiropractic in general. However, if you do have insurance benefits, we will use the maximum insurance amount that the law would allow us to use. So, yes we do use insurance in our office.
Do I need a referral from my primary care physician?
In the state of New Jersey, chiropractors are considered primary care physicians, so there is no need to receive a referral from your general practitioner. You can call a chiropractic office and make an appointment right away!
Does the spinal correction hurt?
This is a really great question because just like when an orthodontist cracks your teeth, we are moving hard bone that's embedded in soft tissue. The process itself doesn’t, or shouldn’t, ever hurt or cause pain. After the first few chiropractic adjustments a patient might experience tightness or soreness in their muscles as if they had a vigorous workout, but the procedure is never painful.
How long will it take to correct my posture?
Most postural distortions develop in your body when you're a child. So, postural correction could take anywhere from three to six months.
How long does a visit take at Healing Hands of Manahawkin, NJ?
A typical visit in our office takes about 20 minutes, depending on the specific needs of the patient. In our office, though, our patients never have to wait to be seen. They walk right in, sign in by swiping at the front desk, and start their exercises, warming up the muscles around the spine.
Hopefully that answered some of your questions. If you have any other questions, we're always here to answer them!