A chiropractic doctor is probably one of the most misunderstood healthcare practitioners in the medical profession. Through the years they have been looked at askance by doubters who are full of suspicion. In times past, they have been called quacks, or worse. This is due, in part, to the public’s narrow and limited view of medical treatment – being that solely of administering prescription drugs and performing surgery.
It’s unfortunate that the majority of people believe this is all there is to health care. There truth is there is more to health care than drugs and surgery! A great deal more!
Sad to say, but even some chiropractic patients haven’t a real clear understanding of what chiropractic is. And for those who have never been to a chiropractor, most are totally misinformed as to the make up of the profession. The fact is chiropractic is the largest drug-free form of health care and the third largest form of any health care in North America.
What is Chiropractic?
The word “chiropractic” is a blending of the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) and means “done by hand.” Chiropractic is an alternative medical system in that the practitioner takes a different approach from conventional medicine in diagnosing, classifying, and treating medical problems.
Essentially, chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure – primarily that of the spine – and the body’s function. Doctors of chiropractic use hands-on therapy called manipulation (or adjustment) as their core procedure.
Comparable to an MD?
So is the training of a chiropractor as rigorous as that of a medical doctor? The answer is a resounding, yes. Today’s doctor of chiropractic receives an extensive educational background beginning with three years of pre-chiropractic study. From there they advance into a four-year course of study. A student of chiropractic spends as many hours in the study of human physiology as that of a medical doctor. Chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience.
The difference between the education of an MD and that of a chiropractor lies in the fact that an MD trains in pharmacology and surgical procedures and chiropractor trains in the care of the spine.
Worth the Cost?
Some will assert that it costs too much to go to the chiropractor. However, the opposite is true. The fact is that oftentimes when a person is treated by a chiropractic doctor for one certain symptom, the adjustments (treatments) result in a higher level of overall health and well being. This leads to cutting back on prescription drugs, preventing the need for surgery, and slowing down the aging process.
Those who benefit from chiropractic treatments look at it as an important part of their ongoing health maintenance, similar to that of regular exercise or visiting their local health spa. They now know the difference – how they felt before chiropractic treatments and how much better they feel now.
A survey of patients of chiropractors in an independent physicians’ association found that, when asked if they would recommend their Doctor of Chiropractic to others, 95.5% of the patients said “yes.” 1
A chiropractor is a whole health practitioner who is concerned not just about your symptoms, but your overall state of well being. What your doctor of chiropractic can offer, no other doctor can. Have no doubt that a chiropractor is well trained to assist you reach your own personal optimal health.