Health and Disease – A Chiropractic point of view

Health and Disease

Health and Disease

Humans have always experienced states of illness and disease since the beginning of our existence. It has often been wondered by philosophers and scientists what causes one person to get sick whilst another remains in good health. This is the question DD Palmer considered when he first discovered the principle of Chiropractic.

Healthcare’s origins are palliative in nature, meaning we sought to alleviate what ails us rather than seeking the cause of health or disease. Rather than looking for answers within the body we sought to find herbs and roots, and now modern pharmaceuticals, to alleviate symptoms. This philosophy of healthcare has hardly changed since its inception, it is only the means by which we treat ailments that have changed. So why is the Chiropractic approach different?

One of the questions which is considered in healthcare is, is it the presence of disease or the absence of health that brings about sickness? The current medical model is based upon the presence of disease. Symptoms are observed and collected and the hope is that they match those noted in previous cases in other patients. However when these symptoms do not match up patients are left with no answers and sometimes no help.

In recent decades discussions of the priority of health has become increasingly apparent and has made its way into local and global policy. Regardless of the scientifically obvious case for a new direction may be, the model based upon the diagnosis and treatment of individual diseases still persists. The concept of the preservation of health has made the transition from theory to scientific justification, however now it must be applied in clinical practice.

Chiropractic is focussed on the restoration and maintenance of health, as opposed to fighting disease. Like the old phrase goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One of the foundational principles of Chiropractic is the concept of one cause. Simply explained, the one cause is the body’s inability to adapt appropriately to its internal or external environment. The body and the environment it is in are constantly in flux, when the body cannot respond properly to the demands placed upon it, it is in a state of lost health.

The most important function of the autonomic nervous system is to relay information about the environment to the brain so it can mount an appropriate response. If there is a change in autonomic tone it is intimately linked to the health status of the body thus, linking it to the concept of one cause of lost health.

As Chiropractors we want to minimise this loss of health by maintaining good autonomic function within the nervous system. To do this we measure different aspects of physiology and analyse spinal function in order to ensure optimal function. When we find a problem in the spine that is impacting nervous system function, we analyse it and make the appropriate adjustment in order to restore proper function. We use different technologies in order to assess the results of the adjustment and ensure function has been restored. To find out more about this, why not read our blogs on “Measures of Adaptability”.

Reference: Sinnott’s Textbook of Human Adaptability - pages 23-27

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