One of the very first questions that many people ask me when I talk to them about my vocation is, “What is chiropractic, and why did you choose to become a chiropractor?” I first came across chiropractic not as a patient, but as a student, reading Physiology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. It sounds very melodramatic and even poetic now, but literally a stranger placed a leaflet in my hand at a postgraduate fair, and said, “Have you ever considered becoming a chiropractor?” My initial reaction was, “No. What’s chiropractic?” My interest was piqued, and I began to find out more, and the more that I found out the more I wanted to know. It spoke to me as a scientist largely because of one of its core principles, which Dr Frank Zolli summarises as, “It is a philosophy, art and science dedicated to helping humanity improve by establishing the optimum relationship between structure and function.” Reading that again it spoke to me, and still does, as a human being: I would be helping humanity by becoming a chiropractor: I was in!
So interestingly, when many people assume that chiropractic is about manipulating bad backs and necks to alleviate pain, I don’t agree. Sure, when I adjust (we don’t necessarily manipulate spines), I may well be helping someone to recover from aches and pains, but actually the adjustment of the spine is, as above, establishing an optimum relationship between structure (the entire human body, specifically the spine – and pelvis – which holds it up) and function (the nervous system that controls the body, protected at its most vulnerable points by the spine, and indeed the cranium and pelvis). If we understand that when we, or anything else for that matter, is broken down to the smallest, subatomic, particle it is made of energy. Somehow that energy seems to arrange itself into the bigger “stuff” that makes everything that is matter. So really all that any chiropractor, or health and well-being practitioner of any kind, is doing is attempting to encourage our bodies to rearrange their energy to function better. This can result in better health, which means better function of our body. Then all we need to do is minimise or eliminate the causes of this imbalance. Simple, eh?