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The Background of Chiropractic

The Background of Chiropractic 
Chiropractic is derived from Greek - a compound word of ‘chiro’ meaning ‘hand’ and ‘praktos’ meaning ‘therapy’. In other words, it means a therapy primarily depending on physician’s hands - rather than on drug or surgical operation - to treat several diseases. Currently, chiropractic has been legally approved as formal health care in some countries including the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, however it is still unfamiliar in Korea.
Chiropractic was invented by Palmer (American) in 1985. He hypothesized that diseases can be cured by palping the spinal cord, bones, joints or muscles to activate the flow of nerves between the brain and the other organs. 
 Relationship between Spinal curvature and Brain size 
To understand the principle of chiropractic, first let’s examine the general structure and functions of human body. When a human is in the fetal period, the spine is C-shaped, bending backward (kyphotic cuvature). Since then, when he/she can control his/her neck around 3 or 4 months after birth, a curvature is added to the neck. When he/she starts to walk about 1 year after birth, the third curvature is formed in the low back. At last, the three C-shaped curvatures have been formed in profile
The spinal column consists of twenty-four vertebrae (spinal segments). It supports the head, while it is fixed in the sacral vertebra of the pelvis. Normal spinal curvature, the movements of the 24 segments and the movements of the sternum and extremity joints are deeply correlated with the condition of the central nervous system including brain. Comparing the brain size between biped humans walking erect and quadruped animals crawling about on all fours, the correlation is more clearly seen. Quadruped animals have a single C-shaped spinal curvature, whereas humans have the larger and more evolved brain than that of animals. Regarding the growth process of human brain, as a spinal curvature changes into three spinal curvatures, the volume and functions of the brain increase and develop radically. When the backbone is progressively bent in the elderly days, the three spinal curvatures change into one curvature again. In this light, if the spinal curvatures fail to grow up normally, the general development of the central nervous system will also have a considerable trouble.

Such the correlation explains the principle of chiropractic. How does chiropractic diagnose a case? Together with general medical diagnosis, it determines the posture of the whole body from top to toe and the presence or absence of any disorder in the spinal segment motions. In many cases, the patient complains of pains, however their cause is not founded in blood testing or radiography. In these cases, the comprehensive diagnosis of chiropractic is helpful. Concretely, what is it effective against?

Typically, it is effective against backache and neck pains. According to a statistical survey, one-third proportion of American suffering from backache or neck pains have received chiropractic. Interestingly, especially, more well-educated people had higher reliability on chiropractic. As there are many causes of backache or neck pain, the treatments are various. Fundamentally, however, the method of correcting abnormal posture and returning the abnormal condition of each spinal segment to the normal condition. Through this method, peripheral nerves distributed throughout the body including the spinal marrow are stimulated, the pain-regulating capacity of the brain is improved and consequently bodily pains are relieved. Meanwhile, it is also effective against the cases where the internal organs have weakened due to any autonomic nervous system disorder.
The autonomic nervous system is divided into the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The internal organs is activated by the parasympathetic nervous system and suppressed by the sympathetic nervous system. A recent study reported that the poorer is the function of the cerebral cortex, the less is the effect of the some parasympathetic nerves leading to the reduction in the function of the digestive organs, cardio-pulmonary system and the urogenital organs. Reversely, the effect of the parasympathetic nerves can be activated by stimulating properly the spinal region associated with the cerebral cortex. The current chiropractic comes into the spotlight in the aspect of disease prevention. The apparent pain we feel is considerably different from the actual condition of our body. In other words, apparent pains are considered just as the tip of a huge iceberg.

Corresponding to the body of iceberg under the surface of water, the actual condition of our body i.e., the cause is difficult to perceive. Chiropractic makes a careful diagnosis with paying special attention to the delicate reactions of the whole body from the internal organs to the central nervous system. Thus, it is characterized by returning the abnormal condition to the normal one before a serious disease develops. It is expected that new therapies like this will be accepted and widely spread in Korea so that more people can enjoy the benefits of better health care before long.



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