More than 20 million Americans receive chiropractic care each year, making it one of the most popular and established forms of alternative medicine. Still, there are those who are skeptical, who claim that chiropractic doesn’t actually treat any condition, and that any benefits derive from the “placebo effect.” They often point to the fact that many chiropractic patients have to keep going back for treatment again and again.
“That’s kind of convoluted,” says Dr. Martin Hart of Hart Chiropractic in Kansas City, MO. “Most people continue seeing any kind of doctor throughout their lifetime. How frequently depends on your choices and your doctor.” He also points out that the placebo effect is innate to the human mind and body, and that it is prevalent in all forms of medical treatment, especially prescription drugs.
“Chiropractic began in an era before the clinical trial, when all forms of medicine were pseudo-scientific.” says Dr. Hart. “It began with an idea, developed through study and practice, and continues to thrive based on current science and research—which clearly shows both physiological and psychological benefits.”
Some of those benefits might come as a surprise to those who think that chiropractic treatment is limited to lower back pain. Here are five reasons to consider including chiropractic care into your health and wellness regimen:
1. Better pain management. Many people see a chiropractor to treat chronic pain, especially from a neck or back injury. Few people know that chiropractic treatment not only relieves pain in the affected area, it has also been shown to change the way the brain processes pain signals, lessening pain and discomfort throughout the entire body.
2. Improved cognition. Chiropractic treatment can increase blood flow to the brain, which brings numerous physical and cognitive benefits—including improved clarity, focus and creativity.
3. Improved motor skills. Another noticeable benefit of chiropractic treatment is improved dexterity and motor skills, as measured by improved performance in athletics, sports and psychometric testing.
4. Strengthened immune system. Multiple studies have shown that regular chiropractic care can improve immune system health and function, through increasing the number of key immune cells and strengthening the sympathetic nervous system.
5. Mood enhancement. Chiropractic treatment can trigger the release of endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals in our brain, creating an improved sense of happiness and well-being. Clinical trials have shown that regular chiropractic care can help balance the mood and alleviate symptoms of PTSD, ADD and depression.
“Chiropractic treatment has strong implications for the nervous system that are only beginning to be understood,” says Dr. Hart. “It’s benefits can be applied throughout the whole body system.”
Regular chiropractic care, Hart says, can not only correct imbalances, but can also help to maintain the proper balance and alignment that is important to our overall health and well-being.
Dr. Martin Hart is a chiropractic kinesiologist and owner of Hart Chiropractic in Kansas City, MO. He integrates many methods to help patients move beyond their pain and find optimal well-being.