Michael Thomas, DC
People often ask me, “When should I come back?” This is a fair question and an important one. Some people only return to the office when life has become too difficult again. “”Doc, that pain has returned and I can’t play golf”. “I’ve been feeling it for four or five months but just in the past couple of days I find that I can’t get comfortable in bed at night”. “I thought it would go away but it just keeps returning and it seems to be getting worse!” “This is a different pain than last time and I didn’t think it was related.” “I didn’t think you could help so I went to five other doctors, got cortisone shots, did weeks of physical therapy, had two MRI’s and now the surgeon wants to operate.”
These and many more are common comments from patients when they return to my office in acute pain or problem. The vast majority of the time, an adjustment will once again, return them to health and happiness. “I didn’t realize you could help this!” “I didn’t know it was related to my neck!” “My other doctor told me chiropractic couldn’t help this.” “This is voodoo!”.
I hear these and many other comments like these every day. This is why educating patients is almost as important as adjusting them. If you don’t know when I can be of help, you won’t come in to get the adjustment you need to return you to health or to maintain your health. This educational problem is a deep one. In our society, people are generally not taught anything about what we do or even how our bodies really work and therefore don’t realize the results you receive from upper cervical adjustment are even possible. We have always grown our patient population one person at a time. Once you have been adjusted and realized, felt, and lived the restoration that occurs, then you begin to get the bigger picture. This picture is actually bigger than the symptom expression in any one person -they know what it has done for them in the past but many have no idea of the possibilities.
Let’s briefly explore (this is a whole book in itself!) the areas and issues that can be affected by upper cervical adjustment.
Through ongoing research, we now understand that misalignment in the top of the neck changes blood flow through the head in a dramatic fashion. It also changes flow of the cerebral spinal fluid, which lubricates the brain and spinal cord and removes toxins. Many people have headaches and brain fog that seem directly related. Dizziness and equilibrium problems are frequently helped by adjustment. The cranial nerves also seem to be affected by misalignment and many people have found improvement in vision, hearing, TMJ and other facial problems. Many people remark they can’t take a deep breath when they are out of adjustment. Many people have noticed that their blood pressure returns to normal when they get back in adjustment. People report that their esophageal reflux improves when they are in adjustment. Many people report that their digestion becomes disordered when they are out of adjustment and returns to normal once they’ve been back to the office. One of my patients starts burping as soon as they are back in adjustment and this is a sign their gut is working again. We celebrate! I have several patients whose nose starts running and clearing their sinuses right on the adjusting table! (I have tissues!)
Many people have found that they begin to feel depressed when they are out of adjustment and that this will lift almost immediately when they get an adjustment. More than one person has told me they could finally get pregnant after getting an upper cervical adjustment -after trying for years without success. Seizures have often been greatly reduced or stopped all together.
This is just a sampling of the thousands of people who have come through the office over the years. We haven’t even gotten to pain yet. Chiropractic has been painted as “maybe good for low back pains at times” but results in this office would tend to expand it’s usefulness. In the last week I found patients telling me that their horrific trigeminal neuralgia pain was gone. One person related that she had been sitting on doughnuts for years but that she had come in for shoulder pains. After one adjustment her shoulder was 90% better but her tailbone pain was gone! So was the pain in her knee and ankle. Several people were scheduled for surgery. Most of them cancelled it after receiving relief. They had been told there was no other choice, but we are a choice they don’t know about.
A proper upper cervical adjustment restores your body to an optimal relationship with gravity. It restores the ability of your body to function as a whole and not have to scramble to keep up with hips going one way, shoulders another, and head yet another. Fighting gravity is a battle we always lose. Gravity is relentless. The adjustment restores equipoise, that ability of the body to balance easily right on the gravity line, a vertical axis that goes through our middle. It is much the same as a gyroscope. When a gyroscope has enough energy, it spins cleanly and easily. As it loses energy it begins to wobble more and more in an attempt to remain upright. The extra effort decreases its energy further and it increases its wobble until it falls over. The adjustment restores all the ‘pieces’ (head, neck, trunk, hips) back into alignment decreasing the energy needed just to keep us upright. This energy can then be used where it is needed in the rest of our body maintaining and restoring our well-being. We can think better. We have greater agility and ease in moving about. Best of all, we stop the degenerative processes that occur when we are out of alignment, causing joints and muscles to adapt and compensate just to keep functioning, halting the progression of arthritis and chronic muscle spasms.
My experiences have shown me that upper cervical chiropractic is primary health care for human beings. It is a hidden jewel that you have already found and has likely already made a change in your life. Like any precious gift, the more you know about it, the better it can serve you. I hope this piece has expanded your knowledge of upper cervical chiropractic. Now let’s spread the word!