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    Alternative Medicine Essay (1299 words)

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    Chiropractic is the third largest doctoral-level health profession in the UnitedStates, after medicine and dentistry.

    This form of health care is on the riseand there are more than forty thousand chiropractors in practice in all fiftystates, the District of Columbia, and many other nations. Chiropractic is a formof alternative medicine commonly used and accepted today. Chiropractic isspecifically defined as a therapeutic system of curing ailments and manipulationof various body parts, particularly the spinal column. Although chiropractorshave had a hard time establishing a worthy reputation, times have changed andstudies are proving the benefits of chiropractic. In order for people to receivenatural, holistic, efficient, and cost-effective treatment, people should seekdoctors of chiropractic.

    (Thesis: “In order for. . . “) Chiropractic wasfirst started by David Daniel Palmer in 1895. Palmer began his practices inmagnetic healing in response to his “never-ending thirst forknowledge” in 1887 (Chiropractic OnLine Today). When he moved to Davenport,Iowa, Palmer began chiropractic with his first adjustment on a janitor onSeptember 18, 1895.

    The janitor had been deaf for seventeen years after hearinga pop in his back one day. Palmer concluded that one of his vertebrae was out ofplace and so he “thrusted the vertebrae back into place” and theman’s hearing automatically improved (Chiropractic OnLine Today). This was thebirth of the chiropractic theory, which means “to do by hand. ” Palmerbelieved that “decreased nerve flow may be the cause of disease, and thatmisplaced spinal vertebrae may cause pressure on the nerves” (ChiropracticOnLine Today). In conclusion, he theorized, if the spinal column was accuratelypositioned, the body would be healthy. Palmer began a chiropractic school,Palmer Infirmary and Chiropractic Institute, in 1907.

    His son, Bartlett Joshua,was one of the first fifteen graduated. Later in his life, Bartlett also had alarge impact on the chiropractic field when his dad ran into some legalproblems. Palmer’s son took over the school and helped chiropractic to gainprominence in the medical field. Following its founding, chiropractic wentdownhill and then in the 1940’s began to grow again.

    In July 1995, the firstHistorical Centennial Celebration took place in Washington, DC with thousands ofprofessional in the field attending. (Background) Chiropractic is holistic andconcerned with a patient’s overall well-being. Chiropractic treatmentconsiders the whole person and “gives special treatment to thephysiological and biochemical aspects including structural, spinal,musculoskeletal, neurological, vascular, nutritional, emotional, andenvironmental relationships”(American Chiropractic Association). Manypeople initially think of consulting a chiropractor for back pain only, butthere are many other components of chiropractic treatment and has the ability tohelp many illnesses and problems. Because the spine is like the trunk of thebody, it can have impact on all areas of the human structure.

    The many moveableparts of the spine make it a complex system. In addition to the twenty-fourvertebrae, there are joints between each vertebra. In such a system, “inorder to maintain balance, each one these joints must be moving entirely andproperly” (Bayuk). If just one component is out of line, the imbalancedisturbs the nervous system, called subluxation. Chiropractic helps the bodykeep control of itself through manipulation of the spinal column.

    While thespine helps control the muscles of the body, it also includes the body’sability to breathe properly, keep the heart beating, and other vital functions. The spine column has many nerves that control the blood flow through bloodvessels, proper digestion, and the immune system. Just because chiropractorsfocus on the spinal column, does not limit their field of treatment. Inactuality, this very fact is what allows chiropractic to help such a broad rangeof problems and conditions. For example, a 1991 study at National College ofChiropractic renders very promising news for women suffering from tortuousmenstruation. This FCER-funded study found that “women who receivedchiropractic spinal manipulation reported significant reduction in back pain andmenstrual distress”(Joseph, Chiropractic Works).

    Along with menstruation,headaches, allergies, asthma, stomach disorders, spastic colon, and arm, hand,and leg pain are treatable by chiropractors. (Evidence #1) Chiropractic, inaddition to holistic, is efficient and cost-effective. Until recently,chiropractic was ignored by most others, but new studies are confirming claimsof efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Now chiropractic is receiving much morenotice.

    While research is convincing the community of the effectiveness of costand capability of treatment of the chiropractic method, thousands of people,worldwide, are finding restored mobility and alleviation from pain in theirdoctor of chiropractic. Results of a Florida study indicated chiropracticpatients experienced shorter periods of total disability, and their cost of carewas less in comparison to patients of medical doctors. Another Utah studyreported that chiropractic care was “ten times less expensive than standardmedical care in compensation pay-outs” ( Joseph, Chiropractic Works). Inaddition, a report in the Western Journal of Medicine found that “patientsof chiropractors were three times more satisfied with their care than patientsof family practice physicians” ( Joseph, Chiropractic Works).

    Health careoptions are becoming more diverse and it is evident that chiropractic will be achoice for many. (Evidence #2) Another benefit of chiropractic is that it isnatural. This is one of the primary characteristics that distinguisheschiropractic doctors from medical doctors. Chiropractic does not use drugs orsurgery.

    The body heals and maintains itself. It is the chiropractor’s job tomake sure that the body is in balance and capable of doing its job on its own. Chiropractic uses a form of treatment called vertebral adjustment or spinalmanipulation. An adjustment is a procedure in which a chiropractor skillfullyapplies pressure to a region of the spine that is out of alignment. It is oftendone by hand and helps lessen pain and inflammation.

    Chiropractors also performsoft tissue manipulation through muscle massages and ultrasound stimulation,physical examinations, X rays, counseling on lifestyle and nutrition, andcounseling on exercises for building flexibility, strength, and overallwell-being. However, chiropractors refer patients to another health careprovider if the patient’s condition or disease would be better treated throughother medical approaches. In most cases, chiropractors do not treat conditionsof cancer, internal injuries, lacerations and cuts, fractures of bones andchronic ailments such as diabetes. Patients with these prognoses are referred toa medical doctor by the chiropractor. (Evidence #3) “Is a chiropractorreally a doctor? Absolutely!” (Joseph, Chiropractic Myth Busters).

    For along time, millions of Americans rejected chiropractic treatment because theywere thought to be quacks by many medical doctors. But, now that studies aresupporting chiropractic treatment, people are beginning to comprehend that thesedoctors, just like medical doctors, take a strict course of study to receive adegree of Doctor of Chiropractic. After students completing high school, atleast two years of college and four to five years of chiropractic college mustbe completed. Students take basic science courses as well as clinical sciencecourses.

    In addition to school, a clinical internship is required. Upongraduation, a chiropractor is not permitted to practice just yet. First he orshe must pass a licensing exam administered by the state or the National Boardof Chiropractic Examiners, or both. Most boards rely on a three-part examinationto test basic sciences, clinical sciences, and clinical competency. A fourthpart has newly been introduced to evaluate practical skills. Chiropractors arelicensed in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

    There is no reasonone should be concerned or stressed about the credentials of a chiropractor. Toverify a doctor’s professional credentials, one can call the state’sChiropractic Board of Examiners to validate if a particular chiropractor islicensed and up to date with continuing education conditions. A concernedpatient can also ask if there is any record of disciplinary actions. Theprerequisites to become a chiropractic doctor prepare the doctors well and areextremely difficult. It takes a well educated, hard worker, and disciplinedindividual to accomplish such intense requirements.

    Students graduated and inpractice are sufficiently trained to treat the body in a natural, holistic,efficient, and cost-effective manner. (Refutation and concluding statement)BibliographyAmerican Chiropractic Association. 1999. *http://amerchiro. org/about_chiro/benefits.

    htm*. Bayuk, Andrew, D. C. “What is Chiropractic?” 1989. *http://pages.

    prodigy. com/chiropractic/whatis. htm*. Chiropractic OnLine Today. “Chiropractic Centennial Celebration.

    “2000. *http://www. chiro-online. com/*. Joseph, Louis, D. C.

    “ChiropracticWorks. ” November 1999. *http://www. hands-on-healing. com/chirowrk. htm*.

    Joseph, Louis, D. C. “Chiropractic Myth Busters. ” November 1999.

    *http://www. hands-on-healing. com/chirmyth. htm*.

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