Two Schools of Chiropractics

By Gregory Stetzel, D.C., president of the Garden State Chiropractic Society

Not many consumers realize that there are two branches, or schools of thought, in chiropractic. These two schools are differentiated by whether they deal with the limited therapeutic approach for aches and pains (commonly termed “mixed” chiropractic because it represents a mixture of chiropractic with a non-chiropractic practices) or a non-therapeutic approach to optimum body performance (termed “straight” chiropractic because there is no mixing of chiropractic with anything else). The Garden State Chiropractic Society has been the official voice of straight chiropractic in NJ for over 40 years.

The vertebral subluxation is the sole focus of non-therapeutic straight chiropractic and what many people recognize as a chiropractor’s traditional responsibility. The spinal column is composed of 24 moveable segments, which house and protect the spinal cord and the smaller spinal nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord and exit between the bones of the spine. These nerve pathways carry messages between the brain and the cells of the body. These messages are essential for the life of the cells. Without vital brain messages, the cells immediately begin the process of dying, meaning they can no longer function the way they should to maintain life.

Because the spinal segments are moveable, they can misalign in such a way as to create pressure on the spinal cord or nerves and interfere with their messages and, ultimately, the ability of the person to function at their best or express their optimum potential for life and health. It is this misalignment and the resulting interference that defines a vertebral subluxation. People with vertebral subluxations are not able to get all they can out of life.

Vertebral subluxations can be caused by a wide variety of factors, what we’ll generally call “stresses.” These stresses can be physical (such as poor sleeping posture and mattress condition, the birth process, sneezing, falling down, etc.), mental/emotional (in its many forms, probably the most familiar use of the word “stress”), or chemical (such as pollution, drugs, etc.), which are, unfortunately, regular parts of daily living for all age groups. In short, a vertebral subluxation can occur for a multitude of reasons.

Since vertebral subluxations are caused by so many different things, people choose to go to a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor on a regular basis to enjoy the most time free of the life-robbing effects of vertebral subluxation. There’s a saying that non-therapeutic straight chiropractic is not about your back, it’s not about your pain, it’s about your life.
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