Chiropractic as a profession came into existence in the 1890′s in the USA when Daniel Palmer successfully restored the hearing of the cleaner (Harvey Lillard) where he worked, by pushing on a spinal vertebra which appeared to be out of place. Quite amazing that the first chiropractic adjustment was for deafness and had nothing to do with relieving back pain.

Chiropractic is based on 2 facts:

1. The the body is a self healing organism. It is always trying to move towards a state of health. If you cut yourself the body immediately starts the healing process. You don’t have to ask it to heal. You don’t need to give it permission to heal, it does it automatically.

2. That the nervous system is the master system that controls and regulates virtually every cell, tissue, organ and system of the body.

If the body is always trying to move towards health then why is it that you still have that pain/illness? There are a number of things that can interfere with the healing process but the main one that concerns chiropractors is nerve interference. If a nerve is being pinched/irritated then the signals coming from the brain to control the healing process can’t get through properly.

A chiropractors job is really simple – find and remove that interference. Here at Alstonville Chiropractic and Natural Therapies my aim is to: Find the source of nerve interference. Remove it in the most gentle way possible in the shortest amount of time possible and teach you how to reduce the possibility of re-occurance.

All the primary chiropractic techniques employed at Alstonville Chiropractic are low force and do not involve any cracking or crunching of the spine. Hence “chiropractic without the crack”. They include Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT), Torque Release Technique (TRT), Activator Methods Technique, Zone Therapy and Webster Technique.

  1. Sacro Occipital Technique was developed by chiropractor Major Bertram Dejarnette in the 1940’s and is a full body system for restoring head to toe balance. SOT is one of the most researched and respected chiropractic techniques in the world and is applied with the use of special wooden blocks and the Activator Instrument.
  2. Torque Release Technique was developed by Dr Jay Holder and is widely considered one of the most up to date chiropractic techniques available having been developed as part of a scientific research project. As such it is a combination of ‘the best of the best” in chiropractic techniques – which naturally includes SOT! TRT is often referred to as “chiropractic for the 21st Century”. The TRT adjustment is delivered by a low force instrument called the Integrator.
  3. Activator Methods Technique was developed by Dr Arlan Fuhr and is a full body system of locating and adjusting nerve interference. The Activator Methods adjustment is delivered by a low force instrument called the Activator.
  4. Zone Therapy is a healing technique developed by Dr Thurman Fleet in the 1930’s and is a method of locating and balancing the six primary systems of the body so that the body is better able to heal itself. The 6 systems are: Glandular, Eliminative, Neural, Digestive, Muscular and Circulatory. The zone therapy adjustment is most commonly delivered using the Activator Instrument.
  5. Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic protocol that can reduce or resolve pregnancy discomforts such as back pain, hip pain, sciatica, and heartburn. The Webster technique is a specific sacral adjustment that helps to facilitate the pregnant mother’s pelvic alignment and nervous system function. This in turn balances pelvic muscles and ligaments and reduces torsion to the uterus. This may offer greater potential for optimal foetal positioning both during pregnancy and birth.

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Chiropractic FAQ

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health care discipline based on the scientific premise that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body. “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “done by hand.”

The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine, and pelvis) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.

The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain. The moving bones of the spine protect the intricate communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots. If these nervous system pathways are impaired, malfunction of the tissue and organ function throughout the body can result.

Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutrition, exercise, wellness and healthy lifestyle modifications.

What are the education requirements to be a Chiropractor?

In Australia all graduating chiropractors must complete a 5 year full time University course graduating with a Masters degree. There is also a 1 year internship at the Universities outpatients clinic.

Do I need a referral from a GP to see a Chiropractor?

No. Chiropractors are registered as primary contact practitioners. They are trained to perform the initial assessment and then decide what treatment is best for the patient. Whether that is chiropractic or a different treatment by another health professional. The only time a GP referral is necessary is if you wish to participate in the Medicare funded program called Enhanced Primary Care (EPC)

What is this thing that chiropractors call a “Subluxation”?

A misalignment or change in the normal mobility of a spinal vertebra, resulting in interference to the nerve. In other words: the spine is stiff and not moving properly, causing the nerve to either become pinched or irritated.

What causes a subluxation?

There are 3 main causes of subluxations. Here they are in order of prevalence:

1. Stress – This is the biggest cause of spinal problems!!! What happens when you get stressed? You feel uptight. Your muscles contract and you become stiff and sore. Now remember, muscles are connected to bones. If a muscle is in spasm it’s going to pull on the bones that are attached to it. Pull on a bone long enough and it will pull it out of place and/or cause it to lose it normal mobility.

2. Chemical – Anything you put into your body that it cannot use for sustaining life is treated as a toxin. Just look at the food you eat and if there is anything that the body cannot turn into something useful it has to be removed. Any toxin in the body creates a stress response and as mentioned previously stress creates muscle tightness, resulting in bones and joint becoming misaligned and/or stiff.

3. Physical – The vast majority of physically induced subluxations are due to a LACK of physical activity. Most people lead a much sedentary lifestyle when compared to their ancestors. Our bodies are designed for the physical activity of hunter gatherers. Our whole body is made for over 2000 calories of physical activity every day. Our muscles, ligaments, joints and bones are designed for lots of daily stretching and physical load. When our muscles, ligaments, joints and bones don’t get the use they should they start to become stiff. The ligaments and muscles become weak and short. They are more easily damaged when you do exert yourself.

How is a subluxation corrected?

A better question might be “why doesn’t the body fix subluxations itself”? The short answer is that it normally does. As soon as your spine subluxates your body automatically does what it can to correct it and the vast majority of times it’s successful. It’s only when the vertebra is pushed beyond its ability to self correct that chiropractic is needed. A chiropractor gives the body an extra force which it can then use to complete the correction.

Does the adjustment hurt?

It shouldn’t. If a spinal vertebra is so tight that the amount of force needed to release it would create a lot of pain it should be adjusted over a number of visits. Slowly increasing its mobility without the need for pain.

Is regular chiropractic care necessary? And I have heard that once I start chiropractic care, I’ll have to continue with it for the rest of my life. Is this true? Two main factors will determine if there is a need for onging care.

1. Is there permanent damage in the spine? This may be arthritis in the joints, or a wearing down of the disc. If there is either of these 2 things present then the spine will always be stiffer than it should be. The body will have a more difficult time doing its own self correction of subluxations. In this situation regular chiropractic care will always be of benefit. This may mean a checkup once every 3 to 6 months.

2. Are you living a lifestyle that is going to lead to ongoing problems in your back? Are you in a job that is hard on your back? This could be through heavy manual work or sitting in a chair 6 hours of the day. Both of these will lead to an increased chance of spinal problems. Are you getting enough physical exercise? Exercise that not only tones and stretches the muscles of the back but also moves all the joints through their full range of movement. Are you getting enough sleep? Spines, as well as the rest of the body needs sleep to recover and heal. Healing can only take place during sleep. It’s one of the common reasons why people often feel sleepy after a chiropractic adjustment.

These are just some of the reasons why there is an need for ongoing chiropractic care. You get you teeth checked regularly, you put your car in for a service regularly, why wouldn’t you have your spine checked on a regular basis?

Is Chiropractic Care Expensive?

Studies conducted according to the highest scientific standards and published by organisations not affiliated in any way with chiropractic institutions or associations continue to show the clinical appropriateness and effectiveness of chiropractic care. One of the most recent, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, stated emphatically that: “On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain…There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low back pain was transferred from physician to chiropractors.

Does an adjustment have to make a noise to be effective?


How does chiropractic care help the pregnant woman?

The first thing to remember is that pregnancy is a completely natural process. There is no need for chiropractic, or any other interventions, just because someone is pregnant. Having said that if a women has pre existing back problems then the weight of a baby growing can aggravate her back. That’s were the gentle technique of SOT is most appropriate.