Chiropractic education: becoming a chiropractor

We have been writing along the years about different topics regarding conditions that might prompt you to see a chiropractor. The success of chiropractic care is certainly due to the chiropractor’s skills and knowledge in the application of the art, science and philosophy that defines chiropractic. Today we would like to answer questions about who chiropractors are and what is our education. It is important to understand where we come from and how we have been prepared to help in the healing process of people of our community.

Chiropractors are habilitated health professionals that correct spinal biomechanical dysfunctions with the objective to recover proper function of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. Chiropractors are highly qualified professionals who undergo rigorous and thorough training.

A typical Doctor of Chiropractic programme consists of five academic years and clinical education, including one year of supervised clinical training of internship in a community-based clinic. Graduates complete approximately 4,500 hours of academic and clinical education, including studies in anatomy/embryology, orthopaedics, physiology, neurology, nutrition as well as clinical diagnosis, radiology and chiropractic sciences.

This is how chiropractors become safe and competent primary contact practitioners.

Chiropractic is one of the largest, natural healing professions in the world, which emphasises the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.

It doesn’t add chemicals or foreign substances to your body. Instead, through manual spinal adjustments, chiropractic care seeks to restore proper control and regulation of your body so health can return naturally. If nerve impulses are compromised somewhere between your brain and your body, then restoring this communication through chiropractic adjustments can permit a more normal expression of health. The fact that your headache, back pain or allergic reaction may improve in the process is wonderful and likely to be an expression of a better functioning nervous system.

Chiropractic is widely recognised as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuro-musculo-skeletal complaints. Many patients feel a sense of relief following chiropractic adjustments and, over a period of time, many patients report improved energy, increased vitality and enhanced wellbeing. Factors that determine a person’s response time to chiropractic care include age, chronicity of their problem, nutrition, stress level, activity level and their motivation to get well.

Ground-breaking research has identified the actual changes that occur in the body, nervous system and brain during chiropractic spinal adjustments. The study was conducted by an award-winning Auckland researcher named Dr Heidi Haavik-Taylor. She demonstrated that muscle control can be changed by stimulating the nervous system through chiropractic adjustments. (*)

“The process of a spinal adjustment is like rebooting a computer. The signals that these adjustments send to the brain, via the nervous system, reset muscle behavior patterns,” as quoted by Dr Haavik-Taylor. “By stimulating the nervous system, we can improve the function of the whole body. This is something that chiropractors and their patients have known for years and now we have some scientific evidence to prove it.”

Chiropractic is for everyone since everyone has a spine. Children, elderly and people of all ages in between can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Elderly people, on the other hand, may experience discomforts and symptoms related to lack of activity and limited motion, like stiffness in their joints and muscle weakness.

Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient, and in the case of children and elderly, it is very gentle.

The key to understanding chiropractic is to remember that health comes from within. Chiropractic targets the healing power within your body to create an abundance of vitality and wellness.

Chiropractors are concerned with patients’ overall wellbeing and recognise that many factors affect health, including stress, exercise, diet, rest, environment and heredity.

This is why chiropractic also stresses the importance of prevention and primarily utilises a pro-active approach in wellness care. Prevention includes maintenance care to detect and correct structural imbalances of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system while in its primary state. The objective is early identification of mechanical dysfunctions to prevent or delay permanent pathological changes. Pain is not a pre-requisite to seek chiropractic care.

Like millions of people around the world, you too can enjoy better health by choosing the chiropractic approach to help release your body’s inborn healing abilities.

It is important to note that not all conditions are reversible naturally, therefore, may not respond to chiropractic care. A chiropractor is habilitated to recognise when a condition is beyond their scope of practice and would refer you to the appropriate health care professional.

* Haavik Taylor H and Murphy B. (2007). World Federation of Chiropractic’s Ninth Biennial Congress Award Winning Paper (3rd Prize): Altered sensori-motor integration with cervical spine manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, in press.

By Sandra Genest-Boudreau | Christophe O. Alves
|| features@algarveresident.com

Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children. Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic. Algarve Quiroprática clinic: EN125 in Pêra | 282 312 853 | 969 397 375
Licença da ERS n.º 17485/2019 de 11-06-2019