Perhaps the biggest blessing of being a chiropractor for me is that every day I get to see people regain their health and feel good again through chiropractic care. In my early days of practice I was as amazed as my patients were to see these miracles occur, especially in people who were trying chiropractic as a “last resort”. Many of my patients had been to dozens of doctors and had tried every pill and therapy available, except chiropractic. And it sure seemed miraculous when people who had been suffering for years began to feel good again under chiropractic care in a relatively short period of time.
I’d like to share with you a very common way that people lose their ability to feel good and how chiropractic corrects this problem. To do this we must first understand the fact that our body has it’s own built in “feel good” system, known scientifically as the endogenous pain inhibitory system. It is a network of nerve pathways in the brain and spinal cord that release morphine like chemicals known as endorphins which produce feelings of well-being and relief from pain. Although scientists are still figuring out how these chemicals and pathways work we do know that this system is most active when we are moving and exercising as well as when we are in very positive emotional states such as love.
Since our endogenous pain inhibitory system operates through our brain, spinal cord and nerves (our nerve system), anything that interferes with the function of the nerve system can affect the function of this system and limit our ability to feel good. As we go through life misalignments and stiffening of the spine, known as subluxation can by interfering with spinal cord and nerve function limit the function of your endogenous pain inhibitory system. A study done in 2012 found that individuals who had suffered whiplash in a car accident (a common physical cause of subluxation) tended to feel worse after exercise compared to normal individuals who typically experience enhanced well being after exercise (so called runner’s high). This can explain why people who have been in car accidents continue to feel unwell months and years after their injuries although they are told that they should be better within three months. I have met many frustrated patients who felt abandoned by the medical and insurance systems because they were told they “should be better by now”, but their uncorrected subluxations affecting their endogenous pain inhibitory system caused their lack of well-being will be very real to them. Subluxations could be the reason why you don’t feel good regardless of whether they were caused by car accident, sports injury, sedentary lifestyle, birth trauma, poor posture or chronic emotional stress. Subluxations could also be the reason why you are having difficulty sticking to an exercise program and reaching your fitness goals.
The good news is that there is a solution to correct your subluxations and get your endogenous pain inhibitory system back in working order, and that solution is chiropractic care! Chiropractic adjustments correct spinal misalignments and nerve interference allowing your nerve system to “reboot” and begin to function properly again. Research has demonstrated that chiropractic neck adjustments increase blood endorphin levels. This finding explains one of the reasons that many of my patients have reported that they immediately felt better after their first chiropractic adjustment. I will always remember one patient telling me that after beginning care she “felt like a little girl again”; you can read her case study here.
So if you want to feel good and live healthy, be sure to keep your endogenous pain inhibitory system working at 100% by staying subluxation free through regular chiropractic care!