The decision to use a chiropractor for one’s primary care doctor continues to soar in popularity. Why? Because most chiropractors now promote more than just spinal manipulation. Whole body health and wellness as opposed to the conventional medicine model of just treating symptoms or crisis care is now offered by most chiropractors. The advantages of choosing a knowledgeable chiropractor as one’s primary care doctor are many (see graphic below) with the main advantage being that the chiropractic focus is on wellness=positive rather than disease=negative.
Consumer Paradigm Shift Has Been Happening For A While
Research presented by Eisenberg et al (1) suggests that a paradigm shift continues to occur in consumers’ thinking about health and health care. Eisenberg reported results of a survey of households, showing that in any year, approximately one third of US health and health care consumers use nontraditional healers, including nutritional therapy, homeopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths and spiritual healers. There are more visits to these therapists every year than to allopathic doctors. Consumers are choosing to purchase these services because they believe them to be effective. Patients are frustrated with conventional medicine and complain of being unable to effectively communicate with their doctors.
What Chiropractors Know that Conventional Doctors Often Forget
The nervous system controls and coordinates every function of the body. This is Anatomy 101. However it is nothing short of amazing how many doctors seemingly forget this most simple fact. A good example is what happens when someone breaks their neck. The result is that usually nothing works below the neck. The brain is the source of all energy transmissions to every cell of the body. It sends those messages down the spinal cord and out nerves that pass between each vertebrae of the spine. If the vertebrae are misaligned, and the electrical impulses of the brain cannot reach the cells, the cells become sick. Many sick cells begin to make a sick person. Chiropractors are taught how to adjust the spine in a way that restores the flow of energy from the brain to the cells. Often these adjustments are all a person needs in order to experience very positive changes in their health and well-being.
Chiropractic Care Research
Research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) in 2004 found that a managed care network consisting of chiropractors as Primary Care Providers (PCPs) provided equivalent care, and saved substantial costs, compared to patient management utilizing medical doctors and osteopaths.
This study found that patient diagnoses by chiropractors as PCPs were in agreement with conventional medical specialist 93.1% of the time. In other words, a properly credentialed chiropractor could diagnose conditions almost as well as medical doctors, including conditions that are outside the normal scope of the conventional chiropractic setting.
The conclusion of this research was that “Reliance on the conventional medical model, in which pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions represent first-line treatment, may not provide the best therapeutic index to our patients.” The study’s authors added that a chiropractic gatekeeper (PCP) model of managed care “seems to demonstrate the potential superiority of an integrated healthcare system in which chiropractic and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies play a significant, primary care role.”
1) Eisenberg DM, Kessler RC, Foster C, Norlock FE, Calkins DR, Delbanco TL. Unconventional medicine in the United States: prevelance, costs, and patterns of use. New Engl J Med 1993;328:246–52.