Is Chiropractic All That It Is Cracked Up to Be?
An Interview with Dr. Brent W. Davis, D.C. by Michael Smiley
If I ever hear anyone say, "I have had chiropractic adjustments, and they didn’t help" my first thoughts are: from whom did they receive the adjustments; what methods did the chiropractor employ, and what is his or her background? Some folks are under the impression that a "chiropractic adjustment" is a generic entity. Because effective chiropractic adjusting requires artistry and a lot of training (especially post-graduate training), nothing could be further from the truth.
Holding the belief that if one chiropractic experience didn’t work then none will work is kind of like saying, "Well, that medical physician didn’t help, so no more medical care for me!" The latter statement probably would not occur because most people have a fundamental grasp of the essentially useful parts of orthodox or so-called allopathic medicine. Here I want to touch upon the rich therapeutic possibilities of an array of available chiropractic therapies.
My appreciation of the fine points and complexities of chiropractic medicine came from getting to know Dr. Brent Davis. He practiced chiropractic medicine and integrated natural therapies in S. California for many years. Then he moved to Tennessee to establish a forest center reserve and organic herb farm to supply some of the flowers for his newly invented product line of UNCUT flower"! essences. That having been accomplished, he resumed his truly enjoyable clinical practice. His new Nashville office offers a unique and powerful integrated approach to natural healing. The following questions and answers are part of an interview I had with him.
MS: What are some of the most exciting and valuable health insights you can offer Nashville readers?
BD: Many of the common chronic health problems that aggravate people and truly reduce quality of life are caused in varying degrees by structural problems. Chronic headaches, tight shoulders and painful neck muscles, many digestive disturbances, PMS, and numerous other complaints are closely linked to structural and hence neurological balance or the lack thereof. In recent decades, many new chiropractic techniques and specialties have evolved to treat health complaints in different ways.
MS: You mean ways different from the standard chiropractic adjustment that results in the "pop" from the release of abnormal joint tension?
MS: The sound that chiropractic advocates associate with relief of neck and back pain, for example?
BD: Yes. The new methods of adjusting are referred to as non-force techniques. I want to digress for a moment and then I’ll return to that subject.
It takes several years of training in chiropractic college and then apprenticeship under a chiropractor skilled in manual manipulation to learn the art of skeletal adjusting. Folks fail to realize this, perhaps because they have seen a variation of the local bruiser at a football game in the park grab one of his buddies and yank on him until bones in his back pop. To think of that as an adjustment would be somewhat akin to seeing a gang member in a street fight draw blood with a knife, and then refer to him as a surgeon. When untrained individuals "adjust" one another, most of the time the bones that move and "pop" are what we call hypermobile – that is, they move too freely already, and should NOT be adjusted. The hypermobile bones are adjacent to fixated or locked bones. The fixated bones are the ones that need to be forcefully adjusted SOMETIMES, and it takes a lot of skill to do that and to know when to do it.
Another point is that I think every profession has practitioners that do not master essential skills, and unfortunately, I have seen chiropractors who are just too rough and imprecise in their adjusting. With proper skill, manual adjustments do NOT hurt!
MS: You were mentioning new chiropractic therapies and non-force adjusting.
BD: Yes. There are probably in the neighborhood of 40 different chiropractic specialties or techniques in use today. Four techniques that I use a great deal are applied kinesiology (A.K.), bioenergetic synchronization technique (B.E.S.T.),sacro-occipital technique (S.O.T.), and neurological organization technique (N.O.T.).Each of these four has devised rather ingenious ways of bringing the body into structural and neurological balance by means of bone repositioning that do not require a forceful thrust. (In general, this is accomplished by procedures that normalize muscle function so that the muscles pull the bones back where they belong and hold them there.) Interestingly, each of the chiropractors that developed these techniques thoroughly mastered force adjusting and used that approach on the occasions it was called for. I do the same. When I see a patient for the first time I might manually adjust bones in two or three areas of the spine (or skull) to reduce structural tension if that person’s body responds to tests I perform in a way that shows the adjustment is needed. The areas that can cause the most profound and rapid shift back toward health when they are manually adjusted are: (1) the base of the skull (the occiput and atlas); the bottom of the spine (the sacrum and fifth lumbar); and the lower mid-back (the thoracic lumbar junction.) These areas are often knocked out of place in accidents or sports injuries and stay displaced for years. Once I adjust them and energetically "set" them in place, I normally don’t need to adjust them again unless the patient is reinjured. Then as patients’ health complaints diminish, I focus on fine tuning the rest of the muscular and skeletal system with non-force methods of adjusting. Nutritional, herbal and flower essence therapies are the other essential parts in my approach to integrated therapies.
MS: Why do you feel nutrition, flower essences, and herbology are essential accompaniments to structural therapies?
BD: By normalizing bone position and muscular tension in the body, one feels better and can make a dramatic shift to better health quickly. It achieves a second enormously important therapeutic goal as well: it reduces inflammation. Inflammation (associated with oxidative stress in medical nutrition) is the primary cause of aging. Proper nutrition and herbs also diminish inflammation. By combining both approaches, one quite literally slows aging. The use of my newly invented UNCUT flower"! essences can dramatically reduce the stress of buried subconscious memories of emotional trauma which are so common.
You may reach Dr. Davis by calling (615)780-5927 CST and by visiting his website. All instructions for phone consultation are there at DavisVitalHealthCenter.com