It is important to us that you not only understand what we are doing for you at this chiropractic office but why we are doing it. One of the biggest reasons why people do not refer others for care is because they are not exactly sure what we do. Either they misunderstand or they are simply unable to communicate it. The basic principles of chiropractic are actually quite simple, so simple in fact, that anyone should be able to explain them to family, friends and associates.
A few of the basic concepts taught to chiropractic students in Philosophy 101 are so important that everyone under chiropractic care should have an understanding of them. One such concept is called the “Safety Pin Cycle.” This is a simple illustration of how the body works (note its resemblance to its name). The brain sends out messages to all of the cells of the body (i.e., tissue cells) via the efferent (EFF) pathway (that is the part of the nervous system that carries messages leaving the brain). The cells report back to the brain about their condition and needs via the afferent (AFF) pathway. In this way, the brain controls all of the functions of our bodies. While this drawing is not exactly physiologically or anatomically correct, it is adequate to describe the transmission of the nervous impulse throughout the body.
If there is an interference in this communication, it reduces the body’s ability to act and react. The tissue cell cannot remain in perfect organization if there is an alteration in the communication in the efferent system. This is exactly what occurs in the case of a subluxation. Misalignment of one of the bones of the spine can interfere with and alter the message from the brain to the cells of the body. This ultimately changes the function of the cells, and over time, the condition of the entire body.
Of course, we would not expect that our patients would discuss efferent and afferent pathways with their friends and family, but they could describe what a chiropractor does in a fashion similar to the following:
“It’s important for everyone to be under chiropractic care because small misalignments in the bones of the spine can cause interference in the nervous system and keep your body from working as effectively as it should or could. Everyone knows that the brain controls the entire functioning of the body. It does this by sending messages from the brain down the spinal cord and out along all of the nerves to every cell in your body. Spinal misalignments can interfere with this communication and keep your body from working the way it should.”
It is important to share what you know about chiropractic with the people around you so their bodies can work as effectively as possible. You do not need to give them some lengthy, technical explanation about how the nervous system works, just that the body will always work better without interference. That’s not only what chiropractors do but why they do it.