Can I adjust myself?
I wish we could. Being a chiropractor myself it'd be very handy especially on holidays in remote places. A chiropractic adjustment is a specifically targeted maneuver to address a dysfunctioning spinal segment (generally speaking it isn't moving its full range). When we forcibly move our own spine, it's near impossible to stay specific to one area. So what ends up occurring is we move multiple joints.
Doesn't sound too bad does it? The problem is the hardest joint to move; the stuck one, moves last, if at all. Leaving you with lots of movement of surrounding joints and still having to deal with the dysfunctioning joint. It feels great for about 15 minutes because your body has a massive endorphin release due to your spine moving so much but not long after it's easy to tell if there's no change to your dysfunctioning spinal segment.
So why not keep trying until you get it? Because it hurts! Also creating so much movement way past what your body is physiologically comfortable doing creates weakness in your joint capsules over time.
Picture this: your spine is a stack of blocks, let’s say 5 in total and the second and third block from the top are glued together. If we hold the 2nd and third block, we can easily 'unstick them' from each other. However, if hold block number 1 and block number 5 and twist, shake, pull… we have no hope at all of getting 2 and 3 unstuck, we just move everything else!
The same thing happens when we self adjust. It’s so unspecific and really not very good for you long term.
The best thing to do is to avoid ever getting segments so stuck by:
· keeping your spine and surrounding muscles strong; swimming, gym, office exercises are great ways to do that.
· Maintain flexibility, yoga is fantastic, so is stretching.
· And keep your spine in alignment. Being active helps but sitting watching tv, sitting at work, driving, working above head, working bent over, sleeping awkwardly, sleeping away from home, falling over etc. can all affect you spinal alignment.
· Other things that can affect your spinal alignment resulting in segments that don’t move their full range and consequently affect your nervous system are the chemicals we let into our body , like the food we eat, the chemicals sprayed onto them when they grow, the soil they grow in, the containers we store our food in leaching BPA or aluminum into our food. Our environment like air with synthetic fragranced candles burning in it, garbage and pollution, chemicals you might use at work or in the garden or on the house, or cleaning that go up your nose or through your skin. It can all affect our spine and nervous system because the nerves in our body communicate to each other by sending chemical signals. Our muscles need certain chemical compounds in our body. Our body, organs skin all regenerate over time. They can only be re-built by what is in our body already. If there are foreign chemicals in our body interfering with that communication it can absolutely affect our spine, its movement and function.
· In a similar vein our emotions have a large effect. Example, stress releases cortisol into our body which leads to more inflammation and many other things. Love – oxytocin which has been shown to have an effect on irritable bowel syndrome. Many other emotions stimulate the release of many natural chemicals which can have an effect on our physical body and of course nervous system.
So with everything above happening on a regular basis whether physical, emotion, or chemical it pays to get a regular adjust to recalibrate your body. The best way to get adjusted is to see a chiropractor, it’s damn near impossible to adjust yourself effectively, I know because I have tried.
*Disclaimer: Dr Nicholas Practices is a chiropractor and he gets adjusted by his very talented associate Dr Jessie Chapple every week. He wishes everybody could get adjusted every week too but realizes he is in a very fortunate position and can trade chiropractic visits of equal value with Dr Jessie.
He recommends that at the very least majority of people in Geelong should be getting adjusted at the very least monthly in order to be their healthiest now and especially later in life.