What is chiropractic care and why is it so important?

So have you guys every hear when you talk to your friends “Man, I went to the chiropractor and it was the most amazing thing ever. They cured my diabetes” no you don’t hear that do you? Or you’ll have some people that’ll say “the chiropractor is the  most amazing thing ever, they made my sciatica go away” But if spend enough time talking to people about chiropractic you really will get stuff like “wow I feel better, I move better, I function better, I don’t get sick as often, my chronic disease is doing better.” And then you have to ask yourself why? What the heck is that all about? How does going to the chiropractor and getting your back ‘popped’ effect your overall health? I’m Doctor Christopher Hood, I’m a chiropractor and I just want to take a quick second today to talk about what chiropractic is and what chiropractic isn’t. I think that hard part about that is that people think when they go to the doctor, they have something they want to get rid of. Right? They say they have backpain and want to get rid of it. Or they have high blood pressure and want to get rid of it. But what if the problem isn’t that when you go to the doctor you have something you need to get rid of. What if the problem is you’ve lost something you should have and that’s effecting your body’s ability to function properly? Chiropractic is about function, it’s about the ability of your body function. The first thing we should talk about it “what is health?” And traditionally what we’re taught is that health is about looking good or feeling good.  “As long as I feel good then I’m healthy” But is that really what health is? Don’t we all know people who feel good in the morning? They wake up, like my grandfather, but then have a stroke by noon? So they felt great that morning yet still end up in the hospital by noon that day. Or how many people wake up that morning and feel fantastic and then go to the doctor that same day and they go “Oh by the way your blood work came back with cancer” cause you can’t feel cancer and you can’t feel heart disease. So just quickly, so we’re on the same page, health has nothing to do with how you look or how you feel. Although that’s how our culture or our society judges health. If you look up health by definition, the World Health Organization defines health by function. So, if your body is 100% then you have health. So the World Health Organization’s definition of health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” For my patients in my practice the reason why we get such overall health change is because we teach them how to get their bodies functioning optimally. I always say in the office, “health is not owned, its rented. And you’re paying rent on your health everyday.” So every day you’re either doing things to improve the quality of the function. Eat right, exercise, get your spines adjusted. Or you’re not doing anything about your health and instead of building health or optimizing function, you’re actually getting sicker over time. If that makes sense. So, that all being said. We all know that we should eat right, because eating right builds health and function. We should exercise, because exercising builds health and function. There’s even old sayings by our grandparents. “You are what you eat” right? So, we know that we’re supposed to eat right we’re supposed to exercise. One thing is that when I talk to people in the community and when my patients first come into the office, they don’t realize that your spine dictates the function of your health. It’s just on more piece of the puzzle that people don’t know needed to fit there.

I’ll try not to bore you to death with this, I’ll be as quick as I can, but I find this information fascinating. I started my health care career in pharmacy and I use to work in a hospital and I worked in drug stores on weekends and so I thought heath was about how you felt, because I was giving people medication to make them feel better. I went to a chiropractor really reluctantly in my early 20s, they taught this to me and it was like a switch or a light bulb that went off in me.

So, let me explain why. If health is in terms of function, we have to ask what system of the body controls the function of the body. The way your body works is that your brain is sending energy down the spinal cord out each of the nerves to the organs. Your organs are 100% dependent on the energy from your brain. So just like a cardiologist would focus on the heart and cardiovascular system and an orthodontist and dentist would focus on the teeth and the mouth, chiropractors focus on the spine. Your spine is the bones that surrounds and protects your brain and your spinal cord which is called your central nervous system. And a healthy nervous system is essential to your overall health. Your brain is sending electric chemical signals down your spinal cord in your neck, out each of the individual nerves and to your organs. Your organs actually send electrical chemical signals back to your brain so that the central nervous system can coordinate function with your organs to speed up of slow down chemical reactions in your body to optimize function. All the things your body’s doing everyday:  heartbeat, breathing digesting food, turning whatever food you’re eating to get healthy this year into living breathing skin hair and nails. That’s all taking place because the spinal cord and brain are actually organizing and controlling that function.

Now these bones, there is a normal alinement of the bones that make up your spine. We want the weight of your head and the tail bone to be positioned over the joints of the back. So, when you have normal alignment or position the energy from the brain can travel down the spinal cord out the nerves to the organs and the body can function properly. But what happens to us is stress. Stresses in your life can either be instantaneous like accidents or falls. Or stresses that accrue over time like texting or being on the computer. Or mental chemical stress, how you think effects your health cause your brain controls the function of your body. So, if your mentally stressed your heart rate goes up your digestive system has a problem all because of the brain.

Now, There’s a normal alignment, or position, of your spinal bones. And because of physical stresses either sudden or over time, either individual vertebrae, several vertebrae together or entire sections of the vertebrae can shift of misaligned from their normal position. If you move these vertebrae out of position the clinical term is subluxation or as most people know it as a pitch nerve. A subluxation is when your vertebrae is moved out of position, that subluxation blocks the energy, so the energy can’t get pass the area out to the organ. Then the organ that’s connected to that area progressively weakens and deteriorates. Now I know that’s a big step because I know you’ve never thought of this before, but it should make perfect sense. Now I really don’t see problems in people’s health because of accidents or trauma, now that does occur, but I see repetitive stress day in and day out. Nutritional stress, chemical stresses, physical stresses, mental stresses and emotional stresses decreases the body’s ability to communicate over time. Now as a chiropractor, what we want to do is we want to evaluate your spine. Check to make sure it’s lined up correctly from tip to tail. Now if it’s misaligned does that hurt? Yes, it does. And can it cause back pain or neck pain? Sure, it can. In fact, a lot of my patients come in for that, because they feel that directly. But when they’re here we realize that that pain might have brought them in, but their health is a greater responsibility than just fixing that pain. So, chiropractic is that we correct the areas that are misaligned back into as close as their normal position as we can. And get their brain and their body communicating again, increasing the function of their body, increasing the function of their nervous system. Then we start adding food and fitness and lifestyle, so then their bodies can begin to function as close to normal as possible. One of the things my mentor use to say is “if we can line up your spine and your lifestyles with God’s intentions, then your body functions better and you get healthier”

So, if you have misalignments in your spine or subluxations, and you’re not getting them corrected, you’re like a ferrari running on half its cylinders. You look good and you move but you’re not functioning at peak potential. I want you guys to understand we want your brain and your body to communicate we want that central nervous system to be able to orchestrate and control the function of those organs. I’ve brought this up before but think about the digestion of food and the organization of hormones and bio productions and kidney’s regulating blood pressure and your liver filtering your blood. That’s a lot going on that your body controls without thinking about it. Now that’s called an innate intelligence, the inborn innate intelligence of your body is controlling that function and that’s being orchestrated through your nervous system. So, we want to increase your innate intelligence, increase your body’s ability to function and then change your lifestyle to support that. That’s how chiropractors get great results.

I know that’s a lot to take in, but I just wanted to share that with you guys. Cause so many people come in and say “How do you get such great results with your patients?” It’s because we’re lining up their brain and nervous system so that the innate intelligence in their body helps their body function by correcting the misalignment in their spines and getting their brain to communicate with their organs. Then we start changing nutritional components optimized for function, we get you guys regulating an exercise routine, and we teach stress and time management, because how you think does affect the health of your body. So, we can get those things lined up that’s how we get health miracles. I started this conversion with how people say that chiropractors help with neck and back pain, but you do get the people that say “I’m off my blood pressure medication after going to my chiropractor “ “My diabetes is better when I go to the chiropractor” “I’m not as stress when I get adjusted” and “I function better and my immune system is better” All these miracles happen but I wanted you to understand that there’s a scientific explanation for why they happen and it’s just not that they’re getting their back ‘popped’. What I’m doing is getting their spines lined up, along with their health and overall lifestyle.

I’m Doctor Christopher Hood. I hope you found this very informative and gave you a little insight into what chiropractors do. It’s all good in the Hood and God bless.

Back Pain and How to Relieve it

Did you ever wake up in the morning after sleeping and you’re like “OH MY BACK!!” you get out of bed and you can’t move. Or maybe you worked all weekend in the yard and you have a great day and you’re like “Oh! I pulled my back while twisting” and you get that cold drink and sit down in the lazy boy and you go to get up and can’t even move cause your leg is numb. Hi I’m Doctor Christopher Hood from Hood Chiropractic and I will tell you I’ve been in back pain before. I know it can be debilitating and it happens to all kinds of people in all kinds of different ways. So, if you’re reading this now, I’m going to give you three quick and easy things you can do right now, where if you’re in this situation wither it just happened, wither its chronic and it happens all this time for you, it can give you a bit of relief.

Okay so, here we go. Number one. When it bothers you, wither its happening all the time or its just grabbing you from the twisting it in the back yard. You don’t want to hate it up. So many people say heat feels good, man I get that. I like hot showers too and heat does make the muscles feel better. The problem is, someone with back muscle spasms, if you heat it, you’re bringing more blood to the area. So people are going in the hot shower and twisting it up. That’s the wrong thing to do! You’re going to bring more blood to the area. You’re going to sit on grandmas heating pad, flip that switch on you’re going to lay there for an hour then you’re going to get up and not be able to walk. Heat brings more blood to the area it’ll tighten up. So, what you’re going to do instead. Number one, you’re going to ice it. Wet paper towel on your bare skin. You don’t want to just slap a bag of peas on there, it’s going to burn you. What you’re going to do is get a wet paper towel it’s going to insulate you. You’re going to put it on your bare skin where ever the injury is. Bag of peas, ice pack, bag of ice I don’t care. 20 minutes only. If you ice pass 20 minutes, your body has a nature reflect where it brings more blood to the area, it’s going to bring more blood to the area just like putting hate on it. 20 minutes on 40 minutes off. That’s the first thing. Ice not heat. The second thing you’re going to do is you’re going to want to use some kind of natural anti-inflammatory. My subjection for that is flaxseed oil, fish oil, extra virgin olive oil. This are omega fat oils you guys hear about in the news everyone all crazy about taking fish oil, there natural anti-inflammatory. Its’s food man, just natural food. Couple of those everyday will start bringing the inflammation down along with the ice goes a long way. Number three, third thing. Most of the injuries that I see are actually not really accruing in the lower back. But are coming from tight hamstrings and hip flexors. So many patients that I have in my office don’t actually take the time to exercise or stretch anymore. So, when they go to be that weekend warrior who’s going to plow the back forty of their house and pull weeds and get everything done, it’s just too much on their bodies. So, a regular stretching regimen is important. Now when I say hip flexors, there’s a muscle called the piriformis and the piriformis muscle actually is the hip flexor and it attached to the disked in your back. So if you pull that muscle man, it’s going to feel like you blow a disk in your back. You can walk in my office with a cane. You’ll be 20 years old but you’re moving like your 90. Be like “doc I pulled my back!!” some people come in and are like “I pulled my scgatica” and I’m like “scgatica?” there like “my scgaitca hurts!!!” and I’m like “Oh sciatica!” different, right? That muscle the sciatica nerve runs through that muscle. If you put that in spasm. Man, you’re going to feel that all the way down your legs. So preformist stretch, nice and simple, you cross your leg over, you stretch. By the way if you haven’t stretched in 30 years. Stretching happens when you exhale. So, people go to scratch and they lean over to stretch and there like *gasp* it hurts and they hold their breath. Nice easy deep breathing. I don’t believe in biolistic stretching, biolistic stretching like the swimmer getting ready to swim. Don’t do that nice easy stretching on that muscle. The reason this happens to most people is, number one, they’re not flexible. Number 2 their spine is misaligned in there lower back and pelvis from an accident or injury when they were a child. But really, what I see clinically, we sit too much!!! We’re in cars all day, we’re sitting in desks on computers all day long and its putting us in this old ages posture. If you look at a normal x-ray of a spine from the side. The loser back is this natural ‘C’ shape curve and when you have that natural curve the muscles are attaching the way they want so when you bend and move things work properly and the nerves that go into your legs are nice and health. But since we’re sitting all day long our backs lose that natural curve. We just sit so darn much it brings the pelvis underneath and straightens that curve out. Then we go to do something, you know you shouldn’t pick up the newspaper and blow your back out. You should be able to pick up the paper, but because you lose the curve in our lower back you don’t have the muscle, they won’t act correctly, so when you do something you should be able to do, like weed the garden or sleep and the muscles grab and pull. So, in my office on top of the three things we were talking about, what I would want to do to fix that curve is actually find the cause of why you’re having it. So, we want to take an x-ray of an abnormal straighten curve into a natural relaxed curve and you would do that through some genital adjusting and through some very physical exercises both here at the office and at home to get that natural curve back in your lower back. You know why? Because we want the change to be permanent. I want you to be able to pick of your kids and go play golf. Do the things you like but as times progress and that curve continues to straighten out it’s not going to get better it’s going to get worse. So, if these tips have helped you, that’s wonderful you can like us on Facebook, like us on Instagram, follow is on twitter. We try to create a lot of valuable content for the community. We like to say “it’s all good in the hood”. We’re here to help you, God bless you guys. ALL GOOD IN THE HOOD. See ya