Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic

What is the difference between chiropractic and acupuncture? 

Can I do something to ruin my adjustment?

Is BGI chiropractic a type of energy work?  

Last week we had our second Demystifying the Adjustment workshop. People had a great time and learned lots of interesting things about how their body responds during chiropractic adjustments. We will host the workshop again in the fall. Let Amy know if you are interested in attending. In the meantime, here are a few answers to questions we got at the workshop and get often in the office.


What is the difference between chiropractic and acupuncture?

Many patients wonder how, or if, to utilize both chiropractic and acupuncture. They are incredibly different healing modalities and are based on very different systems. But they can seem similar because they both start with an awareness that your body is able to heal itself and that disease comes from an imbalance within your body, rather than from an external invader.

Most medical doctors and “Western” medicine take an allopathic approach. Allo means “opposite” in Greek. And Western medicine tends to treat problems by doing the opposite. If you have a bacterial infection, they give you an antibiotic. If you have inflammation and pain, they give you an anti-inflammatory.

Chiropractic and acupuncture are not allopathic. We take a step back and ask the question of why the bacteria multiplied or why you have pain. Every day your body interacts with millions of bacteria. And almost all of those are managed effortlessly by your immune system. Every day you bend and move, get up out of bed, exercise and sit for long periods of time. Usually your body adapts and responds to those stresses easily.

When you have pain or sickness, chiropractic and acupuncture address why your body isn’t able to handle the problem and heal. The goal of chiropractic and acupuncture is to make your body strong enough to heal.  Both types of treatment do that by bringing you back into balance.

Beyond that, chiropractic and acupuncture aren’t all that similar. Acupuncture is based on the meridian system—a system of energy currents in the body. Chiropractic is focused more on the nervous system and the physical structures of your body—your muscles, bones, and soft tissue. While  both types of treatment are seeking to bring your body into a place of balance, strength, and peace, they address very different underlying systems. The healing results may look similar, but that is because the healing is coming from you. Both types of treatment are just helping you get strong enough to heal on your own.


Can I do something to ruin my adjustment?

No! You cannot ruin your adjustment! Getting adjusted is like cleaning your kitchen after you cook and eat dinner. Imagine you make lasagna for dinner. After dinner you wash the dishes and pans. You can’t undo that washing. You can make the plates dirty again. You could eat lasagna again. But you will never have to rewash the same lasagna off the dishes. Occasionally you might decide to deeply scrub your lasagna pan  and every once in a while you might decide your oven needs to be cleaned. When you do those types of cleaning, you are cleaning dirt that has accumulated over many meals. The same thing happens when you get adjusted. Sometimes we are releasing stresses that have accumulated recently. Sometimes we do deeper work that is releasing much older stresses that have accumulated over time.

Your oven doesn’t need to be cleaned every day. Sometimes it’s fine for old stresses to accumulate. Every day you want to wash the dishes. Beyond that, everyone has his or her own sense of how often the oven needs to be cleaned and what “clean” is. But as you all know, there is always more to do. Even once everything is clean, you may think about remodeling. You will never run out of ways to improve your kitchen, and  likewise, you will never run out of stresses to release during your adjustments. That isn’t even a realistic goal. You can be in a state that you are really happy with and is really functional for your goals and life. And you can know that whatever work you do, it will never be undone.


Is BGI chiropractic a type of energy work?

There are  two answers to this question. The first answer is that energy work tends to be an umbrella term for a variety of healing modalities, from Reiki and Qi Gong to shamanic work. Sometimes energy work, or energy medicine, is working inside the body, with the chakras or the meridians. More often, it is working on the energy fields surrounding the body or other systems outside the physical body. Energy work tends to be a really general term for light touch, or no touch, work that aims to bring more universal energy to a person.

Most of the time, especially early in care, when Will and I do BGI chiropractic, we are working with the muscles, the tissue, the bones. We are working on releasing stored tension (or “energy”) in those physical structures. Over time, with enough body awareness, we may begin working on more subtle structures that are less well defined by classical anatomy.

But all of the time, we are working with what is already present within the person. Unlike Reiki or the other techniques that aim to transfer healing energy to a person, or a technique that aims to direct the flow of energy in a specific direction, BGI chiropractic is looking to help release stored energy that already exists within a person. We aren’t giving you anything new or directing energy in your body in prescribed way.

The second answer is that BGI chiropractic can seem like energy work because we are working with resonant frequencies in your body. Your body has a vibration, and different parts of your body have different vibrations. Those have all been measured. In your body, the resonant frequencies tend to be in the range of 5 to 16 Hertz, depending on position.  When we adjust you using the BGI chiropractic technique, it can seem like “energy medicine” because we are focusing on releasing stored tension by addressing the vibrational tone of your body.


Do you have a question about chiropractic? Or about your experience in the office? Ask it below in the comments section and Meggie will try to address it in future newsletters!
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