What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a natural approach to health and well-being.  It is based on the knowledge that all your bodily functions are ultimately controlled by your nervous system.  Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down your spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue of your body.  Signals are also sent back to the brain in order to ‘sense’ if your body is working correctly.  You digest food, heal wounds, fight infections and breathe without having to think about these essential functions. 

Check out the short video above - the beginner's guide to Chiropractic. 

What is a subluxation?

A vertebral subluxation is the improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine (vertebrae) which intereferes with the nerve messages between the brain and the body.  Many subluxations can exist without obvious pain or discomfort.  The wear and tear of every day life can impact the spine and cause the spinal segments to move in a way that is different to normal.  That wear and tear can occur gradually such as with poor posture or suddenly like with a sports injury. It's because of the close relationship between the spine and the nervous system that these every day strains can impact the flow of information between the brain and the body. Any miscommunication that occurs could result in your body not functioning optimally, impacting your health and wellbeing. 

What is an adjustment?What technique is right for you?

An adjustment is a very specific force given to your spine to help your body correct a subluxation. There are many ways to “adjust” the spine.  Some methods use the doctor’s hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity.  Some adjustments are very gentle and only involve light touch, others may require more force. There is a technique suitable for every individual and every health condition.  

The chiropractor will determine which technique is best based on your health history & examination findings at the start of care. The technique may even be altered throughout care. 

This video explains the types of techniques available and the training required to become a qualified Chiropractor. 

Is chiropractic care safe?

Adjustments are “remarkably safe” according to the New Zealand Government’s landmark “Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic”.  In fact, Chiropractic care is safer than having back surgery, driving your car or taking an aspirin.

Who can receive chiropractic care? Babies? Pregnant women?

Chiropractic care is for everyone! From the very sick to those symptom free, wanting to function at their optimum. From the elderly to the new born. Even the unborn foetus can benefit when a pregnant mother allows the vital messages to flow uninterrupted between them, with gentle Chiropractic care. Chiropractic has been used to reduce discomfort in pregnancy, encourage optimal foetal positioning and may even reduce labour times. 

Even patients with osteoporosis, that have cancer or had back surgery can benefit from chiropractic care.  The technique selected will be best suited to your age, size & condition.  We have the experience and training to care for all ages and conditions.

As spinal damage can occur at birth, children should be checked for subluxations.  Paediatric adjustments are safe and very gentle.  Depending on their age and size, their adjustments often require no more pressure than you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato. Gentle cranial therapy is also available at Cherish Chiropractic & Functional Health at no additional charge. 

See the included video to learn what the research says about the safety of Chiropractic care for babies and children. 

What causes subluxations?

Subluxations (just like chronic inflammation) are caused by stresses (or forces) that your body cannot adapt to.

Physical stress —  such as injuries, falls, the birth process, lifting children, school bags, car accidents, sports, long periods of sitting, prolonged abnormal  postures or even subtle repetitive movements.

Chemical stress —  alcohol, toxins, food sensitivities, additives and chemicals in food, tobacco smoke, medication, coffee, and other pollutants in our environment.

Emotional  stress — family conflict, arguments, personal traumas, work pressure, life or career changes, grief etc.

How do I know if I am subluxated or if I need Chiropractic care?

Most subluxations produce no pain or symptoms at all. Poor spinal movement and postural imbalances such as one ear or shoulder higher than the other can be indicative of a subluxation.  The best way to know if you have one is to get your spine checked by a Chiropractor. 

Only when your body is unable to cope with any more stressors will symptoms become noticable.  A threshold is reached, like the straw that broke the camel's back. Symptoms are a bit like the fire alarm going off. To get rid of the problem, we must put out the fire, not just turn off the alarm. For a great visual explanation, check out this short video.

How can I minimise subluxations in my body?

There are a number of ways to minimise the severity of subluxations in your body and reduce the likelihood of them occurring.  Some avoidable causes of subluxations include poor posture, a soft unsupportive bed, incorrect pillow height, a badly set up work station, high heels, dehydration, poor lifting techniques etc.  Ask your chiropractor for tips on these. 

Exercising, stretching, good nutrition, plenty of rest, positive thoughts, reducing stress are other ways to minimise subluxations. 

Unfortunately some forces or stressors the body is unable to avoid, hence why we we recommend regular checkups even when you are not in pain.  Just think about what you put your body through over just a one or two week period. Long periods of sitting? Lack of exercise or vigorous hard core exercise? Frequent smart phone use, with a forward head posture? 

Some stressors you may be unaware of, such as food intolerances, poor gut health or a parasitic infection. This is where functional medicine and applied kinesiology can help. 

Though if you choose Chiropractic simply for pain relief then we will respect your decision and welcome you with open arms whenever you feel a need for a visit. 

How long until I feel better?

You don't go to the gym once and expect to suddenly be fit do you? The same premise applies to chiropractic care.

Many factors can affect the healing process. Age, degree of damage to the spine, quality & quantity of rest & exercise, and nutrition are just some of the factors.  Some notice changes almost immediately.  Others discover it can take many weeks or months, especially in chronic cases.

It's also important to remember that healing is not linear. There will be ups and downs along the way. Progress examinations are held at regular intervals to make sure that you are heading in the right direction overall though. 

Is there any research to support Chiropractic care?

Good quality research has shown the following changes can occur in the body after a chiropractic adjustment... 

  • Reduced muscle fatigue

  • Increased muscle strength in the legs

  • Faster reaction times

  • Altered brain processing

  • Improved joint position sense

  • Improved visual acuity and visual field

Research has also shown the benefit of Chiropractic care for those suffering from: (Click the links for a video explaining some of the research).

It can even reduce the risk of falls in the elderly and improve your golf swing!

Ultimately Chiropractic care improves the brain's ability to see what is going on in and around your body. This means you can have all sorts of improvement in your health and function, other than just the reason you went to see the Chiropractor. 

What are the benefits of chiropractic maintenance care?

Many patients choose chiropractic as part of a healthy lifestyle and continue to have regular chiropractic checks, thus maintaining the health of their spine and nervous system.  For some a maintenance or wellness “check-up” is once a week for others once a month. 

Research suggests that maintenance visits can reduce the number of days in pain and even the number of visits needed to the chiropractor!

Check out this video for more on this amazing research. 


What is Applied Kinesiology (AK)?

Applied kinesiology (or AK for short) is a form of diagnosis through muscle testing to examine how a person’s body is functioning on a structural, chemical or emotional level.

It does not detect disease or pathology but looks to address a poorly functioning body naturally through structural / tissue adjustments, dietary & lifestyle changes, & nutritional supplements. 


What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine utilizes the latest research findings on supplements, diet and other natural tools for restoring balance in the body's primary physiological processes.

It asks why has function been lost and what can be done to restore function naturally?

Functional lab testing (not typically available through your GP) can be utilized to help look for the underlying causes of health concerns.

Head here for more info on some on the lab tests on offer through Cherish Chiropractic & Functional Health. 

Is my practitioner qualified?

Absolutely. All chiropractors in New Zealand have trained for a minimum of 5 years at University level, studying subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, neurology, and radiology.  Our practitioners are also members of the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association and attend regular seminars to continue their professional education.

For more info on Dr Georgina Compton and her experience and training in Functional Medicine please visit her "about" page.  

Head here to learn more about Dr Paige Foley.