I’ve had more than 20 years to fully formulate an answer to the question: “Isn’t it true that once you start getting chiropractic care you get addicted and you have to keep going?”
Even though this question comes up fairly often for chiropractors – both young and old – it always catches me a little bit by surprise. After much thought, here’s what I think about that:
In my experience, a person only becomes “addicted” to their chiropractic adjustments in the same way that he or she might become “addicted” to washing their face, or brushing their teeth, or shampooing their hair. It really has more to do with how a person views the everyday, ongoing management of their body and their health than with the adjustment itself.
If you’d truthfully instruct your teenager to take the time to wash their face only after it’s broken out…….
Or if you’re convinced that daily brushing and flossing of your teeth is a fool’s errand, designed only to make you a slave to Tom’s Of Maine, Colgate, Oral B, and your dentist…….
Or if you think that this whole shampooing thing is just a scam and you’d never shampoo again except that your darned clean hair feels and smells so much better…….
Then the idea of regular chiropractic adjustments as part of an overall healthy lifestyle probably does feel like another time-consuming and expensive conspiracy to you.
I care for lovely patients in my practice. They show up at my office hurting and they walk away feeling relief. Taking care of your body takes effort, and sometimes people can feel frustrated that their bodies require so much effort. They might get adjusted just enough to be out of pain, and then they disappear until they can’t take it anymore……. again. It’s a vicious and frustrating cycle for both of us. When we are able to make the peace with the effort required for living, then we give ourselves the chance to feel good about caring for ourselves.
There’s a picture to health that has brought me so much relief. When a patient has this sense, then they’ve not only achieved relief from their pain — they’ve gone on to include multiple body work modalities into an overall healthier lifestyle. These patients get adjusted regularly no matter how they feel, because they know that the benefits of their adjustments go far beyond symptom to relief — all the way to the improved quality of their daily existence. They rest comfortably, eat sensibly, work & play with vigor, and experience fewer visits to their medical doctors. Their up-front investment of time and money in prevention is more than surpassed by their proactive participation in living.
So, here’s to being addicted to body work! At the end of the day, it’s all how you feel. When you are feeling good, then you can explore your creativity and relationships with a beautiful fervor. I want that for me. I want that for you, too.