Natural Health Chiropractic relieves symptoms through adjustments to the spine
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead practitioner Abby Holden explains how chiropractics works
Behind medicine and dentistry, chiropractics is the third largest healthcare profession in the world. Despite this, the practice is often misconstrued as solely a treatment for back or neck pain when, in fact, its aim is far more rounded.
“It’s such a simple concept,” says Abby Holden, owner of Natural Health Chiropractic on Hampstead’s Heath Street. “The power that made the body heals the body. And the only thing that can heal the body is the nervous system.”
This theory was started in the 1880s when Daniel David Palmer, the founder of chiropractics, was treating a man whose hearing was severely impaired. Discovering a lump in the man’s back, Palmer proceeded to treat it and found that the man’s hearing improved as a result.
According to Holden, each individual vertebra is connected to a different organ. From this knowledge, a chiropractor can begin to address problems such as asthma, ulcers and sinus troubles.
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However, this is not to say every problem can be cured simply by spinal adjustments. Rather, they can relieve the symptoms and work in conjunction with other treatments like diets and fitness programmes, which the staff will expertly recommend.
“When people say, ‘I went to a chiropractor’s once and it didn’t work’, it’s like saying, ‘I took a pill but it didn’t take all the pain away.’ It’s like going to the gym once and wondering why you’re still not fit.”
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Chiropractic adjustments work by applying pressure to individual vertebrae, by use of a clicking instrument called an activator or even just by gentle thumb pressure. Chiropractors can also use techniques that range from sports massages to cranial correction.
Holden has recently taken up ownership of Natural Health Chiropractic, which has been open for five years, and has been a practitioner herself for 10 years. She studied chiropractics for six years at university in New Zealand and leads a three-person team of herself, chiropractic assistant Ben Coren and osteopath Franco Secchi.
“Chiropractics is already massive in Australia, America and New Zealand,” Holden says. “Over there, people have a chiropractor like they would a GP. The UK is just starting to catch up.”
Part of this is because of the controversy that surrounds the school of thought. While many do not consider its theories scientifically viable, there are also more serious claims of treatments like neck readjustments triggering strokes or aneurisms.
“There really is no chance of that with the way we screen,” counters Holden. The clinic’s obligatory consent form backs this up by pointing out that the approximate risk of death from adjustments is 1 in 2,500,000 – less that the chance of being hit by a meteor or lightning.
Although chiropractors can treat problems like posture and back pain, Holden says this is just a bi-product of creating a fully-functioning nervous system. Ideally, clients should come once a month in order to ensure they stay at full health.
Staking a claim for her clinic particularly, Holden adds that her team abides by the traditional school of chiropractics, whereas “some fall into the type of just treating pain.” In her opinion, that is short-changing the public.
“You know when you were younger and had a family GP who would know all your hobbies and interests? That’s what it’s like here, it’s a big family.
“The youngest client we’ve had here was a two-hour old baby. Some families have been coming here since we began five years ago, so it’s great to watch them grow up.”
n Natural Health Chiropractic are offering Ham&High readers an initial consultation for £50 (usual price £100). For more information, visit www.naturalhealthchiro.co.uk.