I’ve heard a lot of myths about chiropractors in the 16 years I’ve been one. Here are 3 common myths and my responses:

1. Chiropractic adjustments hurt.

Not true! Most patients feel a sense of relief after an adjustment. I’ll make you a bet. If you sit outside my adjusting room for a day (now that sounds like a good time, doesn’t it?), I bet you $100 you’ll hear at least 100 “ahh’s” for every one “ouch.”

2. Once you go to a chiropractor, you have to go for the rest of your life.

This one makes me laugh. Ask that question about any other service and it sounds ridiculous. Once you get a pedicure, do you have to keep going back for the rest of your life? Once you go to the hairdresser, do you have to keep going back for the rest of your life? Once you go to the dentist, do you have to keep going back for the rest of your life? You don’t HAVE to do anything you don’t want to do. (Unless you’re under 18, in which case, eat your veggies like your mom says.) You only go back if you see value in the service.

3. Chiropractors are anti-medicine.

Not true. If I get hit by a bus, you better believe I’m going to the emergency room! When my mother got diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, you better believe I was glad for the excellent medical care she received. When my son got dangerously dehydrated and developed rhabdomyolysis, I was right by his side in the ER. I can’t speak for all chiropractors, but speaking for myself, I am not anti-medicine. I am, however, strongly opposed to covering up symptoms with over-the-counter pain killers instead of finding and fixing the root cause of the problem. (That’s what I do as a structural chiropractor.)

So… what is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a natural approach to health care with the goal of allowing the body to function and heal on its own, naturally. Yes, chiropractic adjustments help with back and neck pain and a lot of other symptoms. But the real purpose is to free up nerves that are being choked by a misaligment in the spine. When the nerves are freed up, the messages from the brain can pass uninhibited to all the organs, and the body can heal and regulate itself like it’s meant to.