American Chiropractic: What Does It Take?

By Marie Oliveras

Chiropractic is a healthcare profession in the United States that emphasizes the body’s ability to heal itself. However, Mexico does not license or regulate chiropractic, and it is considered a type of traditional modality of healing. There are also exemptions in the United States due to the fact that healing with the hands is a religious practice. Chiropractic treatment typically involves manual therapy or an activator, often including spinal, extremity, and manipulation of the cranium, hands, feet, or ribs. Other forms of treatment such as exercise, nutritional counseling, and physical therapy, along with other healing modalities, may be used as well. Chiropractors approach patient care in a manner similar to that used in conventional medicine. They interview the patient, obtain a health history, do an examination, perform tests, have a working diagnosis, and may even suggest nutritional supplements. Chiropractors develop a plan of care, provide treatment, and oversee a patient’s progress. Chiropractors often treat problems related to the musculoskeletal system; it is therapy and is not a miracle. It is common to have a treatment plan with a series of treatments for each individual patient who is suffering with chronic or generative disorders.

Manual methods consist of stretching and applying pressure to specific joints and, if the chiropractor is qualified, may also include acupuncture as a conjunctive therapy. An adjustment consists of a quick and gentle thrust or the use of an activator. Adjustments or manipulations improve joint motion and function. Spinal adjustments or manipulations are most commonly done on the spine, but other parts of the body may also be treated. In the United States, chiropractors attend a school and are recognized as a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.). They are also able to complete a specialty(s) in neurology, needle EMG and nerve conductions studies, and pediatrics. There is even a Chirotech for animals. Enrolling in a D.C. program in the United States takes years to complete. Interested parties must have at least three years of undergraduate education to be accepted into the program. I opted to attend a B.S. program for alternative medicine to use in conjunction with chiropractic.

Most chiropractic education includes classes in basic sciences, patient psychology, anatomy and physiology, cadaver labs in some schools, and supervised and unsupervised clinical experience, making it viable to learn skills such as spinal assessment, multiple adjustment techniques, and making diagnoses. It is now common for chiropractors to complete postgraduate education in specialized fields ranging from orthopedics to pediatrics. The scope of a chiropractor’s practice in the United States varies. Concerning health insurance coverage, plans today cover chiropractic, but coverage may be fragmented in the United States. Complete coverage or reimbursement is not covered in Mexico due to the non-existence of accreditation and regulation of chiropractic in modern-day health care here. I invite readers to inquire via phone if they would like to attend an upcoming informational meeting free of charge.

Contact 415 197 6086 Marie Oliveras DC, ACU, NP, N.R.C.P.T.