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Comparing Chiropractors, A Consumer's Guide

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By: Hans Conser

The modern chiropractor is the only doctorate level health practitioner in the world that is drug and surgery free. Having a very similar in training to the Medical Doctor, the Chiropractic Doctor has about ten times more nutrition training, along with more radiology and diagnostic training.

The first consideration when picking the right chiropractor for you is technique or services offered. About 70% of the chiropractors in the world use "Diversified" which is a collection of various spinal manipulations, generally using "motion palpation" do determine when and when to manipulate the spine. Gonstead is another manipulative method, but is considered to be more precise and gentle. There are techniques that focus on the upper cervical (neck) region, like "Atlas Orthogonal", "Blair", "Grostic" and NUCCA. Upper cervical practitioners are rare, lower force, and considered to be excellent. There are other methods that focus on the opposite end of the spine, the sacrum and the pelvis; "Logan Basic" is an excellent example. "Activator", "Torque Release" and "Pro-Adjustor" are techniques that use a mechanical device between the practitioner and patient, and are generally considered to be lower force. In my opinion, the crème de la crème of chiropractic is "Network Spinal Analysis", originally networking ideas from the major technique branches together into a scientific whole, it now has grown beyond that box, and is considered to be one of the leading body-mind modalities ever. Patients love the "self-correcting" nature of the work that happens after visits. A three-year study of more than 2800 patients found benefits beyond reduced pain, eczema, and allergies; patients reported reduced stress in all areas of their life, and more satisfaction in their relationships of all kinds. The best chiropractors will be proud to share all the extra training they have had after completing their doctorate. You probably want a practitioner who continues to develop professionally.

The second factor in choosing the right chiropractor for you is personal connection. I urge you to try out various chiropractors and see how you like them in person. The overly cheerful persona that makes a good impression during the first few visits might drive you crazy after a series of corrective care visits. You don't need to be buddies with your chiropractor, but you do need to have confidence in their clinical skills, honesty, and sincerity.

Convenience is the third factor, if your schedule demands that you have your visit at 7am and the chiropractor doesn't start office hours until 10am, this could be a problem.

The fourth factor is cost. This can be affected by their participation in your HMO, and how much they charge, and what they recommend in terms of a care plan. Do be aware that there may be a false economy with the Doctor who only recommends care until your symptoms are better. My father-in-law saw one of those chiropractors for thirty years. He would go see him for two or three visits, until he was "better" and told him to come back when his symptoms flared again.

When I took X-rays of his spine at age 70, there were bone spurs and degeneration throughout, which could have easily been prevented, had his chiropractor cared to do more than just get him out of his symptoms. My father-in-law deserved corrective care, but it wasn't even offered to him. Saving some money now could create the need for spinal surgery later. In our culture of instant gratification, it is certainly easier to swallow small amounts of chiropractic with a symptomatic orientation, but the practitioner who tells you that you need more care than you would like may be the more honest chiropractor.

On the other hand, you don't necessarily want to go see a chiropractor that sells you and everyone else who walks into their office a year of care with the alacrity of auto finance manager pushing an extended warranty.

Taking these four factors into account, I wish you great results in finding the right chiropractor for you. Please contact me to let me know how it went for you.

Dr. Hans Conser practices in beautiful Bozeman Montana. Dr. Conser does nutritional and spinal consulting via the phone and internet; offering a functional medicine approach using scientifically-proven drug-free clinical nutrition for inflammation, blood sugar control, detoxification, and weight loss: For more details visit => http://www.bozemanchiropractor.com/

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