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The correction of subluxations is the primary reason for chiropractic practice. Our entire profession is based on this entity. The word sub means below, and the word luxation is a medical term for a dislocation. Now we know that none of the subluxations that chiropractors treat are dislocations, but rather small misalignments that put pressure on delicate nerve tissue.
According to R.W. Stephenson in his "Chiropractic Text Book" "a subluxation is the condition of a vertebra that has lost its proper juxtaposition with the one above or the one below or both; to an extent less than a luxation; which impinges nerves and interferes with the transmission of mental impulses."
Dislocations and fractures can also impinge nerves and interfere with the transmission of mental impulses, but fractures and dislocations are not in the realm of chiropractic.
This definition makes more sense when you understand Article 32 in Stephenson's Text.
Article 32 - Mental Forces
A mental force is that something transmitted by nerves, which unites intelligence with matter. The chiropractic meaning of life is to unite force or intelligence with matter. Mental force is called mental impulse because it impels tissue cells to intelligent action. Mental forces are necessary to the tissues of the body. If a nerve is impinged the function of a tissue is made abnormal and the tissue cell weeakens in condition. If the nerve is severed (e.g., in an accident) the tissue cell loses function and dies. This is proof that the mental impulse is necessary for life.
Interference with the transmission of innate forces causes incoordination or dis-ease.
Disease is a term used by medical physicians for sickness. To them it is an entity that one can have and is worthy of a name, hence diagnosis.
Dis-ease is a term used in chiropractic, meaning not having ease. It is the condition of matter when it does not have ease. In chiropractic, ease is the entity and dis-ease is the lack of it.
Dis-ease in chiropractic, is indicative of the body being minus something that should be restored in order to make it normal; that is, in various modes of expression the body lacks ease, health coordination, adaptation, well being, 100% quality, soundness, etc., which must be brought up to 100% or RESTORED. That is what chiropractic aims to do; remember it - RESTORATION. Much of modern medicine is done to either stimulate or inhibit and medical doctors perform much needed services. The chiropractic approach to health however restores normal function to the body by relieving nerve pressure.
Article 122 - The Cause of Dis-ease.
The cause of dis-ease is interference with transmission of mental impulses. The subluxation is the physical representation of the cause.
There are three things that cause a subluxation:
Subluxations are similar to blood pressure problems in that they are often times silently affecting our health. This phenomenon is also true with bone density. Signs of osteoporosis often are not visible until 25% of your bone mass has been lost. Symtoms are often the end stages of health problems. With this in mind, you should be evaluated for spinal subluxations on a maintenance basis irrespective of how you feel symptomatically.