What’s the difference between a “holistic” chiropractor and a plain ol’ chiropractor? In your mind, the picture of this blog post may be a good representation!
Frankly, adding “holistic” to “chiropractor” is a bit redundant as chiropractors trained holistically.
What does “holistic” mean, anyway?
By doing a quick Google search, I found the medical definition: “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.”
If your perception of a chiropractor is a “back doctor,” then finding a holistic one would be necessary. However, as I said prior, it’s a moot point because chiropractors are trained to take the whole body into account.
Now, this is where things get a little tricky because the profession is a bit Shakespearean with Montagues battling the Capulets if you catch my drift. What I mean is it’s a split profession with some ambiguity so it can be difficult to classify how one chiropractor practices versus another.
I’m not going to go into the details of the skepticism and myths surrounding the chiropractic profession as it’s outside of the scope of this article. But I will say we don’t do ourselves justice regarding standardization of practice!
My Experience as a Holistic Chiropractor in Plymouth, MI
To help you understand why a chiropractor is holistic, I will use myself and my experience to paint the picture. Offering my experience is probably a bit more productive than harping on the negatives of some of my chiropractic colleagues!
I can help everyone. Yes, you heard me right: I can help everyone.
I’m an expert in conservative musculoskeletal (muscle & joint) assessment and treatment, but what the “holistic” evaluation allows me to do is get answers first and foremost.
I can determine relatively quickly if I can help someone directly in my care, or indirectly with a referral to the appropriate health professional.
I’ve made referrals to:
functional medicine practitioners
and many more…
All the referrals I have made have helped those people. No, I did not help them directly, but the holistic approach extracted the answers necessary to help the individual go where they need to go to succeed. Furthermore, they were able to avoid the confusion of the healthcare market, avoiding unnecessary tests, treatments, and procedures.
A Case Study of How a Holistic Chiropractor Works
A previous patient of mine — we’ll call her, “Jane” — came into see me for neck, shoulder, and arm complaint. In the first visit, I determined she was suffering from a muscle and joint pain ailment that we could tackle by following my recommended short-term treatment plan.
Jane thought she might need an MRI first, but I determined from her history and examination it was unnecessary. She followed my guidance, was diligent with her simple home exercise program, and as a team, we resolved her primary complaint — she did great!
However, another issue arose.
“Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention I occasionally get migraines that make me exhausted and my joints will hurt. I can’t figure out because there’s no rhyme or reason to when they occur, and I’m getting worried that it might be something serious.”
We had already corrected her initial complaint of neck, shoulder, and arm issues, and the migraines did not have any association (they often do). Upon further testing, I deduced her migraine and associated symptoms were not mechanical (movement-based) in nature.
Jane was up-to-date with her physicals. Other than mildly elevated blood cholesterol levels, she was clear of any severe illness by her physician.
I recommended Jane see a functional medicine specialist to get an in-depth nutritional assessment with bloodwork typically not performed at your standard doctor’s office.
Jane and her clinician found she had a few nutritional deficiencies as well as a food allergy which was likely contributing to her body going haywire. The snowball of symptoms she would sporadically experience was her body’s way of expressing an issue.
No amount of exercise, adjustments, or manual therapies could help an internal issue, so this was out of my wheelhouse.
The Holistic Chiropractor’s Conclusion
Being “holistic” doesn’t mean alternative, hippie, voodoo, or a one-stop-shop for everything health-related.
A holistic chiropractor, or any clinician for that matter, take the whole body into account. They are experts in identifying and treating what they’re great at and know when (and who) to refer out when needed.
In my opinion, no matter the professional you work with, they should have a holistic approach — it only makes sense for your best interest.
Are you or someone you know struggling to get answers in our circus of a healthcare system? If you reside in Plymouth, Canton, Northville, Livonia, or the greater metro Detroit area, reach out to us today. We would be more than happy to offer you the guidance you need and deserve!