Straight Chiropractic/Proper Back

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Question
Good Morning, my name is Justin Del Castillo and I am a student at John L. Chapin High School in ElPaso, Texas. I have contacted you to ask for help on my engineering project titled "Proper Back". I created a device that ensures proper form when lifting heavy objects. Could you help with tips on what is the best form when lifting objects? Also what is the best way to constantly have the best posture? Thank you for your time, i will expect to hear from you soon.

Answer
Dear Justin,

Thank you for your question.  In order to answer you properly, though, I’ll first need to give you some background on the chiropractic profession.

There are two branches or schools of thought in chiropractic.  Briefly, they are differentiated by whether they deal with the limited therapeutic approach for aches and pains (commonly termed "mixed" chiropractic because it represents a mixture of a chiropractor with a non-chiropractic matter) or a non-therapeutic approach to optimum body performance (termed "straight" chiropractic because there is no mixing of chiropractic with anything else).  My expertise is in non-therapeutic straight chiropractic.

Therapeutic "mixed" chiropractic is the older approach based on a split from the founding principles of chiropractic about a century ago.

Non-therapeutic "straight" chiropractic is the more modern of the two.  It deals with a particular, common situation called a vertebral subluxation. The spine is made of many bone segments which house and protect the spinal cord and the smaller spinal nerve branches that come off the spinal cord and exit between the bones.  These nerve pathways carry information or messages between the brain and the cells of the body.  These messages are essential for the life of the cells.  Without vital brain messages, the cells immediately begin the process of dying; i.e., they can no longer function the way they should to maintain life.

Because the bones are moveable, they can misalign in such a way as to interfere with the messages and, ultimately, the ability of the person to function at their best or express their optimum potential.  People with vertebral subluxations are not able to get all they can out of life.

Vertebral subluxations can be caused by a wide variety of factors, what we'll generally call stresses.  These stresses can be physical (such as exertion, accidental trauma, sleeping posture and mattress condition, the birth process, sneezing, falling down, etc.), mental / emotional (in its many forms, probably the most familiar use of the word stress), or chemical (such as pollution, drugs, etc.), which are, unfortunately, regular parts of daily living for all age groups.  In short, a vertebral subluxation can occur for a multitude of reasons.

Tragically, vertebral subluxations are rarely obvious to the individual they affect.  They usually have no symptoms.  The reason is that most of what goes on inside you happens without your awareness.  As an example, try to "feel" your liver.  What's it doing right now?  You can't know, so you can't know if it's functioning at its best or something less.  To complicate things, nerve pathways that carry messages of control (termed "motor" nerves) have no way of transmitting ache or pain messages, so your body function may be far from perfect and you'd not have any alerting signal whatsoever.  In addition, the branching of the nerve pathways is quite complex and extensive, making it exceedingly difficult to predict or determine exactly how the person will be affected.  In order to know if someone has a vertebral subluxation, it is necessary to have that person’s spine checked by a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor using a method of "analysis."  When a vertebral subluxation is detected this way, it is obviously important to correct it as soon as possible.  The term for this is “adjustment” and can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending upon the unique vertebral subluxation and the individual person.  

Since vertebral subluxations are caused by so many different things, people choose to go to a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor on a regular basis to enjoy the most time free of the life-robbing effects of vertebral subluxation. There's a saying that straight chiropractic is not about your back, it's not about your pain, it's about your life.  Each person has a unique potential in life.  With vertebral subluxation, it's impossible to realize that potential.

Now that you have some reference point from which to start, let’s address the matter of modalities, such your "Proper Back" device.  Note that in defining non-therapeutic straight chiropractic or in distinguishing it from therapeutic mixing chiropractic throughout this response, the focus was always upon the objective, not the method.  Whether a method fits within non-therapeutic straight chiropractic is determined by the objective – the desired goal – in using it.  Generally, modalities are therapeutic in nature – they are used in treatment of or assistance with a therapeutic concern – and have no real place in the practice of non-therapeutic straight chiropractic.  

The way your question is phrased, regarding how your device "ensures proper form" when lifting, requires me to believe you are working within a mechanistic / therapeutic model of thought.  In that it is for the purposes of addressing lifting injuries, for instance, the question may be better suited to a therapeutic mixed chiropractor.  

Justin, I wish you the best in understanding chiropractic.  It has been my pleasure to provide you with some information.

Sincerely,
James W. Healey, D.C.  

Straight Chiropractic

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James W. Healey, D.C.

Expertise

I can answer questions about what is known as Straight Chiropractic, a modern branch of chiropractic focusing on individual potential and optimum human performance, and Vertebral Subluxation, a very common condition of spinal bones which affects an individual`s ability to express their full potential in every aspect of human performance.

Experience

I have been in this field for over thirty years, in private practice and as a lecturer at seminars around the country. I have served on the faculty and administrations of two Straight Chiropractic Colleges and was the president of a federally-recognized Straight Chiropractic accrediting agency.

Organizations
I have served as an officer and director of the Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations (FSCO), an international organization, and am a member and director of the Garden State Chiropractic Society (GSCS) in New Jersey. I am a member of The Chiropractic Trust and the review board of the Journal of Straight Chiropractic.

Publications
I am a regular contributor to Straight To You, the Journal of the Garden State Chiropractic Society and was a columnist for Dynamic Chiropractic. I have also been published in The Chiropractic Journal and publications of the Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations.

Education/Credentials
I am a 1981 graduate of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, attended University of Chicago and hold a Bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College.

Awards and Honors
I am a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was named Chiropractor of the Year in 1986, 1991, 1996 and 1998 by the Garden State Chiropractic Society and Regent of the Year in 1985 by Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic.

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