Every once in a while a prospective patient comes into the office who has had a negative experience with chiropractors in the past. Unfortunately, Susie was such a person. During the consultation she relayed that she felt taken advantage of by this chiropractor. He had done an assessment and treated her for neck stiffness but she ended up feeling worse. She told me that she felt that assessments weren’t necessary, going as far to say that she thinks they are a racket. She finished by telling me that she has been looking for a chiropractor that doesn’t do assessments.
To me this doesn’t make any sense. After all, would you let your mechanic start working on your car before they did an assessment with their computer? Would you build a house without an architect’s plan? Would you allow a surgeon to operate before doing an MRI?
Why would you ever want to proceed with a form of treatment without measuring objectively what’s actually going on in the body? You can’t just rely on the patient’s subjective assessment, although that is an important part of measuring progress.
For instance, there have been numerous times in the past, where a patient reports a worsening of symptoms for a while. Without objective measures, you can’t know if the worsening of symptoms is a part of the healing process or if it’s just getting worse.
That’s partly why I’ve decided to get certified in measuring Heart Rate Variability through the Heart Math Institute.
During any examination at the Happy Spine, one of the objective measures that I use is Heart Rate Variability (HRV). It is a fascinating science, backed by thousands of research articles.
The clinical use of HRV was first introduced in 1965 when it was found that fetal distress was preceded by alterations in the beat-to-beat intervals before any appreciable changes occurred in the heart rate itself.
Stewart Wolf was the first to report the association between low HRV and sudden death in the early 1960s. It was found that neither age, serum cholesterol, LDL/HDL ratios nor treadmill testing results had any significant prognostic power.
In adolescents and adults, low HRV has been linked to hostility, aggression, depression, panic and eating disorders.
With Neurostructural care, we work to improve your HRV because the nervous system runs all the other systems in the body. With improvement in HRV scores, it has also has been observed:
- an increased ability to self-regulate
- a 40% improvement in long-term memory
- a 24% improvement in short-term memory
- an increased ability to focus
- an increased ability to process information
- Faster reaction times
- Higher test scores
- Improved ability to learn
- Increased Alpha Wave Activity in the Central Nervous System – good for helping us feel calm, focused and clear-minded
These heart-brain electrical patterns are so unique to each person that even some psychologists who work with patients exhibiting multiple personality disorder have reported that they see distinct heart-rhythm patterns when the patient shifts personalities and can tell which personality is dominant when they see the unique heart-rhythm pattern associated with that personality.
A prospective patient may tell me that “I just have some stiffness in my neck that I want you to help me with”. As a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic, I have to ask, where is this stemming from? Is it simply a chronic tension pattern or is it something more serious? If it’s simply a chronic tension pattern, where is this chronic tension coming from? If I don’t ask these questions, and I don’t look for answers with an examination, then I am committing malpractice. Sadly, I don’t think Susie realized this.