Nine Essentials of Health #9: Make Weekly Bodywork a Priority; in Particular, Chiropractic

Bodywork is when a health practitioner lays hands on you or uses external physical instruments with the intention of creating positive changes in your health and well-being.

Did you know that these health professions are, in part or in whole, dedicated to performing bodywork as a method and guiding principle for optimal health?

From the West:

 From the East:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Ayurveda
  • Siddha
  • Shiatsu
  • Yoga Massage

There are plenty more…Applied Kinesiology, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique…my friend, Selina Rifkin M.S., L.M.T. wrote a book entitled, The Referral Guide for Complimentary Care (available at that has listing and explanations for all sorts of bodywork health professions and is an invaluable resource for every bookshelf;.  Also, here’s a good website that has a glossary:, but oddly enough doesn’t include chiropractic, occupational therapy or physical therapy.

Bodywork has been around since people realized that a hug makes them happy and rubbing a sore muscle makes it less sore.  It is no accident that there are so many modalities of bodywork available to us.  We are not simply walking bags of chemicals.  We cannot solve every health problem we have by ingesting drugs and vitamins.

We are pack animals.  We are creatures who rely on one another for a full life.  We are built to receive healing touch from another who is trained to help us, and healing touch from ourselves when we can reach the area that needs healing!

For instance: did you know that when you have chronic, painful gas and constipation, in addition to probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and amino acids, and all that other stuff, you can simply massage your belly to get the food moving through your gut?

Here’s what you do: lay on your back with your legs bent, or with a pillow underneath your knees.  Beginning at your belly button, take the pads of your index and third fingers of both hands and rub a spot clockwise for two or three turns.  Then, lift your fingers and, moving clockwise in a circle, go to a spot beside it and rub it clockwise for two or three turns.  Continue to do this in an ever-widening spiral until you run out of room to do so, ending at your pubis symphysis.  If you feel a squishy area that is a little painful, work it a bit; but don’t press so hard that you hurt yourself.  Be gentle.

Gut Massage

Do this every morning and you will find things moving along much more easily.  Wow!  Free and effective!  You just took charge of your body and health, and did something for yourself that is very and loving!  Terrific!

All the different types of bodywork have their own mission statements.  Chiropractic’s mission statement put forth by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges in 1996 is this:

Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.

There is a term missing from this definition: “done by hand.”  Chiropractic is a word that was invented in 1896 by Rev. Samuel Weed, a friend of the discoverer of chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer. Weed suggested combining the Greek words cheiros (by means of the hand) and praktikos (practical) to describe Palmer’s treatment method.

Rev. Samuel Weed

Chiropractors address the adjustment of the vertebral column and other parts of the body by hand or by specific use of non-invasive adjusting devices. The object of chiropractic is to clear physical interference to the nervous system so that the body can run properly and can heal itself naturally.

That’s it.

Chiropractic is simple, effective, and natural. The body is supposed to self-adjust, but joints can get stuck sometimes.  When vertebral joints get stuck out of alignment, they can really interfere with nervous system expression.  Chiropractors call this interference subluxation (sub = less; lux = light; ation = nation – “state of less light”).

The longer the joints are stuck, the more problems arise.  Usually by the time back and neck pain set in, the joints have been stuck for a long time.  Let me be clear: CHIROPRACTIC DOES NOT ADDRESS PAIN!!! CHIROPRACTIC ADDRESSES NERVOUS SYSTEM INTERFERENCE!!!  If pain relief happens – and it does, quite often – the relief is a side effect of chiropractic.

Chiropractic is not an expensive substitute for Motrin or Aspirin.  It is a HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, the components of which have been described and outlined here in these Nine Essentials of Health.

The essentials of health are mostly addressed by you. This last one, bodywork, is best performed by a health care professional.  For by-hand nervous system release, a chiropractor is the health care professional you want.

Because the vertebral column protects the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve junctions, it is important to get a chiropractor to assess and address subluxations.  We have extensive training of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology and are trained to physically address the spine and other joints of the body with care and precision.

What about the gut, you say?  The gut is innervated by the enteric nervous system.  It is a nervous system that communicates with the peripheral nerves via synapses at the site of the gut.  If enteric nervous system expression is blocked, digestion goes badly — for starters the enteric nervous system runs its own hormonal and neurotransmitter system as well.  Your emotional state can literally be influenced by what is going on in your gut.  Adjusting the gut can be very effective in addressing the enteric nervous system directly.

Luckily, you can reach your gut.  You can address it yourself.  When this doesn’t work, and the problem is beyond simple self-massage, you can then reach out to a qualified bodyworker for help.

When it comes to the spine, you can’t reach it; and even if you could, would you really want to try to adjust it yourself without professional training?

Chiropractors can address it properly.  It’s what we do.

Chiropractic is the second-most-utilized health care profession in the world, second only to the medical profession (admittedly, there is a wide gap between the utilization of #1 and #2)!   Chiropractic is safe.  You don’t believe me? Check our malpractice insurance rates compared to other types of health care professions’ rates!  Chiropractic is natural and works with your body’s innate healing ability, so it is important to get the word out so more people can discover and use this form of health care.

Call and ask me about how chiropractic could help you!  My information is at

All right; we’ve done it!  We’ve addressed the Nine Essentials of Health.  Now its up to you.  If you commit to taking daily steps for health, longevity and happiness, you have the information you need to achieve it.

Nine Essentials of Good Health

I’ll be here to help along the way.  Until next time, Good health!


About Dr. Claire

CLAIRE FITZPATRICK is a Doctor of Chiropractic in New York City. Her specialty is helping women and men aged 30-55 eliminate signs and symptoms of early aging. She is owner of JOY! Health and Bodyworks, LLC a holistic, integrative network of holistic practitioners who specialize in health issues related to early aging. She is the author of the ebook, "The Nine Essentials of Health: A Must Have Guide for Healthy Living."

Posted on 01/11/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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