Chiropractic theory is similar to TCM and Ayurveda in that it views the body as having an innate ability to heal itself and naturally adapt to changes in its internal and external environments to maintain a natural state of health. Chiropractic practitioners focus on the nervous system knowing that the brain sends messages through the spinal cord to all the organs, muscles, blood vessels, and cells of the body. The nervous system helps to coordinate and regulate a vast array of chemical reactions that affect how a person thinks, feels, sleeps, digests food, physically moves, etc. Chiropractic theory is based upon the belief that when bones of the spine become misaligned they block normal flow and communication of the nervous system to the entire body and thereby result in impairment of normal body function that leads to a variety of physical symptoms and possibly the development of disease states. Chiropractic literally means "to be done by hand" and it was founded in 1895 with the theory that all diseases are caused by spinal subluxations and restoration of nerve flow is essential to healing. Spinal manipulation is the primary therapy performed by chiropractors with the goal of manually realigning the vertebral bodies in order to restore communication of the nervous system with the entire body and thereby restore normal body function and rid the body of disease. General information about chiropractics can be found in Refs. (8) and (9).
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