Different Types of Chiropractors

Different types of chiropractors practice different types of chiropractic. Knowing the differences will help you find healing and answer the question: Do chiropractors work?
types of chiropractors

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine developed by Dr. D.D. Palmer who believed the basis of all disease is the result of vertebral subluxations. Subluxations occur when one or more of the vertebrae are misaligned, puts pressure on or irritates spinal nerves. Since the nervous system controls every aspect of the body, a subluxation can cause all types of health problems. If the nervous system is working correctly without being irritated or blocked, the body will be in optimal health. The subluxation needs to be removed to allow the nervous system to function properly. The disease symptoms will fade, as the body will heal itself with a properly functioning nervous system.

Using this health approach, chiropractors only correct subluxations— they do not diagnose or heal any disease. Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained to remove subluxations.

Types of Chiropractic

There are three basic types of chiropractors: Straights, mixers, and reform.

Straight chiropractors adhere to the pure teachings first taught by Dr. Palmer. They believe the basis of all disease is subluxations and they find and correct them using chiropractic techniques. Their focus is to have a properly functioning nervous system via the spinal vertebrae. Approximately 15% of all chiropractors are in this category.

Mixers are also chiropractors trained to correct subluxations. However, the mixer has a far broader view of the origins of disease. Mixers believe that bacteria and viruses cause disease, but subluxations weaken the body’s immune system. Along with practicing traditional chiropractic techniques to correct subluxations, mixers employ a vast array of alternative medicine techniques. Mixers make up the majority of chiropractors.Whatever other healing modalities employed is up to the belief and training of the individual chiropractor. Some will prescribe dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies and/or herbal products. These chiropractors will also integrate their practice with various other approaches such as acupuncture, physical therapy, iridology, massage, mind/body and energy healing.

Such chiropractors develop a clientele and a reputation based on their unique blend of healing traditions. Knowledge of various healing traditions, along with the unique training in subluxations, makes this type of chiropractor extremely proficient in the healing arts.

Reform chiropractors are different from both straights and mixers. These types of chiropractors, although having some training in traditional chiropractic theory, do not focus on subluxations. They seek to reform the traditional chiropractic discipline by openly rejecting the theories of traditional chiropractic care while attempting to implement their own supposedly superior concepts.

Reform chiropractors use touch and manipulation to treat such problems as osteoarthritis, joint pains and various other musculoskeletal problems, limiting their practice to this very specialized area of medicine. In their technique and theory of medicine, they aligned more with conventional medical and osteopathic doctors. They are unlike mixers, since they openly reject most, if not all, types of alternative medicine, including straight chiropractic care. Instead, they promote the use of conventional drug therapies. Reform chiropractors are presently the minority of the three types of chiropractors, but in recent years, their numbers seem to be growing.

Do Chiropractors Work?

Chiropractic care, whether from the trained hands of a straight, mixer or even a reform chiropractor, is unique among medicine. As with any health care provider, if you do not find the relief you are seeking, please do not dismiss the entire profession. Instead, look for another chiropractor, perhaps another type of chiropractic. Every chiropractor practices the art of chiropractic a bit differently.

Here is a video showing an actual chiropractic visit:

To learn more about the science behind chiropractic, I highly recommend the excellent book Touch for Health by Dr. John Thie.

List of Chiropractors Locally

Getting a list of chiropractors near you is as easy as looking in your local Yellow Pages Now that you know of the different types of chiropractic, you are better able to find the type and the person that will help you to enjoy both immediate relief and long-term healing and wellness.

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