Chiropractors have long talked about wellness and the relationship between the spine, the nerve system, and your overall health. And while talking about it we have promoted the other more tangible benefits of chiropractic care, namely symptom relief and the slowing of spinal degenerative changes. As you know my practice offers three forms of chiropractic care, Initial Intensive Care for symptom relief, Reconstructive Care for slowing degeneration, and Wellness Care for…Wellness?? So what is wellness? How do we measure it? In a past article I defined wellness as active participation by you in behaviors that are intended to improve your health and prevent disease. I made the argument that while health is passive and temporary, wellness on the other hand is an active process that you are involved with on a daily basis (exercise, vitamins, diet, water, etc.) But how does chiropractic change body chemistry to promote wellness? How does it help to prevent disease?
Researchers from the above organizations measured blood thiol levels in 21 short-term chiropractic patients, in 25 long-term chiropractic patients, and in 30 control subjects. Briefly, thiols are chemicals in the blood that are an important measure of health. The higher they are, the more well you are. In other words, high thiol levels reduce genetic mutation, reduce the chance of disease, improve your health, and prolong your life. It is a major laboratory method used today to measure your potential health. And there happens to be one activity that you can participate in that increases thiol levels greater than anything else you can do. Chiropractic care.
Lowest levels of thiol were found in subjects that had active pain/disease (105nM). Higher levels were found in healthy asymptomatic non-chiropractic subjects (124nM). And the highest levels were found in long-term chiropractic subjects (146nM). They further found that it takes about 2 years of chiropractic care just to increase the levels from the 105 to the control level of 124, and then years more to reach the high plateau of 146.
This is why we measure Intensive Care in weeks, Reconstructive Care in months, and Wellness Care in years.