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Core Beliefs

How to Reclaim Balance, Minimize Effort, and Relieve Pain
by Jerry Hyman

It's snowing and the only snow blower you have looks like a shovel. Two days later, you awaken to find an entire kennel of howling, gnarly dogs has moved into your back. Ouch. You take your bent-over self to the chiropractor who folds you into the sacred crane origami position and with one fell swoop vaporizes the whole pack of dogs. Yea!

That's great, when it works. But the crack of the back, or any other joint, does not always eliminate the pain, nor does it mean that you've suddenly corrected imbalances and habits in movement that may have contributed to the pain originally.

I bring to my practice an array of therapies that are much broader than the traditional chiropractor's tool of subluxion (That's the therapy of manipulating stiff or locked joints with high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts, usually delivered by hand and sometimes resulting in a satisfying cracking sound.)

I don't treat by sound, but rather by improving a person's global functioning, i.e. standing upright, walking, reaching and grabbing, speaking, swallowing and chewing, and respiration. If one of these functions goes awry, it can pollute the others. Any problem with movement is likely to have is origins with a particular function, rather than a particular part gone kaflooey (Greek for errant goat caught in water wheel).

So when someone comes to me for help I evaluate his or her global (whole body) functioning as well as local (joints) movement. Then, depending on what a person wants and needs, we reconcile disparities, change habits and restore balance. It's a joint effort (no pun intended); requiring the active involvement of the person who wants the change.

I am well versed in the passive treatments, especially the traditional chiropractic manipulation. And I can and will apply it when needed, often with excellent, if temporary, outcomes. But I also am trained in many other systems, ranging from gentle, neurologically-based reflex therapies (touch here, get a responsive wiggle somewhere else) to highly complex mechanical interventions (specialized stretching and releasing techniques). The goal is to sustain movement that is balanced and requires the least amount of effort.

There are many clever ways to train movement. They run the gamut of gentle to more demanding. More demanding is not confined to more weight or resistance but rather coordination, timing and efficiency. I use gym balls, rocker boards, principles of Pilates and yoga, Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis and a focus on respiration to help normalize movement and, as a consequence, relieve pain.

My clinical evolution over the past 20 plus years has been to weave together passive and active therapies into individual programs that address the unique problems of each person. It's collaborative work. I provide the script and the direction, but the individual must bring it to life. I offer the analysis, the guidance, the exercises, and, most important, the encouragement, for a person to first understand how they function and then, if needed and desired, change it.

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