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The Chiropractic and Massage Connection

Chiropractic and massage work extremely well together. Massage prior to chiropractic adjustments prevents the likelihood of spasm after the adjustment is made. It also assists in the elongation of the muscles that attach to the spine. This makes for an easier and gentler adjustment thus making the adjustment prone to better stabilization. When you think of chiropractic and the term adjustment or manipulation it brings to mind for many that a bone is in play. While this is true, it's also true that the chiropractic adjustment has influence on adjusting the tension of the musculature that attaches to that bone, usually the vertebrae of the spine, but also true of extremity adjusting. Muscles have the following functions. They support the skeleton or maintain posture. They provide heat to warm us. They help move us from point A to point B. Each function influences the other in some way.   

 For example: When your muscles are warm (heat) you're going to have more elasticity and function. If you have more function you'll be able to move more effectively from point A to point B. The increase in function will also greatly influence the body's ability to maintain posture. It's all connected. Another way of putting it, is if you're cold you instinctively lower your head and bend your knees thus moving your body more center to it's core to conserve and generate heat. This changes your posture as the muscles begin to shorten. Muscles and bones have that same kind of relationship. You can't influence one without having influence on the other which is why chiropractic and massage compliments each other so well.   

A common question to the massage therapist is, “do you think I should see the chiropractor?” The short answer is essentially yes most of the time.   

Some people ask this question out of economic necessity. They only have so much money to work with and are forced to ration their care. Because of this, they may rely on the opinion of a massage therapist. It happens all the time and is very similar to when a patient asks the nurse a question before asking a doctor.  Most massage therapists tend to like chiropractic and have seen it do amazing miracles. Many have heard chiropractors say they like massage because it makes their job easier. Likewise, many massage therapist have the same opinion of chiropractic. In fact, there are a few instances where some massage therapists will refuse to do some work on patients, unless they see the Chiropractor prior or after. The reason for this is that in the effects of massage will not be as great, or in some cases not be maintained, unless they do. There's times where it's best to hand the ball off instead of running with it yourself. Or, as Harry Callahan said, “man's got to know his limitations.” Another common question is “should I get the massage before the chiropractic adjustment or after?”  Well, that’s really determined on a case by case basis. Without getting overly complicated, there are instances where either way works, depending on what's going on with you at that particular time. Chiropractic and massage are an excellent compliment to each other.   

 For those that are considering a career in massage therapy, you’ll likely learn about posture and some of the things mentioned during your training.   

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