Written by Dr. Matthew Alvord DC, DPhCS
There are 18,000 addiction programs in the US, yet the nation wide success rate in 30 days is just 46% with a long-term retention rate of that same group of just 60%. A randomized clinical trial with 98 addicts designed by Robert Duncan Ph.D., biostatistician at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and Dr. Jay Holder, a former narcotics officer and veteran Chiropractor, found that specific chiropractic adjustments over a 30-day period increased the retention rate to 100%. “This is unheard of; it’s never happened before in addiction treatment,” Dr. Holder says. This impact cannot be overstated. And yet, there are no spinal adjustments for addictions, much less for spinal symptoms, so what exactly is going on here?
What’s the connection between a misaligned spine and addictions? It has to do with the interruption of a precise sequence of chemical changes in your brain called the “brain reward cascade.” If this cascade is uninterrupted, you feel a sense of wellbeing and pleasure. If the sequence is interrupted, resulting in what is known as “reward deficiency syndrome”, you may seek mood-altering substances or activities. Brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters must be released in the right sequence, like falling dominoes, for you to feel good. When the spine isn’t aligned like dominoes, the brain isn’t either.
As it turns out, emotions are not only affected by the spine but are dependent on normal spinal function as well. This is because over half of all the feedback going to your brain from your body or the environment is coming from your spine. It’s a biological fact. If there is a breakdown in this linear cascade we have depression, anxiety and all the other compulsive disorders, including addictions. There are many addictions and their associated treatments, but there are also all the compulsive disorders, just with a different name. This includes ADD, ADHD, Tourettes, Aspergers, learning disabilities, autisms and dyslexia.
We're talking about a tremendous affect within the population, certainly among adolescents and children. The Chiropractor now plays a tremendous role, simply because the age-old principles of chiropractic are finally becoming recognized and appreciated by modern science more than ever. One out of ten Americans is on antidepressants, one out of seven children have a learning disorder, and one in sixteen adults have an addiction. Who in our society should learn this information? How quickly would they benefit from it? Who do you know needs Chiropractic care?
The cost of ignorance is greater than we can afford and these statistics are only getting worse unless we change our thinking. We need to redefine the problem and start addressing the true cause. Treating the effects are limited and only give short-term relief at best. Without treating addiction or any other related emotional health issues, we can allow the body to get to a higher level of function. As the body returns to normal and the brain begins to heal, then lives can heal as well.
It’s time for society to stop depending on chemicals from outside ourselves and start relying on nature’s chemistry orchestrated by the Innate Intelligence within all of us.
It’s time for Chiropractic.