Chiropractic Care and the Biomat
Chiropractic is a complementary medical practice which treats more than 35 million Americans annually. Since its founding over one hundred years ago, the practice has evolved and now focuses on treating musculoskeletal pain and spine care.
Chiropractic care continues to gain in popularity and has a positive reputation among many U.S. adults for effective treatment of neck and back pain.1
Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary alternative medicine professions.2 Chiropractic has been legally recognized and formal university degrees have been established in the United States, Canada and some European countries. The profession is regulated in these countries, and the educational qualifications are consistent, satisfying the requirements of the respective accrediting agencies.
A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), often referred to as a chiropractor is a primary care doctor who specializes in spine health and general wellbeing. They are trained to detect and reduce misalignments of the spine which interfere with the function of the central nervous system. The doctor will perform manual adjustments to correct alignment problems and support the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Chiropractic focuses on maintaining optimal health naturally without the use of drugs or surgery. The doctors are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
A chiropractic adjustment is a therapeutic procedure that uses controlled force, applied to specific joints and surrounding tissue to restore mobility and improve the body’s physical function. When performed by a trained professional it is completely safe.
Using x-rays and other instruments, the chiropractor will locate misalignments in the spine. The patient will be positioned on a table and the doctor will adjust the patient using a device or their hands. The goal is to restore normal nerve transmission and assist the body in recuperating on its own.
Chiropractors focus on the spine because of its role in the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS controls the body and sends signals from the brain down the spine affecting all organs, tissues and cells. The belief is that any misalignment of the spine can hinder the body’s function. Left unresolved, this can make you more susceptible to chronic problems.
The benefits of chiropractic treatment
Chiropractic is known for its many benefits because of its ability to help reduce inflammation and balance the body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic response. The sympathetic nervous system triggers the “fight-or-flight” response and the parasympathetic nervous system can act like a brake and promote stress reduction. It’s been found that adjustments in the upper cervical region and sacral region can stimulate the parasympathetic response which reduces stress and even improves the function of certain organs.
A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found that after subjects received a cervical adjustment, pulse rates decreased, blood pressure balanced, and parasympathetic responses were significantly positive. This may shed some light as to why so many people visit Chiropractors on a regular basis. People understand how stress reduction and maintenance of a healthy spine and nervous system can set the stage to recovery.
Chiropractors focus on educating their patients on the body’s natural ability to heal itself by removing obstructions from the nervous system. Since the central nervous system facilitates healing, many symptoms have been proven to improve through chiropractic adjustments.
How the Biomat helps
The Biomat is the perfect complement for any chiropractor. The Biomat’s far-infrared heat increases circulation, relaxes muscles and reduces stiffness. The Biomat directly affects the body’s ability to unwind deep stress in the musculoskeletal system. Because of this, it integrates well with chiropractic treatment.
Dr. Rita Lathon of Restorative Touch Chiropractic says the Biomat benefits a chiropractic treatment in several ways. “First, it is much more comfortable to receive an adjustment when muscles are relaxed, so it’s easier on the patient. Secondly, when muscles are relaxed, it is much easier to restore proper range of motion to joints with a chiropractic adjustment than when muscles are spasmed, so it’s easier on the doctor” said Dr. Lathon.
Dr. Lathon explains chiropractic treatment and the Biomat work together synergistically and patients will get better much more quickly.
“The Biomat induces deep relaxation and thus drives the parasympathetic nervous system to be dominant. The parasympathetic nervous system is our rest, digest and heal nervous system, so the Biomat helps us get out of fight or flight and go into healing mode” says Dr. Lathon.
Massachusetts based chiropractor, Dr. Tracey Norman says with regular use the Biomat helps to “restore” a person.
“With today’s pace of life, our nervous system is bombarded with lots of input which keeps us in sympathetic overdrive and, for some, in a state of adrenal burnout. Chiropractic adjustments address this
and the Biomat is very complementary to bringing the body into a greater state of peace and balance” says Dr. Norman.
At the Austin Family Chiropractic, patients sit on a Biomat Mini or use the Biomat Professional prior to treatment. Dr. Austin says the mat helps patients’ muscles to relax making their vertebrae easier to move during adjustments.
“One of my goals as a Doctor of Chiropractic is to reduce the stress load that my patients are experiencing in their hectic 21st century lives. The Biomat assists me with that mission.”
At the clinic he treats a lot of “stressed out” mothers. After the adjustment, he allows them to rest on the Biomat with an Amethyst & Tourmaline Pillow.
They report back that “[It was], by far the most relaxing half hour of their entire month,” said Dr. Austin.
How clients respond to Chiropractic treatments with the Biomat
Dr. Norman uses a Biomat Mini on her chiropractic table. She finds her clients relax more and receive their treatments better.
“I have seen a variety of responses to using the Biomat over the years. They range from decreased pain, greater level of relaxation, better sleep, and improved mood,” said Dr. Norman.
“Following Biomat treatments, patients report being calm and often deeply relaxed. They also report improved circulation in their extremities and a substantial reduction in pain.
“Many have voiced that their Biomat treatments have made their chiropractic and massage treatments more effective and lasting,” said Dr. Lathon.
Tips from our doctors
A healthy spine is often overlooked as part of a healthy lifestyle. Biomat users can follow these tips to help them keep their spine in alignment.
Dr. Rita Lathon recommends 30 minutes to an hour each day on the Biomat. For those without an Amethyst & Tourmaline Pillow, she suggests using a rolled-up towel behind your neck and knees.
“Your head should be resting comfortably on the Biomat, so the neck roll should not be too big. The neck roll will encourage the proper C-shaped curve in your neck, and over time will restore the curve and reduce neck pain. The towel under the knees reduces tension on the low back,” says Dr. Lathon.
Dr. Tracey Norman wants to remind users when they are using the Biomat to put their phones away.
“Don’t hold your phone above your head trying to read and be busy. Allow this to be a time for you to really let go, relax, restore and rejuvenate. We spend so many hours every day on phones and devices, often putting our heads and necks into a forward flexion position which is not beneficial to the spine or nervous system,” says Dr. Norman.
1. Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Report: Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic. Gallup and Palmer College of Chiropractic
2. Chiropractic: A Profession at the Crossroads of Mainstream and Alternative Medicine. William C Meeker;and Scott Haldeman. Annals of Internal Medicine 136:216-227, 2002.