I recently read this quote and thought it expressed exactly how I feel about my own body and how I wish people treated theirs.
The unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people present to us with a long history of pain and dysfunction. To be honest, it’s not really their fault as most people aren’t aware of options available to them but there are too many people who will just ignore the increasing signs of symptoms that tell us something is wrong (gentlemen I’m talking to you!)
They wait for crisis to hit before acting. Perhaps this is human nature.
However, those who have undergone care in our office and had a successful outcome often ask when or how often they need to come in. It’s positive that most intuitively believe that ongoing maintenance makes sense but how often should that be?
You would be able to answer this question if you became more tuned in to the small signs and symptoms that tell us we need to be adjusted. Handle them early on and they won’t become bigger things later.
So what are the early signs you’re ready for your next adjustment?
- Awareness of posture. The best test is the slump test. Remember the “breathe in, breathe out, relax and let your body slump.”? This is the line we say throughout your adjustment and when we take your photos. It’s useful because a body in good form with hold itself upright. There is minimal shoulder rounding or mid back rounding. No lower abdomen or head and neck poking forward. If you start to see these signs develop significantly, it’s time to get adjusted.
- Breathing. Notice what it feels like after you’ve been adjusted. That easy depth of breath is the way you’re supposed to be. Significant restriction in breathing means you’re ready to be adjusted.
- Pressure and niggles through your body. Noticing pressure on joint or muscles indicates you’re not balanced. It might not be officially pain yet but getting corrected now makes it easier later.
- Feeling brain fog. You know that fuzzy, unfocused feeling. Some refer to it as being disconnected. That is often a sign you need to be adjusted. In fact these days I would use this as my main way of knowing when I’m ready to be adjusted.
- Feeling unbalanced. Have you noticed you’re starting to trip over things more? Do you feel unsteady on your feet? If you answered yes then it’s time to get checked.
I would guess most of the time someone comes into our practice in pain (unless there’s been significant trauma) where there were some of these signs in the days to weeks proceeding it. Most of the time people ignore it until it becomes a larger issue. The key is to get in before this becomes something more significant. Doing this will help you avoid all the compensatory reactions that develop when left alone which’ll also make it easier to correct and majority of the time requires less visits.
Of course if you find these difficult to notice then we always recommend average time frames of maintenance that most use. However the more ‘in tune’ you are, the better and more empowered you are to manage your own body.
Dr Ben Coupe
Dr Ben Coupe is an owner and principle chiropractor at Martin & Coupe Chiropractic. He is an international technique instructor for Advanced BioStructural Correction and a founding board member of Advanced BioStructural Correction Australasia. Dr Coupe sees ABC as the evolution of chiropractic and his passion is seeing tangible, long term results for all his clients. Personally his interests lie in CrossFit and nutrition and spending time with his young family.