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When it comes to fine-tuning the nuts and bolts of your body, Chiropractic is one of the most widely recognised treatments available. It's a method of spine and joint manipulation used to treat a range of complaints from bad posture to migraines.
Chiropractic was originally seen as an 'alternative' therapy when it originated in 1895, but years of development and study have brought it wide acceptance in the medical profession with even the World Health Organisation now endorsing its effectiveness.
Air out your life story - a consultation with a chiropractor can last anything from 30 to 90 minutes and should involve a detailed medical history as well as questions about your day-to-day activities.
Once your chiropractor has got friendly with the finer points of your health and habits, he or she will be able to devise a treatment plan to get you back to health and comfort. Most conditions are treated within 4 to 12 sessions, with a session lasting around 15-20 minutes.
During the sessions you're chiropractor will put his or her healing hands to work - using proven techniques to manipulate your joints and spine, moving them into the correct position. This might feel slightly uncomfortable at the time and shortly after the treatment, but any discomfort should fade away fairly quickly.
If you've a joint that's playing up or a nagging ache, the likelihood is that a visit to the chiropractor could put you right. Many people are referred by their GP, or go directly to a chiropractor to treat conditions such as neck, shoulder, spine or joint pain, posture problems, sciatica (a pinched nerve), RSI (repetitive stress injury), sports injuries and migraines.
As well as the immediate effects of pain relief, chiropractic's method of re-alignment, putting the jigsaw pieces of your body in the right place, is thought to affect the bigger picture of your health. In the long term, the treatment aims to support your body's natural ability to heal itself.
Chiropractic comes from the Greek words chiros and praktikos meaning "done by hand".