Chiropractors. No one seems to have a neutral feeling about them; you either love yours or you’ve never been and you’re suspicious. What can a chiropractor do for weight loss?
If you’ve ever wanted to go to a chiropractor but you were nervous at the thought of all that “bone cracking”, or if you wondered just what a chiropractor can do for you in this area, this article will help to inform you about the benefits of chiropractic care, how it can be a partner in your weight loss journey, and hopefully answer your other questions.
Is It Good to See a Chiropractor to Lose Weight?
Chiropractors are experts in the neuromuscular system of the body. They treat problems by using various methods to align the spine or other joints in the body. So, what does this have to do with weight loss?
Adjustments work by helping the body and central nervous system perform better. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can eat anything you like, skip the gym, and expect the adjustment to do all the work, you are in for a disappointment.
Your body will process the food you do eat better because the nerves can send and receive the proper signals. This isn’t enough for you to lose weight all on its own, but this can provide you with a solid base from which to launch your weight loss.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
In addition to adjustment to improve the nervous system, chiropractors can also advise you about the best possible nutrition and nutritional supplements that can help you to shed excess weight naturally.
Subluxations of the spine (when the vertebrae in the spine are out of alignment) can have a direct impact on your weight. Misalignment of the vertebrae can put pressure on the nerves in the spine.
Your nerves carry information from the brain to other parts of the body, telling the brain when you need to eat when you need water, etc. When these signals are blocked, it can cause you to overeat, or to eat when you are actually thirsty.
Interrupted or blocked signals can also affect the metabolic system, causing it to run slower than it should, or it might even block the body’s ability to burn fat. One study found that people who enrolled in a comprehensive weight loss program that included chiropractic adjustments lost on average 15.52 pounds over the 13-week study period.
Pain Reduction or Elimination
The pressure that subluxations cause often result in nerve pain. Burning, tingling, or numb feelings in the affected areas can discourage people from performing some much-needed exercise. Whenever exercise is painful, it will be avoided. This can also lead to weight gain.
By removing subluxations, sensations of pain or tingling feelings can be dramatically reduced or often eliminated entirely. This can make you feel so good that you are inspired to enroll in a gym or start a home exercise program.
Since being overweight also puts more pressure and stress on the spine, it makes sense to be certain that the spine is in perfect alignment so exercise can be performed, enabling people to lose weight, which will reduce pressure on the spine.
Pain Medication, Back Problems, and Weight Gain
If you suffer from chronic back pain and have been taking medication to deal with it, you may have noticed that you’ve gained weight over time. This is because most prescription drugs, such as corticosteroids, often have the side-effect of making you hungry or changing your metabolism so that you gain weight more easily.
Comprehensive chiropractic care can reduce or eliminate your need for prescription pain medication by addressing your back pain directly. Whether you are suffering from sciatica or arthritis, pain can be dramatically reduced so that exercise can become a pleasure, rather than a pain-filled chore.
If you are suffering from a chronic health issue that would prevent many types of exercise, your chiropractor can advise an exercise program that will suit your abilities, so you can stay healthy and maintain a stable, reasonable weight.
How Many Times Will I Need to Visit a Chiropractor?
This is a very open question since it would depend on several factors, including:
- Your age and physical fitness level
- If you have any injuries that require time to heal
- If you suffer from an ongoing medical issue
- How much weight you would like to lose
Generally speaking, most people find that after visiting the chiropractor 2 or 3 times a week over a three to four-week period, they can manage their exercise and weight loss program on their own.
Your circumstances might be different than the average, however, so you may require more or fewer appointments.
The benefits of visiting the chiropractor are many and you might discover that you feel so much better after a few visits that you set up regular appointments!
Why Do I Feel Worse After I See the Chiropractor?
While some people walk away from their first chiropractic appointment feeling as if a huge burden has been lifted, others experience headaches, diarrhea, a feeling of being in a dream, or they might feel extremely fatigued.
These are all common responses that tell the chiropractor that your body is responding to treatment. None of the above symptoms last for more than a day or two and they are all very mild symptoms.
While no one is exactly sure why your body responds to the first one or two treatments this one, one thought is that your body is feeling the effects of “toxic releasee.” Your nervous system is simply adjusting to the removal of negative energy and a build-up of toxins in the affected area.
Speak with your chiropractor if your symptoms feel severe or if they last more than a few days.
What Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Feel Like?
When your chiropractor tells you that they are going to do an adjustment, what they are saying is that they are going to put pressure on certain areas of the spine to put it back into its proper location.
Adjustments do not hurt and if you are not feeling pain when you walked in, you won’t feel pain when you walk out.
An adjustment feels like a release of pressure. If you have ever “cracked” your neck and then felt the release it provides, you will understand what an adjustment feels like.
Don’t worry if you should hear any popping or cracking noises. No, your chiropractor did not literally crack the bone, these sounds are nothing more than air being released from the joint.
Also, some people believe that if they don’t hear those cracking sounds that the adjustment was done properly. This is a myth that you shouldn’t take to heart.
The Bottom Line
The important thing to keep in mind is that there is no weight loss miracle. Your chiropractor is not going to issue you a magic pill and adjustments alone won’t make you lose weight.
Adding comprehensive chiropractic care to your overall weight loss program, however, can mean that your metabolism works properly once more, that pain is reduced or eliminated to enable you to exercise again (or to exercise for longer periods) and you will have a partner to help you with your weight loss efforts.
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using services designed to help give long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.