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Chiropractic and Green

Gonstead-imagesChiropractic in its essence is Green. The word “Chiropractic” comes from Greek words meaning “healing with hands” Chiropractic practices focus on and improve the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

According to Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, “Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative powers of the body to heal itself without drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects preservation and restoration of health. ”Regular Chiropractic care maintains the integrity of the spine and the nervous system to help prevent health problems. Below are the principles of Chiropractic that highlight the natural approach of Chiropractic.

Principles of Chiropractic:

  • The body is a self-healing and self-regulating organism.
  • The nervous system controls and coordinates all functions and healing of the body.
  • Any interference with the nervous system alters the body’s ability to function and heal itself.
  • Misalignments of the bones of the spine are called subluxations. Subluxations cause interference with the nervous system.
  • Subluxations can be caused by slips and falls, auto accidents, poor posture, poor sleeping habits, sports impact, birth, and countless other every day stressors.
  • Maintaining a healthy and properly aligned spine throughout one’s entire life allows the body to function optimally and prevent health conditions.

Chiropractic has little (to no) environmental footprint due to medical waste. The majority of medical waste, about two million tons annually, is generated from hospitals. Other large contributors to medical waste are physician, dental and veterinarian practices, as well as laboratories and research facilities related to the manufacturing of certain pharmaceuticals and make-up. According to the US EPA, “15% of the medical waste stream is potentially infectious. The rest of the items are typically office or household wastes such as paper, cardboard and plastic.”

Medical waste that is considered infectious can do harm to humans or the environment, below is a list of medical waste items that can be considered infectious:

  • Bodily fluid-soaked bandages
  • Microbial culture dishes and other glassware
  • Discarded surgical gloves and other personal protective equipment.
  • Discarded surgical instruments
  • Discarded needles used to give shots or draw blood.
  • Microbial cultures, stocks and swabs used to inoculate cultures.

Reference- Chiropractic. (2005). Stedman’s medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing (p. 270, 5th ed). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

"Medical Waste Basic Information" US Environmental Protection Agency, 2008 http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/other/medical/basic.htm

"Medical Waste Resources" Health Care Without Harm http://www.noharm.org/us/medicalWaste/resources