According to the philosophy of Chiropractic and Niagara Falls' most renowned Chiropractor, Dr. Mark Del Monte, everyone deserves to enjoy the miracle of better health.
Dr. Del Monte is an old school chiropractor.
He learned his craft from the first generation students of the founders of chiropractic - father and son, Daniel David and Bartlett Joshua Palmer.
Chiropractic was founded by Daniel in Davenport, Iowa in 1895. The word comes from the Greek -- chiro - "hand" and praktikos - "practical." Palmer, a magnetic healer, hypothesized that manual manipulation of the spine could cure disease.
It is so simple people tend to discount it.
They prefer quacks who charge a lot and prescribe expensive drugs that never cure.
They chose drugs over self healing.
D.D. Palmer called chiropractic, "a science of healing without drugs".
The challenge with persuading people to try chiropractic is, it does not easily submit to clinical proof that the body heals itself.
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
How many of the 10,000 patients Dr. Del Monte has - upon whom he has performed one million spinal adjustments - with his hands - healed themselves?
The woman who could not get pregnant. Doctors told her she would never conceive.
She came to Dr. Del Monte, got adjustments and soon after, somehow - she got pregnant and gave birth to a healthy child.
The person with the brain tumor that went away. Science can't prove it - no more than you can X- Ray for a headache and prove it. Maybe he would have healed his tumor without spinal adjustments.
The two year old that couldn't speak who suddenly opened her mouth and babbled one hour after her first adjustment.
Asthmatics, bedwetters, people in pain, their back and neck, indigestion, earaches.
People set for surgery because they couldn't bear the pain - who went to Dr. Del Monte and never met the surgeons' knife.
Dr. Del Monte is an apostle - and I use the word advisedly - for chiropractic is not religion - although its founder D.D. Palmer thought of making it a religion - because it seems to unleash God's healing power.
Chiropractic can open up impossible doors, unlock the door to free-flowing, "Innate Intelligence" - the natural tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium.
You don't believe in Innate Intelligence?
One chiropractor explained it this way: "At the moment of your conception, 23 chromosomes from your mother and 23 chromosomes from your father combined to form one cell, the unique 'You'.
"Barely the size of a pinhead, that one cell began to divide into what is now an estimated 80 quadrillion cells that make up your body. This process is driven by something - call it an Innate Intelligence, an inborn wisdom, which knows how tall you will be, the length of your fingers, where your nose should be on your face, and where your vital organs belong.
"This Innate Intelligence stays with you after you are born and guides every function of your body until your last breath of life.
"The master control system for this is your nervous system which consists of your brain, spinal cord and nerves that go to every cell, tissue and organ. Nerves control your heartbeat, respiration, hormone balance, digestion, immune system, muscle contraction and every other function that is necessary for you to live.
"Your Innate Intelligence is 'wise' to the importance of this system. Fully encased in bone, your skull protects your brain and your spinal column protects your spinal cord."
While no chiropractor can guarantee that your Innate Intelligence will self cure any specific symptoms or diseases, they can guarantee that when your body is free of nerve interference it will work better.
Some have regained eyesight.
Several threw away their canes.
You will often hear people say, when they leave Dr. Del Monte's office "My back is so much better, I can stand up straight; My migraines are gone; My blood pressure is down; My heartburn is gone; Menstrual cramping went away; My digestion is better; I haven't had a cold in years."
Dr. Del Monte explains: "Anything that could be effected by the nervous system can be improved by chiropractic manipulation, and the nervous system controls and coordinates almost every function of the body.
"Why would you mask the symptoms with drugs, when you could allow your own body to heal?"
"Sick cells makes sick tissues which make sick organs. Then there are sick people. Symptoms are the last to show up. If the spine is healthy, the body needs no help in healing. It does the healing."
The main procedure is "spinal manipulation," or "adjustments" which restore mobility by applying force into joints that became restricted – as a result of injury -- caused by a traumatic event or through repetitive stresses - causing inflammation, pain, and diminished function.
Manipulation, or adjustment of the joint and tissues, alleviates pain and muscle tightness, and allows tissues to heal.
"It should be tried first ahead of drugs and surgery," Dr. Del Monte says.
The focus is therefore on spotting and curing "vertebral subluxations", said to be the cause of many diseases. Sometimes chiropractic assumes the sole cause of an individual's health problems are subluxations.
These subluxations, commonly caused by birth trauma, childhood falls, accidents and all types of stress, reduce the function of the areas supplied by these nerves.
Nerve pressure can affect areas that are directly supplied by those nerves: muscles, bladder, prostate or heart; they can affect the entire body because of the relationship that each cell, organ and system share.
Straight chiropractors believe vertebral subluxation leads to interference with "Innate Intelligence" and is a primary factor for diseases. These subluxations are not only structural displacements, but signs and symptoms of the spinal column that create a dysfunctional segment which alters neurological function, which leads to disorders.
The subluxations show up as symptoms which doctors call various names before they prescribe some drug to mask the symptom.
Names such as irritable bowel syndrome, whiplash. Migraine, tension and cervicogenic headaches. Knee osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, dizziness. Adult scoliosis, ADHD/learning disabilities, high blood pressure, vision conditions, baby colic, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, kinetic imbalance, epileptic seizures, menstrual cramps, pelvic and back pain during pregnancy, asthma.
Straight chiropractors are concerned not with these names but with the correction of vertebral subluxations.
Straight chiropractors like Dr. Del Monte adhere to the principles set forth by D.D. and B.J. Palmer and admit not everything can be reduced to what science can prove. Dr. Del Monte, like his predecessors, D.D and B.J. Palmer, emphasize the body's Innate Intelligence.
Chiropractic however does not require your belief that some Innate Power is helping you.
For I am yearning to visit the limits of the all-nurturing Earth, and Oceans, from whom the gods are sprung.
In 1910, D.D. Palmer theorized the nervous system controlled health. He said, "Nerves carry impulses outward and sensations inward. The activity of these nerves, or rather their fibers, may become excited or allayed by impingement, the result being a modification of functionality—too much or not enough action—which is disease."
A spinal manipulation or adjustment therefore is used to correct the problem. It is a passive, manual maneuver during which a three-joint complex is taken past the normal range of movement, but not so far as to dislocate or damage the joint.
Its defining factor is a dynamic thrust, a sudden force that causes an audible release and attempts to increase a joint's range of motion.
The first chiropractic patient of D.D. Palmer was Harvey Lillard who had severely reduced hearing for 17 years, which started following a "pop" in his spine. A few days following his adjustment, Lillard claimed his hearing was restored.
In 1898 Palmer began teaching students at his new Palmer School of Chiropractic. His son B.J. took over the Palmer School in 1906, and expanded enrollment.
By the 1930s chiropractic was the largest alternative healing profession in the U.S.
Dr. Del Monte, born and raised in Niagara Falls, attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport. He was taught by the last of the first generation of the students of the Palmers.
"It's the finest chiropractic college in the world," said Del Monte. "People from all over the world travel to this school to get their Doctorate of Chiropractic."
After graduating Dr. Del Monte started his practice in 1986.
"Chiropractic means to work with your hands. My art of Chiropractic is all done by hand.
"When the vertebrae misalign they interfere with the disc and/or the nervous system. So when you have a disc problem, say a herniated disc, or a bulging disc causing bio-mechanical issues, that's a chiropractic problem.
"We believe that the body can be self- healing if it's allowed to. Once the nervous system gets interfered with, it interferes with that ability to self-heal, so by putting the vertebrae back into the proper alignment which is done by a chiropractic adjustment as a manipulation, we push the bone back into place through our hands and manipulation, re-center it and take the irritation off the area. Once the irritation is off, the body heals. I don't heal you, you heal yourself and once it heals, your body starts to work and operate the way it should.
"When patients come in for back and neck pain, they often find other things improving: their blood pressure might start going down, their headaches might go away, their bowel/bladder problems might clear up; their indigestion might go away.
"Your nervous system controls and coordinates every function of your body and for the most part every nerve comes from your spinal column. If your spinal column goes out of alignment, it can interfere with your heart, lungs, bowels, bladder, immune system; so we really work on the whole body.
"So, always, Chiropractic first, medicine second, surgery last. That's the way we feel that life should be and we would be a lot healthier in a society if we stopped medicating first. Medication should be the last thing, not the first thing you do."
The list of ailments Dr. Del Monte has seen his patients cured of - self healed - are nearly endless: Bowel/bladder problems, chronic colds, allergies, ringing in the ears, earaches, bed wetting, sciatica, colds, fevers.
"There are a lot of reasons for sciatica," Dr. Del Monte explained. "The most common is due to your vertebrae in your lower back being out of alignment.
"So many times people come in with a cold or fever. We see an almost instant response- within hours. It's not like you are waiting days.
"Ninety percent of the time patients get favorable results. Rarely does a patient go to a Chiropractor and say 'it didn't work for me'
"Of course, some people just want their symptoms treated. They want me to treat them till their symptoms go away but not get to the underlying cause of the problem, which could be a disc problem or a degenerative disc. Depending on what the patient wants, is what I do for them."
An office visit is $35.
"I don't need a referral. I don't need a script. People do refer patients here, but I am primary healthcare. They don't have to go through their medical doctor. They just come and see me. They just call the office, " said Dr. Del Monte.
Here's the number: 716-285-0391."