Losing weight, feeling stronger, reducing pain. Many of us come to Pilates for different reasons. But the theme that connects us is the search for improved wellness. While regular Pilates and exercise are part of the wellness equation, there are other factors or puzzle pieces that need to be in place for optimal health.
One of these puzzle pieces is chiropractic care. Since we know that many people are curious about the benefits of seeing a chiropractor, we spent some time chatting with Dr. Gregory Lee – a chiropractic physician in Fairfax. Dr. Lee is a Northern Virginia native – a graduate of Annandale High School, Virginia Tech and later New York Chiropractic College.
Benefits of chiropractic care | Studio BE
Studio BE: What is chiropractic care? Are chiropractors “real doctors?”
Dr. Lee: That is a question I hear all the time. And it depends on what your definition of a real doctor is. If a real doctor means supporting health and wellness, then yes – chiropractors are real doctors.
What drives people into chiropractic offices is usually pain: headaches, back pain and neck pain and sports injuries. Chiropractic is great at supporting those issues, but the premise behind chiropractic is actually a pro-active health and wellness model centered around the spine.
Your brain and spinal cord control, communicate and coordinate every function in your body. It is your master system. Your brain communicates to the rest of the body through all the nerves that exit your spine. They control your muscles. They tell your muscles when to contract or relax. Those are the same nerves that control your heart, your lungs and your digestive system. The connection between the brain and the rest of your body is your spine. When you have a stress – whether it is physical, chemical or emotional  – that causes misalignments in the spine that we call “subluxations.”
Those misalignments cause pressure or interference in the nerves causing dysfunction  like muscle pain, numbness, shooting pain down your leg or even digestive issues, insomnia and anxiety. While chiropractic is not a cure all for these issues, it can support patients with those symptoms by clearing the communication system so that the body will heal itself. The body is designed to heal itself – but needs help clearing the interference or subluxation.
Studio BE: In Pilates, we try to retrain the incorrect muscle patterns that have been formed due to injury or repeated motor patterning. How do chiropractic adjustments facilitate this as part of a wellness plan?
Dr. Lee:  There are three different types of care: self care, health care and crisis care. Chiropractic care fits into healthcare as a proactive tool to avoid crisis care and optimize long-term well-being.
Self care involves everything that an individual can do for themselves from exercise (and Pilates) to eating right and sleeping for 7-9 hours each night. Health care can involve chiropractic care as well as massage and acupuncture whereas crisis care focuses on medicine and surgery. Our goal is to help people avoid the need for crisis care.
Studio BE: What brings most patients to a chiropractic office?
Dr. Lee: Most people come in to see me for symptoms like headaches, neck pain, back pain, knees, shoulder, ankle, foot, migraines, sports injuries and sciatica. What they realize after we work together is that these are just symptoms – like a fire alarm going off in the body. Fixing the symptom does not mean that the problem goes away. By focusing on the spine, our goal is to attack the root of the problem.
Studio BE: What if I am healthy? Do I need a chiropractor?
Dr. Lee: A lot of healthy people do not even realize that they have a subluxation. I use assessments to check the spine for stress. The definition of health is not merely the absence of disease. Optimal health and wellbeing are necessary for everything we do in life, so the goal of chiropractic care for an otherwise healthy individual is to treat interferences or subluxations before a negative cycle progresses and creates symptoms.
Studio BE: What tips would you give to someone that is looking for a chiropractor?
Dr. Lee: Ask questions. Ask the practitioner about their philosophy. Talk about your goals and ask how they might go about creating a treatment plan. It is good to ask about the long term of your symptoms or pain.
Studio BE: We know that you have tried Pilates. What do you love about Pilates for your own wellness?
Dr. Lee: I am pretty athletic and play sports. Pilates made me feel myself stronger “in the post” while playing basketball.
Learn more about Dr. Lee and his chiropractic practice.