The ‘Inside Out’ Approach

There are two ways in which a human being can be viewed: from the outside in or the inside out. Looked on from the outside by a physiologist or physician, human beings are very different from the beings they appear to be when they view themselves from the inside out. This living, self-sensing internalized perception of oneself is radically different from the externalized perception of what we call a body.

Thomas Hanna (1988)in reference to the distinction between the objective body and the body as perceived in phenomenological consciousness

I found the above quote earlier today while doing some reading. What it said to me about my profession is; Chiropractic is an ‘Inside-Out job’. Maybe you’ve heard this; either from myself or another Chiropractor, or some may not really understand what that means.

Perhaps the easiest way to explain this is using traditional medicine as the majority of healthcare regimens take the opposite approach; from the ‘Outside-In’. With traditional western approaches to health the ‘answer’ is to add something to the body, or possibly remove something from the body (i.e – surgery). This leaves the patient as a passive member in the treatment. In other words, they add a drug to their system in hopes that the body will change what is needed accordingly. The only responsibility on the patient is to ensure they follow directives.

Conversely an ‘Inside-Out’ approach puts the onus on the patients abilities to self regulate their body. In this approach the nervous system is left to do what it is designed to do; monitor and regulate healing where needed. Where Chiropractic comes into play is in the removal of interference (via structural shifts) to this vital system. You see, the nervous system has such a huge importance to the overall health of the individual that it is largely protected from harm via the spine/skull. When we get shifts in the spine in makes the nervous system work excessively at correcting this disruption. What ensues is a bit of chaos in the nervous system as signals to the brain from damaged tissue causes increases in things like inflammatory response. Excess inflammation in the body can then lead to a multitude of secondary issues.

The response I often hear when explaining a process like that is “why not just take an anti-inflammatory pill?”. Well… this comes back to the ‘Outside-in’ versus ‘Inside-Out’ approach to health regulation. In the ‘outside-In’ approach a medication is used to stop the production of inflammatory bodies, whereas in the ‘Inside-Out’ approach, the causative factor in the production of inflammation is addressed, and in turn inflammation is reduced.

Now, this is a very simplified view of how things go in the body, but I think a very easy way to show how well our body does in regulating what it needs. A very wise man once said “The body needs no help; just no interference” (BJ Palmer). With Neurostructural Chiropractic, at Aligned Chiropractic, we seek to remove spinal shifts that cause a reduction in the abilities of the body.

It may seem like it is ‘Inside out’ to some, but to others… it simply makes sense to let the body do what it does naturally where possible.