Do Adjustments Work?

How do we know if our adjustments are actually doing the thing that we want them to do? That’s a great question that a lot of our patients have, and I’m excited to answer it. Here at our office, we use something called Digital Infrared Thermography.

We use what are basically really fancy thermometers. When using them, we are measuring blood flow, blood vessels, and the heat that comes off of them. We know that’s a direct response — a direct window, if you will — to how your brain stem is trying to operate your body. In a healthy and happy state, all the blood vessels are pretty much the same size.

What we find, though, is that folks that are really under a lot of stress, if they’re in that kind of fight or flight kind of process that we talk about, the blood vessels will actually change size, just like if your pupils change size.

How Do We Know They Work?

When our blood vessels dilate during a fight-or-flight response, that is a sign that something’s wrong inside your nervous system, and so we can measure that; measuring it is super easy to do. We use a thermal camera.

We see if the patient is in need of an adjustment, and note if they’re in that fight or flight response; if so, we adjust, and then after the adjustment, we measure again. We should get dilated, off-centered blood vessels back to zero. We look at graphs to decide if we’re making progress.

It’s really important to know if what we’re doing is working, so that we can make sure that our patients are truly getting out of that fight or flight response and into that nice rest, digest response, so their body has chance to heal and repair.

We can measure a patient on any given visit, and if their pupils are dilated or their blood vessels are dilated — guess what? We don’t adjust them, because that means it’s still working from last time, and then we can push their visits further and further. It’s a sign that we’re making real progress.