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New Science Behind Chiropractic Care


New Zealand Chiropractors Association
Media Release
23 November 2007

New Science Behind Chiropractic Care

Ground-breaking research1 has, for the first time, identified the actual changes that occur in the body, the nervous system and the brain during chiropractic spinal adjustments.

The study was conducted by award-winning Auckland researcher, Dr Heidi Haavik-Taylor. It demonstrates that chiropractic care sends signals to the brain that change the way the brain controls muscles.

“The process of a spinal adjustment is like rebooting a computer. The signals that these adjustments send to the brain, via the nervous system, reset muscle behaviour patterns,” said Dr Haavik-Taylor.

“By stimulating the nervous system we can improve the function of the whole body. This is something that chiropractors and their patients have known for years; and now we have some scientific evidence to prove it.”

Research findings
Dr Haavik-Taylor has spent the last seven years researching the effects of chiropractic adjustments on the nervous system. However, in her latest research, carried out in conjunction with fellow New Zealander, Dr Bernadette Murphy, she was able to measure how brain waves are altered before and after spinal adjustments.

“This is the first time that anyone has used EEGs to prove that there are definite changes to the way the brain processes information after chiropractic care.”

International awards
Dr Haavik-Taylor recently gained international recognition by winning an award from the World Federation of Chiropractic Research.

She has also just been awarded two grants from the Australian Spinal Research Foundation to further her studies on how chiropractic care affects the function of the nervous system and alters muscle function.

Earlier this year Dr Haavik-Taylor was recognised by her peers and awarded the New Zealand College of Chiropractic Alumni Chiropractor of the Year 2007 in recognition of her research and her passion for the discipline.

“Heidi’s work is ground-breaking on an international level by proving that chiropractic adjustments do alter and benefit the nervous system,” said Dr James Burt, president of the New Zealand Chiropractors Association.

ENDS / / /

1. Haavik Taylor H and Murphy B. (2007). World Federation of Chiropractic’s 9th Biennial Congress Award Winning Paper (3rd Prize): Altered sensorimotor integration with cervical spine manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, in press.


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