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Why choose chiropractic care from an NZCA member chiropractor?

Excerpts from an interview with Dr Lloyd Buscomb, a chiropractor with more than 30 years general practice experience and the current Vice President of the NZCA.

Choosing the right health professional can be challenging.  Let’s see if an NZCA chiropractor is right for you.

What is the New Zealand Chiropractors Association [NZCA]?

The NZCA is a member organisation of chiropractors and has been in existence since 1922.  Our members are governed by our rules and regulations and participate in ongoing formal education and in local groups to maintain and improve competence and skills.  You will find NZCA chiropractors throughout New Zealand in almost every location. Find a Chiropractor here

Are your members registered health professionals?

Our members are Government registered health professionals so you can feel confident that they meet required standards and if for any reason an issue arises, you are protected with regulated complaints processes.  The title Chiropractor is protected by law and there are heavy fines for people who attempt to practice chiropractic without registration. See NZCB here

What is the basis for chiropractic practice?

Chiropractic is a primary healthcare profession concerned with the relationship between structure (primarily of the spine) and function (primarily of the nervous system) as that relationship may affect the restoration, preservation and promotion of health and well-being.  Chiropractic principles recognise the inherent recuperative power of the body.

What education do your members receive?

Our members consist of chiropractors from around the world.  Increasingly our members are graduates from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic [NZCC] but you will find many from Universities in Australia, America, U.K. and South Africa.  Study is 5 years full time university.  At the NZCC students complete one year at Auckland University of Technology [AUT] and four years at the College.  Members are then required to meet minimum requirements each year for continuing professional development education [CPD].

I notice you use the title “Dr”, are you a Doctor?

Our member chiropractors are entitled to use the title Dr; however, it needs to be qualified by including chiropractor so as not to confuse with other Drs of various sorts.  It is a title which recognises the length and breadth of study and primary health care status.

Can I be confident that one of your members will know how to manage my case?

Your NZCA chiropractor is educated and skilled to understand your health history, perform a thorough examination and develop a management plan to assist you to better, natural health.

What can I expect?

Informed consent is an important aspect of your chiropractic care which may involve techniques known as adjustments to help integrate joint function.  You may also be given exercise or dietary advice and recommendations for natural supplements to augment your care.

How old do I need to be to see one of your NZCA chiropractors?

Age is no barrier to attending one of our NZCA chiropractors.  From the very young to the very old and everyone in between, there is an opportunity to benefit from chiropractic care if determined appropriate for you.

Will I need a referral from my GP?

A referral is not necessary and our members are ACC registered providers.  Conditions outside of our scope of practice can be recognised and appropriate referrals arranged.  Our members are dedicated to ensuring you obtain the best chiropractic care and recommendations for other care as required.

I am a little nervous about seeing one of your chiropractors.  You hear stories.  Is it safe?

All health care procedures have a certain degree of risk.  Chiropractic care is remarkably safe and effective.  Many people will experience minor reactions to care such as stiffness or aching which subside within hours.  When compared to risks associated with surgery or medication chiropractic care is extremely safe.  Your chiropractor will discuss any potential difficulties related to your case so that you can make an informed decision.

What conditions do your members treat?

Chiropractic is not a system of treatments for diseases or conditions.  We aim to improve the “brain/body” connection and improve body balance and function to help ensure optimum effectiveness.  There is an old saying: “You feel fine when your spine is in line” which refers to the fact that a properly functioning body and nervous system maximises the body’s natural healing mechanisms and many so called conditions or ailments.  People’s symptoms will often improve under chiropractic care but the primary focus of our member chiropractors is to ensure you are functioning optimally so that you get well and stay well.

So who goes to a chiropractor?

Commonly you will see chiropractic associated with conditions like neck pain, back pain, headaches, migraine and sciatica.  As registered health professionals we are not in a position to use testimonials or make particular claims for effectiveness.  Individual cases will vary and clearly it is best to speak to your NZCA chiropractor about your particular case.  The following might give you some guidance.

  • Some people will seek out an NZCA chiropractor because of pain and once symptoms are gone and function restored they will carry on with their lives.
  • Others will present with pain, improve and continue with their chiropractor to help ensure ongoing good function and prevent relapses. A kind of “maintenance” or “supportive approach”. Obviously visits would be less frequent and timed for prevention.
  • Issues with the spine, nervous system and body function in general can occur at any time for many reasons.
  • Some people like to have their babies checked soon after birth as this can be a traumatic time and continue with check-ups as they grow and develop to correct any minor issues that may arise. It can be helpful to have the watchful eye of a health professional able to pick up problems that could arise or be troublesome in the future.
  • There is a growing trend towards “wellness care”. Your NZCA chiropractor is well placed to oversee your family from this wellness perspective. This will include chiropractic specific visits and in addition you will be likely to be offered assistance with lifestyle, exercise, supplementation and nutrition advice.

How do I go about making a first visit with an NZCA chiropractor?

  • Find one of our members convenient for you.
  • Ask around among the people you know and trust.  This is the most common way people choose a health professional.
  • Allow plenty of time for your first consultation.  With a detailed history and examination process this visit can take up to one hour depending upon the practitioner.
  • Be honest with your health history information.  Be clear with your expectations.
  • Ask questions and be sure to make informed decisions with our member chiropractor
  • It is often good to have a partner or support person with you; particularly when clinical findings are being explained.  This helps your understanding and have others “on board” with your needs.

I was once told very early in my career that people want to know the answers to four questions when researching health care options;

  1. What is wrong with me?
  2. Can you fix it?
  3. How long will it take?
  4. How much will it cost?

Clearly it is impossible to answer these very relevant questions in this forum as each individual case will be different.  What I can say is that in my experience, people generally find chiropractic care a very positive and rewarding experience.  Your NZCA chiropractor can become a long term, trusted member of your health care team.