Dr. Nona Djavid’s dad is a doctor, and her mother is a nurse. Other family members are doctors, as well. But to Djavid’s way of thinking, doctors are primarily dispensers of medication.
She wanted to do more. Djavid chose a career in chiropractic because she has always been fascinated by the brain and how it controls the functions of the body. Chiropractic, which focuses on the spine, deals directly with that relationship. “If you agree that your brain controls everything in your body, the only lifeline is the nervous system, which sits inside the spine,” Djavid says. “If there’s an interference with the nervous system, the particular organ controlled by a specific segment of the spine can’t communicate 100 percent back and forth. Disease will start to happen. You’ll develop lower back pain, for example, or even kidney problems.”
Djavid is convinced that if people could see their spines without X-rays, more people would seek out chiropractors. Because the spine is hidden under your skin, she says, “you don’t see how messed up it is until someone X-rays or examines it.”
According to Djavid, chiropractic is misunderstood. “Most people think it’s for neck and back pain. We help infertility, headaches and indigestion, too.” Djavid also offers corrective care, which means she uses procedures designed to return the spine to its normal structural alignment and prevent future problems.
Only a handful of chiropractors offer corrective care, which requires postdoctoral studies and certification. It also requires more staff and purchase of expensive equipment. Nevertheless, Djavid says, “I wish this were the standard of care for chiropractic.”
What can people do to take better care of their spine?
- “Be more conscious of your posture.” Hunching over a computer is bad for your back. So is sleeping on your side. “Try to sleep on your back,” Djavid advises. “It’s a more neutral position for the spine.”
- Also be aware of signs your body gives you that something is wrong. For example, if you have a headache, don’t just mask the pain; get to the root cause of the problem.
- Stay active. Yoga and pilates, in particular, are good for the spine.
Ideally, Djavid suggests, chiropractic should be part of your lifestyle. “Just as you take your car in for a tuneup, you should take your body in for an adjustment.”