What Does a Chiropractic Acupuncture (DABCA) Specialist Do?


The holistic therapies of both chiropractic care and acupuncture are designed to eliminate pain and improve function without the use of drugs or surgery. So it’s natural for these two therapies to work in conjunction with one another, and a Chiropractic Acupuncture (DABCA) specialist employs the benefits of each to treat patients.

Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that works with the energy that flows along the body’s meridians. This energy can become blocked, leading to pain and dysfunction. The insertion of very fine needles (which can usually not be felt) at specific points along the meridians is used to clear these blockages and restore the free flow of energy once again. Chiropractic works in a similar way, in which the impulses that travel along the nerves sometimes become blocked by vertebral subluxations, which are corrected by a chiropractic adjustment.

Chiropractic acupuncture has been around since the late 1960s, and has gained a greater following with the increased awareness of the benefits of drug-free therapies that are more effective and less harmful than conventional treatments. According to the Council for Chiropractic Acupuncture (CCA), chiropractic acupuncture refers to “the art, science and philosophy of treating disease and injury by stimulating specific energy modulating points on the skin and is an approved specialty within the chiropractic profession. Methods of stimulation include, but are not limited to: needle insertion, electrical stimulation, light, heat and pressure. Chiropractic acupuncture treats a wide variety of health conditions which includes all systems and tissues of the body and focuses special attention to the relationship between the spine, nervous system and the meridian system.”

There are a number of chiropractic colleges, postgraduate courses and state associations that are accredited by the CCA where a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) can receive the training and credentials necessary to specialize in this field. The American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture (ABCA) was created to ensure that safe, effective and knowledgeable practitioners were properly trained to meet nationally recognized standards in chiropractic acupuncture.

In order to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture (DABCA), the ABCA has a number of requirements that must be met by DCs. First, they must complete a minimum of 300 hours of postgraduate training in chiropractic acupuncture. The first 100 hours consists of basic acupuncture training, of which 60 percent is lessons and 40 percent is hands-on training. The second 200 hours must be at least 30 percent hands-on training, with the rest consisting of lessons, 90 percent of which must be done on-site (10 percent distance learning is allowed).

So to enjoy the benefits of both chiropractic and acupuncture, look for a DABCA chiropractor in your area and find out what he or she can do for you!

Want Stronger Bones? Weight Training Can Help!


As we age, we normally lose a certain amount of bone density. This is a particular problem for postmenopausal women due to the loss of estrogen, which protects against bone loss. Although men are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis (because their bones are generally larger and more dense), they can also be subject to bone loss if they do not get a sufficient amount of exercise. So what can be done to avoid it? Along with a healthy diet, studies have shown that weight-bearing exercise can help to maintain bone density as we age.

Professor of exercise science at California Lutheran University, Dr. Steven Hawkins, says “Exercise stimulates bone formation, because bone put under moderate stress responds by building density, and, depending on your age and workout regimen, it can either increase or maintain bone-mass density.”

Weight training (also referred to as strength training) increases bone mass, particularly that of the spine. A study performed by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, showed that postmenopausal women who do not participate in strength training lose bone mass. However, those women who participated in a year-long strength training program increased their spinal bone mass by nine percent.

Strength training does not mean you have to go to the gym every day and train to Olympian standards. It only requires regularly performing a variety of simple, weight-bearing exercises. Much as a muscle becomes larger and stronger the more you use it, bones become stronger and denser the more stress that is placed upon them.

Gary Null, in his book Power Aging notes “Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity.” And for those who’d rather not spend any time around a gym, “Dancing, stair-climbing and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote (good) mechanical stress in the skeletal system, contributing to the placement of calcium in bones.” But what about aerobic exercises? While they are very good for your cardiovascular system, Aerobic exercises such as biking, rowing and swimming do not strengthen the bones” as they do not place enough stress on the skeletal system to stimulate bone growth.

You only need about 15-30 minutes of weight training two or three times a week to help maintain your bone density. You can use weight machines at the gym, or consider attaching some light weights to your arms and legs as you do a regular workout to increase the stress on your skeletal system. Even gardening can be a good way to help preserve bone mass, as it involves such bone-strengthening activities as pulling weeds, pushing a lawnmower or wheelbarrow, turning over soil, etc. Even something as simple as carrying groceries to and from the car can help.

So consider adding a little weight training to your daily routine so you can maintain your bone health and (with a bit of luck) remain fracture-free far into your later years.