Chiropractic, much like learning a musical instrument, can take three to six months to make a lasting impression. (submitted)

Column: Three to six months is the essential window

How long does it take to learn a skill or change a physical part of you?

By Carl Weber

So you want to change part of your health? Learn a skill? Play a musical instrument? Learn a new language? Get fit? Change the alignment of your teeth? How long does it take to learn a skill or change a physical part of you in a real and lasting way?

Is it three to six days, three to six weeks, three to six months or three to six years? Drum roll please — the answer is three to six months!

Is chiropractic care any different? Think of the beating you have inflicted on your spine. Being first born and having to pave the way through that narrow canal for your younger siblings to follow, repeated falls on your tailbone as a toddler learning to walk, swinging only right to left in baseball, golf or volleyball, traumas to your spine in the form of car accidents or falls — they all add up and leave an impression. And it’s those repeated cumulative layers that create an injured or misaligned pattern even in the absence of any spinal discomfort or pain.

If you want to get a healthier spine, a spine that is supple and moving healthfully, it will take time. Your spine, your lifeline, should move well enough to slow down its own rate of degeneration. It should move enough to keep the buildup of decay from becoming degenerative arthritis. And the older you are and the more wear and tear that you have inflicted on your spine, the longer true healthful change will take to happen. Nor will it be easy.

If you begin naturopathy, physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, yoga, or pilates, expect to take two steps forwards and one step backwards. Each of the above health approaches will demand change in your tissues and as a result, your body may complain as it has to rewalk the path of some of its old injuries that were never truly fixed. But as you get deeper into your spinal care, by that three to six month period, you should feel more movement, more health, more life and more energy.

It will be worth it. Will it be now or later? Or have you had enough of later?

Aloha and peace

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