by Joanna Atherfold Finn

Most of us have some idea that chiropractors are allied health professionals who use adjusting techniques to help ease pain, but what else can chiropractors assist with and what is their philosophy? To find out more, we caught up with chiropractor Dr Michael Dunn.

Michael recently joined the allied services team at Anna Bay Specialist Rooms. He brings a wealth of knowledge with over 40 years’ experience as a chiropractor. His wife, Diane is his office manager.

After completing a five-and-a-half-year degree and graduating in America, Michael moved to Australia in 1979 and worked with one of Melbourne’s leading Obstetricians at the Hawthorn Birth and Development Centre – Australia’s first Natural Childbirth Centre, where he performed a range of chiropractic services, predominantly correcting spinal misalignments. He worked in the Hunter region at his Wellness Centres before moving to Port Stephens in 2018. Michael joined the team at Port Stephens Chiropractic and Yoga, and now enjoys his own practice.

Chiropractors are aligned to the philosophy that the body has the capacity to heal itself.

“Physiotherapists generally work more in the area of rehabilitation, so they do a lot of muscle work and rehabilitative exercises,” Michael said.

“With chiropractic care the focus is on the nervous system, which affects every part of the body.”

The nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord and it controls all body functions. We all have around 15 billion nerve cells sending and receiving messages through the spinal cord, so interference can have serious implications.

When our spine is healthy and aligned, spinal nerves can do their job, but misalignment, whether due to poor posture, an accident or injury, can block nerve impulses and ultimately lead to nerve damage. Most damage occurs at an early age; research reports that children by the age of five have at least 2000 falls, and then comes sporting injuries and work-related stress. Recent research reports that the use of electronic devices at a very young age has created poor neck and upper back stress in our younger population.

Correcting imbalance can not only improve outcomes for injuries that lead to chronic back pain, but also problems that many who work in office jobs experience such as neck pain, headaches and associated dizziness. 

Though it may be instinct to pop a pain killer, the issue may stem from the spine and subsequent pressure on supporting muscles and nerves. Chiropractic treatment can ease pain, improve range of motion and help restore the body to optimum functionality.

There may also be flow-on effects from chiropractic treatment.

“As people receive chiropractic care they realise we may help their immune system. Their body fights things better,” Michael said. “That is something that many people would not be aware of.”

Michael stresses that chiropractic care should not be painful. His personal philosophy is aligned to gentle adjustments.

With that in mind, this What’s On In Our Backyard team member with a bad case of “office neck” was more than happy to have an initial consultation. Michael asked me to complete a personal case history and we chatted about my extensive range of symptoms. He also gave me an X-ray referral. This was followed by a foot scan with Michael saying, “If you have a foundation that’s crooked, you’ll get cracks in the ceiling.”

The subsequent chiropractic scan tested things like range of motion and muscle strength. Michael then used an activator adjustment instrument which gives a gentle impulse force
to assist in restoring motion. The pain factor was zero.

Remember to always check a practitioner’s registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).