Move that body with chiropractor Martin Camara

Move that body
By Walter Ang
February-March 2010 issue
Garage Magazine

Anyone can suffer from bone and muscle problems: young or old, physically fit or not. From athletes to people who sit behind desks at work, no one is immune to stress, tension, overexertion and other factors that can cause misalignments in the spine. These displacements may cause irritation to the nerves surrounding the spine, resulting in various malfunctions in the body like slip disc, scoliosis, back or shoulder pain, etc.

Through chiropractic treatment, conditions that affect our bones and muscles, ligaments and cartilage, and even the nerves, can be dealt with. "Chiropractic emphasizes diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine," says chiropractor Dr. Martin Camara.

Camara studied chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic-West, California and graduated Cum Laude. He has served as part of a chiropractic expert panel for the World Health Organization and has been a sports doctor and chiropractor for the Turino Winter Olympics 2006, Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Asian Indoor Games 2009.

One of the treatments most equated with chiropractic is spinal manipulation. It operates on the principles developed by Daniel David Palmer more than a hundred years ago. Palmer believed that the body has a natural healing ability and that misalignments of the spine can interfere with the flow of energy needed to support health.

"The goal of chiropractic therapy is to normalize this relationship. Unlike conventional medicine approach which is to focus more on treating the symptoms rather than the cause, we always begin by looking for positive aspects to build wellness upon. We identify the potentials that the person still has and then maximize those potentials," Camara says.

If misalignments in the spine are detected, the chiropractor will generally apply a gentle force to correct this. Treatments help improve spinal structure, and therefore, posture, too. "When a body regains its normal range of mobility, it becomes more efficient. Pain is relieved and performance is improved," he says.

Aside from the obvious reasons why patients seek out this kind of treatment like pain relief, there are "good side effects" that are borne out of the treatments. "Patients find that they sleep better, can breathe better or feel more energetic," he adds.

Camara notes that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. "Things like posture and improper sleeping or sitting positions are seemingly small, insignificant events that actually add up cumulatively over time to cause injuries. People can come in for preventative adjustments or maintenance," he says.

Camara heads Intercare Healthcare Systems, a health center that offers chiropractic as well as other related disciplines that aim to "help clients attain their own state of optimal functioning." While the main modes of treatment at Intercare involve manual therapy including manipulation of the spine, the center advocates a holistic approach and, therefore, also offers myotherapy, acupuncture, monitored exercise programs, and even health and lifestyle counseling, among many other treatments.

"We integrate traditional, medically-oriented models of care with alternative and complementary methods. We use several natural, drugless, non-surgical, and non-invasive disciplines and techniques to bring the body back into balance in order to alleviate the pain," he says.

Myotherapy is a form of deep massage used to reduce tension and pain originating at specific points in the body. Those points, called trigger points, form when muscle is damaged, such as may happen at birth, during athletic exertion, or in an accident. Trigger points can cause muscle spasms that lead to pain elsewhere in the body.

"Myotherapy releases muscle spasms, improving circulation and oxygenation of the muscles. This brings about proper function and a healthy tone to ailing muscles," says Camara. "Our team of myotherapists know the appropriate trigger points to treat for which affected muscle. This is something that typical massage therapists in spas are not trained to do."

Myotherapy is beneficial for a host of conditions from as simple as muscle tightness and sprains to more serious situations involving sciatica and scoliosis.

Camara also uses his own proprietary instruments called I-Smart (Intercare Specific Myofascial Active Release Tools) that help him identify problem areas in a patient's body. Camara developed these tools based on his training in the Graston technique, a healing method that uses stainless-steel instruments to detect and "break up" scar tissues that limit a patient's range of motion and cause pain. The Graston technique is used by professional sports teams, universities and healthcare institutions in the USA.

"These tools are like my stethoscope, they help me better feel what's wrong under the skin," he explains. "If you can imagine muscle fibers as thick ropes side-by-side and some ropes become misaligned due to injury or misuse, the I-Smart method helps realign these ropes," says Camara.

With the many treatment options available at Camara's disposal, patients needn't worry about which to choose. "We provide a personalized, comprehensive and multidisciplinary healthcare program customized to the patient's needs," he says.

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