By Dr. Winn Sams

Dr. Winn Sams

Health applies to each of us on many levels. I think its importance is best stated by the World Health Organization’s definition. They say Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Most of us have never heard this definition and have been taught to believe the exact opposite. We have been conditioned to focus on illness and disease, with the absence of either one meaning health. Our current health-care paradigm is built on this belief and has contributed to much confusion. For real health to be experienced, we must include the well-being of our social, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical parts of ourselves. Would you believe Chiropractic can help integrate all of the above?

Let’s start with some background information. Chiropractic is a 127-year-old, doctor-level profession that serves as a direct access portal of entry into the healthcare system for millions of Americans of all ages. This means you don’t need a referral from an MD and we diagnose within our scope. We are able to refer out to other practitioners, when needed, given that our core courses are pretty much the same as medical school. We actually have more overall course hours in some subjects, so please don’t promote the illusion that we are not “real” doctors!

According to the Journal of Chiropractic Education, Vol. 15, No. 2: “Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, Doctors of Chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.”

Originally developed in the U.S., Chiropractic is now established in more than 50 nations worldwide. The basic principle of chiropractic science is that abnormalities and misalignments of the spine, can and do distort the normal function of the nervous system. This interruption in the vital flow of nerve impulses back and forth may create serious negative health consequences, since this is how your brain communicates with every part of your body to establish the dynamic nature needed to maintain and adapt your internal environments to the best possible health expression.

Chiropractic works on the basis of adjusting the spine and other parts of the body to remove blocks to the body’s natural “innate” healing ability, and holds that a drugs-free, hands-on approach best enhances this healing response. Even though most people come to my office because they are in pain, Chiropractic’s emphasis also focuses on wellness and quality of life, working with patients’ behaviors, environments and motivations to reach the highest level possible of pain-free function. This can take some time, however, as the body heals on its own timeline, which is not linear. What a difficult pill to swallow!

In my experience, our symptoms are only our bodies trying to tell us something is in dis-ease and the energetic impulses (communication via the nerves) are not able to move well. Just like a clogged hose, the water will start to move/expand outwards building more and more resistance if not allowed to flow again. Most people are terrified of pain. It brings up feelings of powerlessness, fear and worry. We just want it to go away. This just makes us angrier and more frustrated, adding fuel to an already inflamed environment. Did you know that the brain actually forms pain conduits that keep the pain going (even after the experience has long gone) until we pay attention to the message? Our usual way of paying attention is to reach for the quick fix of a pill or invasive surgeries/procedures to make the pain stop and achieve the ultimate goal which is to feel good again. This approach can often be used as a band aid for what is deeper and once again we ignore what our bodies are trying to say to us.

Would you believe that many of us are addicted to suffering/pain and do not even know it?  In this case, it doesn’t matter what you do to alleviate the pain or suffering unless the cause is addressed. Your nervous system is a memory bank, where default “tapes” play if not disabled. Chiropractic can change those internal pathways by allowing your parasympathetic system to calm things down, allowing you to feel different, even if it’s just feeling less burdened or stressed. For some, the outcome is miraculous with the symptoms just disappearing. Others take more time. Regardless, your body will heal better with more energy available that isn’t being devoured by systems being pushed or overtaxed.

In closing, let’s address the fear many have of Chiropractic. I understand. I was one of them. I hope it is clear we are well trained and qualified doctors. Many people don’t know there are many chiropractic technique choices. It is assumed all chiropractors use the typical “cracking and popping” techniques. I use a very gentle technique that allows me to adjust the whole body and provides a choice for those who prefer a gentler approach or need a less aggressive technique because of spinal conditions, surgeries or fusions. All chiropractic techniques work, however. It’s up to the patient to determine what works best for them.

If you’ve tried chiropractic and your pain didn’t resolve, you might believe chiropractic doesn’t work. I would suggest a different perspective of taking care of your nervous system as a necessary support for health, just like you would by visiting a dentist, so it can help take care of you!

Dr. Sams owns Beaufort Chiropractic, LLC on Lady’s Island in Beaufort, SC.  A native of Charlotte, NC with a B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill (1981), Dr. Sams graduated from Sherman College of Chiropractic in 2002 summa cum laude and valedictorian of her class. She has written legislation addressing health concerns, helping the bills pass in many states. Hoping to rebuild our healthcare system and bring governing back to the people, in 2020 she ran for Congress to represent western NC, where she was living before moving to Beaufort.  Dr. Sams’ vision is to provide a healing center where people can choose different modalities to assist with their healing needs. She practices with her oldest daughter who is also a chiropractor, an acupuncturist and a massage therapist in the Beaufort Chiropractic office.  Next door in her building are a mental health counselor, another massage therapist and reflexologist.  She can be reached at 843-522-1115 or at