Last weekend, Dr. Rachel and I traveled to the ‘burbs of Chicago, Illinois, to better our skills and knowledge of Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (DNS). We decided to drive the 10+ hours with a future college of ours, and as any chiro-nerd will do, we talked about topics related to our profession the entire time including: our shortcomings, our successes, expectations for this specific DNS course, and how to better integrate DNS into our chiropractic approaches. Like many things in life, it helps to put thoughts into words, so, this blog is a way for us to express what DNS and chiropractic is in our eyes, and also our goals to help better our Wichita community through combining them together.
DNS is not merely a collection of exercises, but a way of understanding and addressing the deepest aspects of human development and movement. DNS was created by Pavel Kolar, of the Prague School of Rehabilitation and Manual Medicine. DNS is based on how we, as a species, grow, develop, and thrive from birth to adulthood in regard to movement quality. Yes, we all can move (some better than others). However, as our weekend’s instructor said, “DNS is much like Google Maps,” it is a roadmap for movement.
As a species, we have this innate blueprint programmed within ourselves, which can easily be identified through the progression analysis of newborns to toddlers. Babies learn how to roll, crawl, sit, stand, and walk ultimately on their own, and it is well known there are certain milestones a child should tackle within certain timeframes. DNS is about understanding these movement patterns and integrating these deep-seeded, neurological patterns into a non-ideal pattern. There are certain “exercises” associated with DNS, however, once understood it is more about being able to recognize and integrate the principles into any movement pattern or exercise.
This question is honestly both harder and easier to answer than, “what is DNS?” Ask a family member, neighbor, or friend, and you will probably get three different answers describing what chiropractic is to each. Through school, chiropractic is taught as an “art, science, and philosophy.” Depending on a chiropractor’s personality and skill-set, they lean toward one aspect more than the others.
To us, chiropractic is a tool within a manual therapist’s tool belt. When used properly, it can be a very powerful and effective tool in restoring joint range of motion, decreasing pain, improving self-awareness, and improving the quality of life for millions of Americans. To me, chiropractic is a service, not a product. Improved wellness, fitness, and quality of life are the products. Chiropractic is a way to better an individual’s movement quality, first and foremost. There is countless research to date validating the effectiveness of chiropractic services and its effectiveness in modern medicine; it is no longer thought of as the ‘Wild West’. To us, chiropractic is a tool to better deliver a product of pain reduction, improved mechanics, improved performance, and improved wellness.
In my opinion, unifying chiropractic and DNS is an incredibly powerful approach that can produce even more powerful outcomes combined, than either can produce alone. Realizing that DNS is “Google Maps” for understanding and navigating through complex movement patterns, such as walking, allows for better outcomes. This road map approach allows you to identify traffic jams, abling you to re-route for a more timely and effective trip (a.k.a. pain reduction, improved performance, and improved quality of life). The chiropractic adjustment, or mobilization, allows the joint to “free up” any limitation in the motion within a joint and its surrounding soft tissue structures. The service of chiropractic is about understanding when the body needs additional input to restricted joints, to better allow the body to fully express itself.
In summary, “DNS is Google Maps” and the chiropractic adjustment, or mobilization, provided is a service to better allow the body to fully express this movement faster. Individually they are both great, but combined the results can be astonishing.
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