Mark Teixeira has been the New York Yankees’ first baseman since 2009. At 32 years old, Teixeira’s physical condition is very important to him, which is why he uses the regular services of his chiropractor, Gil Chimes, who is one of the Yankees’ team chiropractors and who is the clinical director of a thriving practice, Greenwich Sports Medicine, in Greenwich, CT. Teixeira visits Chimes once a week for a two-hour session.

Teixeira says, “Some people would call it anal, but I like things done a certain way.” Like any high-performance Mark-Teixeirainstrument, such as a Lamborghini or a Stradivarius, Teixeira believes the body of an athlete needs top care. He says, “You need to continue to tune it to make sure it’s perfect for every show or game or however you want to put it.”

And Teixeira is adamant about treating his body holistically by eating right (he prefers fish, vegetables, raw juices and smoothies to steak and potatoes) and taking advantage of drug-free therapies. This includes therapies such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, Active Release Technique (ART) and the Graston Technique. “When you think about all the anti-inflammatory drugs that are pumped into athletes’ bodies, it’s really sad,” Teixeira says.

Muscular imbalances and repetitive stress can create scar tissue in the muscles and fascia that support them, which can entrap nerves and reduce range of motion. Top athletes such as baseball players are particularly prone to this type of problem, and it can impact their performance. Chimes uses ART regularly on Teixeira. He locates the area of contracted muscle and presses down firmly at precise spots with his thumbs. This makes the knotted muscle or scar tissue relax and release any trapped nerves, relieving pain and restoring range of motion.

Similar to ART, Chimes uses the Graston technique on Teixeira to further release tension and repair damage to the soft tissue. For this, a small metal bar is used to break down the scar tissue that has built up over time.

Teixeira says of Chimes, “If I had my way Gil would be with me every single day of the year. He didn’t travel with the team last year, but if he had, I wouldn’t have had that calf injury, or at least it wouldn’t have been as bad.”

Teixeira has spent the early part of the 2013 season recovering from a tendon injury in his wrist that he acquired during spring training, but his rehabilitation has been going well and he expects to be back in the game any day now.

Though the practice of chiropractic is relatively recent in terms of medical treatment, its theory has ancient roots. Hippocrates advised physicians to “get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” Despite this admonishment, the theory of the proper alignment of the spine as being integral to good health did not come into practice until the magnetic healer Daniel David Palmer healed someone by performing a spontaneous spinal adjustment in 1895.

According to the story, Harvey Lillard, a janitor in his office, was working late one night when a particularly noisy fire engine passed by. Palmer noticed that Lillard had not reacted at all, so tried to speak with him, at which point he realized the man was deaf. Lillard related that although he had enjoyed perfect hearing for most of his life, he had been deaf for the past 17 years after he had been working stooped over and heard a “pop” in his back. When he straightened up he discovered he had suddenly become deaf.

When Palmer ran his hand down Lillard’s spine he noticed that one of Lillard’s vertebrae was out of place. He wrote later in his medical journal, “I reasoned that if that vertebra was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored. With this object in view, a half hour’s talk persuaded Mr. Lillard to allow me to replace it. I racked it into position by using the spinous process as a lever, and soon the man could hear as before.” And thus the first chiropractic adjustment was performed.

Palmer coined the term “chiropractic” from the Greek terms “chiro” (hand) and “practic” (practice). Though Palmer established the first school of chiropractic, the Palmer School & Infirmary of Chiropractic, in 1898 to a public eager to explore alternative medicine, it met with a significant amount of opposition, primarily from the traditional medical establishment. The American Medical Association (AMA) accused Palmer of practicing medicine without a license, and was jailed for 17 days.chiropractic history and origin

D. D. Palmer’s son, B. J. Palmer, took over the school from his father in 1906 and increased the student enrollment. B. J. maintained that chiropractors did not diagnose or treat disease, but rather “analyzed” the situation and performed “adjustments” of spinal subluxations. This did not appease the AMA, who continued for decades to discredit the practice and harass its practitioners both socially and legally.

Finally, in its landmark 1987 ruling in the case of Wilk vs. AMA, the court ruled that the AMA had “engaged in unreasonable restraint of trade and conspiracy,” effectively putting an end to the AMA’s witch hunt. A number of studies done in recent decades have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic, particularly in cases of low back pain, neck pain and headaches.

Today’s Walnut Creek chiropractors continue D. D. Palmer’s commitment to establishing a relationship with their patients and treating them in a holistic way that eases pain and restores quality of life without the use of drugs or surgery.

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