Living Well

Treating the spine, easing the pain

lw thehoganfamilyA little bit goes a long way. That’s a key philosophy at Blue Mountain Chiropractic Center in downtown Waynesville. Good health doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Rather, it can be an easy stride with the right preventative measures in place, within your body and mind.

“For us, it’s how can we get this man, woman, child or senior to have their spine functioning at its best?” Dr. Michael Hogan said. “Even with degenerative diseases or arthritis, if the body functions better, you can take someone with those conditions and make them feel better, make them active again — let them be able to do what it is that they love to do.”

Focusing on the universal effects proper spinal cord health has on the human body, the center has become a place of refuge and solace for folks in search of chronic pain relief. 

“Even as time moves forward we can maintain a high level of health,” Hogan said. “As long as you push the right buttons, and provide the right input, you can develop good habits that will automatically overcome the bad ones.”

Sitting in his office, Michael, who operates the business alongside his wife, Dr. Tara Hogan, speaks enthusiastically and passionately when asked about the incredible well of good health that can be discovered through proper techniques found in chiropractic services.

“If you want to get into the nitty gritty of it all, we’re talking about cell function,” he said. “We’re taught in elementary school about what cells are and what their function is, how the cells respond, how they are controlled by the central nervous system.”

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With the mainframe of that system the brain, brain stem and spinal cord, Michael explained how electrical and chemical signals are constantly being sent back and forth throughout the body, to every organ and every tissue.

“The spinal column is one of the most complex examples of engineering on the planet, it’s more like a computer system than just a simple machine,” he said.

Spinal health is divided into two parts of study and treatment: the full spine and the upper cervical spine. Whereas being educated in just one side can take years of practice, Blue Mountain specializes in both.

“Dr. Tara and I are unique in that we do offer the best of both worlds here in terms of a technical approach,” Michael said. “And you’ll find our results a lot more consistent with both of those aspects available here.”

Now in its fifth year in business, the center has implemented a high-tech digital X-ray system known as the “pinnacle system,” which offers the most cutting edge technology available. 

“The degree of detail when you’re looking at someone’s spine is extremely high quality,” Michael said. “So, often we’re able to find things that may have been missed in the past.”

Michael himself is no stranger to pain. A longtime active athlete, he has had two knee surgeries and one shoulder operation, as well as severe sinus and allergy issues. And it was getting treatment from a chiropractor that not only changed his life, but also his career path — the Hogans each graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, the birthplace of chiropractic medicine in 1895.

“I got adjusted, and my back pain went away, sinus pain went away,” he said. “Chiropractic treatment is based on the idea that the body heals itself, where you have three cause of disease — mental emotional stress, chemical nutritional stress and physical stress. And yet, all the stress responses within the body are the same.”

Michael added that though the stress responses, such as histamines (which cause irritation, as seen in allergies), are meant to be in place, it’s when they don’t cease or calm down that becomes the source of pain. He noted that simple things like having proper posture or partaking in simple core exercises can make the biggest difference between lifelong comfort and discomfort.

“In terms of exercise, the human body is generally designed in a certain way, where if you improve function with exercise, it’s going to stabilize,” he said. “The body is always going to try and move towards health. It’s meant to be healthy, it’s meant to be active, and it will always move towards homeostasis — if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

With those healthy habits enforced over time, Michael noted how you will improve your digestive health, muscle imbalances and also eliminate an array of other medical disorders. 

“For a lot of people, it can be a psychological barrier between knowing what is right and doing what is right,” he said. “You sometimes end up hitting rock bottom, where you decide whether to go to the emergency room or to have surgery or to see a chiropractor.”

And through the years it never gets old for the Hogans to receive a phone call or in-person visit by one of their patients, who is now pain free and ready to claim the healthy body that is rightfully theirs.

“They tell us, ‘I feel better than I have in years or ‘I’m moving better than I have in years.’ We even had a lady today with tears of joy because here body was working correctly,” Michael smiled. “You’re body is like a car, if you take care of that car it’ll last you a long, long time — don’t wait until the engine explodes before you do anything.”

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