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 FAQ for Chiropractors

What is a chiropractor?

A practitioner of the system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints. (web Dictionary).

Chiropractors are primary health care professionals who focuson the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. A Chiropractor has received special training in manual adjustment techniques which they can use to adjust your spine and various other joints in the body, that may be causing health problems. This helps restore balance, address pain and optimise the flow of the nervous system improving mind-body communication.

What is chiropractic?

A system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are believed to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs. (Web dictionary)

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

The chiropractic adjustment is a procedure involving the use of the hands or small instruments to apply a controlled, sudden force to spinal and other joints in the body. The goal of the chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve spinal motion and your body’s physical function. (Mayo Clinic)

Will you crack my bones?

Yes we do and a lot of our clients love to call it ‘bone cracking’ and that’s how most people perceive it. However some clients prefer not to have the cracking and our highly trained chiropractors can use gentle techniques in this case and specialist equipment, to achieve the same end results.

The primary goal of the adjustment is to realign the body and this can be done with gentle techniques as well as deeper adjustments. The perceived ‘cracking’ is caused by nitrogen gas being released from between the joints, which releases pressure and helps realign the vertebrae and other joints. It’s completely safe like when someone cracks their knuckles per example, but in this case, it’s done in a more purposeful manner to help rebalance the body.

The cracking itself is actually not the purpose of the adjustments, simply a by-product. We also use softer techniques that will achieve the same result without cracking or cavitating as it’s known in the chiropractic world. Generally speaking, your bones will only be cracked ones they’ve been conditioned to do so, we may start with very gentle adjustments (no cracking) at first to build up towards some deeper adjustments at a later stage.

What services do you offer?

Our core services consist of advanced chiropractic care, through carefully delivered chiropractic adjustments to rebalance the body and promote postural correction. As part of this service, we also provide specific stretches and exercises to support the healing process.

We also offer a massage using a high grade luxury recliner chair.

Who are your chiropractic services for?

We provide care for people in all walks of life. Generally, however, our clients come to us because they are experiencing pain or muscular-skeletal and/or neurological imbalances. This can be at any age literally from a few weeks old babies to someone in their golden years, there is no age restriction.

If you experience pain it’s the body’s way of telling you that something is out of balance, something is dysfunctional. Typical issues clients present with are back pain, neck pain, whiplash, headaches, migraines, sciatica, and joint problems.

Some clients also see us because they want to improve and correct their posture and we help with this too, even if there is no pain currently.

What happens during chiropractic treatment?

“At your first appointment, the chiropractor will assess your symptoms to determine if chiropractic is suitable and what techniques are likely to help.


Chiropractors use different techniques to treat problems with the muscles and joints, including:

Spinal manipulation – using their hands to apply force to the muscles, bones, and joints in and around the spine

short, sharp thrusting movements

gradually moving your joints into different positions

pulling or stretching your muscles in different directions

Treatment isn’t normally painful, but some people experience a bit of discomfort. Tell your chiropractor immediately if you find it painful.

The General Chiropractic Council has a leaflet with more about what to expect when you see a chiropractor (PDF, 105kb).” (

Do chiropractic adjustments hurt?

‘Treatment isn’t normally painful, but some people experience a bit of discomfort’ (

The Chiropractor will generally advise on the use of heat and cold to minimize discomfort. In the same way that the body may experience discomfort after doing an exercise for the first time, the body may experience a similar sensation after the adjustment as mobility and range of motion are improved.

Where is the initial assessment done?

The initial 10-step chiropractic check-up, which usually lasts around 45 minutes, is done out our Richmond Hill Clinic. We have a private assessment room and dedicated x-ray room. All the tools, equipment and x-ray machine are thus on site. The environment is tranquil and conducive for performing the initial assessment comfortably.

Do you have an x-ray machine in the clinic?

Yes, we have a dedicated x-ray machine on site. Please note that x-rays will be taken if clinically required.

Are x-rays really necessary?

Only if clinically required. Our experienced chiropractor will conduct the 10-step initial assessment. The x-rays are part of that process, but only if clinically required. Where required the x-rays can add tremendous value by giving a level of insight otherwise not available.
There are cases where x-rays will not be taken regardless of requirements. This may be the case if you’ve had a lot of x-rays in the last 12 months or if you’re pregnant per example. You will never be asked to have x-rays done without prior consent and agreement. If the thought of having x-rays done concerns you please discuss it with your chiropractor during the initial visit.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

“Chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve spinal motion and improve your body’s physical function.” (Mayo Clinic)

Please note that there are some cases where it’s not safe but the Chiropractor has been trained to identify this. There is a reason medical history and other measurements are part of the initial 10-step assessment.

What kind of training and qualifications do your chiropractors have?

In the UK and around the world they have to successfully complete a 4-6 year Master Degree in Chiropractic to become a qualified Chiropractor also referred to as Doctor In Chiropractic. Chiropractors must be registered with the General Chiropractic Council to practice in the UK.

How much does chiropractic care cost?

That’s a really good question and one we get asked a lot. It is very different from person to person and depends on what you require and also on the type of results you want to achieve. We can give you a much clearer indication once we’ve conducted your initial assessment. Once we’ve completed our uniquely designed 10-step chiropractic check-up we’re in a better position to advise on a particular recommended course of action. One thing we can say is that our clients find we’re very competitively priced and that our care is affordable. We also work with some of the major health insurance providers which is one way some of our clients cover the treatment cost.

What days and times are you open for business?

Opening hours for the Clinic are as follows:

Monday               08:00 – 12:00 and 15:00 – 19:00

Tuesday               13:00 – 19:00

Wednesday          08:00 – 12:00 and 15:00 – 19:00

Thursday              13:00 – 19:00

Friday                   08:00 – 19:00

Saturday              08:00 – 14:00

Sunday                 Closed

How can I book my first visit?

You can use our dedicated booking line which is open 24/7. On our website there is also a booking page for the same purpose. 

24/7 Call Support NUMBER (Click to Call)

I need to change my appointment, how do I go about this?

We ask that you give us at least 24 hour’s notice. Simply call the clinic directly or if you’re calling out of hours please speak to our dedicated booking line who will assist you in this matter. Alternatively if you live nearby you can pop in to the clinic and simply tell us.

Do you offer telephone consultations?

Yes you can speak to our front desk who will answer most basic questions and assist you in booking your first visit. For a more in depth discussion please wait till the Initial 10-step chiropractic assessment has been completed so we can give a sensible answer in light of the results and the measurements.  

Do you work with health insurance providers?

Yes we have experience working with the leading health insurers such as: Bupa, Axa PPP, Vitality, Simply Health. 

Can chiropractors help with muscular issues?

Yes we can help. By getting the body realigned to an optimal position we allow the muscles to rebalance and heal. Also by removing nerve impingements the brain can communicate better with the body and activate and pre-activate your muscles more efficiently. There is a reason why top athletes such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady use chiropractic to be on top of their game; it optimises the body for athletic performance. For the rest of us this simply means, that with the help of chiropractic we can go about our lives to do what we love most, and do it with less effort and more vitality. Chiropractic also helps prevent injuries. 

I have an MRI can I bring it with me to the check-up?

Please do, we love MRI’s where possible, as they provide additional insight not available otherwise. If you bring the MRI we may still do a stand-up x-ray, if clinically required, as the biomechanics of the body is different when standing under normal load bearing circumstances. That way we have a complete picture and the MRI will give us an even fully understanding. 

What’s the distance from the train station to your clinic?

About 0.7 miles. It’s a 15 minute walk.

What’s the parking situation?

Parking is available off-road in front of the clinic and past the clinic first left on Ellerker Gardens.

When’s best to make a telephone booking?

You can ring us anytime 24/7 on our dedicated telephone line +44 (0)20 8948 9102

Can anyone call themselves a Chiropractor?

“Chiropractic is a registered primary health care profession with in the UK and the title of ‘chiropractor’ is protected by law, marking it is a criminal offense for anyone to describe themselves as any sort of chiropractor without being registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). To be eligible for GCC registration, UK graduates must have successfully completed a GCC recognized university degree programme.” (University of South Wales)

Can you explain advanced chiropractic to me?

Advanced chiropractic develops as a result of extensive training and clinical first-hand experience. The precision of the adjustments and varying speeds help create change in the most effective manner to rebalance and promote the healing of the body. Our highly trained chiropractors have been privileged to receive training from some of the most experienced chiropractors in the world and work with some of the largest providers.

What can cause my spine to misalign?

Excessive stress, poor posture, bad work habits, slips, trips, falls, accidents and trauma are some of the more common causes. Some of these can put a tremendous amount of force into your structure quite suddenly, causing postural changes and misalignment. As the body is subjected to mechanical and other stresses in everyday life, the body may slowly develop imbalanced muscle tension and cause movement in the vertebrae of your spine, causing misalignment. This typically results in inflammation and possible pressure on the surrounding nerves, disrupted nerve communication, accelerated wear and tear in specific joints and probably nerve irritation and pain.

What do you mean by alignment?

Alignment means that the muscular-skeletal and nervous system are arranged in such a way that creates proper posture and improved function and brain-body communication. This encourages all the different parts of the body to work together to deliver higher performance and promote health.

In the spine specifically, this means that the vertebrae are facing the right direction, seated in a balanced position to encourage equal weight distribution.

From the front of or back of the body the spine wants to be in a central straight vertical line. From the side however the spine, comprised of the vertebrae and discs protecting the spinal cord, should have four curves within specific ranges to promote optimal health and act as a natural suspension system. From the side we should be able to draw a vertical from ankle to the knee, hip, shoulder and ear.

What is a subluxation?

“Chiropractors usually refer to “vertebral subluxation,” which describes a problem related to the position of the vertebra in the spine. Subluxation is defined in chiropractic as “a partial dislocation, or a slight misalignment, of the vertebrae of the spine.” (3) You can think of a vertebral subluxation as the small spinal bones being improperly positioned or experiencing abnormal motion.

According to chiropractic theory, subluxation is the root cause of many health problems, including digestive issues, headaches, and pain. This is because subluxations negatively impact many biomechanical and physiological processes. Vertebral subluxation is thought to interrupt normal nerve communications between the brain and the body. Spinal manipulations are therefore performed by chiropractors to help realign vertebra, improve the brain-body connection, facilitate communication between different systems in the body, and prevent functional loss.” (

In the spine specifically, this means that the vertebrae are facing the right direction, seated in a balanced position to encourage equal weight distribution.

From the front of or back of the body, the spine wants to be in a central straight vertical line. From the side, however, the spine, comprised of the vertebrae and discs protecting the spinal cord, should have four curves within specific ranges to promote optimal health and act as a natural suspension system. From the side, we should be able to draw a vertical from ankle to the knee, hip, shoulder and ear.

What is a misaligned vertebrae?

This would be a vertebrae that is not positioned in its optimal position. A misaligned vertebrae can contribute towards reduced mobility, nerve impingement and inflammation which may lead to stiffness and pain. Chiropractic care works on locating the misaligned vertebrae and bringing them back into alignment to promote healing, restore flow of the nerves, remove nerve impingement, allow proper movement of the joint.

What is measurement-based chiropractic?

This means that as much as is possible we base all our assessments and subsequent care around the measurements obtained during our initial assessment. We use a rigorous uniquely designed 10-step chiropractic assessment to measure and quantify the muscular-skeletal and neurological imbalances as much as possible. This provides us with some objective data we use to monitor and track the progress and direction of the care. We therefore base both the assessment, diagnosis and care around the measurements, hence the term measurement-based chiropractic.

How can you help my neck pain?

The short answer is we can. To read more about neck pain and how we deal with cases of neck pain please read our dedicated section.

How can you help my back pain?

The short answer is we can. To read more about back pain and how we deal with cases of back pain please read our dedicated section.

How can you help my headaches?

The short answer is we can. To read more about headaches and how we deal with cases of headaches please read our dedicated section.

How can you help my migraines?

The short answer is we can. To read more about migraines and how we deal with cases of migraines please read our dedicated section.

How can you help my whiplash?

The short answer is we can help. To read more about whiplash please read our dedicated section.

How can you help me improve my posture?

We help by improving your posture to create better alignment through the skilled application of advanced chiropractic adjustments. As part of the care, we’ll also give you specific stretches and exercises to further encourage an improved posture.

How can you help me improve my balance?

Balance issues can take on a variety of different forms. Generally speaking balance issues are symptoms of some kind of imbalance in the body. As measurement-based chiropractors we want to clearly diagnose what’s causing your balance issues and formulate a care plan accordingly. We may refer you to other medical specialists. Always make sure to inform your GP.

My issue is not listed can you still help me?

To give you a general idea of other issues we may be able to help with please read other imbalances. The best way to find out though is to come in for a 10-step measurement-based initial assessment.

I’ve had back surgery can you still help me?

We have seen other clients who’ve had back surgery so it’s not a definitive exclusion zone. However to be certain it’s best if you come in for our uniquely designed initial assessment. Surgery can sometimes preclude us from working on a particular area but we may still be able to provide care in other areas that will provide support and encourage healing in the area that is off-limits.

I’ve had a neck surgery can you still help me?

We have seen other clients who’ve had neck surgery so in most cases we can still help. To get a definitive answer it’s best if you book yourself in for our uniquely designed 10-step measurement-based chiropractic assessment. From here we can give a clearer answer and understand possible limitations as well as opportunities for improvement.

How can Healing Hands Chiropractic Help me?

We can help you achieve better posture and alignment to promote healing in your muscular-skeletal system and nervous system. The body will, once alignment and mobility is restored, heal on its own. This is achieved by removing the blockage or misalignment that was disrupting the brain-body communication. We understand that each case is totally unique and what we say is always in general terms. To find out exactly how we can help you please book your 45min, 10-step initial assessment, also known as the First Visit, so we can give you a comprehensive, measurement-based answer.

How does the Chiropractic Process work at Healing Hands?

First you come in for a thorough initial assessment which consists of 10 uniquely designed steps. This will provide us with the measurements, medical history, images and other information to make an appropriate diagnosis.  Upon your second visit we’ll discuss the results of this initial chiropractic-check-up. If chiropractic care is appropriate for you we’ll recommend a healing program for effective chiropractic care.

Can I still have chiropractic care if pregnant?

Yes you can, in fact having chiropractic care can make the pregnancy a lot more comfortable for you. One thing we won’t do if you’re pregnant is to take x-rays, for obvious reasons.

Is there an age limit on who can receive care?

Not really. Chiropractic care can start as early as a baby of a couple of weeks old, right up to someone in his nineties or beyond.

What is the youngest age someone can start with chiropractic care?

A baby who is a couple of weeks old.

Can you explain why you do a 10-step initial chiropractic check-up?

For sure. We promote measurement-based chiropractic care. This starts with our uniquely designed 10-step assessment which provides us with key insights, measurements, medical history, scans, x-rays and images to help formulate a root cause diagnosis and understand related symptoms. For a complete overview of our 10-step check-up please read First Visit. The results of the initial assessment allows us to formulate an adequate healing program personalised for your unique requirements. This is one of the cornerstones of our practice. We refer back and compare against  those initial measurements when we assess the progress made.

How long does it take before I’ll notice an improvement?

That’s a great question and it largely depends up three key factors:

  1. The extend of your current issues
  2. Your particular body composition and make-up.
  3. How quickly your mind-body respond to chiropractic treatment.

Some of our clients report an instant improvement whilst others notice the improvement after they’ve done several sessions. We do measure at regular intervals to compare against the results of the initial assessment so we can see how the mind-body have improved.

Are the results delivered lasting?

Good posture and realignment creates a semi-permanent postural change. It’s semi-permanent which means that in order to maintain it you have to at least make an effort to do things as well as you can. This includes how you sit and do daily activities, and we recommend regular check-ups and visits to keep you on track. When you go through the healing process you make an important investment in yourself and through the process your posture is aligned and your awareness raised to new heights when it comes to having good posture. So generally speaking all by all you’ll never be the same again. We realise that some professions may require you to do activities and exercises that are not favourable to good posture in which case maintenance adjustments may be advisable.

Can I bring my child with me to the appointments?

Yes absolutely, we are a family friendly clinic. We have a dedicated children’s corner to keep your child entertained whilst you are adjusted. Your child is also allowed to be where you are whilst you get adjusted it’s perfectly fine.

Can I bring my dog with me to my appointments?

Yes totally, we are a dog friendly clinic…and we mean it. =) We have a water bowl and treats at the top of the stairs or outside the clinic. Your furry friend can be next to you when you get adjusted.

Deep Tissue Massage FAQ

Can I have deep tissue massage when I´m sick?

Generally­­­­­­ it is not advisable to have a deep tissue massage if you are unwell but all individual cases are different. Please feel free to contact Martin at Healing Hands Chiropractic to schedule a free telephone consultation on tel. 020 8948 9102.

Do deep tissue guns work?

If used by a professional they can be of some benefit but there is no substitute for an experienced and professional pair of hands.

Do you ache after deep tissue massage?

Because of its nature deep tissue massage must reach the deeper musculature, therefore some discomfort will be unavoidable. The majority of people will ache the following day.

Do you feel tired after deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage can be quite taxing on the body, especially if it´s your first time or an especially long treatment, so some tiredness should be expected.

How does deep tissue massage work?

Deep tissue massage works by releasing tension and adhesions on the more profound/deeper muscles of the body. To do this the therapist must work around, between and sometimes through the more superficial/surface layer of muscle. Firm but measured, pressure and strokes are applied causing the separation of adhesions and/or relaxation of the targeted muscles.

How long after deep tissue massage can you exercise?

That really depends on the muscles worked and the type of exercise you would like to do. Generally speaking it´s best to wait 48 hours after a treatment but your therapist will be able to advise you on specifics and even recommend some form of exercise to aid in rehabilitation/recovery.

How many times a week can I have deep tissue massage?

I would recommend a maximum of 2 treatments in 1 week as deep tissue massage is quite intrusive and the body needs time to recover. That is if the massage treatment relates to the same area being treated at each visit. If you have more than one issue that requires deep tissue therapy then by alternating the areas being treated sessions could theoretically be closer together.

How much does deep tissue massage hurt?

That will depend on the area being treated, the pain tolerance of the client and the severity of the problem but it is safe to say that some degree of discomfort should be expected. For example sensitive areas can include the calf muscles, quadriceps and the trapezius but again this is very individual.

How much water should I drink after deep tissue massage?

A well hydrated muscle will recover much faster than a muscle that is suffering from even slight dehydration. I would recommend 3-4 glasses of water in the first 2 hours after treatment and then 1 glass every hour after that (on the day of the treatment)

Should deep tissue massage leave me with bruises?

The short answer is NO. However some people are much more susceptible to bruising than others, if you are one of these people then your massage therapist must be made aware of this before your treatment.

Should I eat before deep tissue massage?

I would not recommend that you eat less than an hour before your treatment but you should not come to a treatment hungry or light headed because you have not eaten. A light snack to avoid feeling faint should not cause any problems.

Should I apply ice after deep tissue massage?

If ice is required after your treatment your deep tissue massage therapist will advise you.

What are the benefits of deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage restores elasticity to tight muscles making them function more efficiently. This means reduced effort and increased energy and performance. Deep tissue massage also releases adhesions. Adhesions are literally incidences of muscle, fascia and tendons being stuck to the structures around them, usually caused by inflammation. Releasing these adhesions means recovery of a full range of motion and therefore more power in the affected muscles. All of this adds up to a big reduction in pain and discomfort.

In the case of sports, for both men and women, this means shorter recovery from intense training sessions and injury, less incidents of injury and improved performance in their given sport.

When should I get a deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage therapy is much more effective if done at regular intervals, ie. as maintenance or as part of a training programme. Alternatively you should speak to a therapist if you notice the onset of muscle stiffness or fatigue, don´t wait for the problem to become chronic or turn into an injury, “Prevention is better than cure”.

Does deep tissue massage help with cellulite?

The long deep “warm up” strokes of deep tissue massage can help with a reduction of cellulite but that is not the primary purpose of deep tissue massage. There are specific massage therapies for the treatment and reduction of cellulite.