Chronic pain is America’s biggest health problem, and the number one reason people go to the doctor. According to USA Today, more than 100 million — more than 40% — of adult Americans suffer from it. It costs the nation more than $600 billion per year, which is more than diabetes, cancer and heart disease combined. Chronic pain is the result of negative environmental factors such as improper ergonomics, which causes misaligned posture, degeneration and cell dysfunction. Proper ergonomics and proper posture have a symbiotic relationship — preventing pain and establishing optimal efficiency.
When the body is out of alignment, the body feels weak. Consider the disabling positions imposed in martial arts that aim to weaken an opponent by placing the body in a misaligned position. This misalignment drains the body of energy and causes fatigue. When the body regains proper alignment — proper posture — strength returns. With increased strength comes increased productivity. The Bonacci Method focuses on improving posture and gaining strength by utilizing a complex sequence of maneuvers to realign the core structures of the entire body: the nerves, connective tissue, joints and muscles. The goal is to prevent pain, but if pain already exists, the goal is to release the pain and prevent its return. Living with pain means living with a constant distraction — the enemy of productivity. Pain leads to early fatigue.
We must first recognize that the body is not a collection of separate encapsulated elements, but a sophisticated entwinement of dynamic elements working together. Just as a properly functioning orchestra is made up not of instruments played in isolation, but each element playing together to make a harmonious sound. A multidisciplinary approach to preventing pain and injury embodies this idea.
As humans age, the body slowly deteriorates. The muscles atrophy, placing unusual stress on joints and nerves, and developing scar tissue and inflammation throughout the body’s fascia. This process inevitably causes pain, loss of strength, poor posture, decreased energy, and lower productivity at the workplace. Proper ergonomics will help, but if the body is in a debilitated state, it will remain a challenge to maintain or increase productivity. The Bonacci Method improves posture to allow for maximum efficiency of movement. Proper soft tissue, joint and nerve alignment results in less strain on the body, creating less irritation and inflammation. Specific exercise integrated with therapy can then help to maintain proper posture and strength. The resulting preservation of energy allows for greater endurance, higher morale and a healthier mood, all of which increase performance.
History and Evolution of The Bonacci Method
For many chiropractic physicians, the field of chiropractic has evolved since the days of the five-minute consultation and adjustment. The foundation remains well grounded in empirical research and a long tradition of anecdotal evidence. But as in all disciplines of healthcare, changes are made in baby steps as practitioners tackle clinical challenges and seek validation in scientific research. The practitioners who participate in this evolution recognize their craft is part science and part art. The Bonacci Method is a snapshot of the result of that pairing.
The Bonacci Method of Regenerative Alignment was developed over 15 years, the result of a steady stream of severe chronic pain patients. Most of them had been in pain for a long time and were told they would be on medication for the rest of their lives. Some were failed surgeries. Some had been in car accidents. Some had simply deteriorated from lack of exercise and poor diet. A chiropractic adjustment was not enough on its own to help these people. The adjustment restored alignment to the joint, but strained muscles and tight fascia pulled the body back out of alignment quickly. Drawing from physical medicine modalities and therapeutic procedures (PMMTP) to align the fascia and muscles, the beginning of the multidisciplinary approach began to take shape. These manual therapy techniques were combined with adjustments and patients began to respond well.
The technique for diagnosing the true origin of the pain is a focus and critical key to solving each complaint. Often the true source of pain evades traditional assessment techniques. The Bonacci Method of diagnosing helps identify well-hidden elements contributing to the pain, often with multiple sources. Assessing the pain is fluid, often overlapping into the therapy itself, from which the practitioner learns more as the rehabilitation progresses.
Every body is different, and every injury different, and therefore requires thinking outside the box to creatively find a sequence of therapeutic modalities that works. Over time the method has been honed to suit every situation, no matter the complaint. The Bonacci Method of Regenerative Alignment is gentle, flexible, fluid, dynamic and holistic. This means the patient takes on some responsibility in their own health.
One aspect of healthcare that often goes overlooked, and even directly opposed, is the primary agency of the patient in their own restoration to health. Part of the Bonacci Method is custom-tailored exercises. Exercises are based on observations that patients suffering from back, neck, arm or leg pain are not able to perform certain motions and activities. As therapy progresses, patients are gradually adjusted to perform a series of specific exercises.
The last components are diet and spiritual well being. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an integral part of wellness. When the whole body is functioning properly, proper ergonomics will additionally help prevent further pain or injury.