A common question that we often get while we are adjusting our patients is “What is that clicker thing and what does it do?”
The clicker thing is called an Activator and is a small handheld tool that we use to adjust our patients. In addition to the Thompson drop table that we use, the Activator is another tool we use to help your body function better.
Before continuing, I would like you to read this small excerpt from a previous article posted on our blog to give you some background:
“We have receptors all throughout our bodies that send information to the spinal cord and then up to the brain to be processed. After processing the information, the brain sends a reply down the spinal cord, out through the nerves, and back into the body on how it should respond to the initial information. This all happens in a fraction of a second. The joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body contain a high number of these receptors. They detect movement, force of movement, and velocity of movement, all to help your brain to know where your body is in space and time.”
Click HERE for access to the full article on what Chiropractic is and how it works.
If you are more of a visual person, you can watch THIS short video to get an explanation for how chiropractic works.
It is currently not 100% understood just how the activator works compared to a manual adjustment; however, it is thought to be activating/resetting the same or similar body receptors as the manual adjustment does. So even though the Activator feels quite different from the manual adjustment, it has the same or similar effects. When and where we use it depends completely on the patient in front of us.
Some people, due to various reasons, respond better to a lower force and very specific adjustment such as the Activator. Other people respond better to the manual style. The fascinating thing we have seen in clinical practice, is that this might change from day to day in some people, based on life situations, stress levels, and general body tension. Other people have pre-existing conditions that might respond better to the Activator vs manual.
Often times it also comes down to patient preference. The more calm, relaxed, trusting you are as a patient, the better your body will respond to the physical input we give, whether it is Activator or manual. The neck in particular is one area where some patients might be hesitant to get an adjustment, simply because it is such an emotionally vulnerable area. So sometimes you might hear us ask “Would you prefer the Activator or a manual adjustment in your neck today?” This is to make sure that we know what you’re comfortable or not comfortable with. On occasions, if I have patients that are under a lot of stress and they have a lot of tension in their body at the time, I will highly recommend an Activator adjustment as the body might handle a gentler input better at that time.
PS. I would like to add that there is a specific Activator Methods adjusting protocol that is developed alongside this tool, and we use that occasionally at the clinic. More often than not, we use it as an adjusting tool vs an assessment tool.