Traditional chiropractic is about manipulation and mobilisation of spinal bones that have become locked/compressed/inflamed/ injured. What chiropractors do is in essence no different to what yoga or stretching do for the spine. It mobilises and stretches the bones and connective tissue. It restores movement.
The primary difference is that chiropractors manipulations are targeted at very specific spinal areas that are locked and inflamed whereas yoga offers more general mobilisation of the spine.
Chiropractors have built on theories laid down by ancient disciplines like TCM to develop a modern western understanding that the spinal system is an important internal organ like any other and as such needs to be cared for.
It’s early days for the chiropractic profession and the main benefit chiropractors have bought to society thus far has been a reduction in the amount of back and neck pain. As we collectively deepen our understanding of the impact the spine has on our health and the health of our organs people’s health will benefit in many other ways than just pain relief; this process has already begun.
The past 30 years have been the most interesting for the chiropractic profession as it has received wide spread validation in scientific literature not only for its effectiveness ( for everything from headaches to colic in babies) but also for its extraordinary safety record. In fact it has been shown that chiropractors manipulating your spine is more than 100 times safer than aspirin.