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Chiropractor’s Activator: Dr Sarah featured in Sydney Morning Herald

Chiropractic Central’s Dr Sarah MacNeil was recently featured online by the Sydney Morning Herald. In the story, she discusses the use of the Activator – a tool chiropractors use to achieve better movement in clients’ spines.

You can read the online version here or read an excerpt below:

Dr Sarah SMH 30.11.14Tools of the trade
TOOL: Activator
Name: Dr Sarah MacNeil
Job: Chiropractor
Where: Chiropractic Central Lane Cove
Why is it important?
Chiropractors use various tools. Our primary tools are, of course, our hands, to feel the spine and feel the movements happening and misalignments going on. However, I use the activator for people who aren’t as tolerant to a manual adjustment. It’s a hand-held tool that can be used with one hand. It uses a specific, localised force, and can be used on the spine, muscles or ligaments to create change and movement in the spine. I apply pressure and squeeze the handle, and the activator creates a gentle thrust towards the spine. It can also work on different muscle trigger points, to provide a release in that area and get proper movement in the spine.

Activators use what’s known as a “low force” adjustment; we can modify the intensity and frequency. That makes it perfect for older patients with early signs of osteoporosis, where we can’t use manual adjusting.

Looking at it, it can look like a needle, so I talk people through it and demonstrate how I use it and put them at ease. You can use the same amount of pressure you’d use on a ripe tomato with your thumb and still create the movement we need to see to get a change in the physiological response.

What do your colleagues think?
Not all chiropractors use it. In Australia it’s not taught in the undergraduate curriculum, so you need to do continued education to learn about it.

Unusual moment? 

Some people can be intimidated by the look of the activator. But the minute we show them what it feels like, that quickly dissipates.

How much does it cost?
$150-$200. There are different styles; it just depends on your personal preference.

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