After a motor vehicle accident, ( whiplash ) which type of treatment is best for you?  I have listed common and some uncommon treatment options.  What are the usual course of action after a car wreck and is there a better way for you?


Chiropractic is an alternative medical system. It takes a different approach from standard medicine in treating health problems.

The basic concepts of chiropractic are

  • Your body has a powerful self-healing ability
  • Your body’s structure (mainly the spine) and its function are related
  • The goal of chiropractic therapy is to normalize this relationship

Chiropractic professionals are doctors of chiropractic, or D.C.s. They use a type of hands-on therapy called spinal manipulation or adjustment. Many people visit chiropractors for treatment of low back pain.

NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The adjustments ( high velocity manipulations) are direct stretching techniques.  After a motor vehicle accident which is basically a high velocity injury, the muscle spindle of the spinal muscles is turned up resulting in spasms.  High velocity techniques such as chiropractic adjustments further activate the muscle spindle and can actually cause a whiplash type effect.  When getting any manual therapy it is a good idea to test and re-test range of motion and pain levels to determine if the treatment did something beneficial for the client.  Just because it “pops” doesn’t mean it’s fixed.  Checking how you move and feel after the treatment is key to seeing if this option works for you.

Physical Therapy

Basic Physical Therapy involves modalities such as Heat, Ice, Ultrasound, Electrical Stimulation and exercises to ease pain and restore movement and function. Orthopedic Certified Specialists are trained in direct and indirect techniques to treat muscles, fascia and joints as well as neural tension.  My experience is that the indirect techniques work best; such as strain-counterstrain technique because as you put the injured areas on slack the muscle spindle is turned down and reset at a more comfortable resting length.  Again, testing and retesting pain, range of motion and function immediately after treatment is the best way to determine if this method is working for you.

Alternative Treatment Options are many and varied.  A partial list follows:

Reiki –

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.


Wisdom Healing Qigong is the translation of Zhineng Qigong in China.

“If you want to be healthy and live to 100, do QiGong.”
This was how Dr. Oz responded on November 1,  2007 during an interview with Oprah when he was asked out of all the health practices that one could do, what was the one practice that he would choose and recommend people practice to stay healthy. He added that Qigong reverses the aging process.

“As millions of people in China have already discovered, Qigong essentially reverses the aging process, while reducing stress, preventing illness, curing disease, and enhancing the overall quality of life.”
Master Mingtong Gu

QiGong is something I’ve practiced for years and I’ve found it amazingly effective in treatment of problems related to whiplash.  The one thing that qigong does that other methods don’t do well is helping someone tap into the “why did I have this accident”  Many times the universe is tapping at the door and giving a wake up call.  QiGong taps into the universal energy and can aid in healing on the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and other etheric levels.  I highly recommend this method to anyone for any condition.

Massage Therapy –

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.

I see the benefits of massage daily as I have many massage therapists as friends.  Reading thru the massage therapy journals and The Burnham Review I see that massage therapy is highly studied in medical journals and has been shown to be effective in the treatment of ailments from whiplash. Again, I recommend some of the more indirect techniques such as tuina and shiatsu but for chronic and long term problems there is a place for the more direct structural integration or Rolfing techniques.

Integrative Manual Therapy

IMT developed by Sharon Giammatteo PT, PhD has helped thousands of people from chronic conditions including ailments from whiplash and motor vehicle accidents.  IMT uses indirect techniques to assess and treat causes of the problem which could be as varied as joint, muscle, nerve as well as organs, arteries, veins, and lymph vessels and nodes as well as mental, emotional and spiritual reasons someone is still hurting.  I would recommend finding a therapist who is certified in IMT and has the designation of IMTC.  For more info on IMT and

Matrix Energetics

Matrix Energetics is an amazing healing and transformation modality that works in the expression of subtle energy physics and the concepts and laws of quantum physics, superstring theory and Rupert Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance. It was invented by Dr. Richard Bartlett, D.C., N.D., who is both a chiropractor and a naturopath.  This is the technology I now use for clients and others who are looking for true transformation on all levels; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and other.  With motor vehicle accidents and whiplash in particular, if a client has had the condition for a while and tried other techniques without help, Matrix Energetics is a way I’ve found that can shift them and get them back to healing.  We’ve got a newsletter describing it in detail at and more information can be found at; other information can be found on other posts on this blog

Ralph Havens PT OCS IMTC

Certified Matrix Energetics Practioner




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