the reality check

Book Review: The Reality Check – Dr Heidi Haavik

Our chiropractic assistant, Dayna Hopgood, has worked with us for over a year and has been accepted as a chiro student over in Australia with her studies starting in 2017.

Dr Craig wants her to be fully prepared so as ‘homework’ she’ll be reviewing different chiropractic texts and books for us.

Here’s her first one on The Reality Check by Dr Heidi Haavik.


The Reality Check is about the effects of chiropractic care. It attempts to explain the science behind what happens to your brain and body when a Chiropractor adjusts dysfunctional segments (vertebral subluxations) in the spine. The author Dr Heidi Haavik is a Chiropractor and Neurophysiologist who has spent the better part of two decades researching why it is that we feel so good after an adjustment.

Although the description sounds as though the content may be a little dry, Haavik explains the concepts presented in easy to understand language that appeals to a wide range of audiences not just those working in the Chiropractic or Neurophysiology fields.

This book is a must read for anyone who sees a chiropractor and is interested in what happens to their body during and after an adjustment.

Without giving too much away a few interesting points brought up in the book include;

  • There appears to be a strong link between neck function and accurate proprioceptive processing (the ability to sense where your own limbs are in space). The studies spoken about in The Reality Check show that if the neck isn’t functioning properly it makes it hard for the brain to know what is going on in the neck which negatively affects the brains ability to stabilise the body, making it easier to trip over.
  • Chiropractic care may be able to reduce injuries due to improving the bodies proprioceptive ability. If the brain is more accurately aware of where exactly our limbs are and how they are moving it is easier to prevent unnecessary injuries.
  • Have you ever wondered why when your chiropractor muscle tests you, after an adjustment you may feel much stronger? It is now believed that adjusting subluxations can change the way the brain sends messages to the muscles. Feeling stronger is likely the result of the muscle receiving greater drive from the brain making it easier to perform a stronger contraction of the muscle than before.
  • It’s not just about injuries though as it also explains what happens in your brain when your spinal health is not great (i.e. subluxated) and the positive effects on the brain and hence your overall health when a chiropractor adjusts your spine.

Rate score /10:
8/10 an interesting read that was surprisingly hard to put down.