Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why I Love Chiropractic

After weeks of grinding pain, sleepless nights, ineffective physical therapy treatments and hair-tearing, screaming-and-cursing frustration, today I finally did what I should have done in the first place... I visited my amazing chiropractic team. It was a rough session, but I got through it and now I feel so much better I can hardly believe I'm the same person.

Healing is an interesting business. I'm not taking anything away from healers of any sort... everybody's methods work for some of the people some of the time. But, I feel this adage holds true... "When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail." You go to a doctor and they prescribe pain meds and physical therapy, because they're trained to believe those things work for any and all problems. When you go to a physical therapist, they give you exercises and heat/stims and ultrasound treatments, because, in their world, those things work most of the time. When you go to a chiropractor, they do their adjustments by whatever methods they use, because they know that's what usually whips people back into shape.

After spending years in the medical machine, mostly as a nurse, but also as a psychiatric technician and member of an ambulance crew (before the concept of EMT was ever thought of), I've seen a lot of medical processes in action. Some worked, and some didn't. As a result, I have no contentions about seeking alternate treatment if something doesn't work for me. Doctors are not omnipotent, and I honestly feel most of them don't think of themselves in these terms nowadays. The reasons for their faith in their opinions is a result of their years of big bucks spent in rigorous study, intense internship, residency and the business of establishing themselves in the medical community. When you put that much time, energy and bucks into what you're doing, you have a right to believe what you're doing is the right, if not the only, way to do things.

But, as we all know, doctors aren't always right, medical treatments are sometimes ineffective, and things can easily go amok when you're dealing with health issues on an individual-to-individual level. When things aren't working for you health/treatment wise, you have the right, if not the obligation to yourself, to change your treatment options.

Several months ago, when my pain issues re-located themselves from wandering around my shoulder area down into my biceps muscles, I thought it was due to recent workouts I'd started doing at the gym. The pain was in my muscles, not my joints, so I didn't think of this as a chiropractic issue. My husband and my friends kept yammering at me to "go see my doctor"... a typical American response. Along these lines, I have a friend, who, whenever I complain of any kind of ailment always asks, "What does your doctor say?" When I say I haven't seen a doctor, she acts as though she thinks I'm an idiot for not immediately seeking a doctor's advice, as if that's the only way you can dependably find out what's wrong with you. This is back to the "Doctors as Gods" philosophy, which I totally reject.

Thus, in the search for "something that works," I found myself seeking out chiropractors a number of years ago. In those days, DCs were mostly "twist 'em and crack 'em" kind of guys, and, even though their techniques sometimes (not always) worked, I found myself so fearful of the pain and possibility of injury because I knew what was coming, I was never able to relax enough for the twists and cracks to work. Along the way. I was fortunate enough to discover my current chiropractic team. They employ a newer methodology that doesn't involve the twisting and jerking of the other chiropractic doctors I'd seen, and ultimately quit seeing, for fear of the pain and possibility of breaking my neck, and facing life in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic, and other yada-yada type of fear-bullshit.

In addition to their gentler techniques, my current chiropractors are also very knowledgeable in nutrition and exercise, which go hand in hand with treatment in solving my (or anyone else's) problems. I call them "full-service chiropractors," and they've started me on a path of taking better care of myself, and have also taught me that our spines are the 'backbones' (no pun intended) of our health, and just about any problem can be solved by treatment/adjustment of some area of your spine.

I have a bit of a ways to go yet in the overall care of my body and general health, but these two doctors of chiropractic are my biggest allies in my campaign.

All of this philosophical rambling comes from the fact that I feel so bloody much better tonight than I've felt in the past two months. If the pain returns, which it probably will because my posture is bad, I'm overweight, and, basically, lazy with regards to exercising... let me never forget to next time START with chiropractic in my search for relief!

1 comment:

Birdie said...

Though I am terrified of chiropractors I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Doctors work with disease and try to get rid of it. We need to focus on preventative health and not get sick in the first place. I have to say though, your chiropractor sounds like something I would be interested in. I always thought I would end up having a stroke, which is one of the possibilities of chiropractic.