Chiropractors & Me…Or My No Longer Achin’ Back
My relationship with the chiropractic profession goes all the way back to my childhood in the 1950s.
I was a bedwetter. Which is something that very quickly gets to be a nuisance. And since my mother hated nuisances, she took me to see my first chiropractor.
He laid me down on my stomach, felt around my lower back a bit and, quite without warning, made an adjustment to straighten out the alignment of the lower part of my spine.
I went back to him three times, and each time he performed the same manipulation. On the fourth visit he pronounced me aligned and that was that. Almost immediately thereafter my bedwetting stopped.
I was never quite sure what he did, but it worked.
I never thought about it much for a number of years, but at some point in my 40s i started to experience some lower back pain.
I had been a runner and a cycler for many years before I got my knee whacked in a softball game, and realized that my running days were done. The lower back pain, I am convinced was triggered by that collision with the softball, and so I was back at the chiropractor’s again. And once again, after a few simple adjustments, but a larger number of treatments that problem was also solved.
At that time I was also trading services with with massage therapist, and she actually explained to be just how the science of chiropractic worked as a point of difference to how massage therapy worked.
Chiropractic is primarily based on the proper alignment of the spine, or subluxation, as they call it, because the nerves in the spine are all connected between the brain other parts of the body on a kind of vertical grid. When your spine goes out of alignment, through things like repeated bad posture or injury, that misalignment can show up in various places in your body depending on where it’s happening on your spine.
That somehow made a lot of sense to me and so right up to the time I left Toronto, my wife and I both went regularly to a chiropractor who just made sure that our spinal alignment was sound.
When we got to St Catharines, our chiropractic routine was disrupted, more like abandoned, for almost three years.
During that time, whenever I got a pain somewhere, especially in my lower back from lugging too much stuff or shovelling snow or raking leaves I would simply pop a few Ibuprofin and, while it was no cure, it did reduce the inflammation and take away the pain. What it didn’t do was get to the root cause of that pain.
One day, I was bending over to do something, and all of a sudden I got a massive muscle cramp that seemed to wrap right around my mid-section. It took a long time for it to go away and when it did, I was left with a pretty bad nerve pinch in top of my right hip.
It was right then that I realized that it had been three years since I had had any sort of adjustment and it was time to do something about it.
Enter Dr Scott McGregor DC
Scott McGregor (Lakeside Family Chiropractic) the chiropractor I chose, started his profession al life as an engineer, but then transitioned into chiropractic, which is, in its own way, a form of engineering, so he took to in naturally.
The first thing he did was check to see how much out of alignment my spine actually was. So he did some measurements and I went and got some X-rays and man, it was quite revealing, and a little scary to see just how whacked out my spine had become after only three years of neglect and the usual stresses associated with moving, massive renovations, a much bigger yard to take care of and establishing my business in a new market.For the past month, I have been going to Scott and he has been slowly but surely putting me back together. I am about halfway through the process and the differences already have been quite astonishing.
1. I have no pain anywhere in my body
2. I have reduced my intake of anti-inflammatories and pain killers to virtually nothing.
3. I have much more energy and stamina
4. I sleep better and, as evidenced by a lot of weird dreams, much deeper.
5. I have been religiously doing the stretches he prescribed as an complement to the treatments I get.
5. I feel much more balanced emotionally because I am not always wincing with pain or worried about any sort of bending I have to do.
I have another 10 or 12 treatments to go before I move to a weekly or bi-weekly alignment check. But I have to say that it has been a long time, since I have felt this ‘normal’.
Stress accumulates, and these days we all have more than our share of stressful stuff to deal with.
If you are experiencing regular pain in any part of your body, you can be pretty sure that it is the physical manifestation of some sort of stress that is pulling your spine out of alignment and compressing your vertebrae. Because everything starts there.
There’s no way that we can walk away from the stress, although it would be great if we could. But what you can do to help you manage it is find yourself a good chiropractor and tell him or her what’s wrong.
They will give you an honest assessment of your spinal situation and what’s going on with it, and then you can decide how you want to proceed.
Disease versus Dis-Ease
A lot of people in the medical profession do not support chiropractic, and I have never been quite sure why that is.
There are all kinds of ways to treat the human body, depending on what is ailing it.
All I can tell you is what my experience has taught me. I am prone to lower back pain and have been all my adult life.
I can treat the pain with pills and alleviate the symptoms of it, temporarily. Or I can go and see a chiropractor and get to the source of the pain, which, invariably, is in the spine.
This is not a slam on the medical profession. But there is a real difference between pain that is causes by a disease of some sort. and the pain that is caused by stress and spinal mis-alignment.
And if you want to be really fair to yourself, it might be worthwhile to investigate chiropractic.
Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional and amateur photographer. He has run his own strategic and creative consulting business (Onwords & Upwords), since 1989 after a 20 year career in Toronto as a senior creative person in major Canadian & international advertising agencies. He is a communication strategist, writer, art director, broadcast producer, prolific marketing & op/ed blogger & beBee Brand Ambassador.
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