Thursday, July 15, 2010


It is said that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  A tad cheesy, but lovely and evocative, methinks.  

This triad parallels the three types of chiropractic care; symptom, supportive and maintenance.  In symptom care the patient is usually acute, and the immediate goal or reason for coming in is pain relief.  Supportive care lasts a season, and the intent is to thoroughly fix the cause of the problem. Maintenance care is ongoing, though to touch on one of the more persistent chiropractic myths, a lifetime commitment is not required.  Chiro- and commitment-phobes, you can relax!

Some chiropractors don't like being called on only for symptom care, they get frustrated when thought of as (back) pain doctors.  They can offer you more than that, they hawk things like 'wellness' and 'prevention' and 'vitality', and to be sure, these are valuable things and I peddle them too, but lots of things have value.  To me pain removal seems pretty damn valuable, particularly to one in such a state.  I don't mind being a pain remover, it may be the one noble thing I can do.

We all experience pain, and yet... what does yours feel like?  I ask you about it; is it sharp or dull?  Constant or intermittent?  Achy?  Sparkly?  Maybe it's green?  And I'll process this information, use it to formulate a diagnosis.  But I'll never really know your pain, will I?  What does it feel like?

It hurts.  Pain hurts. 

I've had pain too, of course.  I've had searing pain and cramping pain and head pain and shooting pain, and labour pain and mystery pains.  Some of these were mild and eased quickly.  Others were more stubborn or more scary, and some made me wonder if I'd ever be be the same again.  I try to remember all these pains, because I think each one carried an important message; of mortality, suffering, redemption, hope, time, of healing.  I try to remember my pains, because I want to understand your pain.  You are more than just a misaligned spine, you feel, you hurt. 

Symptom care works really well for some people, so why deny them that?  They call me when they feel a twinge or a tweak or a kink or a spasm, and I remove it.  If things are simple and not permitted to linger and get complicated (as things are wont to do), then I can often resolve the situation in a few treatments.  Easy peasy, pain removed, and I'll see you next time, if ever or whenever that may be.  Of course many people need more fine tuning than that.  But some of you, the smart healthy lucky genetically superior physically active ones, you respond well to reason care, you'll be OK. 

Reason, season or lifetime.  It is more charming than symptom, support and maintenance, that's for sure.  And some come for many reasons over a lifetime and some seem to come season after season for different reasons, but ultimately, I'm just here to help and crack and realign.  I try to leave you in better condition than I got you, wishing you well(ness) and good health, until we meet again next reason, season or lifetime.