Thursday, December 9, 2010

You like me! You really like me!

Chiropractors often get a bum rap (which is, incidentally, different than a bum wrap, which I perform a few gross times a day on my toddler).  But I digress, and the first sentence is far too soon for digression.

We're not universally well-liked, us chiropractors. Sure, many of you love us.  Some of you know people who love us.  More than a few of you have told me that your friend swears by us.  And being sworn by is a hell of a lot nicer than being sworn at, which unfortunately is what a choice few of you do... perhaps under your breath, or on your blog, or directly to my face after three too many drinks.

I make it a point to take very little personally.  Don't like my shirt?  Big whup. Don't like me?  Meh, plenty of other people do.  Don't like chiropractic?  So don't come running to me when your foot hurts (free tip: don't run if your foot hurts!).  Seriously - I understand that Chiropractic may not be everyone's first choice for therapy.  If it works for you, great.  If it doesn't, something or someone else will.  I'll even help you find it!  Acupuncture!  Swimming!  Meditation!  Massage!  Physiotherapy!  Ayurvedic medicine!   The world is your clinic!

Background: Growing up, I played the 'peace keeper' role in my family.  (My parents ultimately divorced.  I never said I was good at my role, just that I played it).  As such, I have an innate desire to make us all get along... and when I'm faced with an unliker... I just want to know... WHY!??!

Perhaps you had a less than stellar past experience with a chiropractor.  Maybe she didn't explain what she was going to do before she did it (Hi, I'm Dr. Sheila - 'CRACK'), or maybe your chiropractor rubbed you the wrong way (get it?).  Perhaps you just didn't enjoy the experience.  But before you break it off with chiropractic, I urge you to remember that chiropractic is personal ("it's not you... it's me, doc").  Each doctor's hands are different, not to mention their approach, demeanor, practice style and philosophies.  We are an eclectic bunch, and the chiropractor of your dreams could be just around the next corner!

Maybe you had a few treatments and didn't see the results you hoped for.  It is of course possible that your injury didn't respond to chiropractic treatment, but check your expectations too; believe me, nothing is more rewarding when a patient rebounds off the table all 'hallelulah' and 'i'm cured!', but long standing problems can take a while to unravel!  Be a patient patient, and make sure you are holding up your end of the treatment 'deal' (are you really doing your stretches every night?). 

Sometimes people tell me they are scared of chiropractors.  This always seems odd to me, because the chiropractors I know are among the most gentle, caring people I've ever met.  And yet, there is this fear...  To the chirophobes, I say this: communicate.  Tell me what makes you nervous.  The cracking sound?  Just gases escaping from the joint.  Worried that it will hurt?  People usually report relief, and your doctor will work within your comfort level and tolerance.  Uneasy about neck adjustments??  Remember, cyber-friends, it is your body.  I'm not going to do anything to you that you don't agree to - it is called 'consent', and it is taken very seriously.  If you are hesitant but open-minded, talk to me, I've got a lot of tricks up my sleeve, and one of them is bound to do you some good.  Give it a chance, all you have to lose is your pain!  Besides, feeling better has a funny way of putting you at ease.

But what to say to the people who have closed their minds to chiropractors?  Those who've declared that no adjustment shall cross their spines, who choose to remain unadjusted over becoming well-adjusted?  I say... your body, your decision.  I'm no chiro-evangalist, and I'm not interested in trying to convert a non-believer.  If you should have a change of heart (as often happens when you can't turn your neck) I will welcome you with open arms.  People are usually very good judges of what they need and when they need it.  If and when the time is right for us to meet, you'll know it.

Unsure where you stand on this issue?  Take advice from this pillow I found - when has a pillow ever led you astray?