Friday, June 10, 2011

I am Not a Chiropractor ... Entirely

Dr. Young and Emma Hrabak
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. While I used to be a chiropractor, it is clear to me that now I’m only part chiropractor.

Don’t be mislead, I am proud to be a chiropractor. I love that part of me.

The schism occurred between our culture’s understanding of chiropractic, and my own professional life in the healing arts.

The chiropractic profession was founded in Davenport, Iowa in 1895. The central thesis of its practice was that the function of the spine directly influenced the function of the rest of the body, and the central therapy was spinal manipulation. Though not as well known, chiropractors have historically also provided patients with physical therapy, laboratory testing; and lifestyle, exercise, and nutritional counseling. Chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states and are only limited in our scope of practice in that we cannot perform surgery nor prescribe drugs.

While many satisfied patients in the last hundred years have directly experienced, and known the benefits of chiropractic care for problems such as constipation, menstrual cramps, allergies, and elevated blood pressure; the more obvious cures were of back pain, neck pain, sciatica and headache. Understandably, what stuck in our cultural mind was that chiropractors are back doctors, the treaters of musculoskeletal complaints.

From the day that I opened my practice in 1983 I wanted to treat both musculoskeletal and other conditions. In the first few years I had the opportunity to treat 2 insulin-dependent diabetics, who within 2 weeks of beginning spinal manipulation, had to reduce the amount of insulin that they were injecting by 50%. Years later
I successfully treated a 19-year-old woman with ankylosing spondylitis who had been in and out of a wheelchair, and had been told that she would be on drugs for the rest of her life.

I have always loved relieving back pain, neck pain, and headaches, but have continued to be drawn to a deeper involvement with patients. I have also been driven by the unmet health needs of our community, our nation, and our world that  cry out for doctors who are willing and able to apply a Functional Medicine, or holistic approach to patient care.

This last month I was rewarded and fulfilled to treat an eight-year-old with excessive weight gain (unresolved medically), an adult female with severe ulcerative colitis (unresolved medically), and a two-year-old with ADHD (unresolved medically).

Thank goodness some people know that I am not a chiropractor ... entirely.

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