My mother must have been in her 80s when she shocked me completely as I saw her in a chiropractor’s office. Several times!
The shock had nothing to do with my mother – she was an adventurer after the strain of Amelia Earhart – the shock was my own, seeing a loved one subject herself to chiro.
Back then – the 80s – “Chriopractor” was synonymous with “quack.” You would never catch ME in one of THOSE offices.
Fast forward a couple of decades. My daughter is in one of the most prestigious chiro schools in the nation. She is actually studying to become a doctor of chiropractic! Logan University in St. Louis.
I even move to the same town where she is so I can cheer her on.
As my daughter gets ready to graduates, she interns with a doctor who believes in the Atlas Orthogonal Technique “It is a technique which uses a percussion instrument in attempts to adjust what is perceived to be a subluxation of the atlas vertebra, the top vertebra in the cervical spine. It is based on the teachings of B. J. Palmer, who advocated the Hole-In-One version of spinal adjustment. It is primarily used by straight chiropractors.”
In plain English, the first vertebrae is the largest. It is closest to the skull and has the largest hole in the middle. ALL the nerves go through the atlas first, then spread out to do whatever it is they do. If that hole is crooked, the nerves get pinched and can’t do their job correctly. Align up that vertebra correctly, and the nerves can do their job.
That sounded SO logical to me, I signed up. The first task is to get a full set of spinal x-rays to see where the cord is headed. If things don’t line up, other techniques are used, but the concentration is on the atlas.
A knobby looking deal is run up and down the neck, and I was able to see in different colors how things lined up inside my neck. In places they were crooked, so my next step was to lie down with my head on a small board with a lever. When the doctor was ready, the small board was snapped, and my head moved. The noise was loud enough that I didn’t “hear” anything go snap, crackle and pop in my neck. Snapping my neck in half with a loud pop, is one fear that has kept me out of this office for over 60 years.
I was gently led to a quite room – without moving my head – to lie down for 30 minutes. Some patients are so relaxed, they fall asleep, but I’m ready go in just a few minutes.
I get four treatments before I leave St. Louis, and I am all lined up perfectly.
This stuff makes sense.
My daughter is accepted into practice in Tennessee, but without the atlas technique. I move back west.
Flash forward to February 23, 2014. During the night, I musty have found a brick and tried to tuck it under my head. When I woke up, the left side of my neck felt like it had been shot by a rather large bullet.
I suffer the pain one more day, but by the second day, I seek out a local chiropractor (No, as far as I know the Atlas technique has not followed me to the western states).
The doctor had NO trouble finding the painful muscle – or whatever. After some minutes with a very hot heating pad, he started kneading my neck and twisting my head. One twist was further than I was expecting, and I let out a loud yelp. Two more yells brought the receptionist down to see what was going on.
Next, traction. Either 19 or 20 pounds of gentle pulling on my neck by a new machine. No feeling. No pain. No yelping.
I went home about 50 percent better with instructions to MOVE my neck! I had insisted on a neck brace, but the doctor only gave it to me under duress. Move that neck!
I was scheduled to return the next day, but the pain had subsided, so I decided to see what would happen. With heat pads and exercise, the pain subsided to 20 percent.
Today is the fourth day, and I am down to about 10 percent of the original pain. Very livable.
Am I glad for chiropractic? Yes. This doctor filled a medical position no other doctor could fill. (We have no laser treatment in my town).
It is something my GP could not have done.
I will go back.