It was my last semester of University and I was working as a cocktail waitress in a busy lounge. We had a ton of regulars and knowing that I was about to graduate, many started asking about my next plans. I was super excited about my pending move to the United States to attend Chiropractic College, so for me I was shocked when I was met with a lot of resistance from people. "Why would you want to pursue that?" "What is that good for?" I was baffled. Not only at the negativity towards a career I felt so aligned with, but with the ignorance about what Chiropractic really was all about. Not to mention the fact that to me, an education is valuable so for someone to put anyone down for taking steps to advance themselves made no sense to me. One day, I was serving a private party and I was faced with the question I came to stand tall to "So, what are your plans after University?" a man asked...not a regular, in fact I had never seen him in that lounge before. I answered and waited for the backlash, but was surprised when he responded "Really? Thats amazing. You know, Medical Doctors know better than anyone else how the sick body works and Chiropractors know better than anyone else how the healthy body works". I was speechless. He articulated the distinction perfectly. "May I ask what you do?" Turns out he was a neurologist. He knew what he was talking about. To this day, I wish I had taken his card.
I can see why people have a confused and often misguided view on what Chiropractors do or what it is really all about. Most people explore Chiropractic care if they have neck or back pain, headaches or some other ailment releated to the musculoskeletal system. They approach Chiropractic using the same philosophy we approach medical care..."something is wrong and I want it fixed". There can be a time and a place for this, and I've seen amazing improvements in both acute and chronic issues with Chiropractic, often allowing people to avoid more invasive interventions. What a lot of people don't often recognize (and this is in my opinion, at the fault of us as Chiropractors and the lack or mixed information offered), is the PROactive approach Chiropractic can have in regards to health as a whole. Not all Chiropractors practice the same...some practice with a reactive focus, helping individuals in more acute situations, others engage their practice members in more longterm care, leveraging Chiropractic to support the body not only through issues that may arise, but also as part of wellness maintenance. Within these approaches are over 100 techniques, a variety of modalities and assessment tools, and various recommendations. Chiropractic truly is a Science and Philosophy but this variety in approach is where the Art of Chiropractic lives.
I can not speak for other Chiropractors, but I can say for sure, that I chose this profession because I wanted to help people. Because I trust the innate intelligence of the body. Because I believe we are all capable of living well. I believe that I will attract my tribe of people. Because in a world focused on lack and crisis, there is beauty in the natural order of the Universe. Because I care about people and that others have the ability (whether mentally, physically or both) to see and experience their potential. Because I care deeply about my reputation, but also know that I am only in control of my own actions. For me, my philosophy towards wellness came first, through life experience and then solidified with University courses. I chose Chiropractic because it made sense to support nature and the natural state of the body...because I could (and do) read anatomy and physiology textbooks for fun (truth) knowing there is always more to learn.
It is from this approach that I've witnessed breech babies turn, behaviour issues improve, people go from being virtually immobile to living active lifestyles (pain free!), reverse constipation, anxiety dissipate, golfers advance their game- all because health is about function. And if the nervous system controls body function (...it does), it makes sense to ensure this system is functioning and healthy. And if the most delicate portion of this system is housed in the skull and spine, it also makes sense that the function of this area would have a massive impact on the health of the nervous system, thus the health of the entire body. So yes, I chose Chiropractic as a profession but also as an important aspect of living my own active and healthy lifestyle. I choose Chiropractic because I choose to live a healthy, quality life.
What are you choosing?