Chiropractic versus Medical care

Can Chiropractic replace Medical Care? The short answer is no, but leaving it there would deprive so many people of such incredible help in the area of restoring and maintaining vibrant health.

The topic brings to mind a friend, and of late, a patient of mine. His entire life he has trusted the medical profession exclusively and considered Chiropractors to be what medicine had taught him they were: quacks. He and I served on the same civic organization and when he found himself unable to walk without a walker in his mid-sixties, he immediately sought their help. Weeks later…no help, no ideas as to why he couldn’t walk after seeing many medical doctors. I literally had to just about beg him to let me evaluate him, and if he hadn’t been so desperate, I doubt he would have agreed. I did not do surgery, prescribed no drugs, employed no physical therapy…just assisted him over a three week period in “balancing” some factors with his body that were amiss and he was able to put the walker away in that time period and it has persisted for over a year to date. I see him about every four to six weeks.  During the first eight weeks, he decided to limit some of the sixteen medications he was on after I helped him see some of the side effects they might be causing, he is now taking three…a lot easier for the body to accommodate. His testimony is recorded on this site as the “Outdoorsman”.

Some would say chiropractic is an alternative health care system, actually my own clinic is called The Alternative Health Center; however, it really is a misnomer. For something to be “alternative” suggests it exists in contrast or complimentary to a “primary” system, in this case healthcare. To those of us familiar with healthcare, both medical and “alternative” the notion that medicine is primary is disturbing. I believe Chiropractic should be the “primary”, first choice in keeping oneself healthy and medicine should be taken out of that role.

Don’t get me wrong, medicine has a very important place in healthcare delivery. If I fall out of a three story building, please do not take me to my Chiropractor until after you take me to the emergency room. If my blood pressure spikes to stroke/myocardial infarction levels, please first get me to the emergency room prior to my D.C.s office. The brilliance of medicine in certain areas is astounding, such as emergency medicine, plastic surgery, reconstructive and emergency surgery…to name a few, but in the area of “being healthy”, of fostering and maintaining “robust health”…let’s face it, medicine falls woefully short; hence, the common advice given by medical doctors every day…”I don’t find anything wrong with you, go home and if it GETS WORSE come back”.

Medicine is “crisis” care, “traumatic” care, “life or death” care but it is NOT healthcare. Medicine really knows very little about being healthy…it know a lot about saving a life. There’s a quip among alternative healthcare practitioners about medicine, “They save your life in the emergency room only to take you up to the ward where they let you die.” Obviously, not a fair quip, in my own health crisis, they certainly kept me alive during and after the event…for which I am very grateful.

Let’s face it, dying is fearful…we all know we will have to do it but we all want to think there is somebody who can stop it from happening. Truth is, we all will most likely one day need the help of a medical doctor if we live long enough…but, if we address the factors associated with “being healthy” from our youth, perhaps we won’t be in need of that care until well into our twilight years.

Chiropractic doesn’t have all the answers, if it had, I would never consult a medical doctor… but the fact is, I have and do. To me the issue isn’t Medicine or Chiropractic, it’s which one is primary.

Example: I have been grossly overweight since youth…lost it several times to one degree or another but I’ve always been overweight. Heart disease runs in my family…male cousins died at 45, grandfather at 49 and my own dad at 51…all thin, actually almost athletic, serious hunters. One would think with that history AND being overweight, I should have died in my 40s but here I am in my mid-sixties and still moving along. One major health crisis at 61 but I’m recovering. I attribute my survival…other than to the excellent medical care I received at UT Medical center…to the fact that, unlike my cousins, grandfather and father, I’ve been…like my mother who lived into her eighties, a chiropractic patient since I was two years old (dad never knew Mom had me adjusted when I would accompany her to her visits).

To me, the proof is in the pudding (sic). A case study of “one” but certainly one that matters a great deal to me. While considering a career path change in my early thirties, chiropractic just seemed a great, wonderful, helping career for me to pursue and I’ve never regretted it. Some say “chiropractic is like religion”…I say “Amen”!

So what do you think? Any experiences with chiropractic or are you still, figuratively speaking, drinking the medical cool-aid?

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