Category Archives: Odd Stuff that doesn’t fit elsewhere

Chiropractic Vocabulary

Every profession has their quirky way they say things. Chiropractors are no exception. While it may take a couple of days for you to know if the medication that you took will be a successful treatment, it is not uncommon for a patient to look up from the chiropractic table and say something like “did it go?”, or “it went!” Those same patients may come back a few days later and say something like “It didn’t hold.” Then they want you to “pop it back in” because it “went out.”

It has come to my attention that most people don’t know what a chiropractor does. Everyone knows that the chiropractor “pops your back,” but that pop/crack/cavitation is usually the result of an adjustment/manipulation/mobilization to a subluxation/segmental dysfunction/misalignment/restriction because your back went out, was thrown out, blew a disc, or is acting up. A chiropractor practices chiropractic similar to how a medical doctor practices medicine, but they tend to view health a little differently. You see a chiropractor see’s health as – the state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity

I have yet to meet a person who didn’t understand these statements, but they are far from the scientific jargon that we are used to in health care, and they sure sound funny. Please leave a comment here of other things you hear around a chiropractic office, and perhaps their meaning.

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Alternative Medicine or Alternative To Medicine

There are many alternative medicines.  Chiropractic is not one of them.

There are many alternative medicines. Chiropractic is not one of them.

According to the medical community I practice Alternative Medicine.   I don’t use any medicine in my practice at all.  An alternative medicine to Tylenol would be Advil, not chiropractic.  Perhaps if it was said that chiropractic is an alternative to medicine rather than chiropractic is Alternative Medicine then I could accept it.  The medical community is obtaining a monopoly on health care terminology.

It may not have been planned that way originally, but there are now laws being put forward by medical associations to ban non-MDs from using the title doctor or physician.  Below are a few samples of how the medical community refers to other providers of health care:

Here is the (government) MedlinePlus take (emphasis added):

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for MEDICAL products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice.The claims that CAM treatment providers make can sound promising. However, researchers do not know how safe many CAM treatments are or how well they work…

They later recommend you discuss it with your “doctor”  implying of course medical doctor. This article leads you to the belief that “alternative medicine” is non-standard and of unknown safety.

This article on Wikipedia makes me want to become a Wikipedia editor.

Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but is not based on evidence gathered with the scientific method… Examples include homeopathy, traditional [folk] medicine, chiropractic and acupuncture.

Despite the myriad of medical treatments that are based on tradition rather than on the scientific method, and despite the mountain of scientific research supporting chiropractic treatment this article still exists.  

The Mayo Clinic starts it’s CAM article by saying “You’ve heard the hype about complementary and alternative medicine.  Now get the facts.”  They list chiropractic as CAM, and then proceed to tell us that many medical doctors don’t have any training in CAM.  They state that some CAM treatments have been proven effective (perhaps Wikipedia should cite the Mayo Clinic), but warn that because some aren’t proven you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of these treatments about which they have no training.

I recommend that you discuss your treatments and possible treatments with all of your providers.  They should all be working as a team and some treatments do interact poorly.  The purpose of this article is not to discourage communication with your medical provider nor to disparage them.  Most of the medical doctors that I have worked with are well trained, intelligent, and work with alternative providers to compliment their own treatments.Conversation-bubble

I would like to bring attention to the fact that words have meaning.  Chiropractors have struggled for years to come up with good terminology in our profession, even skipping the debate on the word “subluxation,” we’re still left saying things like “it went” after a successful treatment.  Chiropractors need to do better producing our terminology, because if we don’t the medical community will.

According to the State of Utah I am a Chiropractic Physician, According to the Department of Education I am a Doctor of Chiropractic.  I am a practitioner that provides an alternative to medicine, but I am not an Alternative Medicine provider.

Disciplines of Health Care

Heath care has what I would call disciplines.  Each discipline has its strengths and weaknesses.  They use different tools or modalities and treat different complaints.  Many times there is overlap in their capabilities.  Medicine is excellent at managing life or death situations, or in other words keeping you alive by fighting disease processes.  I would however choose a dietitian for eating suggestions or a dentist for a root canal.  Like foods our variety provides for many different needs.  You get the idea.

To demonstrate and generalize: dentistry uses drills and amalgam, optometry uses lenses, surgery uses scalpels and lasers, medicine uses chemicals, psychiatry uses behavior and thought modification, chiropractic uses adjustments and manual therapies.  There are many others, (I’m not purposely leaving you out).  This is not to diminish any role, but to simplify for the purpose of making a point.  Each discipline is great with it’s own set of tools, but if you ask an oncologist to deliver a baby you might be in for some surprises.

I was taught in chiropractic school how to deliver a baby and even how to identify the rash on your backside.  I don’t use those things often enough to claim any ability or particular skill in that area however.  It’s true I am not utilizing all of my training.  I have others around me with more desire and experience at handling diabetes or blood pressure.  I have the training and could prescribe lifestyle changes that can allow people to avoid, manage or even turn around those issues early.  I have done in the past.  However the position I am in now allows me to focus on being the best at one thing.  I can focus on becoming the best adjuster around and get to know the manual therapies like no one else.  I still quickly and easily give advice on some of these other topics and then refer those patients to someone who is the best at what they need.  I don’t have to be a jack-of-all-trades.

I appreciate the position that I am in that allows me to focus.  I recognize that there are places that don’t have this luxury.  A physician can be a master of many disciplines and rural chiropractors and other physicians have to at times.  In places where it is possible working together instead of against each other benefits the patients and the health care industry.  I hope to see the trend increase particularly in chiropractic where one chiropractor may want to treat mainly sport injuries or another surgery rehabilitation.  I hope that chiropractors will refer to one another.  I also hope that our fellow physicians and health practitioners will see the benefit of others and refer to the best person for the job.  I’ve said before, perhaps our gate keepers need to be health referrers someone you call up who can take your history and refer you to the best person for your condition.

Be Present in the Present

This last week I went to the spring UCPA convention, and I learned some new things.  I’d heard the information presented before, but I did pick up some new things from the presenters and it was a good convention overall, but that’s not what I want to report on here.

I want to say something about presence.  109_2341-croppedBear with me because this will relate to chiropractic and life in general.  At this convention even though I felt I had heard it all before I tried to focus and be present in the moment.  As I did this I found insights from what the speakers said even though it wasn’t what they were talking about.  Their words sparked something in me that taught me truth beyond what was provided. Being present in the moment allows us to tap into that something more that is there.  A wise teacher once said, “be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment.”

In health care we can provide treatment and patients will still not get better even though that treatment may be exactly what is called for by the book.  But if we are present in the moment and truly there caring for the patient rather than just treating them, we are able to find what they may need, and give something more.  When working out if you are present and pay attention to your body you will have a better workout. Listen, look, and feel with your everything.  You may gain an insigt to your body.  You may discover that you’ve been doing things the hard way.  You may find the answer you were looking for right in front of you.

You can learn alot from the past, and you should have faith in the future, but if you’re not here now what good do those do you.  Be present in the present or you’ll miss it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

There’s no chiropractic reason for this post, and it has been hectic lately and will be for the next week or so.  I wanted to get this in and I don’t think I will take the time on Christmas Day, so I thought I’d do it now while I have a moment.  Where ever you are and what ever you do; from the mothers who bring us into this life to the soldiers defending our lives and freedom to the artists who make life worth living to the people who work so hard to make our life easier, Merry Christmas.  I appreciate each and every one of your efforts.  Thank you for all that you do.

The Effects of Drinking Soda on Your Health

Thanks to Dr. Gray for turning me on to this topic.  Let me start this post by saying that I drink soda.  I drink it about 6 times a year.  When I was in high school I ran cross country.  I also drank Mountain Dew as often as I could.  One season I noticed difficulty breathing and decreased energy when I drank soda, so I stopped.  I never really picked it back up.  I still drink it occasionally, but I do not buy it.  My wife puts it in punch for parties at times.  I felt better and ran better when I was not drinking soda.

Now as a health care provider I have a vested interest in topics like this for my patients sake I like to learn as much as possible.  After researching this topic I thought I’d pass on some facts to you.  The links may be dry but I like to back up my statements with research, and they have some good info.  So, here is soda in all it’s glory.

Drinking soda:

As a chiropractor my training includes nutrition and biochemistry.  Though I choose not to focus my practice on it, from time to time I do give nutritional counseling and supplement advice.  My advice for soda drinkers, quit!  It’s not a horrible thing on occasion, as I said, I myself will drink a soda from time to time.  Anything in excess is detrimental to your health.  For those of you who just can’t go a day without your soda.  Think about what that means.

If you want nutritional counseling many chiropractors offer it.  If you want to, you can even come and see me for it, I will likely refer you to a colleague who does that more exclusively, your health comes first, and I want you to get the best care/advice that you can get.  What I don’t want is your bones becoming weak and you falling and fracturing yourself or dying early due to diabetes complications.