Archive for tag: chiropractic

Happy Summer, Everybody!

Summer is in full swing here (not that it hasn't been for several months). The temperatures are consistently over 90; the daily Florida rainstorms are happening; and we're expecting our first Tropical Storm/Hurricane tomorrow. By the way, I'm not even remotely worried.

White Coat Ceremony

I had the great joy of being a part of the White Coat Ceremony for the 1st Trimester students. It's such a different experience to be on the opposite side of the stage. As an 8th trimester student, I'm looking at this from the other side of Basic Sciences, Phase 2 Clinical Sciences, and the first round of boards. I know that I didn't have any idea what was in store for me when I was on that stage. I was nervous, excited, and scared. I didn't know how hard of a road it was going to be, how much I would learn, and what challenges I would face. If I could give one piece of advice to incoming students and students in the early tris, it would be this: be dedicated; be tenacious; but be kind to yourself. This is a long, hard road--but all the stress, work, and pain is worth it.

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Educating the Uneducated

I want to revisit a topic that I've touched on before: education about the profession. Misconceptions about chiropractic, our education, and what we do run rampant in society. Just yesterday, I received a graphic on Facebook from a very popular site that listed us as "Quacks." They've published similar graphics/articles before. I'm not going to name them, because I don't want to endorse; that's not the point here. There is still the misconception out there, that we're all trying to alter "the force," and that by believing the body has the ability to heal itself, we're a bunch of lunatics. A large portion of the public believes that we only associate well-being with the spine, and that we only treat the spine. They're uneducated about how extensive our training in physiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, biochemistry, and nutrition (to name a few) actually is. They don't know that many of us are evidence-based, research-oriented, internal medicine-focused students and practitioners.

This is a call to arms, my friends and colleagues. We have to change this; right now. Chances are that if your friends and family have kept touch with you during your educational escapades, that they're familiar with what you're doing, and probably support you. For those reading the blog that aren't students (or prospective students), chances are you're reading this blog because you support the institution or someone involved in it. So I realize, by saying all of this, that I'm preaching to the choir. But what about everybody else? What about the people we meet on the street? What about our Facebook friends that live far and wide? What about all of the misconceptions floating around about who we are and what we do?

The American Chiropractic Association lobbies in Washington for chiropractic legislation, but we don't have a cohesive organization that handles education of the public. We are it. We are the educators.

I'm going to challenge each and every one of you, to go out there and share what you do, what your training is, how our education is different, and how we are making a difference in health and well-being. For those that are supporters of the field, I thank you for that. I'm going to challenge you as well, to share your knowledge and experience of the field of chiropractic with those around you. Let them know how we're making a difference.

Have a great week everybody, and a safe and happy 4th of July.

A LOOOOO–NG Weekend!

Did everybody enjoy the long weekend? Wow! What a weekend?!?

First, I need to say thank all the powers of the Universe for days off. I've been sneezing my fool head off ever since, but I spent most of the day cleaning. Having a clean house is Zen. I can now sit in the middle of my living room in the lotus position holding my fingers together. I won't (because I don't have time), but the important thing is -- I CAN.

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(Image source: http://blogs.studentlife.utoronto.ca/lifeatuoft/)

I spent some time out in the world this weekend, when I wasn't cleaning or studying. We get so sheltered, living in academia, that we forget how different it is. I came across a lot of stigma about chiropractic. Education helps fix that. Sometimes people just have to be exposed to what we're doing, what we're learning and practicing, and the basis for our practices in order to step beyond the conditioning they've received. Some won't. And that's OK. We'll love them anyway.

I received a big reminder about how difficult it is to practice "lifestyle medicine." We spend a lot of our time talking about changes that have to be made to the diet or lifestyle. I honestly don't know how many times a week that I tell someone something like, "Well, that could be fixed with removing XYZ from the diet." Here's the thing though: People don't want to remove XYZ from their diet. We're all familiar with people who continue to eat fast food or candy or soda and their effects on the body. We're also familiar with how many of those people end up injecting insulin or taking metformin. People do not respond well to change. The prevailing opinion is that it's easier to either accept the condition they have (and the symptom management) rather than to prevent or cure the issue by making change.

I'm honestly not sure where this mentality comes from. Perhaps it's the American adage that a pill fixes everything. I have a hard time believing that people are that *bad word alert* lazy (sorry). For some that I've talked to, they can't believe that making a change to their diet or activity levels will make them feel better, or that they've tried everything and nothing has worked. After all, they're dealing with complex health issues like autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and heart disease. Some will listen to reason and participate in education and others won't. Age doesn't seem to have a bearing on this -- people of all ages fall into this grouping. Perhaps I'd be the best physician ever, if I could figure out what would get through to people that have this block. But for right now, I'm struggling with the acceptance (which really sounds like defeat) that people have of their dysfunctions, and the lack of willingness to do anything about it. On compliance with lifestyle recommendations -- what do you think?

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Since stress management is a big part of lifestyle, here is a sunset picture I took on Monday. Remember. Zen.

As a self-reported "lifestyle change queen", I'm all too ready to make changes in my own life with the goal of feeling better. Dr S. tells us, as students, that we need to try things in order to be able to recommend them to our patients (speaking of dietary changes). Given that one of my own issues is Celiac disease, a change in lifestyle was the ONLY option for becoming healthy. I can't even begin to express how drastically my life changed in response to that.

Some changes are harder to make. Cutting down my rice consumption has been one of them. I'm down to only 2-3 servings per week at this point. But others are so much easier. For me, it comes down to the information, and hope. How will I feel once this change has been made? What are the possibilities? What information can I find that supports this decision?

Is there a change that you need to make? What's stopping you? What if you felt a million times better, increased the quality and quantity of your life, and it only took a short period of adjustment?

Maybe these are the questions we should be asking our (future) patients.

Have an amazing week, everyone.