The Event that Changed My Life (and Brought Me
I was taking a step back and looking at my life the other day.
How did I get to this point in my life? Why do I believe certain
things? Why do I behave certain ways? I started daydreaming about
events that have had major influences on my life. Then I thought
about how I got to be here at NUHS studying chiropractic medicine.
The story is more fate-like than conscious choice.
When we were younger, we all had dreams and ideas of what we
wanted to be when we grew up. After my dreams of becoming a
superhero were gone, my ambitions changed to becoming a pro athlete
when I got into high school. Then reality hit as my soaking wet,
5', 103 lb. frame made the varsity hockey team. I probably wasn't
big enough to be a pro athlete. So, I did the next best thing, and
considered becoming a country club pro so I could play golf all day
(haha). What I didn't realize is they probably play the LEAST
amount of golf. I worked at 5 different courses when I was younger;
it was true. I wondered what I would do with the rest of my
The pic is of my junior year in high school, about
the same time
I got into chiropractic. Look how young I look!
Then, as if from a strange chance, during a hockey game junior
year in high school I checked this 6'4" kid in a hockey game
breaking out of the zone and just destroyed my back into the
boards. I usually loved hitting the biggest kid on the other team;
this time, it was a bad idea. I tried to bounce right up. My back
was not having it. Sharp, radiating pain in my right SI joint (I
didn't know what that was at the time lol) kept me down. A few
choice words not printable on this blog came out of my mouth as I
realized I probably just ended my season. I HATE being hurt. HATE
After the game, I got the medical workup and physical therapy
was prescribed. I've been through PT before with a shoulder injury
freshman year and I religiously did my rehab with rest, painkillers
and ice. Weeks into the treatment I just wasn't getting better. I
still walked with a limp, let alone put enough pressure to skate
off that leg. Here's where I believe my life path started changing.
Out of nowhere, my mom suggested I go to her chiropractor. I agreed
and the next day I had an office visit. I got EMS, adjustments and
a little soft tissue. Three treatments later that week along with
the chiro's recommendation to continue my PT exercises, I felt
ready for the ice again. My coach was rather shocked that I had
gone from probably a 6-8 week injury to a 3-week injury so quickly.
I was just ecstatic that I could play again and could finally sit
through class all day without pain.
After that event, I began increasing my relationship with Dr.
Jen Belesi as well as increasing my interest in natural therapies
and chiropractic medicine. Senior year we were allowed to get an
internship instead of going to school the last 2 months. I chose to
get an internship with a chiropractor that my aunt went to a few
towns over. Everything had been set up for a few weeks and the day
before I was supposed to start the doc called me and cancelled my
Internship. I was SHOCKED and CRUSHED. A million things were going
through my mind, and I thought I was going to have to go to school
and be let down by this missed opportunity I had been looking
forward to so much.
Chiropractic could have easily slipped by me at this time.
That's about the same time my mom gave it to me straight (as
parents have a knack for doing). She said, "Well, you can either
give in and go back to school, or you can call Dr. Jen (the chiro
who treated me for hockey) and see if there's something last minute
you can conjure up. The worst thing is she says no and you're still
in the same boat. BUT you never know without asking. I would call
if I were you, but it's your choice."
I was pretty afraid of the phone at that age in my life and
didn't feel comfortable asking adults for things. For some reason,
I picked up the phone, shaking on the inside, rang Dr. Jen, and
explained the situation. Her remarks, when I think about it now,
are probably the reason I'm writing this blog post at NUHS today,
"Sure, Christian, I'd love to have you intern! I'll drop off the
office keys tonight and see you at 8am in the office!"
Wow. Just wow.
She decided to hire me on for the next couple summers when I
came back from college. National, her alma mater, combined with her
exceptional clinical skills were the reasons for me only applying
here, and why I'm at NUHS studying chiropractic hoping that one day
I'll be able to influence someone's life in the same unbelievably
positive way Dr. Jen Belesi did for me. With that, I am grateful to
As I reflect on these events, I encourage you to take life as it
comes. Don't take yourself too seriously, don't except the status
quo, ask for what you want, and be willing to look for the silver
lining even in the most unfortunate circumstances. You never know
when the next event will be the event that changes your life
If I didn't get hurt in a freak hockey check...
If the chiro I went to wasn't a good clinician…
If I didn't get turned down for my internship with another
If I didn't get brave and call Dr. Jen...
If she didn't say YES, or even have the ability to say
I wouldn't be here writing this today. So, do you believe in
fate? I do.
Take home exercise: Take 10 minutes and think about the events
that got you to where you are in life right now. Be thankful. What
are the 2-3 biggest things you can do to change your life in a
meaningful way tomorrow. Take action and don't accept
Another week in the bag! Did anyone notice this trimester is
absolutely flying by?
I thought we would do things a little differently this blog and
answer two emails I recently got to shed some light on common
questions prospective students have before making a plunge into
NUHS studies (or chiropractic in general). Isn't that what this
blog is for anyways? ;)
"...Just wondering, how far in advance did you apply
before starting. Is it like med school where you have to apply a
year before intended enrollment? Also, how many years does it take
on average?" -- Jessica
Great questions! I applied to NUHS in the fall of my senior year
in college for admission for the following fall. Sidenote: The fall
class is always the biggest and seems to have a lot of people who
are about the same age post college graduation. I love my class
(still! :). So, although it appears it was a year in advance, I
knew I wanted to go to National since senior year in high school. I
worked for a grad and it's the best chiro school in the country. It
seemed like a no brainer.
With that said, Admissions recommends you apply six months to a
year in advance, but you can still apply in late spring for the
fall. It takes about 2-4 weeks for all the application stuff to go
through and get your decision. Not to blow anyone's horn but my
admissions lady (Anne Joy, I believe), who I probably called a
zillion times asking her questions and confirming all application
materials, was a HUGE help during the process continually going
above and beyond the call of duty, and probably the nicest lady
ever. (Except Marie...who is the unsung hero of this blog. ;)
My advice, the Bottom Line: One shouldn't just go to
chiropractic school because they didn't get into allopathic medical
school and still want to be called a "doctor." It's a ton of work
(10 trimesters of 27 credits each...totaling about 3.5 years if you
go straight through). If you don't truly have a passion for it, you
will get burnt out. I love it, but it's not fairy tales and money
trees when you get into the real world, so choose what's in your
heart and you'll be right where you're supposed to be come next
"...I really am interested to know what your opinion is
on being a chiropractic student at National. I grew up a patient
and want to do what my doc does. I've also seen a video of Dr.
James Winterstein. I think he is the president talking about the
ability to prescribe. I'm curious why he said those things. I
always thought chiros were against that. Oh, and is there a lot to
do in the area outside of school?" -- Brent
Great questions, Brent! First, I do love being a student here. I
love the friends I've made here and many of them will be close for
life. The curriculum is rigorous and can feel daunting, but if you
go to seminars and keep focused you'll pop out a darn good chiro
for wherever you decide to practice!
As for the President's video comments, I have not seen the one
you refer to but I have an idea of what you're fishing for. Dr. W
is in favor of increasing our scope of practice (which is a good
thing). It doesn't mean we HAVE to/or will use drugs when we are in
practice. You're absolutely right, many chiros don't think many of
their patients' problems are from "drug deficiency," if you catch
my drift ;).
However, the biggest pro for it, which I myself was unaware of
at first, is if you have prescription rights, you have the ability
to LEGALLY take your patients off certain medications. As it stands
right now, if a patient walks in with 10 prescriptions and we think
they realistically need only 1 or 2 (hypothetical), we don't have
the legal scope to tell them to stop taking the drugs. We have to
tell them to ask their MD to take them off, which you can imagine
creates a whole host of other interesting things which is beyond
the scope of this blog (pun intended!).
Time will tell. As long as you have the passion for helping
people with chiropractic, I highly recommend National. There's
plenty of fun stuff to do and Chi town is a quick train ride
Well, that wraps up the blog this week.
• MPI Gait Seminar
• Trimester Wind Down
• Chiro Games
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