What is a chiropractor?
I always thought that chiropractors just adjust one’s spine…am I the only one? Let’s get this straight, then: since when are chiropractors also holistic practitioners? I just looked on the website of the American Chiropractic Association and found a definition for ‘chiropractic,’ and while the word ‘holistic’ is never used, they do say, “Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.” Another good section to read on this site is the History of Chiropractic Care. So I was wrong; while neuromusculoskeletal (that’s a real word) problems are what chiropractors most commonly deal with, their schooling (which is quite extensive) requires them to learn about much more, enabling them to diagnose and treat other problems and conditions. In addition, the spine has nerves connected to it that affect other parts of the body, so an unhealthy spine can cause all kinds of health problems.
Word of my illness spread quickly amongst friends and family, and friends of friends and extended family, and even people my dad works with. (“Bruce asked how you were, and said all the guys at the office are praying for you!”) So that’s why it was a friend of a sister of one of my mom’s best friends who recommended the chiropractor I’m now seeing. This woman was diagnosed with Crohn’s and was experiencing symptoms of it when she saw Dr. B for treatment. In a month and a half, her symptoms went away, and she’s been in remission now for 9 years, without the help of drugs. I started seeing Dr. B at the beginning of June, about one week after leaving the hospital. It’s now mid-July, and while I still have symptoms of my flare, they have greatly decreased.
I could sort of split my holistic treatment into four categories: the appointments themselves, supplements, diet, and miscellaneous.
1. Chiropractic Appointments
I was seeing Dr. B twice a week and just started seeing her once a week, since I’ve felt a little better and also because I’m now doing acupuncture weekly. During the first appointment, Dr. B rubbed my stomach (well, technically not the stomach, but the area over the colon), and she knew which spots felt more sore to me than others. She would keep rubbing at those spots and the soreness would go away, and she knew exactly when that happened. In many appointments, she used a mineral infrared lamp – a lamp that gives off heat (no light) and its warmth is supposed to help heal my colon. At every appointment, she does some spinal adjustments, and she also puts a laser over my stomach (colon) that blinks at the frequency of “when sperm met egg,” because at that frequency, the body has optimized healing ability…or something like that. I can’t say I understand everything she does (or remember the explanations for them), and if I was reading this blog without having experienced all this, I would be very skeptical of this laser. However, I’m feeling better, and Dr. B has been practicing for over 20 years, so I just accept.
I’m taking six different types of supplements from Dr. B: a probiotic, one called Leaky Gut (which I take before eating because it helps with absorption of nutrients), one for my liver (because she thinks that the liver is a contributing factor to my colitis), L-Glutamine, one that’s packed with antioxidants, and Vitamin D3. These are all made by the same company, called Nutri-West, and they are only made from food, herbs, and strains of bacteria (the good bacteria that yogurt is known for). There is also a protein powder from the same company made from all kinds of vegetable sprouts, and I put this in my smoothies. Smooothies! I have two a day. Also in my smoothies I put in another powder, called UltraClear Sustain (by Metagenics), which is packed full of nutrition, and I put in a tablespoon of chlorophyl and a tablespoon of cabbage juice, both of which are supposed to be excellent healers of the colon. (Go figure.) To make the smoothie a smoothie we use banana, almond milk, dates, and another choice fruit, for flavor. Lately, it’s been peaches that some family-friends brought back from the garden state! I also take fish oil tablets.
Does that list exhaust you? I didn’t start all of these supplements after the first appointment with Dr. B – I began with just a few supplements and with each appointment, she would add another, so it wasn’t as overwhelming as it seems. I did begin to get frustrated, however, when I still wasn’t feeling too much better, and she added in the tablespoon of cabbage juice as a recommendation. Was that going to turn things around? It was such a small thing, and I wanted big changes. But there are no big guns to whip out when healing holistically; I just had to be patient with this array of puzzle pieces.
In the hospital, I was drinking Ensures to ensure a proper calorie and nutrient intake, and they expected me to continue drinking those at home. But those are so gross to me, and so that just didn’t happen. Also, because I was losing weight, the doctors and nutritionist at the hospital wanted the food I ate to be high in calories, even if that meant slathering mayonnaise over everything (I’m exaggerating only slightly).
I was relieved when Dr. B said she’d rather that I don’t drink Ensures, and although the diet I am on is not high in calories, it’s extremely healthy. I’m gluten-free, sugar-free, and lactose-free. I’m also not eating white rice and white potatoes because they don’t have much nutrition; I already have a small appetite because of this flare, so if I’m going to eat, I should be eating only the most nutritious food. My staples are chicken and fish, vegetables (although mostly not raw right now because if they don’t get digested well, then they feel painful as they pass through my colon), quinoa and brown rice, eggs (just started poaching them rather than frying them), and gluten-free toast with almond butter. All of our chicken and eggs we buy organic, and all of our fish is wild, not farm raised. Dr. B is big on everything being organic, uncontaminated, hormone-free, etc, because those could cause inflammation too. I have reasons to buy organic/hormone-free besides their inflammatoriness, of course…general health reasons, environmental reasons, not so much animal rights…sorry.
An example of the miscellaneous aspect to my holistic treatment is Edgar Cayce‘s castor oil pack. We soak a piece of flannel in castor oil, put it over my stomach (technically speaking, over the colon or liver), and put a heating pad on top of that. Then I lie there for an hour and a half. It’s another one of those things that I’m just going with the flow with. More about it here.
I also started acupuncture! More about that in another post.