What originally drew me into chiropractic was knowing that I would be able to help many people. Particularly, the people who had been written off by other industries. I remember very distinctly when I started school that I couldn't wait for my first miracle case as a practicing doctor.
Everyday people defy odds. Their stories of perseverance and willingness to take charge of their health inspire others to do the same. These individuals go on living despite the 6 months to go prognosis and not only do they go on living but they typically find a renewed purpose and end up doing amazing things with their life. I guess that's what happens once you know what it is like to operate with no guarantee for tomorrow.
A nice perk to being a chiropractor is that we get to see this rare type of person on a routine basis. A not-so-nice anti-perk to being a chiropractor is knowing how many potential "rare" people are suffering because they don't know you exist to help them.
Once I graduated and began actual patient care I'd sporadically get to help someone with multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia, Parkinson's, Meniere's Disease or epilepsy. And they'd get better. Inevitably, I'd get all amped up and go running to the neurologists in the area to tell them about my theories as to why I thought these kids were getting better after having uncontrollable seizures.
40% of those with epilepsy have uncontrolled seizures even with prescription meds and often dangerous and debilitating surgery is the next step. Even knowing the statistics, not one referral ever came from any of the neurologists.
The patients I'd see with neurological disorders were the ones who performed their own research and came to see us. Or they were a friend of a friend of someone we had helped.
Once I adjusted a kid who had nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting). He was almost a teenager and when he came to see us he had back pain. The parents never even told us he wet the bed (which by the way is typically a neurological condition that can be helped without drugging your child and should get no ridicule from anyone about the issue). Anyways, they came from over an hour and a half away and did so quite consistently until we got his structure stabilized. One day the mom pulls me out into the hallway to ask if this could help with bed wetting. As a result of one kid's back pain, our office has almost single-handedly wiped out nocturnal enuresis for an entire Midwestern farming community as the referrals came flooding in with children who wet the bed.
Where was the excitement out of the foundations and support groups for epilepsy & MS? Why do none of the websites have upper cervical care listed as a possible "alternative treatment"? Why are people told that drastic surgical procedures are their only hope when medication fails?
About two days ago during a new patient consultation a lady says to me,
"my doctor warned me not to see you because you aren't a real doctor."
There are a host of reasons as to why this type of rhetoric is so prevalent and I will discuss these in detail in our upcoming podcasts and blog posts. None the less, I was impressed that I didn't get pissed-off by taking it personally. I think I laughed in earnest. It was either that or get incredibly sad knowing enough people with power & influence still agree with her "real" doctor, not to my detriment- but to the people out there with neurological disorders. Especially to the people who aren't responding to one industry's treatment and therefore told there is no hope.
I am by no means saying we have all the answers. On the contrary, I am willing to admit we do not (unlike some). But here is what I do know- The human body has far more potential to heal when it has a spine that allows for unimpeded nerve, blood, lymphatic and spinal fluid flow. The quicker people realize this the better chance they have to heal if they are unwell.
By treating only the misaligned spine we often see some incredible results. We also add in a little "real" doctoring where we spend time getting to know our patients and help them in other areas that could be holding them back from achieving their full potential.
If you're reading this and you're one of the people with little to no hope and you haven't explored the treatment of subluxation, then I would highly recommend it. Know that the goal is not simply to get rid of 'XYZ' disease, but to get truly healthy and that requires more than the effort of any one doctor. It requires your commitment to improving all areas of your well-being, including the spine that houses your central nervous system, a rather large and enigmatic missing piece of the health care puzzle.
Dr. Andrew R. Burns