In 2017, age 23, my lower back gave out on me after working a busy lunch shift. I was in the restaurant industry at the time, which involved a lot of heavy lifting and taxing on the body. My thoughts at that moment, as tears began to puddle behind my eyes, were:
"Am I going to be like this for the rest of my life?”
“Is it normal to feel this way at 23?”
“Is my body failing me?”
A customer walked up to me, asking if I was okay, and as we exchanged looks, he knew that something was wrong. I’ll skip the details here and jump ahead; he gifted me a chiropractic session he had won in a raffle the previous year. He told me I could use it. I didn’t know that interaction would change the direction of my health indefinitely.
After that encounter, I found myself at the chiropractic office the following week. The only thing I knew about chiropractic care is that somebody will crack my back, and I have to be careful of getting my neck cracked because I can die.
What a horror story and a head full of misinformation!
What I learned is that chiropractic care is a hands-on manipulation of your spinal joints. The adjustment is a controlled, sudden force applied by the practitioner's hands or a small instrument.
The most common areas of treatment are:
The treatment is painless, and sometimes you experience a popping sound which is the release of gas bubbles in your joints.
Your bones do not "crack" during a chiropractic adjustment.
What came next absolutely blew my mind.
The chiropractic assistant called me over and asked me to fill out a client information form, which is pretty standard in every medical or healthcare facility.
I took my clipboard and sat back down. I began to flip through the pages, and this wasn't just any form. The client assessment sheet inquired about my birth, mental health, and menstrual cycle experience.
At the time, I thought it was a bit extensive, but what I have come to realize is that there was a deeper kind of doctor-client relationship that was about to develop.
For many people, client assessment sheets are inconvenient, perhaps even invasive, because not everybody likes digging deep into their health problems, which is understandable.
The client assessment form paints a better picture of how your body functions daily, which gives your practitioner insight into why and what areas they need to focus on to restore the body to equilibrium.
My advice, trust the process because when you step into your chiropractic office, they will ask you regardless.
After my first consultation, I left in tears because I was vulnerable, in pain, and the insight after looking at my body and overall wellness from a holistic perspective made me see things that I couldn't quite piece together before.
I booked the first appointment to deal with my lower back pain, but instead, the focus shifted a little, now we were looking at:
The fact that all of these things were connected floored me.
Our bodies are well, oiled machines. We have a complex composition where every system relies on one another. If a system fails or has a "glitch," then other systems in the body begin to compensate for it, creating more issues down the line.
Sometimes this can be an overnight malfunction, but in some cases, it takes time until our bodies begin to fail because we push hard through the pain and discomfort.
We got comfortable living in pain because somewhere, we learned that it is normal.
The importance of a chiropractic adjustment is more than spinal alignment; it is working with ALL systems in our body to restore balance and optimal functions.
Therefore any holistic approach to healing takes time. It takes time for the systems in our bodies to fail because they work hard to compensate for each other, and it takes time to reverse the damages.
Unfortunately, we have grown accustomed to quick fixes and temporary solutions, so this too takes time to implement.
We walked over to the adjustment tables, and I laid down, face down. The chiropractic adjustment took about five minutes.
The chiropractor will start to feel for any misalignment in the spine and releasing the pockets of gas build-up in the joints using their hands or the activator method.
Drink lots of water and be gentle with your body. It is normal to feel tired, experience pain in the treated areas, and headache.
When I left my appointment, I was drained, and at the same time, I went with space cleared in my mind and heart. It was like someone helped me understand the formula for a complicated yet straightforward math problem.
I experience a different kind of connection with my practitioner because they understood my pain and listened.
In my previous experience, visiting a doctor was a quick in and out appointment with a prescription in hand for the next best medication to help forget the pain. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that; however, there is empowerment in knowing and understanding your body.
There are three risks associated with chiropractic care:
Herniated disk or worsening of an existing disk
Compression of nerves in the lower back
A particular type of stroke after a neck adjustment
It is recommended you DON’T see a chiropractor if you have:
Numbness, tingling, loss of strength in the arm or leg
You have cancer in the spine
You have a high risk of stroke
Known bone abnormality in the upper back
After my first initial adjustment, I was provided with a plan which would help me restore my body to optimal health.
My plan included regular visits, three times a week, for the first 12 sessions. After the 12 sessions were up, we would do another assessment with my chiropractor to check in with my progress.
At first, three sessions a week seemed like a lot, but to tell you the truth, I began to notice drastic changes in my mood and the way I was feeling overall. With that said, other elements were adding to my progress.
In the first month, I had some significant changes to consider because if I learned one thing from this experience, you could NOT slap a price tag on your health and wellness. Ever.
Here are some changes that I began to implement in my life to help support my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being:
No cellphone in my bedroom
Detox my life of things that stress me out
Weekly self-reflection and check-ins
Find a way to express my emotions - get a counsellor
Learn to sit with my emotions
Implementing self-care into my days
Work on my relationships
Daily exercise: yoga, running
Going to bed at a reasonable time
Watching my alcohol consumption
Change my eating habits - less fast food and more vegetables!
I was taking the time to explore the meaning of life and my purpose!
Finding ways to express my beliefs, for example, Buddhism
The top benefits of a chiropractic adjustment were the opportunity to explore a different angle on how I live my life.
When we take time to reflect and audit the things in our lives that are causing us stress, pain, depletion, etc., we are then presented with a choice. After all, it is about our personal choices that we make in regards to our health, happiness, and overall well-being.
We create different practices and vehicles that help drive our growth and healing, but it is up to us to choose if we will take the first step towards change.
The importance of a chiropractic adjustment is to relieve pain from conditions affecting your
A chiropractic adjustment is safe during pregnancy, and for infants, you should seek a chiropractor specializing in pediatric and prenatal adjustments.
Other top benefits of a chiropractic adjustment include:
Improve neck pain
Ease back pain
Reduce reliance on pain relievers
Decrease in osteoarthritis
Decrease scoliosis symptoms
Better athletic performance
Chiropractic care pairs well with yoga, acupuncture, tai chi, meditation, and exercise to help support all body functions and aid in healing. The key is to stay consistent and have patience!
My results from regular chiropractic care educated me in the importance of looking at all areas of my being, whether it be internal or external. The way I chose to take care of myself reflected on my emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health.
Every person is different. That is why our healing journeys are individuals in terms of what vehicles we use to help drive our health forward. It all starts with you and your understanding of your body.
The only person truly capable of getting honest with you is YOU.
After one year of commitment and dedication to my healing journey, the results are everlasting.
My pain slowly began to diminish as I nurtured my well-being.
For me, the importance of a chiropractic adjustment was a shift in perspective and a gentle nudge to alter the way I live my life. I was looking for a temporary fix, and instead, I got a lifetime of value.
If you are looking for a chiropractor in Honolulu, we have a clinic located in the heart of town on Oahu.
Book online today to have your first chiropractic adjustment, or give us a call at (808) 200-4611 to speak with our friendly staff if you have further questions or special requests about your visit.
Your health is essential, and we do our best to support your healing journey and hold space during transitional or uncomfortable times.
We hope this blog was insightful; we look forward to meeting you!