This article is in today's Citizen.
I had a patient some years ago who passed away after cancer took away her body’s resilience. I do not treat cancer. As a chiropractor, I work on the spinal articulations that strongly influence how well the nervous system regulates the body’s defenses. I don’t even treat back pain.
I have to repeat that often because most people see the end result of a person with back pain getting better after going to the chiropractor. So getting this message across is very important.
For my patient with cancer, I wished she had sought out chiropractic sooner. I would have had more time to work with her on the less appreciated mental benefits of chiropractic care. At the time, it was leg pain that brought her to my office.
She was still working at her job during cancer treatments, but the leg pain was more disruptive. She expected to be tired and drained after chemotherapy, but not being able to walk was emotionally beating her up.
We talked a lot about how she had to juggle so many doctors. Each one had his or her own specialty so she was seeing them for various infections, blood clots, and other ailments related to her weakening immune system. She said there was an empty disconnect because no one would talk about her cancer except her cancer doctor.
As a chiropractor, I was also in that disconnected category. Back and leg pain brought her to me, but I had to explain to her I had no control over her pain. My objective was to address her stressed nerves that were so crucial in the regulation of her body systems.
We talked about rebuilding her stressed body with spinal adjustments, cleansing nutrition, and enjoying her favorite activities. I adjusted her and she felt better. Her leg pain was gone and she said she never felt so good.
I told her at the time she was feeling great to keep up our routine because the physical stresses were still there. She thought that was a great idea. And I did see her. When she was worn out from other appointments and the leg pain returned, she came to my office.
She was always happy to get adjusted. Her mood was uplifted. She was excited to get her energy back. Then, chemotherapy wasn’t working according to tests so different combinations were tried.
I saw her again after a long absence. Sickness and fatigue kept her home more often. I asked about her rebuilding activities and she responded that she was too depressed and kept eating sugar all the time.
My heart sank. She couldn’t do it alone and we made her stay alone. Four or five different doctors worked with her. We each followed our profession’s standard of care. But she needed more than that. She needed us in the same room talking to her about how important she was as a person.
We can teach people to understand and trust their bodies’ innate intelligence. We can give them tools to enhance their natural healing. And when a chiropractic adjustment gives someone a moment of peace and human connection during a time of suffering, I will do it.