A lot of people ask, “Why Chiropractic?” or “Why not become a real doctor?” At one point in my life, I thought the same thing. I wondered, “Why would I EVER become a chiropractor? They are real doctors?”
As a sophomore in high school I was in my second year on the wrestling team. I was enjoying my time on the team, losing some much needed weight, and keeping active. I wasn’t the best in my weight class, but I was sure having fun! We would get thrown around a lot. Sometimes it could be a little too hard when we had aggression to get out and we’d take it out on each other. It was take down after take down, head hitting on the mats, headlock after headlock, and a lot sweat. I remember one match in particular; I was matched up against a varsity wrestler while I was still learning the tricks of the trade. I remember starting the match. I was in a headlock and was thinking how I had to get out or I would die of the smell, so I got out really quick. We setup to start again and the last thing I remember I was being thrown to the ground, and I blacked out. Match over. From that point on, I started having debilitating headaches that would make me want to throw up. I would get glassed over eyes and teachers would dim the lights just for me. The tipping point that finally pushed me to go see a professional was when I was singing the national anthem and blacked out. First, we went to my primary doctor. He sent me to a neurologist. He sent me to get a CT scan. I was then told that I had to quit all activity, including singing. I was ok with stopping the wrestling, but singing was heartbreaking. Singing was my out, my Zen, my place where I found refuge. When I would sing I felt invincible, unbeatable, and like I had the confidence to conquer the world.
As an adolescent, I wasn’t the most popular or liked young man. I was picked on and was the brunt of all jokes. I was usually left to myself. I found myself through music. So being told I needed to stop singing was devastating. A few months went by with no improvement. We felt stuck and we were up for trying anything that might help. We received a suggestion from a family member to go to their family chiropractor. We thought, “What the heck, we have gone everywhere else and no luck so far.” So we went. The doctor did her exam, read films, and delivered the adjustment. As the chiropractor did her work, I was wondering in the back of my mind, “Could this possibly work?” She laid me down on the table, felt around on my back, pushed here and there, sat me up, used a little head piece she rested against her chest that clicked, and then finally made me cross my arms while she laid me back on the table with her hands behind my back and adjusted my mid spine. I was really confused as to what was going on. But I was so desperate to get relief that I went along with it. She told me I had to come back three times a week for a month, then twice a week, then once a week. The appointment had gone very quickly and I was still trying to process everything, so I simply responded, “Ok, whatever.” The next day, all my pain, pressure, and headaches were gone. When I sang, it was once again easy and stress free. I couldn’t believe that something so simple could take away everything that was going on with me. I went back for 10 more visits before I slowly stopped coming at all. After that I never again had a headache of the same caliber as before, and to this day I have never again blacked out. Even though I didn’t go back to wrestling, I continued to sing and workout and never had a relapse in symptoms. I had witnessed a miracle in my own life because of chiropractic.
As time passed, I totally forgot all about chiropractic and what had happened. I moved on with life, never really thinking about the miracle of chiropractic I had experienced. I went on to college for my under graduate work. I went into the field of Human Biology, with a chemistry minor. I was looking in to being a D.O., focusing on family practice. I always wanted to be a doctor and I loved family, so I thought the two would mesh great together. One day, I saw an old friend and he told me about a fork in the road he had experienced, and how he turned down the road of chiropractic. I thought it was strange, and then I remembered my experience with chiropractic and how it had really helped me out. I thought it was great for him, but I never thought about it more than that. Later, we had a school fair where there were multiple tables of chiropractic schools out. I wasn’t there for those tables. I was looking into the military scholarships that were being offered for medical school. For some reason though, I picked up pamphlets from the chiropractic schools out of curiosity. It was probably because of the recent conversation I’d had with my buddy. I skimmed through the chiropractic pamphlets and then tossed them.
I graduated with my Bachelors degree, took the MCAT, and moved across the country with my family to live with my parents while I applied for graduate school. While at my parent’s house we started and finished filling out my applications, and setup appointments to shadow doctors. Getting in with doctors seemed nearly impossible. I would talk with medical doctors who would seem very excited for me to shadow and would tell me what to do to make it happen. We would contact those in charge of setting up the shadowing and EVERYTHING seemed to fizzle out, even with tons of following up. I would call and talk to med schools, and they would advise me to go through more schooling before applying in order to boost my scores. It seemed as if doors were shutting right before my eyes. I would review my applications online that were about to be sent and my stomach would start to get queasy. I started to have major doubts about my decision to apply to medical school. I felt that my future was falling apart for me and my family and I was swirling into the black abyss of, “What am I going to do?!”
As my wife and I pondered what to do, we turned to God to help us with our decision-making. We left it in His hands, told Him everything we had done, the doors that had slammed shut, and how we were totally lost with what direction we needed to go in order to move forward with our family. I was willing to go through more undergraduate schooling if that was what was required, but I didn’t feel good about it. This was especially hard for me to swallow because all my thoughts on how to support a family were flying out the window and vanishing into thin air. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. While I was working on a rental property for my parents, I had the thought, “You need to go into Chiropractic.” I was scared to approach my wife about the career change. We had already made goals and plans for our future and the thought of telling her I wanted a total career change made me sick to my stomach. She had been so excited about me becoming a Doctor Without Borders. Since she was a child it had been her dream to travel the world with her husband, helping people. I was worried I was about to crush that dream. That evening when I got home we sat down and I told her what I felt. She had tears in her eyes, but said ok. She told me she wanted me to make sure I was making this choice because it was really the right choice, not because medical school would be such a hard dream to work for. She didn’t want me to sell myself short. But I reassured her that I didn’t feel good about becoming a medical doctor, and I felt really excited about becoming a chiropractor. When we shared the news with my mother, we found ourselves discussing this for a good while longer. She also didn’t want me to sell myself short or back down because the thought of medical school could be extremely hard. But we reassured her that this was the path we felt we were supposed to take.
After many more talks with my wife and a lot of pondering, we both agreed to move forward with chiropractic. We made appointments to meet with chiropractors, and we began the application process for graduate school. As soon as we made the choice to change careers, everything began falling into place. Within a week I had been accepted to Life University (that is a whole other story that was a miracle in and of itself), and I was shadowing doctors left and right. Everything seemed to be lining up as it should be. We began doing research on the effects of chiropractic on the human body, and it blew us out of the water how much it could help a person’s total health. Chiropractors aren’t just for back pain! We were both once again extremely excited to move forward with this career change.
Chiropractic school proved to be very challenging as well as very rewarding. It was far from easy and was extremely demanding on our little family. Both my wife and my mother were first hand witnesses of the work and demand that went into chiropractic school. But it was also such a blessing. While in school I had the opportunity to visit three countries, helping bring chiropractic to those in need. I was able to witness the power of chiropractic truly helping the people we served. I was also able to see miracles in the lives of those I worked with during my years in clinic. It was so rewarding and amazing to see chiropractic truly change lives for the better. That blessing has now carried over into my practice. It is such an amazing experience to daily witness chiropractic changing lives for the better. I love helping people’s nervous system function optimally so that their bodies can work better than they have ever worked in the past.
In short, I have been nothing but extremely grateful to have switched careers. I found my passion in life: helping others get out of pain/discomfort, helping them reach new levels of peak performance, and giving hope to some who hit dead ends and had nowhere else to go. It has been more than rewarding and has filled me with great satisfaction to be part of such a unique profession.