I’m convinced I have the most important job in the world. As well as one of the most personally satisfying. Looking back on my formative years, I can identify three personal threads that have combined to make chiropractic the most perfectly-suited career for me.
As an impressionable young person, I came to value touch. I liked hugs and physical affection. But wait — doesn’t everyone? Of course. But for me, it went beyond “liking” physical contact. Somehow I sensed the intrinsic significance of tactile communication – that being touched was important.
Since then, the pendulum has swung back from the freewheeling days of the 60’s and 70’s, but it’s a universal truth that connecting through touch is deeply woven into the human experience.
In addition to establishing community, touch is an essential component of health. It’s not merely a touchy-feely add-on to the so-called “real” business of medicine – the disembodied provision of technological or pharmaceutical interventions. Human contact trumps all of that. It’s the most basic and irreplaceable aspect of health.
Sadly, we live in one of the most touch-deprived cultures ever to inhabit planet earth, and it’s only been getting worse. Touch-deprived people are more stressed and suffer inordinately from health problems. They’re also more prone to violence and other anti-social behavior.
One part of my mission has been to fill in for some of the human contact that’s missing in our culture. Dishing it out — through chiropractic, one patient at a time – makes a tremendous impact on the nation’s health and potential for peaceful co-existence.
As an impressionable young person, I liked moving my body in expressive ways. That’s why for a time I pursued a career in modern dance. When I experienced dance, of course I “liked” doing it. (Doesn’t everyone? Who wouldn’t want to spend their days moving through space instead of sitting in an office cubicle?) Like touch, movement was inherently important.
When I was receiving my training in chiropractic college, bed rest was still considered a viable recommendation for someone with a bad back. The running and fitness craze was just beginning to accelerate. In the years since, we’ve learned more and more how fitness and physical activity play a positive role in nearly every process of health and illness.
However, the significance of movement – and my lifetime commitment to it – goes beyond the value of physical fitness. Movement, posture, body awareness, and physical expression are integral elements of the human experience, woven intimately into the fabric of our health.
That’s why restoring movement ability and enhancing body and movement awareness – one patient at a time, the chiropractic way – has been a further satisfying aspect of my life’s work.
My parents imbued me with confidence in my ability to analyze situations, see creative links between ideas, and question established wisdom. Instead of passively accepting the status quo, I felt called to take a stand for the principles and values that were important to me. That’s been a further reason why chiropractic suits me – chiropractors have always been leaders in developing an informed, humane, and scientifically-based approach to health.
I can now celebrate almost thirty-seven years of commitment to a wonderful profession. I hope to continue for many more years to help those striving to improve their health, incorporating the powerful tools of movement and touch within a scientifically up-to-date perspective on the body and it’s adaptive potential.