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Part I - Some History about Chiropractic
By: Richard C. Ross
 
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Dr. DaveFor some strange reason, I remember little from when I was very young.  One thing I do remember quite well though,  is my mother picking up my grandmother and driving her from St. Charles to Aurora to visit a Chiropractor.  In those days, the drive to Aurora seemed long but was perhaps not quite as difficult as it is today... for one reason: there were very few traffic signals and even less traffic with which to contend.  Something else was quite different in those days.  As I recall, the general attitude toward Chiropractic medicine back then was not a particularly favorable one.  Many of my mom's brothers and sisters seemed to share that viewpoint; mom was the only one I remember who made the trip with my grandmother.  For all I know, my mom may have been skeptical too.  But the important thing was that my grandma believed that the treatments were helping her to overcome some painful limbs.  I have no recollection of how long the visits lasted.  No one else in the family ever visited a Chiropractor - at least not to my knowledge.

Many in today's world seem to share a similar attitude toward Chiropractic Medicine.  Many General Practitioners refuse to even recognize Chiropractic as medicine.  Lawyers will intimate that Chiropractors are not "Doctors".  And the general public will often still look at you in a way that says: "You went where to get what done?!" when you advise them of your having visited one.  From my point of view, those judgments are not only archaic, they are silly and foolish...  although I will openly admit that until fairly recently I was, at best, rather agnostic about the whole question.  I will now tell anyone who asks, that making the decision to see a Doctor of Chiropractic was quite possibly the best and most intelligent choice I had ever made.

My wife had once worked for a Doctor of Chiropractic.  And she had gone for treatments on numerous occasions prior to our having met.  I had also talked to many other people who had done that as well.  But the moment of truth for me came when, quite suddenly -- or so it seemed -- I could no longer sleep for long periods at night.  I discovered that a persistent pain in my shoulder had increased to the level of often-extreme discomfort, especially when I tried to sleep on my side.  I assumed that it was probably arthritis/bursitis, resulting from numerous falls during years of playing football (perhaps I would someday need rotator cuff surgery).  I also discovered that I began to experience significant tingling in my thumb, index and second finger.  Enter Dr. David DiIorio... Dr. Dave as his patients refer to him.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  allow me to first define - at least in terms of how the Internet Dictionaries define - Chiropractic Medicine.

Chiropracty:  "A system of therapy that utilizes the recuperative powers of the body and the relationship between the musculoskeletal structures and the functions of the body, particularly of the spinal column and the nervous system, in the restoration and maintenance of health." (From thefreedictionary.com)

And: "Chiropractic medicine operates on the theory that the improper alignment of the vertebrae (there are twenty-four vertebrae that make up the spinal column) and the spinal cord they protect is the cause of diseases and disorders. Chiropractors apply pressure in a specific manner to allow the vertebrae in the spinal column to realign themselves. But most chiropractors do more than manipulating the spinal column. They are whole body healers by paying attention to factors such as nutrition, stress management, etc."

Perhaps this is where the phrase "heal thyself" should enter the picture.  And Dr. Dave is a firm believer in helping the body to heal itself - something that the human body has a tremendous ability to do... IF the body is healthy and is allowed to heal itself.  If this sounds a bit far-fetched to you, think back to the last time that you got sick.  Were you healthy and in good shape, eating well, without stress, relaxed and feeling good?  Probably not. 

My first meeting/appointment with Dr. Dave left me with with an incredibly good impression - he was one of the first doctors who actually took time (not the usual 40-minute wait followed by a 5-minute appointment) to explain to me his diagnosis after reviewing my described history of the pain and looking closely at some X-Rays he took of my neck and shoulder area.  More importantly, Dr. Dave asked me some very interesting questions related to my general health, diet and exercise regime.  That started me thinking about just how I had been treating my body since  - well, actually since I left college and the benefits of daily exercise.  Aside from the initial adjustment, Dr. Dave had some important advice in terms of helping my body to recover from both the physical abuse of football and the emotional and mental abuse and stress from the workplace.  Ensuing treatments relieved and eventually removed all tingling in my thumb and fingers, caused by nerves that were beginning to become permanently damaged.  I also began to sleep through the night - something that I had not done for a long time.  After numerous treatments with Dr. Dave, I decided that I wanted to know more about the man who so enjoys helping others to feel better, so I asked if he would have lunch with me to discuss it.

A visit to his web site - www.foxchiropractic.com - will give you a quick look into his education.  He holds both the D.C. degree (Doctor of Chiropractic) and the C.C.S.P. degree (Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician).  Impressive too is the list of additional certifications and education, indicating that Dr. Dave is continually honing his skills and adding to his ability to help his patients.  Interesting to note is the fact that two of Dr. Dave's four brothers are chiropractors; one went back to school and also received a medical degree. Dr. Dave also has two sisters-in-law that are Chiropractors - the desire to help people obviously runs in the family.  In Dr. Dave's case, he finished school in less than the five years normally required to receive his degree by going to school year around.  Unlike a specialist (similar to a family practitioner), Chiropractors are expected to be able to work with everyone; they are licensed by the state of Illinois as primary care physicians and are "expected to pick up on the innuendos of health or disease and hope to be able to refer them to different physicians who can help them" if the Chiropractor is unable to personally help. 

"In the first year and a half of school, Chiropractors spend a good deal of time in the lab and learning human anatomy and human structure."  After that, Chiropractors take a slightly different route, eschewing the use of drugs and prescriptions, preferring to learn and understand the ways the body can heal itself, partially through the understanding of neurophysiology.  This is not to say that drugs are necessarily wrong or bad.  There are obviously cases where the use of a drug can be beneficial in helping the body to heal.  The main problem stems from the overuse of drugs, and the sense that there is a drug or pill for every ailment.  A large segment of today's population has overused both prescription and nonprescription medications to the point that we are becoming a pill-popping society that is now treating only the symptoms rather than the cause of an ailment.  Dr. Dave believes that we should instead focus on what health really is, remain healthy and in touch with the causes for our ailments, thereby avoiding the need for things like heartburn pills, headache pills, pills for stress, blood pressure, cholesterol, sexual malfunction, etc.  Could it possibly be that we simply need to realize that our diet, emotional and mental state can influence our physical well-being - negatively or positively?  "Absolutely!"

Dr. Dave is very passionate about the fact that he is still "very much a cog in the health-care wheel."  He can still diagnose a situation that may require the need to send a patient to their regular Medical Doctor.. and frequently does just that.  In that sense, as I mentioned earlier, the Chiropractor can and does work in parallel with physicians and specialists and is an integral part of the medical system.  "I still want to help people - that's what I'm here for" says DiIorio.  "Where medicine shines greatest is in saving lives, and if there is a need for a life-saving experience, I want to help that person get there."  My particular case was not one of life saving, but it was one of life changing, and Dr. Dave's passion for helping people made an incredible difference for me in ways that would be difficult to describe.  I go to see him on a somewhat regular basis, and he has put me more in tune with myself.  When I get stressed and feel what I can only describe as "out of whack", I know that he is there to help me make an adjustment... literally, in my diet as well as in the way my body functions.  He is very good at returning flexibility that I assumed I has lost.

Speaking of which, I asked about those cracks and pops I hear during an adjustment... what are they and are they good for me or bad?  "There is no scientific evidence that that is a gas turning into a liquid under pressure... That is what we think it is, but it is definitely not harmful."  "The main thing to remember is that it works.  Chiropractic will always survive because it is so intimate with how the body functions."  The paradigm as to how we look at Chiropractic Medicine is what needs to change.... "More and more of the general public are asking how to live a better life and have it be drug free, they don't want to take a drug as the answer to everything."

I then directed our conversation toward a more ancient form of medicine - that practiced in the Eastern regions of the world.  Next month read Part II of Dr. Dave - helping us to heal ourselves, when I talk about the ancient art of acupuncture. 

 

 

 

 

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