I’ve been visiting chiropractors for over 35 years. In that time, I have learned a thing or two. In my view, there are two types of chiropractors:

“Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Ma’am” Chiropractors

This type of chiropractor usually has about ½ a dozen treatment rooms with the patient waiting in each one. The chiropractor moves from room to room, spending five minutes or so with each patient, and does the same adjustment, regardless of their specific complaint. Sore neck? Stiff lower back? Pain beneath your shoulder blade? Makes no difference, you get the same adjustment no matter what.

Some of the adjustments involved rather violent and sudden twisting of my body. This is somewhat scary on an instinctive level. Having your head grabbed on both sides and suddenly yanked in one direction or the other can be a little disturbing, not to mention painful. The pain is usually only momentary, and it does feel good when the adjustment is over. However, I read the stories in the news about people suffering strokes as a result of chiropractic treatments. I am betting that the patients who suffered this way were treated with the “Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Ma’am” method.

I used to believe that this protocol was intended solely to maximize profits. But, I found out they actually teach this method in some chiropractic schools. The belief is that the chiropractor just needs to straighten out your whole frame to get everything working the way it should. Many chiropractors practice this way, and I’m sure that maximizing profits has nothing to do with it. Yeah, right.

“Healer” Chiropractors

The second type of chiropractor takes an entirely different approach. My chiropractor is one of these types. Truly a “Healer.” She is studying my posture and my gait from the moment I walk into her office. Then she spends time asking me what my specific issues are. Then she has me lie down on the treatment table so she can probe around my skeleton with her fingertips, I suppose to take her own inventory of my situation. Only then does she decide what my treatment will be for that visit.

Her adjustments are quite gentle, sometimes so subtle on specific areas that I really can’t feel any movement. Others are firm, but nothing is ever sudden or violent. I am never surprised when she does something, especially to my neck. She then follows with another manual inventory of my skeleton, probing with her fingers to make sure everything is in place. The whole treatment can take as long as half an hour. I leave her office feeling great, with increased sensation all over. Pain usually disappears, unless I have a strained muscle somewhere that requires time to heal.

For stroke victims, pain is often part of your day. With half of your body not functioning at 100%, chances are that your skeletal frame is out of alignment. We spend so much time in bed, sitting, or walking awkwardly with various support devices it’s no wonder that we are crooked. This inevitably results in pain. If you are like me and are sick of taking painkillers and muscle relaxants prescribed by the MDs, then go see a chiropractor. Find a “Healer,” not a “Back Cracker.”