How to Choose the Right Chiropractor For You
Chiropractors vary widely in their values, their style of practice, and the techniques in which they practice. There are the chiropractors that only adjust the spine. There are chiropractors that incorporate supplements and muscle testing. There are chiropractors that use electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and other modalities. There are even chiropractors that only focus on cranial therapy.
During my doctorate of chiropractic studies, we learned the history of chiropractic. Back in the day there was a distinction made between two groups of chiropractors. There were the “straights” and the “mixers.” The “straights” were said to be followers of the Palmers, who founded chiropractic, and were hands-only adjustors of spinal subluxations. The “mixers” tended to incorporate chiropractic with other therapeutic modalities.
Throughout my schooling, I was able to shadow many different chiropractors, from “straights” and “mixers” to sports physicians and wellness doctors. Every single one of them helped to shape the doctor I am today. I’m grateful for each of my experiences.
Today, there is an entire spectrum of chiropractic services out there. There are chiropractors such as Dr. Joseph Horrigan, who works at a multidisciplinary practice in Marina Del Rey called DISC. He is phenomenal at diagnosing difficult cases. There are chiropractors such as Dr. Bradley Frederick that have specialized in a certain treatment modality such as high intensity laser therapy. Dr. Monika Buerger (pictured with me to the right) has refined her practice to working specifically with autism cases and learning disabilities in children. The guys at Next Level Chiropractic out of Austin, Texas and Hype Health in Houston, Texas know how to get athletes ready for competition through soft tissue work, adjustments, specific taping protocols, and proper rehab when needed. Chiropractors such as Dr. Melissa Ponce of the Bay Area specialize in functional medicine, supplements, and nutrition. Dr. Charles Blum specializes in cranial biodynamics and cranial techniques. And of course, there are definitely still the “straights” that believe in turning on power through a spinal adjustment only. I had the opportunity shadow Dr. Billy Demoss throughout school and attend his weekly Dead Chiropractic Society meetings. He will turn on the power in anything he touches.
I mention the above doctors because I’ve either had the privilege of learning from them or working on patients with them. These are all phenomenal doctors in the field of practice, they are all chiropractors, and they are all very different. During my experiences with these doctors, I learned three things in order to be successful:
- Know your foundation, values, and where you stand.
- You are valuable.
- The power of touch is unstoppable.
So, when someone contacts me looking for a chiropractor in another city and I don’t have a reference for them, I give them these guidelines:
- Know their foundation and what they stand for.
- Make sure you feel safe, comfortable, and enjoy going to their office.
As for me, I’m a primal-minded wellness practitioner who specializes in the biomechanics of the body and women’s health. There is no greater tool than my two hands and the energy I pass to my patients. I believe in a solid nutritional foundation, the power of the adjustment, and that the body innately knows what to do.
Every chiropractor is different. Just like every physical therapist, medical doctor, psychiatrist, and acupuncturist are different. If you had a less than stellar experience at one chiropractor, I encourage you not to give up on the art, but rather seek a chiropractor that resonates with you and your beliefs. I’ve searched long and hard for the chiropractor, the acupuncturist, and the medical doctor that take care of me. They know my values and what I want out of life. Create your ideal wellness team from your own core values.
Photos courtesy of Lindsey Mathews.