Many of my patients report physical symptoms. Let’s face it Chiropractors are licensed to manage muscular-skeletal complaints, so it makes sense.
In reality however, physical symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg.
Hi, this Dr. Andrew Arnold, Chiropractor at Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre.
A 50 something lady came to see me complaining of back and neck pain. She told me her pain episodes were so great at times this had led her to visit the emergency department every couple of months to get pain relief.
I asked her how long this had been going on to which she responded, 15 years! My next question was, of course ‘what happened’?
At this point she burst into tears. She mentioned abuse and then promptly told me she didn’t want to talk about it.
After some time I asked her if she had sought help, e.g. psychology, counselling etc. to which she replied no.
I reassured her I had no intention re-traumatizing her and that what we would do is focus on her pain, i.e. check her spine, her muscles, her joints.
My intention was trying and relieve a little tension. This lady was a volcano about to explode. A boiling pot about to blow the lid. An iceberg about to tip. You get the idea!
Everything she has done, whether it be drugs or just pure will power has been to suppress and even repress her pain, her emotional pain that is. And this takes an incredible effort.
Dr. Andrew Arnold makes this key point: Eventually, something has to give and physical symptoms start to manifest.
It starts with muscle, ligament, joint, neurological tension and pain. This then leads to nervous system function compromise in a sub-clinical way. Chiropractors call this nerve interference or subluxation. The immune system then starts to wane, and you become more susceptible to coughs, colds, and infections. Eventually, organs and other tissues start becoming dysfunctional and then maybe, disease!
This lady didn’t report any physical stress or reason for her pain. It was clearly related to her emotional trauma.
The session went really well, her first Chiropractic visit. She looked and felt significantly calmer and more relaxed and even later that day, told me this continued on.
The emotional root, however, is still there. Whilst I know Chiropractic adjustment is a better, healthier alternative to the powerfully suppressive drugs, more work is required.
We set a plan of Chiropractic adjustments and I referred her to our ‘stress specialists’ who work sub-consciously to re-wire core beliefs and traumas without the need to re-traumatize by re-hashing the entire history.
In conclusion, over my many years in practice, an emotional root cause is very common. Physical symptoms are often just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re suffering long-standing pain think about any significant traumatic events and try and create a timeline.
It’s difficult when you’re in the fishbowl so asking for help is usually the next best step.
Thanks for reading, cheers Andrew.
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About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor and ACTP accredited Business Coach.
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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