Confessions from a Chiropractor’s Kid!
By Dr. Scott E. Rosenthal
I grew up in a bubble. Being born into a family with a father who is a chiropractor, I was not raised like most kids. You could say I was a bit odd. Maybe it was all the brown bread and sprouts my 1970’s parents put on the table. Perhaps it was the toy chiropractic table that I used when I worked on my sister’s dolls. Until my teens, I thought that only sick people in hospitals took drugs. Our medicine cabinet was nearly bare, containing only tooth paste and cotton balls. We lived by chiropractic principles foreign to the masses back then, but that are now becoming mainstream in today’s world. While practicing chiropractic for 20 years, I am often dismayed when I observe the health of the average American. I will do everything possible to introduce my patients to the bubble I knew as a child and choose to remain in!
I started to get a taste of the “real” world in high school. Many of my friends were taking antibiotics regularly for acne or common upper respiratory tract infections. Other kids downed daily pills for headaches or fussy stomachs. When I hit 14 years old, pimples decorated my cheeks and chin. My father decided to intervene, but not with prescriptions. A daily dose of Romaine lettuce and whole grain cereal in my diet was my treatment. Within months my skin cleared significantly. A lesson learned- give the body what it needs and better health results. Certainly, my pimples did not result from an antibiotic and chemical facial wash deficiency!
My childhood was speckled with falls off bikes and from trees. I often nodded off to sleep in an awkward position in a bean bag chair or spent hours studying over a desk with my head bent over my books. Like so many children today, soccer presented my body with regular trauma. Heading the ball whiplashed my neck. It was like having many tiny auto accidents throughout my youth. Avoiding this by not playing was not an option I would have entertained. Soccer was my joy in life. My chiropractor father came to the rescue. He would check my spine on a regular basis and erase the misalignments. He would speak often of the importance of spinal and neurological health as he adjusted my body.
When I was very young, my family went to many chiropractic college homecoming seminars. The organizers provided fun activities for the children while the doctors attended continuing educational programs. We played games and jumped on the moon bounce. Once, I sneaked out of the program and explored the campus with another brown-bread and sprout-eating friend. Bravely we wandered into the vacant anatomy lab where the cadavers were studied. I never mustered up the courage to peek under the stainless steel lids that housed the bodies, but I knew they were important to the studies, and I had newly found respect for my father! We children were also given lessons on the chiropractic approach to health. I learned at a young age that the nervous system controls all functions within the body. The stack of bones called the spinal column houses and protects a key component of the nervous system, known as the spinal cord, which extends from the brain to the lower back. If a bone in the back or neck misaligns, it will damage and alter the function of the nervous system. The organ, gland, muscle, etc. fed from the injured nerve will lose normal function. It did not take long for me to understand that balance in the spine and clarity in the nervous system is essential for achieving optimum health.
Our perspective is not a rigid religious-like view, but based on a realistic science. Chiropractic principles recognize that a time and place exists for varying interventions such as medication and surgery. In practice, I openly refer to my medical colleagues and was taught in my chiropractic college to know when to direct a patient elsewhere. My father would tell me that drugs and surgery should be a last resort. I was given a healthy fear of the potential side effects of active pharmaceutical agents and the pitfalls of focusing primarily on symptomatic relief. Always search for the underlying cause was the motto drilled into my head through all four of my chiropractic college years. We were taught an important exception: if a medical emergency exists, go to the hospital! Once stable, then one should look for the underlying cause.
The chiropractic principles that gifted me with an extraordinary childhood continue to guide me in my personal and professional life. They can be summarized below:
1. The body is a self-healing organism.
2. Sickness occurs when there is interference to the body’s ability to heal.
3. Healing and function of the body are directed by the nervous system.
4. A common interference to healing is caused by damage in the nervous system created by a misalignment in the spine and/or pelvis.
5. By gently realigning the bones with chiropractic adjustments, the body will again be able to heal and the problem will often resolve… naturally!
6. Health is achieved when the body is optimally functional, not just pain-free.
7. Approach the body in the most natural and noninvasive way. If a disease process continues or urgency exists, use more invasive care as needed.
8. Other interference to the expression of optimum health can arise from imbalances in our nutrition, levels of exercise, mental attitude and amount of rest.
By embracing a healthy lifestyle and maintaining the integrity of the spine and nervous system, as taught in chiropractic, you can overcome illness and appreciate greater health and function. Learning to trust in your body’s inner abilities may be a leap of faith for many, but the rewards are worth it! If you are stuck in a different bubble filled with pills and poor health, I invite you to join me- and please don’t worry… sprouts are not a requirement for membership!
Dr. Scott Rosenthal provides quality chiropractic care to patients in Wilmington, Delaware. He also writes a monthly column in Living Well Magazine. Whether you're searching for effective pain relief or a way to boost whole body wellness, Rosenthal Chiropractic can help.
Call our office at (302) 999-0633 for an appointment today!