For those of you new to Weekly Well-Being, I've had a young man jot down his experience at Sherman College in South Carolina since just before he started studying to become an Upper Cervical Practitioner almost two years ago.  Please take the time to gain the knowledge of what a student has to go through to do what we do for a living.  TV glorifies law school and medical school, but there are people out there that still think we go to weekend seminars to get our doctorates. 

Pre-8th quarter blog

Hello everybody. As the weeks have passed by at an incredibly fast rate, another quarter is in the books at Sherman College of Chiropractic. I am very excited to say I am officially half way done with chiropractic school: 7 quarters down, 7 to go. Itís hard to believe that I started school here in the summer of 2010 and have taken so many classes since that time period. This was by far the busiest quarter due to the fact of taking a normal class load and the board exams in the middle of March. Below is a short summary of the seven courses we completed this past quarter.

1)       Cervical X-ray positioning- This 48-hour lecture/laboratory course is designed to teach the student those practical procedures necessary to obtain analytical quality x-rays of the cervical spine including lateral cervical, A-P Open Mouth, Base Posterior, Nasium, A-P lower cervical, cervical obliques and cervical flexion/extension views. So, the first three x-ray views mentioned are the ones Dr. Chad takes on all of you folks when you first start under his care. These x-rays are EXTREMELY critical for the doctor to understand the exact misalignment of atlas so the adjustment can help your body do what itís supposed to do; get you well, and keep you well. This was by FAR my favorite class of the quarter. I would say about 90% of the class was done in the x-ray rooms practicing and applying what we have learned about the x-ray views. So, at 8:00 in the morning every day Monday-Thursday, we are up, moving around, and practicing these views. The class was always a great start to the day and got us energized and focused for the hours of lecture classes lying ahead of us. At the end of the course, my classmates and I feel VERY confident on setting up for x-rays in an efficient amount of time and knowing how to get the best images possible in order to properly analyze the misalignment(s).

2)       Full Spine III- This is a 48-hour lecture/lab course in full spine adjusting methods for the sacrum and pelvis. The adjusting procedures presented are those practiced in the Sherman College Health Center. This was not exactly my favorite course. Although it was an adjusting class, which I have been very fond of in the past quarters, this class took quite the toll on our bodies. The entire 11-week course was focused just on the hips region. A big portion of chiropractic adjustments with full-spine care sometimes involve A LOT of twisting and cranking. And as students, we have to practice on each other and demonstrate to the professor on how to do the setups. By midterms, my sciatica from two years ago (which got me into upper cervical and introduced me to Dr. Chad) came back in full force. The twisting and awkward positions must have really irritated my herniated disc and knocked me off of my feet for a good week or two. After that, I pretty much became a spectator in the class. Once again, I never want to bash or talk down on full spine chiropractors during this blog, thereís just other ways of addressing WHY the body is hurting or not functioning properly than twisting the patient up like a pretzel and then thrusting into them. Removing interference from the nervous system, particularly the brainstem region, can be done by applying a quick, but light force without any twisting, cracking, or popping such as how Dr. Chad does in the office. With that said, Iím very happy to be done with the course and excited to not have to go through that again. Some people joke about how chiropractic students have the worst spines because of all the practice and abuse they go through during the course of their experience at school, basically having to be practice dummies.

3)       Orthopedics/Neurological Exam II - This 60-hour lecture/laboratory course covers etiology, presentation, evaluation, and management of disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.  Students are taught to conduct and assess neuromusculoskeletal and orthopedic examinations and correlate findings with information obtained from the case history and physical examination. Emphasis is placed on identifying critical information for development of a working diagnosis and determining the appropriate management of the condition. 

4)       Cardio Diagnosis- This 48-hour lecture course teaches the students about different pathologies dealing with the heart and lungs. Topics such as Myocardial infarctions, EKGís, pulmonary/systemic hypertension, and COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are all covered in detail.

5)       Lab Diagnosis II- This 60-hour lecture/laboratory course is a continuation of Laboratory Diagnosis I, and concentrates on the interpretation of laboratory results obtained in the analysis of blood chemistries. The course focuses on the results and interpretation of the standard biochemical panel. It considers normal and abnormal values and the diagnostic significance of the laboratory findings. When abnormal findings occur, emphasis is placed on the following or more extensive testing to be ordered to aid in the diagnosis of pathologies. This class wasnít as bad as the first course in lab diagnosis. Instead of learning about urine and blood, we mainly learned about different types of tests that are routinely done in blood work, so a little more tolerable.

6)       Physical Exam II- This 48-hour lecture/laboratory course is designed to teach the procedures used in physical examination of the cranial nerves, head, neck, gastrointestinal, rectal, urogenital and gynecological anatomy.

7)       X-ray Physics - This 24-hour lecture/demonstration course addresses the uses and dangers of ionizing radiation. An in-depth study of the physics involved in the production of x-rays, their properties, and interactions with matter is presented. Basic x-ray machine operation, developing procedures and procedures to minimize radiation to the patient are also covered. With the advanced technology in todayís x-ray systems, we probably get more radiation by getting a sun tan or sitting in front of a computer all day under fluorescent lights than actually getting x-rays in a doctorís office. As a matter of fact, according to Idaho State University research, just by living in Denver, Colorado, the population gets exposed to 50 mrem/year, which is the equivalent of two x-rays of your neck. Thatís just from living there! Not to mention all the ADDITIONAL radiation we already expose ourselves to simply by flying in an airplane, using a cell phone, sitting in front of a laptop, or driving in a car. The x-ray beam exposure in and out of the body so fast, the total amount of radiation is very safe. 

So, those are the classes that my classmates and I completed this past 7th quarter. Like I mentioned in our previous blog, we also had to take part 1 of the national board exam for licensure. The test was made up of six sections, which covered all of the basic sciences that were covered in the first 18 months of our chiropractic education. So, how did it go? Letís just say I will know by the end of April. All six exams were extremely difficult. But, they are graded on a specific curve system. So, it is very normal to feel like you failed all six sections by the end of the weekend. I didnít feel like I failed all of them, there was really only one section where I felt like I had no clue reading some of the questions. Everybody else taking the exams with me felt the same way. There were a lot of times I had no clue what the question was even asking me, so I couldnít even make an educated guess on the four answer choices. My strategy for those types of questions was to look at my scantron and pick a letter I havenít selected in a while, and that was my answer. It was a very difficult exam, but I felt more confident than I thought I would have coming out. I will be able to give you folks the results on my next blog this upcoming summer.

During my Spring break, I got the privilege to hang out with Dr. Chad in Greensboro for the day at the Natural Triad annual conference. We spent the entire morning and afternoon educating people on the wonders of upper cervical care and how the brainstem controls and connects all the messages routing from the brain to every organ, tissue, and cell throughout the rest of our bodies. During the conference, Dr. Chad also gave a one hour speech specifically on upper cervical care. It was an awesome learning experience for me. I gained a lot of confidence by telling the story of upper cervical to so many different people throughout the course of the event. Although I learned several things from how to educate patients, to actually scanning the potential patient, to telling them what their scan means, and why they need upper cervical care; I also learned a lot about myself and why I am so passionate about what I want to do.

Itís very easy for me to discuss how upper cervical could help due to the fact Iím a living testimony. Instead of telling patients that upper cervical care has seen positive results with this disease and that disorder, a lot of the times I can just tell my story. I herniated a disc in my back, causing severe, life-altering sciatica. I couldnít tie my shoe, I couldnít go up or down stairs, I couldnít get out of bed in the morning without tears in my eyes due to the pain. I was going to a full spine chiropractor THREE times a week, getting waterbed massages, and bio-electric stimulation therapy. On top of that, I would drive 1.5 to Mooresville, NC to see a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor to get acupuncture and deep tissue massage. I felt like I was running out of options and began looking into surgical procedures done in Ohio and Texas. Yes, I was that desperate. Through a friend I went to undergrad with, by divine intervention might I add, (he never met Dr. Chad and was from Chapel Hill, somehow he knew a guy who knew a girl who knew a guy who lived in Kernersville?? Thatís no coincidence).  He told me about Dr. Chad and how he receives all these weekly-well beings from Dr. Chad. So, I gave it a shot. It was either this upper cervical practitioner in Kernersville or off to Ohio for surgery. One adjustment, my entire body changedÖ I was running and tying my shoes and back at work within two-three days. Unbelievable.

So, what am I trying to get across?

Iím thankful for my injury. Iím thankful for the fact that I was in so much pain that summer. Through the injury, God brought me to Dr. Chad and the wonders of Upper Cervical Care. From there, there was no turning back. Iím grateful for the fact that I canít sit in a chair for more than an hour or two without the sciatica coming back a little bit. Itís a constant reminder of what I believe my purpose is. Itís a constant reminder for me to get people well and educate them about the POWER of their OWN bodies, not any new age medicine or surgery. OUR BODIES are the best doctors. So, I feel more compassionate and sympathetic to people who have gone through what I went through. I feel I have that extra push to go that mile to want to lend a helping hand. And itís all because of a slipped disc while lifting a bar at my dadís work one summer. Everything has a reason for it. Sometimes, bad things may happen in life. It will cause your faith to be tested, it will make you stronger, more courageous, build character, become more appreciative, learn from it, and it will give you the opportunity to glorify God through the misfortune.

So, whatever youíre going through, donít give up. If you or a family member or friend is sick, hurting, or want to perform at their optimal potential, get under Upper Cervical Care.

On to 8th quarter! 8th quarter is also known as Pre-Clinic ! 9th quarter is known as Student Clinic, and finally 10 quarter to graduation is just known as ďClinic.Ē Therefore, Iím close, only a few more months  :-). Iím taking TEN classes this quarter. I will let you know how it goes when you hear back from me this summer. In 8th quarter, you are also allowed to begin taking elective courses. The first elective class I will be taking is called Applied Clinical Radiology. This course is a pre-requisite for the X-ray Intern program for students wanting to specialize in taking x-rays and assisting the entire clinic in the x-ray department including students and faculty during their clinic experience. Itís a really great program and will benefit me immensely. By the time I get out of school, Iím going to be so tired of reading x-rays itís going to be like a first language to me.

As you know, I always end with words of encouragement straight from Godís wordÖ having it been Easter weekend just recently, I thought this scripture would fit well straight from the Savior of the world:

ďThis is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you my friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (ESV)

John 15:12-15

May God Bless you, and love one another. Until next quarter!!