My First Trimester at Professional School

I love school. I love learning. I love listening to professors. I love discussions. I love homework. I love studying. And I love seeing results reflect my effort. Starting at Palmer College of Chiropractic has been my dream since I was eight years old. I’ve always had the dream of helping others, but through natural medicine was the way I wished to do so.

Although I love being at Palmer, it has not been an easy road. During my first year of college, at DePaul University, the fall following my high school graduation in May 2018 I took a full-load my last two quarters at DePaul along with an additional two online courses at Illinois Valley Community College. This was very challenging for me. I was in seven classes at a time and I constantly had work to do. What kept me motivated? I knew that this was what I had to do to reach my goal…besides I loved all of the classes I was in and I learned a lot of material that was of much benefit to me.

As I arrived for my first day of class at Palmer, I knew that I was about to embark on a four year journey that would consist of heavy struggles, stressful tears, and endless smiles of achievement. As I am currently in the undergraduate program at Palmer until July 2020, I have had light course work in comparison with what is to come. I know that as I begin the doctorate program in July 2020 that I will be in a whole new world and have an entirely different level of responsibility on my shoulders, but even this first trimester has been different than all of my years of schooling.

The environment at this school is wonderful, but it took a little while to get adjusted to. Being 19 years old at a professional school where the average age is 26 is more rewarding than it is not. I have definitely felt myself mature and grow stronger focus during these past three months, and I am grateful for that. Sometimes it is difficult when I see videos and pictures of close friends at their college homecoming football games, constant Greek life events, dorm shenanigans, and the mountainous supply of food from the dining hall. I realize it was my choice to cut my time at a four-year college down to one year and I have no regret with that choice, but sometimes it all really does stress me out. I find myself surrounded by like-minded individuals that are decades older than me and some that are just half a decade. I think that there is maybe one other student that I have met that is under 20 years old. It makes me feel out of place sometimes, but this school has been nothing but welcoming. Regardless of whatever emotion is running through my body, I know that this is all for something great and that all of the stress will be worth it and that is what pushes me to keep on keeping on.

I’ve dedicated myself completely to myself and to my schooling and it has been good for me. I used to fear missing out with my friends at home while I was at DePaul and I was constantly visiting because I didn’t want to be forgotten, but since I have been at Palmer things have changed. I miss my friends and family and I miss being home, but I know that they’re still here no matter what. I find myself feeling a since of home here and I have started to find great comfort in my own company. Spending weeks by yourself, day and night, is healing for the soul and I don’t fear being alone anymore. I look forward to coming back to my apartment after class to make note-cards, study for my next exam, or just watch a few episodes of a favorite show. As the trimester ends and as my grades are in a very strong place, I look back at the trimester and I am pleased. I had many nights full of crying and feeling broken for various reasons, and overcoming those feelings with no one around me was difficult, but necessary for my growth. I worry less because I know that most things are not worth my energy and most things do not matter that much. I developed a great study ethic and uncovered a form of determination that I never knew I had. This first trimester has changed my life and has molded me into a stronger person in ways that extend much further than my life as a scholar.

There is a long road that lies ahead of me, but I know that I am equipped with the grit and resilience to get past anything that comes my way. And let me tell you, with absolute confidence, that you are too. Go out and chase your dreams right now, because there really is no time like the present. We aren’t too young to start turning our hopes and dreams into reality. You are capable of greatness, all you need to do is believe that you are and it will come.

DRUGS. But not the ones you think.

When most people think about addicting drugs, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine come to mind. What people fail to recognize is that most of them pump highly addictive drugs into their systems every single day. These drugs are hidden behind the masks of trusted doctors and funded by the dirty hands of the government. In various […]

When most people think about addicting drugs, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine come to mind. What people fail to recognize is that most of them pump highly addictive drugs into their systems every single day. These drugs are hidden behind the masks of trusted doctors and funded by the dirty hands of the government. In various fields of the health industry, the fastest fix is usually sought out; but, faster does not always mean better.

Narcotics, or more commonly referred to as pain killers or opioids, are very deadly. New York Times reporter, Barry Meier, authored a book that focuses on the dangers of prescription pain medication titled, “A World of Hurt: Fixing Pain Medicine’s Biggest Mistake” (Parker-Pope 2013). Within this publication he visited the lives of people who have had both good and bad experiences with pain killers, most being bad. He found that pain killers helped patients a great deal with pain, and the patients were very satisfied; however, when the prescription came to an end, the patients experienced severe side effects (Parker-Pope 2013). Some of these being addiction, lowered hormone production, tiredness, and several other side effects—including death (Parker-Pope 2013). In fact, the number of deaths from painkillers is rising every year. Even the over-the-counter pain killers that many people take such as Tylenonl (Acetaminophen) at the slightest appearance of pain are not good for the body. These types of drugs do relieve pain in a safer manner than opioids, but that does not mean that they are any “better.” When used for a long period of time and when used frequently, these medications can and most likely will lead to kidney diseases/problems and liver diseases/problems. And also an increased risk of a myocardial infarction (heart attack), cerebrovascular accident (stroke), or hypertension (high blood pressure).

Pain killers are very addictive and are a serious problem, but what is the solution? Natural medicine. There have been various studies done on those experiencing chronic pain that investigate different forms of natural medicine to relieve that pain rather than using drugs. Such examples of pain relief include heat and cold therapy (Rodriguez 2014), meditation (Brody 2017), and chiropractic care. Heat therapy is widely accepted throughout the medical community to work on its own, but it is typically paired with drug-use which is not a necessary step (Rodriguez 2014). Heat therapy works because the heat helps relax the muscles and makes the body less tense, which in turn eases pain. Cold therapy is also used to lower inflammation and swelling in an injury, which will lead to less pain being felt (Rodriguez 2014). As for meditation, a scientific study took place that worked with participants experiencing chronic pain. Each subject worked on mindful meditation for two and a half years, and the results were spectacular. At the end of the study, each subject reported feeling less pain, feelings less anxiety in general, and having more acceptance of the pain that remained without the use of pain killers (la Cour, Petersen 2015).

Finally, chiropractic care can ease pain in patients through spinal manipulation. When the spine is misaligned, or subluxated, the entire body is thrown off-course and several symptoms can arise such as: stomach aches, acne, sore joints, lethargy and a tight neck. Realigning the spine allows for those symptoms to ease or even dissipate entirely because when the spine is in line, the body functions more regularly than when it is not. This is a pain management and better quality of life method that I can support, as myself and my family have been under chiropractic care since birth. Instead of pairing natural methods with drug-use, natural methods need to be paired with natural methods.

Since there are these issues that are flooding the United States, the question has not been answered as to why. Why would something so deadly be given out so carelessly? The answer is easy—efficiency. Narcotics are a quick fix that can relieve symptoms almost instantaneously. Money may appear to be the drive behind medicine for some, but in reality, the foundation of the problem is trying to find the fastest solution for a problem. The human body is a fragile, spectacular biological masterpiece, yet daily we treat it like it is worth nothing. Humans need to put in the time to assure that the body that is inhabited is healthy and functioning to its highest potential, and this all begins with natural medicine. Natural medicine is scary for some because natural medicine is different than what people are used to. Change is very scary for people, but sometimes change is what is needed. Narcotics are not the only element to exist in the world that can lead to pain relief, there are proven natural remedies that may take time and focus but living a longer and healthier life is worth the time. Do something good for the body, do something good for the soul—do natural medicine, and remember, nothing good comes fast.

Why I Chose Chiropractic…

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

One question that I often get asked as a student at Palmer College of Chiropractic is: “Why chiropractic?” To answer this question, we must travel back to way before I was born. My late grandfather, whom I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet, was a chiropractor. Which means that chiropractic has been in my family for my entire lifetime. It is in my blood. He had a successful practice in Streator, IL and worked there until his passing in 1998, just two years before I was born in 2000. I don’t really know much about my grandfather, but around the second weekend in August of 2019, when Palmer had their Homecoming weekend, I had the opportunity to speak to several chiropractors who were in the same graduating class as my grandfather and who knew him personally. As I was speaking to these wonderfully gifted doctors, all I could think in my mind was how lucky they were to have a chance to know him. Not only would he have been a mentor to me, he most definitely would have grown to be one of my best friends because of our deep passion and adoration for chiropractic.

The thing about chiropractic is that it is not just a practice of medicine, it is a philosophy and a lifestyle. I have gotten chiropractic adjustments since I was a newborn child. I am your typical “never been vaccinated, natural medicine, hippie child,” and while some may be angered by the retaliation of the drug-pushing society we live in…I am nothing but proud to be who I am. To me, chiropractic is more than a five-to-ten-minute appointment with your doctor. Chiropractic is an initiative and a mindset to give oneself a better quality of life. When I say that, some question how going to the chiropractor can better one’s life. Let me enlighten you in the simplest way.

Picture a computer. Now picture a computer without the motherboard. Without the motherboard, the computer cannot conduct any impulses throughout its system, and it will not function correctly. Now picture your body. That motherboard is your nervous system and spine. Now many of us know that the spine houses the spinal cord, which connects to the brain and extends into all the nerves in our bodies, which then makes up the central and peripheral nervous systems, but why is all this tissue and all of these connections so important? When the body undergoes a stressful situation, such as birth, stumbling over a rock, or even a sneeze, a subluxation is likely to occur and that is what chiropractors work to fix: subluxations. But many are unaware of what exactly a subluxation is. The basic definition of subluxation is a partial dislocation, but what is important about this dislocation is that when a vertebra or vertebrae is/are subluxated, pressure gets put on a nerve and from there it is a domino effect. The pressure on the nerve, depending on which area of the spine it takes place, can cause problems in the body because without receiving the correct nerve supply, that area of the body cannot function to its full potential. This could be like having a subluxation in the upper (cervical) spine and acne problems arise or having a subluxation in the lower (lumbar) spine and menstrual periods are irregular and cramps are more painful than usual. The irregularities in body function are associated to the region of spine that the subluxation is in. This can be stated and supported by the Father of Chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer, in the following words:

“Displacement of any part of the skeletal frame may press against nerves, which are the channels of communication, intensifying or decreasing their carrying capacity, creating either too much or not enough functionating, an aberration known as disease. The nature of the affection depends upon the shape of the bone, the amount of pressure, age of patient, character of nerves impinged upon and the individual makeup.”

Daniel D. Palmer

Many people choose to go to a chiropractor upon an accident or injury, but that theorization would be like only taking your car in for a check-up or oil change when it breaks down or when you get in an accident. Just like cars and many other machines, your body needs check-ups regardless of if you have suffered an injury or have experienced an accident. You could be the healthiest person you know, and your body still needs a tune up.

Chiropractic is a beautiful method that should be deeply considered to be the source of that tune up. These are some of the main principles that I formulate my beliefs about chiropractic on. I believe in this philosophy so deeply that I know, within the innermost regions of my soul, that it is a part of me and who I am. I want to share my passion and this philosophy with everyone I meet and I want them to pass it on to everyone they know and so on and so forth. I wish to better the lives of others by utilizing what I have discovered to be my calling. Although chiropractic care can at times battle the Western methods of medicine that are used on a day to day basis, I can sense the uprising of consideration towards Eastern and more natural methods. I am not saying that Western medicine should be disregarded and disowned, I am merely saying that both forms of medicine should be equally considered and even combined. So, even if you have no back pain and you think that you are feeling 100%, do your beautifully structured body a favor and look up your local chiropractor and schedule an appointment. You won’t regret it. Stay healthy and mindful. Xx

“Pressure on nerves causes irritation and tension with deranged functions as a result. Why not release the pressure? Why not adjust the cause instead of treating the effects? Why not?”

Daniel D. Palmer