Week 14, 2009
STORY OF THE WEEK
The Winner of the Readers' Choice Story of the Week
Your Story Mandy's Story has been chosen as the Winner of the Readers' Choice Story of the Week.
My story began 13 years ago. I worked upstairs in a Bank. Rushing to take documents downstairs for the courier, I caught the heel of my shoe on the first concrete stair.
I was in limbo as I tumbled from top to the bottom of the
concrete stairs. The staff bikes that leaned against the wall fell on top of my head and back. I was stunned and forced myself up after lying underneath a heap of bikes for several minutes. I carefully cleaned the blood off in the community bathroom.
Though sore for several days, I thought nothing more of the incident. A week or so later, I started to experience some strange symptoms.
My head seemed cloudy, I started to drift off into daydreams- being unable to concentrate on my work, and I also started to experience severe headaches and eventually, bilateral migraines with vomiting and light and sound sensitivity. As well, I had problems with my ears, they were constantly ringing - similar to tinnitus. I started to develop irritable bowel problems and I had an ‘unbalanced’ feeling, I noticed one shoulder seemed lower than the other and my head would click every time I turned it. I would go to courses at the Bank and be unable to focus for more than minutes at a time, the constant fogginess in my head and the band-like feeling around my forehead was unbearable and it would have me in tears every night.
Fast-forward a few weeks and the problem became so bad, that I could no longer concentrate on my work at
all, and I resigned from my banking job. I went to countless medical professionals and had brain scans and
neurological testing done, all of which came back clear.
This only added to my confusion. One
rehabilitation specialist took some brain scans and other tests and then proceeded to tell me it was literally
"all in my head" so I was to take up a hobby, stop thinking about it, and basically stop being a hypochondriac
– there was obviously nothing wrong with me that he could see. So he gave me 1,000 painkillers and sent
me on my way. I tried virtually everyone in the medical profession including rheumatologists and several
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by one doctor, but I refused to believe that this was what
the problem was. I knew nothing about chiropractic at that time. I did try osteopathy, but osteopaths were
extremely harsh and brutal on my spine, and manipulated it to the point of making me feel like a rag doll.
I started work at a finance company but the problem became so bad that after six months, I left there and
decided less stressful work was the way to go, and so applied for a job doing basic clerical work in an
accounting firm. Still, the problem persisted so I decided it was definitely not due to stress at the
By this time, I was on multitudes of medications and anti-depressants. I could not go out of the house
without medications in my car, handbag and pockets just in case I needed them. I was also having regular
liver and kidney blood tests due to the chemical strain my internal organs were being put under. I combined
painkillers with anti-inflammatories and took Imigran (called Imitrex in the States) and other migraine and
headache meds daily. I even injected Imigran into my legs on a regular basis.
Strangers walking down the street would stop and ask me if I wanted them to pray for me. It seemed I projected an image of someone who had given up hope. I stopped communicating with friends and lived on my own, just barely existing through every day. I didn’t want people around me, and preferred being alone as much as possible. My
weight dropped to 43kg through no interest in eating and the constant head pain and drugs. I would go to
bed each night praying that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning, as I’d had enough of life. I was 23 years old.
At this point I was so miserable that one day, while walking down the street I purposely walked in front of a
passing vehicle. Luckily for me, the car swerved and avoided me. The driver must have thought I was nuts.
I wasn’t even shocked, just numb that my plan to end it all hadn’t worked.
It was around this time that I met my future husband. He had been a chiropractic patient for back problems,
so he immediately sent me to his chiropractor, to see if he might help me. This chiropractor changed my life.
What took the entire medical profession years to miss, it took a chiropractor one week to find and correct the
nerve interference causing the problem in my case. What a difference. Over the years I began to depend
heavily on chiropractors using various different techniques for quality of life. Regardless of the type of
chiropractor there is not a profession in the world that I have a higher regard and respect for. In short, I owe
them my life.
Unfortunately for me though, even though these General Chiropractors could clear away my
migraines, ear problems, headaches and fogginess, it was always short-term. They all told me I had such a
severely unstable upper cervical spine, and none of them had come across a patient with such instability
X-rays were taken of my spine and studied by different chiropractors but a conclusion to the
instability could not be established. I started to develop panic / anxiety attacks if I knew a migraine was
coming, and would rush to the chiropractor, and sit there shaking uncontrollably in the waiting room.
Fast-forward again several years later, and I was married with a child, had done my Real Estate License and
was working in Rural Real Estate with my husband. By this time I had been to 15 different chiropractors in
total over approx 13 years, using all sorts of different treatments and techniques. I hadn’t gone one week
without being adjusted in all that time. I depended upon chiropractic like no-one else did and became a very
well-known patient among the chiropractors in the areas I lived in! They were my life-line. If I had a
headache or ear problems or a migraine, I’d go straight to the chiropractor. But my adjustments would not
hold for more than three days, sometimes a week tops. The rest of my spine was not unstable, only the C0-
I knew this was an unstable area anyway, but mine was unbelievably unstable. I got to the point
of joking to the CAs that I may as well take in my pillow and toothbrush to the adjusting room because I was
pretty much always living at chiropractic centres.
So I started to do my own research on the upper cervical spine, and by chance I came across a small group
within the Chiropractic Profession that specialised in my problem area! Specific Upper Cervical Doctors.
Chiropractors specializing in THIS area was immediately like a magnet for me! I had to find out absolutely
everything I could as I thought if anybody could, it was these Specific Upper Cervical Doctors that may be
able to help me with why my upper cervical spine had been so unstable for so long.
What followed was a
quest for information, and through sources mainly from America, I was given UC websites, a DVD and other
information which I read and watched over and over again. The more I read up about the upper cervical
spine and these Specific Upper Cervical Doctors, the more I had to find one for myself in New Zealand.
Easier said than done.
Eventually, some awesome Upper Cervical Doctors and Advocates in the USA were
able to supply me with the names of the very few UC Docs here in New Zealand.
From this, I began to try and see why they were so hard to come by in this country. What I discovered, was a lot of the Specific Upper Cervical techniques were not even covered in the curriculum at the New Zealand College of
Chiropractic. The Director of the Techniques Dept that used to teach Upper Cervical techniques had left,
and techniques such as toggle recoil had been pretty much left out of the curriculum after that point. I was
told that very few NZ chiropractic students took Specific Upper Cervical techniques seriously enough to
incorporate them into their own chiropractic practices in New Zealand.
I was on a mission by this time, and
wrote to the NZ Chiropractic Board, the NZ Chiropractic Association and the NZ College of Chiropractic
about this issue. I have yet to hear back from them.
Fortunately for me, after contacting the few Upper Cervical Doctors in Auckland (seven hours away from
where I live) and telling them my whole life story, they asked me to definitely come and see them so they
could do a thorough investigation of my upper cervical spine. I counted down the weeks and days, until just
a few weeks ago when I finally was able to make it up to Auckland. What followed was amazing. The xrays,
and scans etc that these Upper Cervical Doctors did were very different and so much more specific
and precise, and they were able to see - for want of a better word – that my Atlas and Axis were ‘twisted’ in
a way that had not been picked up by other chiropractors, and it was definitely contributing to the C1-C2
instability and therefore me not being able to hold my adjustments.
Rather than the usual quick adjustment to the side of the head, and then sending me home, these UC Docs concentrated on finding the reason behind the instability, looking closely at C1 and C2 and they worked on reducing muscle tension as well - Upper Cervical for the major atlas work I needed, and Network Spinal Analysis to keep things tidy and prevent my adjustment from not holding. Over the roughly two weeks of being in Auckland I had just one very precise Specific Upper Cervical toggle-recoil atlas adjustment lying on my side (first time I had ever laid on my side for an adjustment and it was such an extremely low-force adjustment, that I hardly felt a thing).
Amazingly, this adjustment held for longer than any other adjustment to my upper cervical spine done by
general chiropractors had in 13 years of treatment. Finally, I was on the complete right track. I had found a
speciality group within the chiropractic profession that focused so precisely on my head/neck misalignment
problem that I had endured for so long, and they were going to correct it properly and precisely for me, and it
I had one UC adjustment in the two weeks I was in Auckland and that was it. I did not have to
have another one while up there. This has never happened before. Obviously I will need to go back for
further assessment and maintenance treatment, and to work out a care plan so I can keep on the right track,
but I am amazed at the progress so far. I have not had a headache or migraine since my trip to Auckland. I
feel much more ‘balanced’ and my ears are not ringing.
Also, my head no longer ‘clicks’ every time I turn it. I have been able to reduce my medication and antidepressants
so my kidneys and liver can recover and I no longer seem to have irritable bowel problems.
In conclusion, there is now a proper flow of communication between my brain, nervous system and body.
Chiropractic saved my life, but Specific Upper Cervical Doctors enhanced it so much more. And its getting
my adjustments to hold that will lead to my regaining health after all. It’s the upper cervical stability that I
have been seeking for 13 years that I am finally getting!
Thank God for Upper Cervical Doctors. I now know why entire practices in the US are built solely on this tool, and I hope over time that New Zealand also will have more of these UC practices as well.
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A SPECIAL MESSAGE OF THANK YOU FROM JOHN
A HUGE THANK YOU for purchasing my book You Can... Expect A Miracle. Sales have been fantastic worldwide.
As you know I launched the book in the USA in September and the Australian edition was released in late December.
Currently major publicity is happening in the USA and Australia and I need to ask a huge favour. If you brought the book off Amazon, Expect A Miracle website or via our flyer mailing and you have at sometime in the past purchased through Amazon, please go onto the Amazon site and post a review for the book.
Many kind souls have posted some amazing 5 out of 5 reviews. Your help in pushing this number over 100 in the immediate future would be a massive help in assisting me in the PR plan I have put in motion.
I am currently in negotiations with major TV and Media personalities who use Amazon Book Reviews as a great guide to audience acceptance.
I have recently spoken on a high traffic New York evening radio program and on Sydney's radio station 2UE one of Australia's leading radio stations. On New Year's Eve I did a very interesting half hour interview on Radio Norfolk.
Newspaper articles are starting to appear in Australian dailies and two extensive articles will be published in Japan in February in two different publications. Numerous other things are happening media wise in the USA and Australia at present and when these are confirmed, I will keep you posted.
It is amazing the number of people who are purchasing books in case lots of 60 with a 50% discount to use them as meaningful gifts for clients, family and friends.
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Dr John Hinwood
Ph: +61 2 6674 0777
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"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle" - Albert Einstein