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"THE MIRACLE MESSENGER"

 

This Month's Winning Story

 

Tack Room Adjustment

In the early 90s, I sold my chiropractic office in La Jolla, California, and relocated not far from a small town in the Pacific Northwest. At the time, I planned on relaxing for a year or so on the horse ranch I had purchased before opening another practice. But as the beloved Scottish poet, Bobby Burns, put it more than two-hundred years ago, “…The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley….”

Operating a farm or ranch is physically demanding work, and country folks often sustain injuries from falling, lifting heavy objects like bales of hay, handling livestock, or myriad other causes. It wasn’t long before my neighbours discovered that a chiropractor had moved in at the horse ranch. In no time at all, I found myself with a number of eager patients for whom I had made no plans. With the brisk, word-of-mouth patient-flow I experienced, I didn’t even bother putting up a chiropractic office sign at my driveway entrance.

The huge barn on my property housed stables for horses and a large tack room for storing saddles, stirrups, halters, bridles, and other gear. On an impromptu basis, I decided to allocate space in the tack room for adjusting patients. To the extent possible – on those days when I was seeing patients, I lined the walls with benches and chairs while I placed an adjusting table and a cervical chair in the center of the room. In that rural environment, it was not unusual for patients I had already adjusted to hang around and watch me adjust their neighbours and friends before climbing back into their pickup trucks and heading home. After all, why watch “Reality TV” when you can watch “The Real Thing”?

Around seven o’clock one evening, I had already adjusted three patients and was about to treat my “last” one. (The previous three patients were still there.) I was interrupted when an unfamiliar voice hollered through the barn door near the parking area – about 30 yards from the tack room. A few minutes later, my patients and I saw a remarkable sight. Barefoot, and dressed in shorts and a tee shirt, a boy of about twelve had his left and right arms around the necks of his mother and father who were carrying him across the concrete floor. His legs were splayed, and each parent was holding one of his ankles. The weight of the boy’s bottom was supported by his brother, about fifteen-years of age, who was sort of waddling along, duck-like, “holding up the rear.”

The first thing that struck me about the young man was that he was “way past his ego.” Writhing in pain, his discomfort was so great that he had no energy with which to maintain an image or identity. His eyes were rolling back in his head. This was EXTREME kidney failure! My other patients in the tack room, as if in unison, issued a deep gasp when they saw the boy! Everybody was aghast at his condition and clearly concerned and uncomfortable with what they were witnessing.

In no time at all, my “last” patient pleaded with me to treat the young man right away: “Dr Joe, take him…please!” I motioned for the parents to seat their child in the cervical chair. The boy’s testicles were severely swollen and his legs were splayed to ease the pressure as he sat. Everything below his waist was throbbing. Under the fluorescent lights, his colour was a bright, translucent yellow; he looked as though his skin had been sprayed with see-through yellow paint. Since he hadn’t passed urine in days, his feet and legs were badly swollen – he looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid. The “whites” of his eyes were kind of a blood-tinged orange! I estimated he was carrying 20-30 pounds of excess fluid.

My one-and-only concern was, “What is in the best interest of this patient?” My first assessment of what I saw was, “This child needs to go to a hospital…NOW!” I had grave misgivings as to whether he could survive the night. Within moments, the boy’s mother made it clear that she was the spokesperson for her offspring. I spent ten minutes trying to reason with her: “Your son’s vital signs are rapidly deteriorating. He has severe oedema. His kidneys have shut down and are backing up. He can’t process any waste. His blood is badly poisoned. He needs to go to a hospital emergency room NOW or he will DIE before morning!”

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The mother explained that the family had spent the previous four hours driving over winding roads through mountain passes in the Cascade Range from eastern to western Washington State – just to see me! She made clear that they were not opposed to medical treatment because of any religious beliefs. She told me they had heard about and seen enough instances of ineffective medical treatments at the hands of hospital doctors that they would only trust their son’s life to a chiropractor. “Hospitals are where people go to DIE!” she stated in don’t-you-dare-argue-with-me terms.

I can only conclude that the family had heard about my practice from one of my neighbours. What amazed me is that I was in a remote area in the middle of nowhere on a country road with no sign indicating that a chiropractor was located on the property! Somehow, they had found my driveway, my house, and then made their way to my barn – an incredible feat of night time navigation! How could I possibly turn them away? The simple fact is: I couldn’t!

I walked up to the boy and looked him straight in the eyes. It was one of those moments when you want to connect with a person on a soul-to-soul level. I said, “Listen, I’m gonna’ do my best to help you.”

For some odd reason, at that moment there was a quiet debate going on in my head. Most of the time when a chiropractor considers intervention for the kidneys, he or she thinks, “T-12,” the location of a critical vertebra in the thoracic part of the spine. But something told me this young man’s problem was to be found in another part of his anatomy – his cervical spine, not far below his head! To this day, I don’t know why that spot came to my mind.

I then examined the patient with a Nervoscope, a hand-held electronic device that measures vertebral inflammation and gives thermographic readings where there are subluxations (misalignments) in the spine. Lo and behold, he had a really HOT fifth cervical vertebra – “C-5” in chiropractor language. I then palpated the vertebra and determined that it was completely immobile. Obviously, that is the vertebra on which I performed my adjustment. Today, almost twenty years later, I still remember the “squish” of that adjustment as the vertebra snapped into alignment – it felt like hitting a tennis ball in the “sweet” spot! It was one of those rare moments when “you know that you know!”

After my adjustment, I told the boy’s parents to carefully monitor his kidney function and bring him back the next morning. They carried him past the stables, through the barn, and out to the parking area. As soon as they were beyond the door, the boy insisted that he be stood up in front of some bushes where he passed urine for the first time in five days. They spent the night at the home of a local friend.

When the family returned the next morning, I expected them to be carrying the boy into the tack room in much the same way he had entered the previous evening. Instead, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The young man was a completely different person! He walked in under his own power. He was normal! His parents said that he had urinated about six times every hour throughout the night. It was as though the C-5 adjustment had reconnected the neurological circuit between his brain and his kidneys! He had absolutely no discoloration in his body. All his swelling was gone. The colour was back in his face. His eyes were clear. It was as though he had never had kidney failure!

Ever since then, this boy – actually, he’s now in his 30s – and his family, are still patients of mine. They still drive for four hours – each way – over winding mountain roads to get to my office, although I’ve since set up shop in a professional building in town and have a thriving practice. The “boy” is now a chef in a very nice hotel in Spokane. Every now and then, in addition to visits for maintenance adjustments, I get letters from him letting me know how well he’s doing and thanking me, basically, for saving his life.

That experience made a memorable impression on me. Since then, I’ve never underestimated the power of a Chiropractic adjustment. Also, as a chiropractor, I believe in something we practitioners call “Innate Intelligence” – the power of the body to heal itself once nervous system interferences (subluxations) are removed. Even as a logical, intellectual, educated graduate of an accredited and highly-respected College of Chiropractic, I’m still amazed that a simple adjustment could have worked so fantastically well and so quickly. Literally overnight, I was humbled by the speed and completeness of that young man’s recovery! To this day, with every single treatment, I strive to provide that same level of care regardless of the condition of my patients.

Dr Joe Dispenza
Yelm, Washington
USA


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Dr John and Dr Judy Hinwood Received the Parker Humanitarian Award at Parker Seminar Melbourne 2009.

The Parker Humanitarian Award recognises outstanding service to the Chiropractic profession over a considerable period of time.

The list of achievements and awards John and Judy have won individually and collectively in a life time devoted to chiropractic care is endless.