A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. ~ George Bernard Shaw
No one likes to make mistakes. I personally don’t find it very enjoyable! It’s not likely that many people want to “screw up” and do something that causes us pain or suffering, however, it does happen to all of us. We have all been there … wishing we did things differently or made a different choice.
You can look at it in a negative way, or you can look at the other hand.
The other hand says that mistakes help us. They help us to learn about ourselves and they help us to become a better version of ourselves. Mistakes highlight who we truly are in our lows and they teach us to have determination and perseverance. Even the most put together, “got it going on” people, make mistakes and make poor choices from time to time. It doesn’t make us bad people. It makes us human.
As soon as we see mistakes as lessons, they become much less scary. If we keep making the same mistake over and over again, it is time to take a deeper look at that area in our lives. If we don’t learn, we will continue to be given more lessons and challenges in our lives until we “get it”.
Not only do mistakes help us personally, but they also help to teach us empathy for others. When others make mistakes that affect us, our experiences help us to forgive others. We are not perfect beings and mistakes put things into perspective. They allow us to understand that a mistake can give us opportunities, which is the life experience.
I don’t want to have regrets and play it safe all the time. I’ve had to take risks in my life and risks mean a greater chance of making mistakes. I risked accumulating a six figure student debt to pursue a career I love and I risked moving 8 hours away from my family at a time when my father was dealing with health challenges for a rare career opportunity. I risked moving to London to start my private practice from absolutely nothing, while only two years into practice. I know that I wouldn’t be as happy in my career as I am today if I hadn’t taken those risks, although I did make mistakes in this process.
I have said things that I regret.
I have done things that I regret.
I have acted in ways that I regret.
No this isn’t my diary and I won’t be telling you all of my secrets, but know that I have made mistakes. I have done my best to change my actions from those mistakes. Yes, some mistakes keep showing up over and over again and it is important to recognize those patterns. Those are areas we need to focus on and put more energy toward, although the first step is being aware of something that needs to change. These are also the areas we might need help with overcoming.
Remember – there is always a choice and every mistake can be viewed as painful and hurtful, or it can be viewed as a growth experience in this journey we call life. When we make mistakes and we come out on the other side, we gain confidence in ourselves. It usually takes some mistakes in order to succeed and your greatest moments can come at a time of perceived loss. It is a long road, but there is a big world out there full of opportunities when we are comfortable making mistakes!
Summer is on its way!
And in my world, this means an increase in overhead activities and increased chance for shoulder pain … yay for baseball and volleyball!
Chiropractic is crucial for prevention in the body in general, but today I will specifically talk about the SHOULDER. Maybe this can help you or maybe you can help by telling a friend.
Up to 35% of the adult population experience shoulder pain and I can imagine this number is hugely increased in the active and athletic population. Shoulder pain can be chronic and awful, even disabling.
Most people with shoulder pain try soft tissue therapy first (working with the rotator cuff muscles only). This helps the symptoms and is beneficial, but often neglects the hugely important relationship of the cervical and thoracic spine (neck and mid back). Cervical and thoracic joint restriction / dysfunction / subluxation not only affects the movement of the shoulder biomechanically, but also affects the nervous system. The nerves in the mid back and neck supply the shoulder area (and sooo much more – a topic for another blog post!). This, once again, goes back to why I work with seemingly non-symptomatic (non-painful) areas to improve function in nearby and referred areas.
Let me explain with some patient cases …
Patient 1: This patient had shoulder problems for years. An extremely active young man (think elite athlete) who has tried self-mobilizations and stretching / strengthening for months. The thought of a Chiropractor for shoulder problems didn’t enter his mind. Luckily, he knew me through a friend and decided to give Chiropractic a try – sort of a last resort you might say.
As an aside … how many times have I heart this Chiropractic as a last resort thing?? Ugggg…. usually daily … unfortunately. I hope Chiropractic becomes a “first try” kind of thing soon!
Long story short, this patient had spinal restrictions (subluxations) in his neck, mid back and RIBS! Yes, rib dysfunction is very common in shoulder problems and too often is not addressed. I did some minimal muscle work with the shoulder, but it was the adjustments (that released beautifully, I might add) that increased his range of motion, decreased his pain level and allowed him to PR (personal record) just days after his first adjustment on an overhead lift that he was previously having significant problems with.
A woman had pain in her “shoulder” for months and it was getting worse. I use “shoulder” in quotations because her pain was located in the right-sided RIB area (mid back to the right side). Her rib was so dysfunctional that it was creating a referral of numbness and tingling down her arm and an impingement feeling at the front of her shoulder. She even reported shortness of breath and some pain referred into the front of her chest. Once the rib, mid back and neck were adjusted, the numbness and tingling resolved and her pain was almost completely reduced.
You might be thinking … how does this happen? I help shoulders without spending a ton of time on the actual shoulder?
As many of you know, I have a two-sided approach in my practice. I believe and use the biomechanics of the body to cue me into the areas to adjust, but my primary goal is to remove all interference and dysfunction to the spine with the intent of the body being able to heal itself. This results in a symptomatic change and an overall healthier body.
If you are looking for research regarding shoulder pain and spinal adjustments and in case you don’t believe me, check out McClatchie et al. in 2009. This study looked at patients with at least 6 weeks duration of “standard treatment” that was unresponsive including physiotherapy, strengthening and modalities. After adjusting the neck, pain decreased significantly and the shoulder painful arc was much improved. Strunce et al. in 2009 also showed that one session of thoracic adjustments, including the rib, showed a huge decrease in pain and shoulder range of motion was significantly improved.
I know this blog post was mostly about pain and function of the shoulder, which isn’t my usual style, but I felt a need to share this with you. These principles are applied to all areas of the body. For example, the neck and mid back relating to shoulders and the low back and hips relating to knees and ankles.
Consider how a person experiences shoulder symptoms because the spine is subluxated / dysfunctional / restricted, however, the spine itself does not express any apparent symptoms. The spine doesn’t hurt, but it is the cause of the problem.
Think about this … how many other parts of your body are functioning poorly, yet not expressing symptoms? Symptoms do not tell us everything. This is why I advocate so much for getting your spine checked before symptoms occur. Prevention and performance!
So … who is YOUR Chiropractor?
Reference of journal articles: Dr. Shawn Thistle, Research Review Service
Thank you for voting for me for the London Free Press Best of London Chiropractor!
I am honoured and humbled to find out that I am voted as the Runner Up for Best Chiropractor for 2013!
I have been in solo practice for just over two years in this community and it is great to know I am making a difference. I feel so honoured to know that my friends, family and patients think highly enough of me, what I do, and my style of Chiropractic to take the time to write my name down for this award.
In the two years that I have been practicing in London I have been so blessed in my career. I am grateful to be a the President of the London Chiropractic Society, lucky enough to serve as a volunteer for the Salvation Army Chiropractic Clinic and every day I love love love taking care of my people at my thriving and growing practice seeing “everyday miracles”. It brings tears to my eyes as I write this because I am so happy that I found Chiropractic … or as some would say, Chiropractic found me.
I am so happy where I am, but I am always moving forward. I am looking forward to teaching at Fanshawe college in the spring and engaging in more speaking involvements in the community of London. I have so much I want to accomplish. I am so happy to call London my home and will continue to give wherever I can. My most purest and most global intention is to make the world a better place.
That being said, I take this award with humility. I take it with responsibility and the expectation that you will continue to see only great things from me. I take it with the fact that “you ain’t seen nothing yet from me, London!”
I thank you for this award and I thank you to all those that voted for me. I wish to say congratulations to the winners of this award and say thank you to them for doing their BEST to make London a healthier community. I also wish a huge congratulations to Active Wellness for being voted best Registered Massage Therapists in London. So happy to be partnered with Active Wellness!
There is something to this serving for the sake of serving, loving for the sake of loving and giving for the sake of giving!
Sending you love and happiness with gratitude.
I wrote this blog as I was on the plane last week on my way to a destination wedding. I hope you enjoy!
I seem to do some good blogging while I am on planes, so here I go again!
I am flying on my way to Punta Cana with a large number of some pretty awesome people. Two years ago, I would not have known them. It is kinda crazy for me to think that! Although a lot has stayed the same, so much has changed in my life in two years.
I am excited. I am happy. I am grateful.
I am looking forward to having a “non-Chiropractic” vacation. What I mean by that is lately I have been doing a lot of travelling for Chiropractic related events. I have gone to Vegas for seminars, travelled to Toronto, Barrie and even Edmonton. There are some personal reasons for these trips and I enjoy that part of it, but it is always centered on Chiropractic. I love my career and feel that Chiropractic is more a part of WHO I am than WHAT I do, but this trip is different. There is no seminar in the Dominican. There is not a single Chiropractor on this plane with me. These people are my friends, but a good number are patients too. Will I completely turn of my “health professional gene” while I am there? Doubtful. It is really hard for me to not talk about my passion. On the way down I was talking about the benefits of probiotics and omega 3 supplements. Sometimes I can’t turn it off. But I do know that it is beneficial for me to try in order to create some balance.
So … I am taking a week off from my practice (Thank you Dr. Tricia for covering my practice!). I am taking a week off from my blackberry (EEEEEEEeeeekssss!) and I will only get to check my email periodically. This is going to be tough for me, but I know it is good for me.
The more I do things, the more I grow. I want to always improve and move forward. I realize that sounds silly since some would say “you are just going on a party vacation” but to me, it means more than that. It means that with the growth of my career and in light of all of the high goals and aspirations that I have and am striving toward, I still need to take some time to “chill out” and be “off”. I so look forward to taking some time to read my “self-help” books in the sun! I can’t leave that part of me. But … I also look forward to drinking some fruity drinks and having some great laughs!
I am going to try to let it all go and have fun. We will see how I do!
I CAN’T WAIT!
I want to tell you a story. I think it might scratch the surface to explain why I get so excited every day in my office.
One of my favourite patients has allowed me to share with all of you his very interesting and complicated case. One Saturday, about a month ago, this patient experienced a severe headache. He described this headache as encompassing his entire head and being constant. Pain medication was no help. The headache persisted with the addition of his heart pounding so deeply in his chest it felt as if it would burst. On Monday he had an appointment that day with his very caring medical doctor. This medical doctor I respect for many reasons. His family doctor took his blood pressure and it tested at 170/100mmHG (average is 120/80mmHg). After ruling out pathological reasons for his symptoms, the medical doctor said that he could give him stronger medication if the headache didn’t go away in the next few days, but advised him to rest.
At this time I was out of the province, but when I returned a few days after his medical doctor appointment, my patient asked if I would help him. Of course I would, so I assessed him and I took his blood pressure, which on this day (5 days later) was still 168/98mmHg. I did a Chiropractic exam of his spine and muscular system and I found significant restrictions in his upper cervical spine (neck) and in his upper thoracic spine (mid back), so I gently adjustment him. As I asked him how he was doing after the adjustment, he replied, “I don’t feel any different”. I giggled and smiled because only this man could be so blunt to me. I told him to “give your body a minute” and asked him to rest for that night.
The following morning, I checked in with him to see how he was. He said there wasn’t much change for an hour or so after the adjustment, but then the headache slowly started to reduce and the pounding in his chest diminished. He had a decent sleep that night (first time in many nights) and the headache the next morning was minimal. I checked his blood pressure and it was 134/90mmHg, a definite improvement, but still on the high side. I told him we would check him again that night.
That night, he mentioned the headache was now non-existent, he found breathing easier, and his heart felt “normal”. We checked his blood pressure and it was 124/78mmHg! I did another check of his spine and I found mild restrictions in his upper cervical and thoracic spine, much less than the day before. I adjusted the areas that required it to ensure that his nervous system and body was functioning to its’ best ability.
Now, this story would STILL be awesome if we were talking about a healthy man with some blood pressure and headache concerns. But when I give you this man’s health history it is going to mean that much more. I am talking about a man who has dealt with 5 different types of cancers over the last 5 years, who has gone through 4 different surgeries, 2 nuclear medicine treatments, 2 doses of chemo radiation and an experimental drug trial and breathes through a trache. He is currently on a number of medications. I have adjusted this man throughout these treatments, always doing a thorough examination and using gentle techniques ensuring that it is safe and appropriate to adjust. It was amazing to be able to help this man reduce his headaches and stop the crazy heart pounding out of his chest to allow him to have a good night’s sleep and not have to go on another medication. I find such joy and happiness in this.
As I said at the start of this story, this man is a patient that has a special place in my heart and I have learned so much professionally from his health challenges. This man is not only my patient, but he is also my friend, my teacher, a role model and my DAD! To be able to help my Dad in this way is a feeling that I can’t even explain and it gives me inspiration and motivation to help all of my patients. Each person I see is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, partner or friend.
What I want people to understand is that if a patient has a pre existing condition or has pathological issues, they could still see a Chiropractor. Of course there are precautions that should be taken and at times different techniques are to be used with special populations. I believe that whether symptomatic or not, everyone should be assessed by a Chiropractor for prevention and optimal health, as well as important for those expressing symptoms or with a lower level of health.
Please don’t misinterpret this as me saying my adjustment was a treatment for my father’s high blood pressure. Every patient whom I adjust does not have a guaranteed result in a lower blood pressure. I do not treat high blood pressure as a Chiropractor. I assessed and adjusted his spine and when that dysfunction was released, his body had a better ability to heal itself. The result of that healing was a reduction in his headaches and blood pressure. A pretty amazing side effect, one might say!
The passion and dedication that I have to Chiropractic is not simply because it can help reduce and eliminate people’s back pain or neck pain, although I do enjoy this aspect of it. Chiropractic can help to change people’s lives. I have seen incredible changes in my 4 + years of practice, this story being one of them, and I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for me and for me to meet the different people I can help.