The following story is by guest author and science enthusiast Antonio Brady.
My whole life, my family have been chiropractor enthusiasts.
It started at a young age. Any ailment I had I would go to a chiropractor. One day I woke up, and my back was so stiff I couldn’t move. I missed school and I was taken to a chiropractor. After a few snap, crackle and pops, I felt great. I was sold. I didn’t question a chiropractor for years. I was diagnosed with scoliosis. From a chiropractor of course. I had one chiropractor that would give me an adjustment if I was in pain, and it would help for a couple days. I was content. But I moved in with my grandparents when I was about twelve. I had chiropractors promise they could cure me in six months.
I went to a chiropractor twice a week with a guarantee of a cure within six months. We drove 45 miles twice a week, at roughly fifty dollars a visit. After six months, I was excited to be done with it. I asked the chiropractor of we were done, he said “we’ve made some excellent progress, and you’re on the verge of being fixed for good, but I still need to see you twice a week to ensure every thing is going as planned.” After about a year my grandma gave up on him. We found a new chiropractor, but this time he was 300 miles away.
He wanted to see me weekly. He could cure me of any ailment. We drove to Salt Lake every week, he’d sell us high priced pills, crack my back to the point I was in tears, and then have the audacity to call me a girl. He’d tell me I was being a girl–no one else cried, no one else begged him to stop. I felt like a bitch. I manned up and dealt with it. I never felt any better. In fact, I only felt worse when I saw him. My grandma just thought I was trying to get out of the drive and stay home to play video games.
One day we were at a health food store in St. George, Utah, and we found the same brand of pills our chiropractor had been selling us. My grandma was ecstatic, because they only cost a quarter of what the chiropractor was selling us. The next time we saw the chiropractor, she was so excited to tell him about the great sale she had found. The chiropractor had the nerve to tell her, “These may be labeled the same, but the ones I sell are packaged to my exact specifications due to my strict guidelines. I order them this specific way.” My grandma threw away all the pills she saved money on, and bought some more vitamins and herbs from him.
Now you might see where my skepticism of chiropracty might come from. But my family remains steadfast supporters of chiropracty. I’m the black sheep, and they don’t much appreciate my opinion on the subject.
They found a new chiropractor, he’s in Heber, Utah. I think his name is “doctor” Nielson or something to that effect. He’s a complete quack. One of my cousins is young. He has seizures and a plethora of health problems. The chiropractor diagnosed him with Lyme disease. The cure? A two hundred dollar an hour hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Home made out of plywood and everything. This kid’s problems persist, yet they refuse real medical advice because they are so gullible.
My grandpa had an issue with his balance. He’s 85. He went to the chiropractor, he gave him a piece of vinyl with red and white stripes on it. About two inches in width and twelve inches in length. He told my grandpa, if you run it from up to down, it resets your brain and gives you better balance. My grandpa was so steadfast in believing this quack that he did it every day for a year. I saw my grandpa daily and I know it had no effect, but my grandpa truly believed it worked (ideomotor effect). If you were to run the piece of vinyl from left to right it cured impotence, if you ran it from right to left it cured your memory. And so on and so forth.
My uncle started getting severe migraines, to the point he couldn’t move. He went to the chiropractor. The chiropractor “prescribed” him blue tinted glasses. Now these are blue tinted glasses you can get online for fifteen bucks, but these are special blue glasses and sell for three hundred dollars. My uncle said they were damn near magical. He said the problem nearly disappeared (ideomotor effect again). If you knew him, you still saw the problem frequently.
My grandma became deathly ill. The longer it went on, she became more incoherent and unrealistic. The chiropractor happened to be in town, because my uncle who is a millionaire had called him out to adjust the backs of his employees. A grand gesture really, although stupid. So when he found out my grandma was sick, he went to visit her, he listened to her chest with a stethoscope (who knew chiropractors owned such equipment?), and he diagnosed her with pneumonia. But since he wasn’t a real doctor, he couldn’t prescribe her medicine, and because my family is so anti-doctor, they refused medical services. So he called her dentist, explained the situation and the dentist prescribed her medication. Who knows what she really had, what was happening, or if she was meant to die. I don’t know. I’m okay with what happened, she begged me at one point to let her die. I wish I knew. But I feel that quack doctor took my grandma from me before her time. I feel like the chiropractor and dentist should lose their licenses for what they did.
But my family still remains devout chiropractor fans, and I’m the black sheep. I called the chiropractor out one time at my aunt’s house, and I was asked to leave since I was making a scene. My entire family sees him once to twice a week.
Meanwhile my back feels better than it has in years, thanks to avoiding chiropractors.