Let me first say that I’m not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training whatsoever. This blog is not meant to give any sort of medical advice only to share my personal experiences and shed light on what I view as important information. That’s it. Read further at your own risk.
I have not always been a fan of chiropractors.
Growing up with a physical therapist for a mother made me skeptical and wary of anything that affected bones or was viewed negatively by the medical establishment. When my parents began seeing a chiropractor and found so many benefits, that did help to thaw that sense of leeriness; however, it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second son that I saw a chiropractor regularly (for any pregnant mamas in Orlando, check out Diana Gabaldon in Baldwin Park!). That experience definitely made me a convert as there was no way I was going to be comfortable without those adjustments the last trimester. When my eldest was getting back to back ear infections and the pediatrician started talking about tubes, we took him to a chiropractor and he didn’t need tubes (for anyone looking for excellent chiropractic care check out Comprehensive Health and Dr. Aaron Webb). Dr. Webb also took care of me leading up to my initial breast surgery while I was living in Orlando.
After I had surgery and received clearance from my doctor, I went back to see Dr. Webb and started getting weekly massages from the massage therapist in his office. One thing that many people don’t realize is that seeing a chiropractor is not just about cracking your back or physically based adjustments. Many chiropractors (including Dr. Webb’s office) have a variety of modalities and other professionals like massage therapists and even physical therapists. The massage therapist in Dr. Webb’s office gave me so much relief while I was healing.
Now, a big hurdle at the beginning can be the general negativity about chiropractors from the medical establishment and talking openly with your medical oncologist would be key at the beginning. Most organized chiropractic offices would request a letter saying it’s safe to provide care or what care is safe before embarking upon treatment. This is for everyone’s safety. For those of us with bone only metastases, it doesn’t take much to break a fragile bone.
When we moved from Orlando to Miami, I had to seek out options to replace Dr. Webb’s office. I’ve had to find both a chiropractor and massage therapist separately, but having both on my “team” has been so necessary and so needed.
Dr. Lewis Arrandt is my current chiropractor. He is truly an intuitive healer. The regular adjustments and other modalities in his office have been so helpful. Since I’ve been seeing Dr. Arrandt for a little over a year, I know that he knows my body and it’s capabilities/weaknesses. My aches and pains are less when my skeleton is aligned. I won’t try to explain the science/biology behind how it works because I’m not entirely sure I understand it all myself. Suffice it to say, the better my body works and it’s natural processes are effectively working, the better I feel, inside and outside. My liver and kidneys have taken a beating in the last over 2 years of treatment and anything that helps them work better is helpful overall. Also, I have lots of pain due to the metastases in my bones and the alignment affects the level and intensity of my pain.
So, there you have it, for me, chiropractic care during my cancer treatments has been helpful for functioning and for pain relief. My medical oncologist is tolerant of my desire to seek both traditional and complimentary medicine; I know that she does not always believe it is helping, but so long as the complimentary interventions are not causing problems, she doesn’t fuss at me too much.
As I stated at the outset, I’m not a doctor and I cannot give medical advice. I am super careful to ensure that all my doctors know what I’m doing, especially the complimentary/alternative care I seek out beyond the medical professionals I trust to oversee my care. Even if I get looks or comments or even lectures, I seek out what works for me and then I am open about it. I absolutely 100% believe that only with true transparency can any medical professional hope to their job effectively.