Chiropractic Kids

Being raised by a Chiropractor may be a different experience than being raised by someone who is unfamiliar with the profession. Since chiropractic is a profession and lifestyle, it impacts not only the graduate but also their family. My father is a 1982 Palmer graduate, and my mother is an avid health advocate. The combination of my parents who valued health more than the average American parents led to some interesting and awesome experiences. At points growing up, I felt somewhat embarrassed for being different than my peers, but looking back, I am overwhelming thankful for the way they raised my brothers and myself.

One of the major differences I noticed between my peers and myself was our overall mentality towards health and sickness. In our family, we all knew that if we felt like we may be getting a little cold that it just meant we needed to get adjusted, drinks lots of water, have some tea and get lots of sleep. In a lot of households, name brands like Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil and Pepto-Bismol are a staple, but we just knew that we did not have them in our house or even need them. I’m not saying that all drugs and medications are awful and should not be used, I’m just saying that sometimes they are used too often or when unnecessary. We also were not vaccinated, which is a topic I will save for another blog. My brothers and I were also sick a lot less often than our classmates, except for getting the chicken pox and minor colds here and there.

School lunches were another place that I noticed our “different” lifestyle. I was sometimes disappointed with my peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, carrots and grapes in comparison to my classmate’s lunches that consisted of peanut butter and fluff on white bread, Dunk-a-Roos and Doritos. I didn’t appreciate my “boring” lunches then, but now as an adult, I am so thankful my mom fed us a really healthy diet. Also as far as lifestyle, my parents really value the importance of exercising often. They both did and still do a lot of running, biking, lifting and other physical activities. I was fortunate enough to be driven around to many dance, cheerleading and gymnastics practices since I was in preschool, which gave me a great appreciation for staying active. My brothers were also involved in many different sports including soccer, football, baseball, wrestling and lacrosse.

Getting consistent chiropractic care helped my brothers and I excel within our sports, which was awesome to experience. We were fortunate enough to come home to our Dad and say, “My ankle feels funny, can you please fix my ankle?” and “I got tackled really hard in that game and need an adjustment immediately!” There are definitely perks to being a chiropractic kid, perks I didn’t fully appreciate until I began to pursue the journey of becoming a chiropractor as well. Overall, I feel very blessed to have been raised in a chiropractic family and I hope more people will embrace the chiropractic lifestyle in the future.

Q&A with a prospective student

Recently, a prospective student asked me several questions. Because I know that I had several of these same questions when I was looking at chiropractic schools, I will blog about my answers in the weeks to come.

Prospective student question: Do you feel that you get enough nutrition classes to enable you can give excellent nutritional advice to patients? Or is this something I would have to learn more about outside of class?

Answer: I feel that we learn enough of the foundation for making sound nutritional advice.

The biochem classes are taught specifically geared toward nutrition and give you a good understanding of how the body uses what we put into it, including variables such as what it needs after exercise and in what quantities. Those classes are followed by a general nutrition class that gives you basic concepts of nutrition, a toxicology class that focuses a lot on supplements (herbs, vitamins, etc.) and how to see if they are beneficial for certain things or just old wives’ tales.

The final class in the series is a clinical nutrition class that was added a few tris ago, so I didn’t take it. From what I have heard, it is supposed to give you guidelines on how to give nutrition advice clinically.

Will you need to learn more outside of school? It depends on the amount of nutritional advice you want to give. If you are working in a team setting with other healthcare professionals, you will have a full-time nutritionist helping with that. If you are practicing by yourself, you might need some more specific training—but Palmer gives you what you need to be able to look at something and determine if it is good or not.

I believe Palmer’s nutrition curriculum is the most extensive in any chiropractic program and is enough for giving advice to the general population. If it is more complex case, most chiropractors refer to a good, natural nutritionist or another chiropractor with advanced training because they have a lot more training than we could get.

Joe O’Tool
9th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Palmer students learn to ‘walk the talk’

On Palmer’s Davenport Campus, there are quotes everywhere. Not just the epigrams by B.J. Palmer, but from other doctors, as well. I thought I had seen and read every single one, but today I noticed one which I hadn’t before. It said something along the lines of, “It is important that a patient knows that the doctor is taking his own advice.”

This has popped in and out of my head all day as I sit next to my fellow students, and as I walk in the halls. I have been privileged to receive treatment from several doctors who I know take their own advice. It is difficult as a patient to “eat plenty of vegetables” and “get 8 hours of sleep” if you notice your adviser at a fast food restaurant several times each week.

As a newbie here at Palmer, there are several students in my trimester, and the other earlier trimesters, that carry their bad habits with them into class. It is easy to distinguish an upper trimester student from a lower trimester student, not only by the way they dress (upper trimester students are in the clinic throughout the day, and therefore wear clinic appropriate dress attire), but also by the lack of energy drinks and junk food. Obviously chiropractic is about promoting health, and health does not include chewing tobacco, energy drinks, and sugar-filled sodas.

 As an outsider, not yet completely changed by the Palmer education, it is evident that the knowledge supplied at this school has the ability to change patients into doctors as students progress through life at Palmer.

 Hannah Anderson
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

So, what have YOU eaten today?

Recently, in my nutrition class, a 4th trimester course, we kept track of our food intake for three days. We inserted everything we ate, down to the exact amounts, into a website called Fitday.com. The website calculated all of the important vitamins, minerals and macronutrient deficiencies that each of us had.

 This assignment was great because now we each know exactly which nutrients we need to focus on in our own diets. It also gave us insight as to what many of our patients will be deficient in, as well. I really enjoyed this activity because it brought to the surface the importance of what we put in our bodies.

Lacey Pletchette
4th trimester student, Davenport Campus