(I saw a chiropractor for the first time over the winter, and was amazed at how much she understood about so many movement-related issues. I hadn't realized I had any alignment or core strength problems, but she talked to me about the relationship between my spinal structure and my headaches, jaw-grinding, and tight pectoral muscles, and I've seen a huge improvement after working with her off and on.)
Informational visit with a chiropractor
When I was in the San Francisco bay area a couple of weeks ago I got the chance to have lunch with my sister's long time friend and chiropractor Dr. Eric Smith. Talking to him was one of the best things I could have done to help me figure out if chiropractic is right for me, and what kind of school I should consider. He's been a chiropractor for more than 20 years and has a lot of strong opinions about the world of chiropractic, the way to be successful in that world, and the differing philosophies. He is what is called a "straight chiropractor," meaning that he sticks to a more strict definition of what a chiropractor is/does than other more generalized practitioners. The legal scope of practice for a chiropractor includes some massage work, nutrition guidance, and a bunch of various techniques for helping people. However, Dr. Smith feels strongly that a chiropractor should study and employ chiropractic methods, and if a patient needs massage, acupuncture, or nutrition help he will refer them to specialists in those respective fields.
Straight vs. Meta-practor
The argument is, in essence, that by studying and employing a wide variety of techniques you dilute your overall effectiveness by not being really, really great at one thing. If someone needs chiropractic care they should go to the best chiropractor they can find, which will be the person who has specialized in and practiced that skill alone. I can see some ways that this argument can be countered, and their are certainly many people in the chiropractic field who do NOT feel the way Dr. Smith does, but it was really great to get his perspective and it had a big impact on me. Now I feel, at the very least, that I have a much better understanding of the sides of the debate and the playing field of the chiropractic profession, and I'm going to keep pursuing chiropractic as a strong option of a career I can imagine myself doing and enjoying.
Have you had experiences with a chiropractor, more general/holistic or very specialized? Which do you find more benefit from?