Finding a Chiropractor can be hard in Singapore. For many people, Chiropractic is still new, and even in a place where Chiropractic is established in America where it was invented, the number of choices is dramatic. There are low force techniques, medium force, and high force techniques out there all of which people have experienced success in on all levels. Hopefully, this article can head you in the right direction on looking for a Chiropractor that can serve you.
There isn’t a Chiropractic organization in the world that test the ability of a Chiropractor to deliver an adjustment let alone many adjustments. Most organizations charge a membership fee and, in some occasions, arrange meetings for colleagues to exchange ideas. Ideas can be useful to share, but at the end of the day, the adjustment is a craft. This can only be done in individual seminars where Chiropractors can practice their art on each other. Most Chiropractor’s spines are healthy; this makes them easy to adjust so even this method has its limitations since people that have received little to no Chiropractic care are harder to work on. There are associated certificates in Chiropractic diplomat or seminar circuits, but they are theoretical rather than assessing a Chiropractor’s ability to treat. One of my mentors who is universally considered one of the best adjusters in the world offers seminars at different levels. Two different people who are level 4 may have day and night differences in skill level. I even taught in some of these incidences and even among master apprentice’s standards are different. Just like how there are people like Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal and 100 other guys.
The Singapore Chiropractic Association is included in this, along with even government appointed to state boards that are mandatory in certain places like in California, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners. In these situations, a member of the public can lodge a complaint and depend on the frequency of complaints from other citizens and severity of a problem; the Chiropractor can be suspended. This means at best you can investigate whether they are bad or not rather than if they are good or not. Boards in Law, Medicine, Dentistry are the same. They are only meant as governing bodies to protect the people rather than a body that distinguishes how amazing a doctor or lawyer is. A fresh graduate from any school can join every organization that will take them in to make them appear qualified on paper. But in reality, their abilities are limited. Out of fairness, I have met fresh graduates in America with skills that exceed people 10 years in practice because they worked hard outside of class by finding good mentors and they were exceptionally gifted. In other words, do not look how many places they belong to gauge if they are right or not. This is not only in Chiropractic but other fields, but a schools job is not to make a good Chiropractor but rather fulfill a mandated program where that person won’t be a danger to their organization or an individual. It’s been universally known that Albert Einstein got to where he was at not because of his school but his desire to make the world better. In some ways, the school got in his way of success since he finished last in his class and received little respect while he was attending. Individuals strive because they have a calling to do so rather than their GPA or number of certificates they have.
It’s better to get adjusted once specifically rather than 10 or 20 times and getting a similar result. Paying less and getting adjusted more will end up having you pay more. Certain conditions may require a substantial amount of adjustments so just because a Chiropractor may say they need 12, 30, 48 or 100 sessions doesn’t mean they are out there to get you. It’s not healthy to have disbelief when you are coming in to get helped by someone. Or just because they don’t match your expectations and biases doesn’t mean they can’t help you at all. If they are confident in their ability, they should let you try their care for a short-term but try not to judge them in only a few sessions. Some doctors may have conservative protocols, or they may have a reason to be cautious because of age or a specific condition, so give them time before you jump to conclusions.
- Their appearance
My wife thinks I am a handsome guy and sometimes annoying, but that doesn’t determine if I am a excellent Chiropractor or not. On a more serious note, just because a Chiropractor has several certifications, does not mean they are a good Chiropractor. Most of the certifications determine the knowledge and theoretical aspects of treating the spine rather than the ability to deliver an adjustment. Knowing where the spine needs to go and providing an ideal adjustment is essential for a perfect adjustment to occur. The school I went to is considered a good Chiropractic technique school but even then, skill sets vary among peers. Physical appearance, educational appearance, or any other superficial appearance should not be a deciding factor. In some occasions the opposite can be true, there are times I have had people that came in too smart for their good, and they researched Chiropractic so much they became the most prominent expert. “Know it all’s” weakest point are their biases.
- Have they mastered a specific Chiropractic technique? There are many different Chiropractic techniques out there most of them require the hands of the Chiropractor. Every Chiropractic school offers a primary diversified method which doesn’t typically have an in-depth protocol. Most Chiropractors around the world practice diversified and sometimes mix in other techniques. In my humble opinion, the hands will always be the best tool because the hands can maneuver in different directions. The spine moves in 3 dimensions (X-Y-Z axis)Chiropractic devices usually move in only 1 dimension or a single plane ( X or Y or Z).I will use tennis as an example, a tennis player can apply spin and apply torque in their swing which can significantly affect the direction of the ball just by slightly modifying the angle of their shoulders, wrist, elbow, hips, knees, and foot. Something that no machine or device can do.Like any art or craft through repetitive practice and specific training, can a Chiropractor deliver a perfect adjustment (what people consider treatment)?
- Does their method of care or technique create some level of independence?
Some Chiropractors such as myself talk about inside-out approach, what that means is we believe that whatever is inside of you can take care of you. When a person does something healthy for themselves, it’s their body that turns on their innate ability to thrive. An example would be hiring a personal trainer or eating something beneficial for your health. A personal trainer motivates you to exercise, but it is up to you and your body to develop more strength. As you are lifting tiny muscle fibers tear, the following day they become soar and when the heal back, they become stronger. A good personal trainer will inspire you to exercise when they are not around. A great personal trainer can help with your confidence and completely change your life. A good Chiropractor can facilitate an environment for your body to have less a need to see them eventually. Everybody’s requirements for a Chiropractor is different, just like the worlds greatest athletes hire trainers full time.
In normal conditions where an individuals physical and mental stress isn’t drastic, coming in every number of weeks to the Chiropractor should be the desired goal. How fast a Chiropractor can get you better reflect on their ability as a Chiropractor.
- What are their goals or intention of their techniques?
Is it short-term or is it holistic? Short term goals may bring quick results, but immediate results may have you in a pattern of dependency to see them. A holistic approach can improve your overall vitality. An example would be mental clarity, deeper sleep, even life-changing events that can alter the way you see things. Coming in specifically to see a Chiropractor for crisis care, when you are in deep agonizing pain can cost you more in the long run. An example would be an advanced level of a disc herniation where surgery is the only choice.
- Do they have short term, medium term, and long-term goals?
Short term goals are generally pain relief, medium-term improvements in your physical well-being and long-term are typically how do you want Chiropractic to change your life. Let’s take eating green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach. Eating right doesn’t cure you of anything, but when practiced over a lifetime, you’ll find yourself getting sick less often and lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and even cancer. Pain or symptom-based practices usually don’t dig deep into other aspects of a person’s life that can help them improve. If a Chiropractor is trained in a specific technique, there should be some long-term goals associated with it. Not everyone wants long-term goals, and that is up to them to decide, but if the Chiropractor only wants to move a bone to get you out of pain specifically, then their understanding is limited because all the intention of even one single Chiropractic adjustment should be to impact the entire body. If you hire a nutritionist or a personal trainer, their purpose should be big picture things that will last you a lifetime and require you to change the way you live.
Experienced and skilled Chiropractor should have plenty of miracle stories. They aren’t usually on an everyday basis in practice, but they happen on a much higher frequency when a Chiropractor has put in the time in their craft and fully surrendered on the act of serving as if they existed on this earth to serve you. This idea is not exclusive to Chiropractic; there are many medical doctors around the world that feel that way along with anyone else that spends their lives serving others. In the ideal world, every human being on this earth would be connected in this way, but most of us even struggle with the act of loving our spouses and even our children on an absolute level. The greatest people have their lesser moments. This is when it helps to be understanding.
- How do they make you feel?
Does the Chiropractor make you feel safe and do you trust them? Since Chiropractic is a particular thing, how a Chiropractor makes you feel is essential. Rapport and connection are also essential. It would be nice to live in a world where people judge each other on ability, intention, and merits but things do not always work that way. Many people are nice, but not all nice people become friends with each other. Although I see some fighters, I don’t participate in boxing or martial arts, but perhaps there is a Chiropractor that does. Someone that is a fighter may prefer someone that is also one because there is a perception of shared identity. Believe it or not, having a connection to your Chiropractor can determine your ability to heal. Your political or worldviews may differ than your Chiropractor so that may affect the healing process. I’ll say it again, I think it should not matter but for some people, these things may. One time I was using an analogy on disease and how it doesn’t come out of anywhere to a client. I said to him, “Disease comes from a person’s lifestyle, mental, physical, emotional and even social. Even an infectious disease like the common flu doesn’t come out of anywhere. If a person has a strong immune system, the outside starts becoming less of a problem. To blame pain to come out of nowhere, would be to blame your problems in your life due to a ghost.” It turns out the guy believes in ghost and believes that they are against him. He was deeply offended and demanded my apology. I apologized to him, and I said, “Even if the ghost does exist which is I would never rule out, the idea that someone or something can affect your life is irresponsible.” His brain shut down after that and his heart closed which interfered with the healing process. After that, we never saw him again. Some of the best adjustments I have ever received were made by people’s whose worldview was different than my own.
This one is an obvious one, but often enough many people have only experienced only a hand full of Chiropractors, so their recommendation may not be broad enough. In Singapore, since Chiropractic is new, most have just experienced 1 or 2 Chiropractors. Generally, if I met someone that has gone to 5 or 6 different Chiropractors in a short amount of time they were the impatient type and didn’t give the Chiropractor enough time. There are many times I had people that told me they tried Chiropractic several years ago but didn’t get results, so they weren’t interested in it anymore. It’s not until their friends recommend them to us or they were desperate enough to try Chiropractic again did they come in. The best advice I can give you is doing your research and follow some of the previous suggestions I gave earlier.
- I’ve been to one and I have seen everything I need to see
I’ve been to one, and I have seen everything I need to look at This is a general problem and to be honest I have fallen into this category myself. Creating a belief system or bias after have one negative experience with something or someone. How many times have people tried one thing or had an interaction with a person place or thing and created a stereotype around it? Many are new to Chiropractic sometimes expect an instant relief because their experience in an infectious disease like the flu or dealing with a headache had a quick resolution. There are times a single adjustment may be enough to get rid of your symptoms but usually not long term. Once you have found a Chiropractor give them time to help you. Knowledge should be acquired after having a large enough sample size. How many people does one need to interact with before meeting a suitable partner? To sum things up, BE PATIENT and OPEN MINDED.