Up and Down

What is life without ups and downs? We are always going to have some of both, no matter how hard we work to control what life throws at us. Lately, I've had a few blog posts that came out at some of those dowm moments, but even when there are a lot of those, there are also up times that come in between. It's important to know that they will come, and be prepared for when those down times do return, but the good times are almost always as frequent as the bad, but can be harder to see and acknowledge. We can't ever control every aspect of our lives, but we can focus on the things that we can control and allow those things to influence what we can't. Right now I am in chiropractic school and as demanding and stressful as it can be, this course that I am on is going to be hugely beneficial to my family, and literally thousands of people that I have not yet met. What's more exciting than that? Even though it's very hard on my family for me to be away as much as I am, they are very supportive of all that I am doing here, and though they have their tough moments just like I do, they are just as sure as I am that this will all be for our benefit, and they are going to tough out these next 2.5 years. It is not going to be an easy road, and there will be struggles along the way, but there is not a better place that I can be right now, than right here at Sherman College, and becoming the best person that I can.


You Are What You Eat…

Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat”? What exactly does that mean? Better yet what should you eat? Being a Chiropractic student, you learn that there are three things that cause a subluxation, thoughts, toxins, and traumas. Therefore, what we put into our body can actually harm us and our overall being.

What is the perfect/right diet? You hear so many different things about what is good for you and what is bad for you, and what you body can and cannot handle. How do you combine it into one overall big picture of what you should and should not eat? Also, is it good to completely eliminate bad things from your diet or is everything in moderation a better way?

With so many different trends in today’s society what is the “right” or “best” one? Should people be concerned with what they are putting into their body? What is considered “healthy eating habits"? ….What do you think??


Time is Flying By…

It seems as if not only the quarters fly by but so do the weeks and days. It is hard to believe that it is already the 7th week of my 5th quarter. It is such a relief to have my midterms out of the way, yet scary to think that in a short 4 weeks I will be studying for finals. With all the craziness of tests, projects, homework, and assignments it is always good to know and realize that I am not the only person who is going through this. Everyone else at this school is also experiencing the crazy weeks that are put before us.


Is it beneficial to have this many classes at once, or would our time be better spent focusing on one or two classes at a time? Does studying for nine classes at once get us more prepared to take boards or just drive us insane for those weeks of constant studying? But wait….we are all going to become Doctors at the successful completion of Chiropractic school and passing all our boards. Therefore, when you applied to Sherman you had to know it was not going to be a walk in the park, that there was going to be some crazy times where you wanted to pull your hair out. BUT you need to remember when times get tough that in the end of all of this you are going to be able to help people that may not have gotten help if it was not for you. Therefore, sometimes you need to put your head down and barrel through it because there is A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!



Plugging Away

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do you just can't win? As you can probably tell from my blogs for the past few weeks, things have been pretty tough for me lately. Right now I wish that I was the only person who had an effect on how my life goes and on my own happiness. But the truth is, that we all have very complicated relationships in our lives that have a huge bearing on our overall well-being, and it will never be completely under our own control. I wish that right now time could stop for my family while I finish school, then we could just pick up where we left off as though we had not gone through 3.5 years. Unfortunately that cannot happen, and life has to continue for my family right now while I cannot be with them most of the time. There have been those that have suggested stopping school for a while to take care of my family, but I know that that would be the worst thing that I could do. I'm here right now for them, and as intense as the struggles can get, I have to keep plugging away until I can get finished. It's the only thing that makes sense to me. I have to be the strong one for my family and do all that I can to be a strength for them whether I am here during the week, or home with them on the weekends.


A snail’s pace

SnailDo snails wonder if they are going too slow?  Does a night and a day last longer to a snail than to a human?

I am hereby admitting that this weekend has passed much too quickly. Yes, I studied for a midterm and 2 practicals seemingly nonstop this weekend. I think I began the study on Thursday… and kept going to… Sunday night. Certainly I don’t feel like I did much else and there is little time left before my evening “curfew.”

Sigh. Let’s be fair now. Friday night we welcomed my other son John to South Carolina. Yay! We had a little surprise gathering for him with pizza, a heritage tomato salad, balloons and homemade ice cream (that he and little sister made). We also went for a walk-bike-ride-run with John, Grace, Kai (Newfie) and Mollie (Cavalier) on Saturday – a very good thing to do to get those “study kinks” out of you. In fact I could use a lot more time on the trail to help the sore study muscles. :/

There was some brief weed pulling in between study sessions. A few bags of wood chips got spread around the side yard too. None of these little jobs took a much time. And, today I made a nice homemade roast chicken dinner. So, what’s to complain about?

Oooo, I’m just selfish I guess. I want a good night’s sleep and a few more days to study. I just really like to know my stuff and be super polished for my practicals. Perfection comes with practice. And I can’t fool myself – it will take some time in professional practice before I can really feel like I’m at the level of perfection that I would like right NOW!

Perhaps I should work on patience too? Do snails need patience? After all, it takes them a long time to go from here… to … there…. Yet somehow I feel like snails have all the time in the world and that patience is not an issue… nor is perfection!


What is: “Above-Down, Inside-Out”?

4color_Logo_RGB_small“Above-Down, Inside-Out” is a statement of chiropractic philosophy. It is the guiding principle of Sherman College. It is also the original phrase and philosophy of the Palmers, who founded chiropractic.

What it means is that the brain is the control center of the body, it is the “Above.” The control of the body comes from the “Above” then travels “Down” into the entire body on the “Inside” and finally flows to the “Outside.” The “Outside” I think of as a flowing of energy to affect the world around us.

It is a very simple phrase born at the turn of the previous century to express a very complex process. It refers to the functioning of the nervous system and all its manifestations. The more you know about the nervous system, the more you can appreciate the phrase. 

As the guiding principle of Sherman College, it reminds us that the human body is an infinitely complex entity that self-adjusts, self-manages and ultimately heals self. It is a principle of life and all vertebrates.

Some people also like to include another meaning to the “Above-Down, Inside-Out” principle. That is that there is a Higher Power that comes from Above, giving and sustaining life Down and Inside-Out. This is the religious – philosophical principle that many chiropractors and students believe in. The Palmers also believed in the spiritual connotations of the phrase.

So as you see, the principle of “Above-Down, Inside-Out” is fertile ground for discussion and debate. At Sherman, we discuss it as a living principle and use it as our guide in the way in which we approach the human body. Understanding that the human body has within it immense capacity for healing allows us as future chiropractors to appreciate our place in the process.

Our place, we learn, is to be a part of the process of healing but not the “Boss” of healing (so to speak). The “Boss” is Life itself or the brain/human body. After much study and practice, we are here to assist in the process of removing subluxations of the spine. And that, dear friend, is yet another chiropractic story!   


Leadership In Chiropractic

            My first thought as I began to write this blog post today was to offer my apology for getting so personal at times with my postings. Then as I was thought about it I realized that getting a little personal in these posts is not really something that I need to apologize for. The purpose of my blogging is to give information to those who are in chiropractic school, or preparing for it, to help them to know what to expect while they are here and how to prepare for it. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I talk about my classes, the community or simply the enjoyment of school, it can be helpful to those who are thinking about going to school, but it is only helpful on an academic level. If instead, I am willing to be open with the reader and let them know about the less discussed aspects of devoting your entire life to a single cause for three and a half years, the reader is able to connect a little easier with who I am, and what it is that drives me to be here and to commit so much effort to this purpose.

            As I have thought more on this subject I have realized that this is also what is going to set me apart long after I am done with school when I am working in my own practice. There are several principles of leadership that must be employed by a chiropractor if he is to be successful. One that is certainly important and must not be overlooked is good solid business ability and drive that will translate into dollars that pay back student loans and build nice homes and comfortable lives. However, another principle of leadership that is often overlooked is a principle that cannot be learned in a classroom. If you ask any chiropractor what the biggest challenge is with running a successful practice, I think many will tell you that it is difficult for patients to understand the principles of chiropractic beyond simple pain management. The principle that will make a chiropractor into a leader in his community is not going to be his ability to run a successful office. It is going to be his ability to connect with his patients on a personal level to gain trust so that they know that his motive is their health and happiness. It is this ability that is going to determine if that brand new mother stops by his office on the way home from the hospital to have her new baby checked, and it is this ability that is going to inspire that new baby twenty years later to go to chiropractic school to learn how to make a difference in the lives of others the way that chiropractor did in his.



Chiropractic Philosophy/Culture: What’s That?

Chiropractic philosophy and why learn it? In my mind, it’s a very simple reason – well, maybe several simple reasons. 

Reason One:

The purpose of learning chiropractic philosophy is so that you as student and future chiropractor know why you’re doing what you’re doing. What is the real purpose?

Reason Two:

As a student/future chiropractor, you are not swayed by popular opinion in methods of practice by others whether they are patients, practice members, other chiropractors or agencies of chiropractic.  

Reason Three:

Knowing your purpose, you can fulfill your destiny with efficiency and great care of your patients (fill in other goals- this is a short blog). 🙂


Here is what Keith Wassung, lay speaker on chiropractic, has said about the subject describing it as the “culture and heritage of chiropractic.”

“Learning the culture and heritage of chiropractic will allow you to make quality decisions about your own practice. It will teach you that Chiropractic is a life-long pursuit and not just some way to build professional prestige and money. It will teach you the proven principles upon which all successful practices are built. It will teach you the importance of hard work, the importance of effective communication It will teach you the importance of a positive mental attitude, of focus, commitment and persistence.”  ~ Keith Wassung

Mr. Wassung was a recent speaker at Sherman College.

These are just some thoughts on why we learn philosophy and culture of chiropractic. There is much to read and research regarding it. I hope you take the time to immerse yourself in it, if you are a serious student of chiropractic.


Staying Strong Through Adversity

If there is one constant in life it is that hardships will come along at one time or another. We all hope and pray that those times will be fewer rather than more, and while we have a degree of control over it, we cannot avoid it all together. With a program that lasts for almost four years, it is nearly guaranteed that at some point along this road, a situation will arise that will test your mettle, and your resolve to follow your chosen course. Those situations are different for every one of us, whether it be failing a class or board exam and having to retake it, deaths of family members, relationship troubles, or any number of other problems that occur both in school and in personal lives. But all of these troubles have a common element, they all make it harder to focus on school and perform at your highest level. They all have the power to cause you to lose your way if you do not have a firm conviction that what you are doing is the best thing that you can be doing. This is one of the reasons that I am grateful to be a student here at Sherman. I am not here just to learn how to diagnose back pain and move bones, but instead I am here to learn an entire worldview that not only influences how I will treat my patients in my practice, but that along with my personal and religious values, gives me a conviction that I am going to be of greater value to this world and to my family when I finish here than I could have been without it. I am a stronger person today than I was a year ago when I got here, and though I still desire not to have to face the struggles that are in front of me today, I know with a surety that I cannot be broken, and that tomorrow I will be a graduate of Sherman and will be able to help those around me to overcome the struggles that they face.