My chiropractic story is unique in the way that I was presented with chiropractic every single day of my life, and only later accepted chiropractic for all of its glory, and my future within it, after a life-changing brain injury.
As a student here at Sherman College of Chiropractic, we often get the pleasure to hear about incredible chiropractic families with generations of principled chiropractors in just one family, I’m grateful to be a part of one of them. In 1999, I was born while my mother was completing her last year of her Doctor of Chiropractic program while attending Palmer in Davenport, IA. As a newborn, I filled in as a classroom prop in pediatrics courses and met some of the greatest chiropractic legends like the great Dr. Fred Barge and Dr. Sigafoose.
Upon my mother’s graduation, we moved to New Hampshire where she established her practice. By the time I could talk, I was the new voice to her practice throughout radio and newspaper advertisements, with my biggest hit slogan being, “Chiropractic, because the body heals itself!” For the next decade, I was known around town as “that little girl’s voice” from the radio. I have been educating my community about chiropractic since I was 4 – how many people can say that?! Even though I lived and breathed principled chiropractic all my life, I never thought I would become a chiropractor.
In March 2014, I sustained a mild traumatic brain injury, also known as a concussion. I was accidentally kicked in the head in high school gym class, and when my concussion didn’t resolve, I was diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome. I lost months of my education, numerous friendships, my ability to dance and many childhood memories. My severe symptoms continued for more than 8 months while other symptoms lasted for years. I suffered from debilitating headaches, dizziness, irritability, light sensitivity, balance problems, difficulty reading, and an inability to form new memories, which affected my academics. I had no prior understanding or experience with concussions. What best helped my body to adapt and heal was the power of specific chiropractic care and functional neurology.
When it felt like my body was defeated, I had to remember the principles of chiropractic and life that l knew so well, and trust my body. As months turned to years, my symptoms slowly resolved, and I felt a new sense of normalcy. Now, seven years after being kicked in the head, I only suffer from memory issues and periodic headaches! Since my injury, I founded National Concussion Awareness Day in 2016 and speak on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of America about issues related to concussions, and how we can prevent and heal from them.
Throughout my healing, I had a sense of peace knowing that my spine was always taken care of. I knew that the connections for my brain to my body were going to heal and that I had a clear nervous system. If I didn’t have the foundation of chiropractic so ingrained in my life, I wouldn’t have had the same hope, trust in my body, or positive outcomes. This accident also gave me perspective as a suffering individual. I now know what it’s like for future patients to come into my office with debilitating pain or low quality of life.
Since the beginning of my time here at Sherman College, I have had the opportunity to be a spokesperson for the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation and the research that we do here at Sherman, notably the work of our Dr. Christopher Kent, and one of our board members, Dr. Matthew McCoy. This injury also taught me how vital it is for our profession to continue to show the world what chiropractic care has to offer through research. As a D.C., I hope to be able to bring a unique perspective by conducting research that relates chiropractic care to the healing process of brain injuries and concussions.
Although chiropractic was all that I knew to be my truth, it took this extreme change in perspective to help me realize the greater picture of chiropractic. This challenge I overcame helps me now as a chiropractic student by being able to put myself in the shoes of patients who just want better quality of life, and it gives me a daily passion to keep pushing through this program. I could not be more excited to get into the world as a graduate of Sherman College of Chiropractic to share all that chiropractic care has to offer.