BIM: That makes a lot of sense. What would you say is one of the biggest misconception that people have about chiropractors or the chiropractic Model? What are some of the things that you see out there that you can help clarify for our readers today.
Dr. Wells: I think one of the main things which I didn’t realize and understand myself in the beginning because I didn’t know much about chiropractors is the extent of their education and background. So chiropractors have to go to med school which is the same curriculum of a medical doctor. So the actual medical training is quite extensive. If you compare the actual hours it’s very comparable. We have more anatomy and physiology maybe even more biochemistry where they spend more time in pharmacology and focusing on pathology. So when we graduate from our medical training, it’s comparable to that of a medical doctor. Then our medical colleagues go on and go into certain residency programs and we go off and set up a practice. Though most chiropractors do have post-graduate education, whether it’s rehab or neurology. That’s one of the bigger misconception I think of a lot of people have. I hear patients say at times, though not as much as I used to, “Well my real doctor said this and this.” I do still think a lot of people don’t realize the scope of a chiropractor’s education and background and what they’re able to do. As chiropractors, we’re licensed physicians in all 50 states. The only thing that we don’t do is prescribe or cut, thought I know in some states you can suture but I don’t like blood so no surgery here.
BIM: I can relate. My father is what you would call those “real doctors” and I skipped biology class because I’m like “I’m not doing blood or cutting up a dead frog. I’m not doing any of that stuff, forget that”. So, I understand completely where you’re coming from.
Dr. Wells: Not to gross out your readers, but when I was four years old, I cut my finger off. It was terrible. I have 4 kids and if that happened to one of my children I would just freak out and become a spaas and my wife would have to take care of the situation. So the trauma of seeing all that blood. So I kind of knew early on that I didn’t like blood yet I’m in pre-med at the University of Utah. Go figure and I never really enjoyed being in a hospital setting either. I think God had a plan here. So I found my purpose and it’s pretty cool when you can do that.
BIM: That’s awesome and great passion. And I can imagine your patients appreciate that passion and you helping them in what you do on a day to day basis. So can you describe a situation where you actually helped one of your patients overcome a challenge or set them up for success in a way that they hadn’t before they for they came and saw you.
Dr. Wells: Sure. I think this is a misconception. I see it all the time. Why in the world would a chiropractor need or want to treat a child. What kind of a pain or problem would bring a child to a chiropractor’s office or table. So let me tell you of a lady who came in with her son. He was 6. His name’s Spencer. And he had chronic debilitating constipation. This poor little fella only went to the bathroom maybe twice a week. That’s serious. So he was on some serious medication for that problem. And so the medication treated the symptoms of his constipation problem. But what was the underlying cause. You know what was causing this little guy’s problem. So this mother had some understanding and some background knowledge already. She understood the principle of chiropractic and she had moved into this area. She saw that I was a chiropractor in the area and had a patient refer her to me. So she came in and I did a really thorough neurological assessment of this little boy and what I found in his lower lumbar spine some areas that were in what chiropractors call subluxation. In layman’s terms, it just means when the spine is not in the right correct position. It actually pulls on or pinches the nerves that come out of the spine. So think of having a guitar or a piano. If you’ve ever sat down on a piano or played a guitar, you know when it’s in tune or not in tune. And so what do they do, they change the pitch by tweaking the wire. So this little fella had some problems affecting his wires that went to his colon causing that Colon not to be at the right pitch and not get the right input from the nervous system. And so we had a little issue there and we started to adjust to his spine and it took pressure off those nerves so that he could get the right information to the colon. And so that little boy started going to the bathroom really within visits. He was able to go to the bathroom every day and that impacted that little fellas life. If you think about it, if you cut the nerves that go to the colon what’s going to happen to the colon?
BIM: It’s not going to function.
Dr. Wells: Right, it’s going to cease to function. That’s a dramatic example but if you pinch that nerve if you shut it down say by 50 percent. What’s going to happen?
BIM: It’s only going to work partially.
Dr. Wells: So here’s the thing. You don’t feel it generally. So you don’t necessarily feel a pinched nerve to the colon and that’s the problem with a lot of people today in America is that we think we’re healthy if we feel good or look good. Let me repeat that as this is so important for your readers. Most people base their health on how they look or how they feel. But in reality that’s risky behavior because if you do that, you’re going to miss the top three killers in America today because number three is heart disease. And 80 percent of the people who have heart disease, the first symptoms is death. That’s pretty scary. And then cancer is number two and just look at Patrick Swayze or look at some of the people like Farrah Fawcett, who had unfortunately this disease affect them but they didn’t find that out until they had symptoms and it was too late. The disease process had been building up 10 to 20 to 30 years but there were no symptoms. Anyway that’s a great example of a little guy coming into the office without a symptom of pain, just the symptom of constipation.