So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ISO A Guy With Initials After His Name


Spent a few minutes after getting my weekly Six at Six beat-down talking to Mark. He asked me what I knew about chiropractic, & whether I had ever been treated by a doctor of chiropractic. I had to admit a certain degree of ignorance about the benefits of chiropractic; while I've read much in the running world about athletes being adjusted on a regular basis, I also had to look past some formerly/deeply-held (religion-based) convictions. I'm not in the mood to get into the theological side of this, so I'll stay with the semi-scientific side.
I spent 14 years working in the medical field, as an administrative person (transcribing doctors' orders), a file maintainer/receptionist & a transcriber (history/physical examinations, ER visits, progress notes, discharge orders, treatment notes, and so on). During that time I had close working/personal relationships with most of the relevant medical professions (doctors are willing to engage in some back-scratching to get their work expedited), which gave me the chance on many occasions to ask 'what's the difference between...?'
So, if I were to place the three forms of medicine on a spectrum, I would consider osteopathic medicine (practiced by doctors of osteopathic, or D.O.'s) at the center of the spectrum. Chiropractic, Homeopathic, Chinese and Ayurvedic would be on the left side; allopathic medicine (practiced by doctors of medicine, M.D.'s) would be on the right.
A V.A. friend of mine is a D.O. I would visit him on occasion in the Rehab Medicine department when I had an issue, or just to ask 'what would you do in this situation?' I always found his approach to medical issues to be pragmatic & holistic. He was more likely to try something outside the box than fall back on more traditional methods of treatment. I decided to see what Wikipedia had to say about osteopathic medicine, and whether I had gone far afield with my description to Mark.
Wiki says: "...osteopathy has been considered a form of complementary medicine, emphasizing a holistic approach and the skilled use of a range of manual and physical treatment interventions in the prevention and treatment of disease. In practice, this most commonly relates to musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain. Osteopathic principles teach that treatment of the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles and joints) facilitates the recuperative powers of the body."There's a time & place for pharmaceuticals in the treatment of medical issues, but I'm always amenable to something a little more on the natural side. Mind you, the most important issue is not so much the type of initials after the name as much as whether they are compatible to your needs.
I have spent more time over the past two years in dental offices than doctor's offices, so it wasn't that important to me. However, after my episode in Panama City I knew I did not want to visit the general practitioner near my home. There's nothing worse than being an athlete who has a medical issue; a physician's visit usually leads to the typical 'stop running/cycling/swimming altogether' advice. I also could tell from the first visit the practice would not be compatible; contemporary religious background muzak & copies of Christianity Today are not preferred waiting room material for a recovering fundamentalist.

Fortunately for me, I was able to get the contact information for the physician my friend Steven sees. The guy's a masters' swimmer & does some of our long swim events, so he recognized me right away when he came into the examination room. Right away, I knew this would be a fairly comfortable fit.

And when it comes to your life, your health & your avocation, comfort is darn near everything.

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