Stumbling Upon Chiropractic
Back in 2006, I returned from Japan after a year’s course in Japanese language. As a starry-eyed graduate fresh out of school, I needed a job. And I chanced upon an advertisement in the newspaper for an Advertising & Promotions Executive in a chiropractic group. Although I have absolutely no idea what chiropractic was then, I applied and quickly got the job.
Chiropractic was a novel treatment ten years ago and getting in a healthy cash flow is crucial for the sustainability of the company. If people are new to it, then the best way is educating through community outreach at exhibitions. We put in long hours, including the doctors, and sometimes up to 14 hours for 15 continuous days. Chiropractors are on shifts.
Recognising the employees’ efforts, we were given free spinal adjustments as part of the employment benefits package. All I had to do is pay for the x-rays, show up for my treatments, do the prescribed exercises faithfully, and believe that the body will do the healing.
My Kyphosis / Hunchback Problem
I have nothing to lose. I was unhappy with how I look – head forward, rolled shoulders, a protruded upper back (made worse in the one year I was in Japan), and I felt my lungs couldn’t take in as much air as they should have.
2005: Head forward posture is noticeably present. (Tokyo, Japan)
I knew all these that I was hunching, even if friends didn’t choose to remind me. My self-esteem took a hit, and yet there was nothing much I could do to improve the situation. No matter how hard I tried to throw back my shoulders, they were restricted (now I know why) and unable to maintain the posture for long before slumping back into a curvature. Added to that, I am rather lanky, which made the hunching even more obvious. Once, my brother called me ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ 🙁
A few good-natured friends and relatives would ask me to straighten up or get a good posture. It’s not like I don’t want to but my body simply couldn’t. Muscles holding the spine needs to relearn how to in the correct way. It’s very frustrating for not being understood because I know it’s simply not just about good posture. I do not know who or where to turn to help me then. I also had sciatica (rapid current coursing through from the lower back down to one leg). I almost resigned to my fate, feeling very helpless throughout my teens and young adult phases.
How Did Chiropractic Work for Kyphosis / Hunchback?
It was not until I encountered chiropractic through my job, that I finally found the treatment to my hunchback. I had 3 times weekly adjustments for a few months, down to twice a week and then to once per week for maintenance. All in all, I saw the chiropractor for two years without a break. He also prescribed neck and upper back exercises, which I did faithfully without fail. In addition, I did pilates at the same time while undergoing adjustments to enhance muscle memory (more on that later).
2014: 3 cheers to better posture! (Pompeii, Italy)
My ex-colleagues then saw a noticeable change in my body structure and commended that my hunchback has improved greatly. Although I am no longer under chiropractic treatment now, I constantly work to improve and maintain the correct spine curvature through pilates and among other things, in the past 7 years. Sciatica was also gone.
If one has hunchback (“the lump”) already, having to sit correctly (“the correct posture”) would not be able to rectify the hunch. Because hunchback is a spinal structural issue, that needs a musculoskeletal remedy that goes to the root of the problem. Why does chiropractic work for hunchback? In what I believe, is that with every adjustment, the chiropractor helps the tense muscles holding the incorrect positions to loosen. When the muscles are lossen bit by bit, the patient needs to work on the prescribed exercises in conjunction with the adjustments. The exercises will then train and strengthen the muscles to carry the body correctly, resulting in muscle memory of the right posture.
You will realise by now that the chiropractor only assists, most of the work actually comes from the patient. I’m glad I chose to believe and didn’t give up, because the mind is such a powerful tool to either make or break this. Once the mind is made up, the rest will be easier – visiting the clinic for adjustments after work for thrice a week and doing the prescribed exercises.
It takes time to see the results of the treatment for hunchback. I encourage all who have hunchback and going to a chiropractor, to be patient with yourself and trust your decision. Results will vary with patients, depending on your age (both real and body age), and your compliance to the treatment frequency and exercises.
— Sharon Lee (@sharonleesg) March 6, 2015