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About being a doctor in America

About being a doctor in America

Tuesday 23 October 2018

When my - at least currently - youngest son was born in August of this year, 2018, the birth was not entirely uncomplicated. It was a real fall birth and due to the high birth weight of a little over five kilograms, the poor boy broke his right collarbone during the transition to the extrauterine world. Was it because of this skeletal malalignment or simply because of his mind that he cried a lot, sometimes incessantly, and slept badly in the first few weeks after his birth?

Screaming from children may be a dream of the future, but high-pitched infant screams cause strong emotions to arise, which are often not part of the positive. My search for treatment strategies was correspondingly intense: the administration of probiotics, various herbal juices, heat pillows, different sleeping positions, grounding and much more. In the end, I convinced my partner to visit an infant siropractor, incidentally, also for a muscular problem that I have had for a long time. It was my first visit to a chiropractor.

This professional group is widespread and very popular in English-speaking countries, especially the USA, Canada and Australia. Almost a third of the American population has had chiropractic treatments, and such practices can be found in almost every major town in English-speaking North America. Without going into the details of this field too much, this is a non-conventional medicine, i.e. alternative medicine, area that was developed in the 19th century by an American, Daniel David Palmer, who was born in Canada. In some ways it has similarities and thus overlaps with osteopathy, manual medicine and also what is done negatively by a bone breaker, i.e. the straightening of limbs and vertebrae.

With a chiropractor, manual pressure, the use of certain lever positions and forces, as well as pulling and turning, move bones, joints and muscles or muscle groups, often jerkily, but sometimes also gradually. Occasionally there is a pop, but sometimes there is only a noticeable shift in the patient's musculoskeletal system. The spine, in particular, is a popular area of ​​application, with the effects of these treatments on a wide variety of symptoms and diseases, be it pain conditions, digestive difficulties or even asthma, many of which are incidentally without scientific evidence-based confirmation.

While an initial consultation can take half an hour and also includes an examination, the actual therapy sessions are often only five to ten minutes long. Such a chiropractor has the right in the USA to use the title "Doctor" and is often called that by patients - "Dr. Palmer “many would say, for example, the founder of chiropractic. This may seem a bit strange, but since many more professional groups call themselves “doctors” in the USA than in German-speaking countries, this is easy to accept as a cultural phenomenon. Incidentally, with their seven years of total study time, they study almost as long as medical doctors with their eight years. There are 18 chiropractic universities and now more than 50,000 of these practicing chiropractors in the United States alone.

So it was within this screaming child that I went to such a therapist for the first time. The five sessions did not bring me very much myself (and the total cost was 300 US dollars; my health insurance did not pay for these treatments), but I'm not so sure about my son: Because after a total of 17 sessions over four weeks, he shines Having improved oneself sleeps better and cries less. Was the therapist's gentle constrictions really the reason for this improvement, or was it simply what leads to improvement in most people, the therapeutic time?