I have been in clinical practice for 26 years multiplied by 51 weeks of practice per year times 230 patients minimum per week times 5 spinal adjustments per office visit per patient equals 1,524,900 spinal adjustments my hands have rendered so far in my career. 1.5 million times I have felt patients’ spines, decided where to adjust, how to adjust, and then adjusted. There are 24 vertebrae plus the skull and sacro-iliac joints, and each joint can be adjusted a number of ways, so the decision making process for each of these 1.5 million encounters has been quite a learning process in itself, and likely much more valuable to you than the adjustment skills themselves. In other words, while 1.5 million may qualify me many times over as an expert technician at the skill of adjusting, what is far more valuable are my learned skills as a doctor to sift through your history, examination, and imaging to know what to do. Or, in some cases, what not to do.
Adjusting the spine is what is referred to as a psychomotor skill. It requires the basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and physics to perform. To obtain a license to perform this skill requires nearly 5,000 hours of education in other areas such as biochemistry, radiology, nutrition, physical examination, embryology, microbiology, pathology, differential diagnosis, pediatrics, psychology, and much more. Written and oral examinations must then be passed for national and state recognition of clinical competency. And that is when the real education begins. With adjustment #1 I had my basic knowledge and primitive skills. Not much really. Be glad you were not patient #1. When I look back to that day I realize now that although I had thousands of hours of education, I sure didn’t know much about people and how to care for them. That knowledge would take dozens of years, hundreds of hours of additional seminars and training, and hundreds of thousands of adjustments.
So what does this mean to you? It means that I have probably heard your story before, probably many times, so I probably know how to take care of you. In many cases it means that the examination is mostly a confirmation of what I already know just from taking your history. It means I can sense or feel things by touching your spine that I could not even 10 years ago, let alone 26 years ago. It means that I can give the right adjustment to the right vertebra in the right direction to give maximum results with minimum force. So why write this? If I were you I would want to know that chiropractic is safe and effective and that my chiropractor knows what he is doing. Also, as a patient I might need ammunition to explain to family, friends, co-workers, and even my medical doctor why I am choosing to utilize chiropractic rather than drugs and surgery, folk-remedies, or doing nothing at all.
But why 3,000,000 as the title you ask? That is how many adjustments I hope to render before my body forces me into retirement. Now how many people have done any one thing 3,000,000 times in a life? I hope I can and that you will be there for my 3,000,000th adjustment party.