During pregnancy I tend to have severe lower back and left hip pain. During my second pregnancy my midwives suggested seeing a chiropractor. I had a wonderful experience with a well-respected and highly recommended local chiropractor. This pregnancy I was not able to get on her schedule, but was connected with another highly respected and recommended chiropractor, Dr. Bryant Harris. I am so glad that our paths crossed!
His assessment and explanation were extremely detailed. He explained parts of chiropractic care that I never knew about and he is now my go-to for referring pregnant women. I won’t pretend that chiropractic care isn’t controversial amongst physicians who adhere to Western medical philosophies, because it is. Chiropractic care emerged in the late 1800s and many, including myself, use it as part of an integrative medicine practice. The services helped me and all I can share is that they may be helpful as part of integrative and holistic care.
Here Chiropractor and Founder of TruCentered Chiropractic Care Dr. Harris shares his story:
What is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a health care professional focused on restoring normal function to the spine and pelvis resulting in the optimization of your nervous system to better coordinate and regulate everything in your body so it can heal itself. Our goal is the same whether we are working with pregnant women, infants, children, elderly, athletes, or the average joe - we want to make sure you are functioning optimally so you can experience life to the fullest. What does your average day look like? No day is the same… The morning could start with me seeing a pregnant momma who is suffering from pubic symphysis dysfunction, sciatica, or a baby that may be in a malposition. Next, I could be seeing a baby that may be suffering from breastfeeding difficulties/tongue-tie, colic, or constipation. Then it could lead into an adult suffering from vertigo and migraines. Followed by a child who is suffering from nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting). I know what you are probably thinking, I didn’t know chiropractors treated all these things…well we don’t. Remember, we are concerned about making sure your body is functioning optimally. When people present in the office with any sign or symptom, that lets me know that your body is not adapting appropriately thus not functioning at one hundred percent.
How did you know becoming a Chiropractor was the path for you? To be honest, I had no intentions of becoming a Chiropractor. I actually wanted to become a pediatrician. After my freshman year of college, my pediatrician told me not to become a pediatrician - dreams crushed! He felt that the model the medical system was going in was not reflective of the medical system I was used to experiencing within his office - he was a solo provider. In that honest conversation, he let me know that if I wanted what he had, he didn’t see that for me and I might want to pursue another field because I would not be happy becoming a medical doctor.
So, after I returned home from that conversation with my pediatrician, I shared the revelations with my mother. Seeing my disappointment, she suggested that I become a chiropractor. (To provide some background, my mother was a chiropractic evangelist - our chiropractor saved her from having two back surgeries.) As I did some research, I found that the path to become a chiropractor was no different than that of a medical doctor as it pertained to my coursework, so, I was like sure; why not.
And the rest is history.
Can you share more about your training?
I received my bachelor’s degree from Duke University (Go Blue Devils!). After completing my undergraduate education, I pursued my Doctor of Chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College West and graduated with honors.
I am currently in the final stages of getting my Certification by the Academy Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics (CACCP) - 200 hours post-doctoral program focused on perinatal and pediatric care, through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). I also received my Webster Certification through the same governing body.
I also have advanced training in Functional Neurology and the Upper Cervical Spine (which is the most anatomical anomalous area of the skeletal system and houses your brainstem - so it’s kinda important).
What was your path to becoming the founder/owner of your business? Weirdly enough, this is the common path for most chiropractors - they start their own practices. It wasn’t something that I knew from a young age that I wanted to become the owner of my business, but after owning my own business, I can’t imagine not having the autonomy in making decisions and how the day to day operations go.
What do you wish patients/parents knew about your services?
I guess the biggest misconception that many people have about chiropractic is that you have to have something wrong in order to be seen.
Remember, chiropractic is all about ensuring that your body is functioning optimally - it could be treated no differently than routine dental care or car maintenance.
You wouldn’t want to wait until all your teeth were falling out or you were broke down on the side of the road before you had someone check to make sure all things were working correctly, would you? Why would you want to treat your body any differently?
What are things you say over and over to your patients that you wish could be shared with the masses?
Chiropractic Works - it aids the body in working better. With that being said I can’t do the work for you though.
Being healthy is a process not an event and it needs to be constantly tended to by doing the right things, consistently, over time. The amount of time it takes to perform an adjustment is nominal compared to how you choose to spend the remainder of your day. I do what I can within the four walls of my office in ensuring that your body is function optimally, but it is up to you to determine what stressors (physical, chemical, and emotional) you put on your body that could be deterring it from getting the results you want.
I tend to use this example a lot, if you hired a personal trainer to aid you to lose weight and you commit to doing X many training sessions because they feel like that is what it will take for you to reach your goals, but, after you get home from your training session you eat a piece of cake and ice cream. Now, you are frustrated because you aren’t losing any weight. Did the personal training/exercise not work? Or did you opt to sabotage your results by returning to your old habits.
I don’t believe in work life balance, but what are some of the ways you find harmony in your work and life?
I have a hard time with this being a solopreneur. But, my business coach encourages me to do time blocking. Time blocking is looking at your calendar and blocking off specific times for specific tasks - this ensures that you are hyper focused during those times and when that block is over you move on to the next thing.
This sets boundaries and creates structure so you can be fully present while you are working, prepping/planning, or spending times with family and friends.
My coach is convinced that by having more structure actually creates more freedom…
I haven’t mastered this yet, but I am getting better.
What is something you wish every parent or family did?
Selfishly, get checked by a chiropractor to make sure that your body is functioning optimally.
Your nervous system is responsible for how you are experiencing the world around you and it creates short term strategies to protect you when danger arises. But too often, I’m noticing that these short term strategies that the body created are often becoming long term solutions - which ultimately is detrimental to one’s health and can manifest as a myriad of signs and symptoms.
So, get checked by a chiropractor and adjusted when needed (which is determined by the chiropractor not the patient).
I have taken my infant with breastfeeding issues to see a trusted local chiropractor. The care he received was like acupressure, there was no bone cracking nor manipulation! There is a some controversy in physician circles about what chiropractic treatment for infants or children is and there are concerns about safety. Can you share what the services entail? What should parents shy away from? What we are doing is locating areas in the spine that have shifted slightly, irritating the nervous system and interfering with normal function. The gentle corrections (the amount of pressure used is similar to that of which you would check the ripeness of an avocado or tomato) include no twisting, popping, or cracking, and restore normal spinal motion to allow the nervous system to regulate the body more efficiently.
How we determine that is by ways of an examination (orthopedic exams, primitive reflexes, cranial symmetry, range of motion, etc..) and a thorough health history (pregnancy, birth history - APGAR, vaginal vs. cesarean, instrument assisted, positioning, etc...).
What online resources do you frequently share with patients?