Student Care: Chiropractic and Acupuncture in the Campus Clinic
There’s possibly nothing more frustrating than injury. I am a runner, myself, and taking unplanned time off is just not enjoyable. Okay, that sounds crazy to some of you, so try this: interference with any daily activities or work is inconvenient. Hopefully, for you readers who are not students, you have a chiropractor or other professional available who can help you resolve these sorts of issues.
Here on campus, I have received care including regular chiropractic adjustments, muscle/soft tissue treatments, and my first experience with acupuncture. Allow me to brag: all of this is free to students, and the clinic itself provides clinical experience to students in their final year of the doctor of chiropractic program.
Each year all chiropractic students at NYCC are required to have health clearance to adjust and be adjusted in our chiropractic technique classes. As we learn new adjustments in class, we practice them on our classmates (with direct supervision from the DCs teaching). The health exams identify individuals with contra-indications to manipulation which require exclusion or modification of their participation, such as aneurysm, fractures, late stage arthritis, or severe joint instability. It is unusual for such conditions to appear in the student population, but it is a good way to get care for those few students affected.
When I entered school last year, I carried with me a lingering injury which I had not treated. The student treating me identified this quickly from decreased range of motion in my neck and muscular weakness in my arm. Subsequent treatments from him, and from another student once he went off to another clinic, focused on improving these insufficiencies and decreasing pain.
As we tried different treatments, having an injury actually paid off for me. First, chiropractic adjustments significantly improved my range of motion. Unfortunately, the tight, weak musculature around my scapula, or shoulder blade, persisted, so we moved to soft tissue treatment. The intern’s specialty was in Graston technique, which uses simple tools to work tight bands and scar tissue out of muscle and other soft tissues. This, as well as ConnecTX, a similar treatment taught here, were fantastic for me, resolving the issues of scar tissue from leaving the injury untreated for so long.
Now, I actually had never experienced acupuncture before venturing into the clinic on campus, but New York Chiropractic College also houses the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I did not particularly fancy the idea of being poked repeatedly with pins, but decided that since it is so often associated with conservative medical care, I might as well venture to their clinic to see what they could offer. After my intake appointment, I remained skeptical, but after three weekly treatments all residual pain had been eliminated. I was also extremely impressed with the knowledge, technique, and professionalism of the acupuncture interns. Beyond just needling, they employed diagnosis methods distinct from those used in chiropractic but very effective, and massage and soft tissue treatment that was among the best I have received.
Injuries are certainly frustrating. But here I was able to turn it into an excellent opportunity to experience first-hand several unique treatments that will one day be essential to my own patients.
This past week I had my 4th-trimester health clearance examination. A 7th-trimester student took me into his capable care, going through a full hour-long examination and filling out the miles of paperwork and documentation before doing a few adjustments with oversight from a doctor. I’m clear to continue adjusting, and looking forward to being in the clinical intern position one year from now.
Bergman TF, Peterson DH. Principles of adjustive technique. In: Chiropractic Technique. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MI: Elsevier; 2011: p. 93.