Posted by: karenevoss | November 14, 2012

Chiropractic Care Testimonial

South Shore Family Chiropractic Testimonial
By: Karen E Voss
September 28, 2012

Over two years ago, as doors began to open for me, I became aware of another way I could take care of myself and become healthier.

I have been a member of the South Shore YMCA since January 2008 as my fiancé Russ and I prepared for our August wedding. We worked out together in the wellness center encouraging each other. We formed friendships with other members and the staff, some of which became good friends. The friendships and bonds would become an essential part of my life within a short amount of time.

Russ and I married on August 9, 2008. We couldn’t have asked for a better day surrounded by family and friends. Nothing could remove the smiles plastered to our faces nor the dreams from our minds. Things began to change as fall arrived: my job laid me off, Russ began actively hunting for a better job, we started to plan for our future family and preparations for home improvements formed. All this began to take its toll on Russ.

Russ dealt with mental illness for twenty plus years, which also caused him to experience negative auditory hallucinations. These hallucinations, believed by the police and others to have taken their toll, caused him his life. Russ completed suicide on December 14, 2008.

When grief is traumatic, the body’s response is pain: physical, mental, and emotional. This pain leads to physical ailments that you might not even consider. Combined with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which included weight gain, insomnia, feelings of being lost, questioning everything, and dealing with “survivor guilt”, my body reacted with emotionally stressed headaches. These came on top of the tension headaches/migraines I had already been experiencing as a result of a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

This resulted in multiple trips to my physician for prescription medications to help combat the headaches. What I didn’t realize was the last medication I took on was an anti-depressant to help fatigue my muscles. It turns out it didn’t alleviate the headaches, but suppressed my emotions. Who knew what the next step would be.

In late January 2010, I attended a wellness talk by Dr. Drew Neville from South Shore Family Chiropractic (SSFC) (known then as Potisk Chiropractic and Wellness Center). I asked Dr. Drew during the talk if emotional stress could be a cause of tension headaches; his response was “definitely”. This led to a conversation after the talk where I relayed the background information behind my question. I ended up filling out paperwork for a consultation. This began the next step in my journey to a healthier lifestyle.

A few weeks later, I went into for my consult that consisted of gathering my history, an exam, and x-rays. I scheduled my first appointment to go over my x-rays and my first adjustment; I didn’t know what to expect. Seeing my x-rays was a cool experience! They revealed issues I didn’t know existed and one we suspected. A course of care was set up for the next three months, only my body preferred that my program of care be extended to get the required results. I soon discovered this was a type of doctor I didn’t mind waiting for.

I gradually saw improvements as my body began to heal. Within six weeks of care, I completely stopped taking the prescription medications for my headaches! Occasionally, I still take over-the-counter (otc) medications, but that’s only after I’ve tried other methods of treatment. I learned dehydration could contribute to my headaches, so I make sure I’m hydrated. Muscle tension plays a pain role and I was taught the YTWL (Your Tension Will Lessen) stretches. I’ve incorporated the use of Biofreeze as necessary for muscle pain. If neither of these methods works and if I’m at work and/or unable to make it to the chiropractic office, I subject myself to otc medications. Thanks to Dr. Drew, I’ve instilled the phrase, “Hugs NOT Drugs” into my mind to avoid taking any (I also share this with people I encounter and who have been adapting to this technique). I do take supplements which aid my overall wellness.

In March 2010, I started getting to know my current chiropractor, Dr. Steven Scheuing. He became my substitute when Dr. Drew wasn’t in the office during a scheduled appointment or for an impromptu visit. In April 2010, during Healthy Kids Day at the Y where I volunteered and Dr. Steven had a table, we became better acquainted. As he discovered more about my background, I learned knee adjustments could help with the arthritis that settled there. After talking to Dr. Drew, he started giving me knee adjustments and now they are a regular part of the adjustments at my appointments.

With Dr. Drew leaving the practice in September 2010 to become a facilitator for Higher Brain Living, I transitioned into the care of Dr. Steven. I acknowledge that I didn’t know how my adjustments would adapt. Things began to change that year and beyond. I grew by leaps and bounds.

In 2011, I became more athletic, which required my care to adapt to the strain I put my body through. With my adjustments on a bimonthly basis, I know that when an issue comes up I’m able to get there sooner. This became important when I badly bruised the ball joint in my right foot. Foot x-rays look pretty cool too! Because my needs changed, I incorporated massage therapy on a regular basis, more so as I trained for athletic competitions. Erin, my massage therapist, has taught me more about muscles than I ever would have learned on my own, as well as how to tend to them. Taking up Yoga at the Y on a weekly basis strengthens my muscles and stretches those I didn’t think could.

Turning the page to 2012, I decided I wanted a challenge. I created a goal of completing a triathlon, the Danskin Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie, to be specific. Early in the year, I showed Dr. Steven a list of athletic events I wanted to accomplish. The list not only included the triathlon, but objectives to get me there in eight months. My objectives of an indoor triathlon, the idle ironman challenge, and a 5K run, posed daunting, but Dr. Steven informed me that I could do it all. While the indoor triathlon, a planned event by the Y wasn’t scheduled, a new competition, Go for the Gold did. I joined a team to rack up 3,917 miles to make a trip from Milwaukee to London for the Olympics. Our team ended up in 3rd place after completing over 11,800 miles.

I had a little difficulty in my training and would discover, thanks to Dr. Steven, the issue laid in my feet. A foot scan revealed just how flat they are and custom-made orthotics added to the list of things to benefit me. The trick is to remember to switch them in every pair of shoes and this isn’t fun when you forget after you drove an hour to run.

I rocked the Famous Racing Sausages 5K run/walk on July 28th in just under 40 minutes! I completed it in less time than I planned. While I didn’t run the entire 5K (3.1 miles), I made sure I ran through Miller Park and the finish line. I finished strong with a big grin and a few tears. I knew I’d be able to handle the 5K portion of my first triathlon.

Race day, August 26th, ½ mile swim, 12 miles cycling, and a 5K run. With my start time of 8:03am, I figured I would complete the triathlon by 10:30am. I did better than that. I finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes, and 20 seconds at 10:15am, which was 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I did it! I set out in January making the Tri my goal of the year and I accomplished it.

Had chiropractic care, massage therapy, determination, strength, and perseverance not been in the picture, I might have not done all this. Now I know I CAN! I look forward to living healthier and the next challenge!

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