Melanie Carr, D.C.
When I was 15, I starting working administrative jobs and ended up with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. My mother suggested I see a chiropractor. I asked "Why? My neck and back don't hurt." She explained that the neck controls the arm and hands, but I was afraid. So I got adjusted and still to this day, after typing faster and more than most people would do in a lifetime, do not suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fast forward 10 years, and I worked for a great chiropractor. During that time, circumstances ended up showing me that I was meant to be a chiropractor. I packed up my 2 kids, and moved to Atlanta. I started college while my son started kindergarten, and seven years later I graduated with my doctorate of chiropractic and a phenomenal education in biology.
During my schooling, the more I got adjusted the worse I got. I developed sciatica that wouldn't quit and put me in fits of crying and pleading for relief. At the same time, I had migraines that would last for days, where I'd stay in bed with the lights off for fear of vomiting if I stood up.
Quality of life at that time was pretty low, and the effects were worst for my children. During my migraines I would shush them out of the room, making them fend for themselves for breakfast and to just play quietly. My sciatica and constant headaches lowered my patience so much that I often lost my cool and would scream at the top of my lungs in frustration. Do you know how many times I apologized to my children for losing my temper? Too many, and I felt terrible about it yet just felt so exhausted and uncomfortable that my threshold of patience was at an all-time low.
Meanwhile, I was progressing through chiropractic school and arguing with my clinic advisors about how I wasn't ready to go to the next level because people weren't getting better. They thought it was fine, and commented about what a great adjuster I was. To me, being adjusted 2 or 3 times a week in the same spots every time or they were in pain wasn't progress and it wasn't better - and they had been doing this for YEARS! Personally, the more I got adjusted the more I "needed" it becasue it just didn't stay better (and sometimes didn't help much at all). The patients in the clinics were the same way, and we didn't get our credits based on how well folks did, but the number of adjustments we delivered. It just seemed all wrong.
Finally, I was introduced to someone who did knee chest upper cervical and was having a student night. I did not want to go, and at that point had asked people to stop adjusting me. Not something you do in chiropractic school! My boyfriend convinced me to hear him out, and reminded me I did not need to get adjusted if I didn't want to.
Well, I was blown away by all the reasons for adjusting the upper cervical spine, knowing when and when not to adjust, that holding our adjustments is possible, and so much more. When they asked if we had any questions, I asked, "Why isn't this being taught in school more?" I let them take special x-rays of my neck to see if they saw anything different from the others, and sure enough he did. So, I reluctantly let him adjust me. (I was hesitant to do this, as I'd be in bed for a few days with migraines after neck adjustments.). He adjusted me and I rested for about 20 minutes afterwards (to help hold my adjustment) and I was re-checked. Things looked good.
Well, I woke up the next morning bright and early and full of energy! This was a huge difference in how I felt, and there was no migraine for the first time in so long. My sciatica was GONE! My boyfriend asked what I thought, and I told him this might just be what I'd been looking for! He was skeptical, but I hadn't felt this good in years.
After weekly checks and a promise to not let anyone else adjust me, I finally needed to be adjusted again. THREE WEEKS!!! That was the first time I'd held an adjustment that long in my LIFE, and I'd been adjusted since I was 15 years old (over 15 years of being adjusted). Now I can hold my adjustments for much longer, and sciatica and migraines are a thing of extreme rarity. I asked why I did so terrible when other people tried to adjust me upper cervical in clinic, and the answer was simple, "They were over-adjusting" because they felt bad for me feeling bad even if I shouldn't have been adjusted and in this area it can be MUCH worse to be adjusted when you don't need it, than to wait until you are positive it is needed. Students don't get credit for not adjusting, so... there you go!
I took a class in knee chest upper cervical before I graduated, and then I took a whole series of courses on it after I graduated. I dove deep into learning everything I could about upper cervical chiropractic care, and how to deliver it. How to know when and when not to adjust, how to know which way to adjust, and the more I practice this way, the more I enjoy watching others thrive.
In order to succeed, I need to see more people than other chiropractors who see less more frequently, and I'm okay with that! My #1 priority is to get you well (which means holding that adjustment) and keep you there. Then you can tell all your friends and anyone who will listen so I can fill my office with many others who want to thrive, and also not be adjusted all the time.
If I helped you, please do share your experience with others: in person, over the phone, and through testimonials on my web site and reviews on social media and other sites. Please share your experience and how I helped you with others who are looking for a chiropractor. That's how I keep my doors open so I can serve you all.