While other healthcare services are in short supply, specialists like Dr. Sharonrose Samelak of Seed of Life Chiropractic are proving that chiropractic doctors can do much more than make adjustments.
“We are trying to do the best that we can to take the load off of our medical doctors,” Dr. Sharonrose explains. Chiropractic doctors are capable of screening and seeing if what’s happening in your body can be managed with chiropractic or physical therapy.
According to the Washington State Chiropractic Association, “Chiropractic doctors are trained to diagnose and treat many conditions. In fact, the majority of ER and urgent care patients admit themselves because they’re experiencing musculoskeletal (MSK) pain – the kind of pain chiropractors primarily treat. As hospitals are getting overrun with covid-19 patients, patients experiencing MSK pain run a higher risk of getting turned away.”
“If it’s a musculoskeletal issue, I can help you with it so that it doesn’t become something dangerous and land you in the ER or urgent care. Part of my job right now is to make sure that I’m using my skills as a differential diagnosis to make sure that you are seeing the correct doctor,” Dr. Sharonrose says.
“Also, if patients match some of those screening criteria, I can make sure that they get connected with their doctor via telemedicine.” By doing so, patients can potentially get tested or be told whether or not they need to quarantine.
What Do Chiropractic Doctors Do?
Chiropractors safely and effectively adjust the way the joints of the body move and restore normal motion. They then work to balance the musculature to maintain that adjustment. When the body is out of balance, we see pain and dysfunction, just as we see problems in our vehicles after hitting a pothole.
“People come in and say, ‘oh, you’re not gonna snap my bones, are you?’ and I say, ‘No. no, chiropractors don’t snap bones or pop joints’” Dr. Sharonrose says. “We work on normalizing the central nervous system using the bones of the spine. We correct their movement and tone so your brain can talk to your body how it’s supposed to. So, if I do a manual adjustment and you hear a pop sound, it’s like a stretch to the joint capsule that creates that sound. That’s what that pop is.”
There are many ways to adjust the spine and some of those techniques use very little pressure. Some of the pressure is so gentle that you’d be comfortable with it on your own eyelid.
“There’s like 200 chiropractic techniques. It’s about finding the technique and the doctor who matches you the best,” Dr. Sharonrose says. “People sometimes have very interesting views about what chiropractors do in their offices, so I always encourage people to ask questions to find out a little bit more before taking a deep dive.”
Seed of Life Chiropractic
“I like to refer to myself as a family wellness chiropractor,” Dr. Sharonrose explains. “A really big part of my practice is young families from preconception care for men and women – when couples are thinking about having children – all the way through taking care of their young families. Sometimes we have visits where grandparents come in and I get to see three generations all at once.
“My specialty is helping young families to lead a wellness lifestyle. I love working with young families to give them the best education about how to keep themselves healthy and safe.”
Dr. Sharonrose has a small, focused practice. There, she holds longer appointments than many other chiropractors so that her patients can talk to her about everything. Her goal is to work with and educate patients to the point where they don’t need her. This also involves recognizing when they do need her services.
“We train them (patients) to do a better job for themselves. We retrain your software – which is your nervous system talking to your body – so that your hardware is better. Does that mean that you’re never gonna have a glitch? No, but it means that you start to recognize when your body needs a tune-up and be able to step in.”
Dr. Sharonrose also specializes in the smallest of patients.
“I adjust newborn babies. People go ‘oh my gosh, how could my baby ever need an adjustment?’ when you think about the process of becoming born, the process of growing inside someone else, and the act of being born, that process is not always a smooth one. Little ones often benefit from having their musculoskeletal system and their nervous system checked.”
Being a Doctor During Quarantine
Nowadays, Dr. Sharonrose is doing the best she can to stay on top of the Department of Health’s latest guidelines.
“Every day I’m checking to make sure that nothing new has been released about what I need to do in my practice to keep people safe. We’re following what we’re calling the ‘screening and cleaning’ guidelines,” she explains. “We’re minimizing and spacing out patient appointments so that you’re not sitting in the waiting room. I spaced out my appointments so that my patients are coming in one and at a time. Everyone is getting their temperature taken before coming into the office. I’m taking my own temperature two-to-three times a day to make sure that I’m safe in that way.”
Dr. Sharonrose is also teaching parents exercises and games designed to give them more skills that they can use at home. These will help minimize the number of times that they need to leave to make essential trips.
“I think that the biggest thing right now is that people have the knowledge and education about how to keep themselves safe and how to stay healthy,” Sharonrose says. “I’m focused on keeping people functioning and their pain levels at a controllable place.”
Dr. Sharonrose adds that she’s always available to have phone consultations with people about chiropractic work in general or whether her office is a fit for them.
“One of the things in healthcare right now – chiropractic in particular – is that even though we’re stuck in our homes you can take advantage of the services being provided out there,” Dr. Sharonrose says. “Don’t let yourself be still. Move your body on a regular basis. Even if it’s just for five or ten minutes every few hours, you’ll feel better physically, you’ll feel better emotionally, and you will help your body better weather this quarantine and shelter-in-place that we’re under right now in our country.”