Good Old Dr. Terrell - Livin' the Good Life
Jul. 17th, 2010
09:40 am - Good Old Dr. Terrell
Continuing from yesterday's post, I am using my old chiropractor, Dr. James Terrell, (now deceased), as an admirable model for how to treat someone in a home hospital. I am generally impressed with spinal manipulation as a form of treatment for many kinds of physical problems. But, most chiropractors have the unpleasant practise of moving their patients through like cattle. I feel lucky if they spend 15 minutes with me... similar to MDs. ("That will be 40 dollars, please.") In my home hospital, I take the time to give myself loving care, like Dr. Terrell did. His treatments lasted at least an hour, and when I finally left his office I felt dramatically different and much improved. He sent me home with instructions on how to continue encouraging my healing process, so the treatment didn't stop there. SUCH a wise man!
Here is what a treament from this man was like:
He'd ask me about my current complaint when I came in the door. Then he'd hand me a fresh gown to put on. His office smelled clean and looked homey, (in fact, I believe it WAS connected to his home), and his manner was very gentle and caring. He gave me the comforting feeling that he was confident he could help me. He had an enthusiastic "you came to the right place!" kind of attitude.
First, I entered a room with two tables. One was a traction machine that gently stretched my spine for ten minutes or so. Then I laid under infra-red lights for another ten or fifteen minutes. (I don't actually remember the order of this. I may have gotten the infra-red treatment first. This was nearly 40 years ago!) Then I went into the adjustment room and laid face down on the table. The doc came in and laid steaming-hot clay packs wrapped in fresh white towels all along my spine. If they were too hot for me, he'd apply more towels. If they cooled off too much, he'd bring in more packs, right from the steamers. This was a 15 or 20 minute treatment that left me feeling relaxed and open and definitely like a wet noodle! THEN, he got out his super-duper electric massager and gave my spine a thorough massage, working on any remaining tight places. Then, and only then, he adjusted my spine. As you can imagine, at this point my spine didn't take much coaxing to move easily into place. And the great thing was that my adjustments "held", making it unnecessary to come back for another treatment most of the time. He did all of this for $25, which was a lot of money for us at the time. But, it was well worth it.
Dr. Terrell was a Seventh-Day Adventist, and he was steeped in the tradition of natural healing methods. In fact, I remember attending a free workshop that he held at his church on the healing power of water treatments. He taught us things like how to make and apply poultices and how to use various temperatures of water baths to achieve different results. He was a big fan of enemas and colonics for treating illness. It was from him that I learned about the "salt glows" which I used with success on my kids when they were sick. I loved how Dr. Terrell shared his knowledge freely, with the generous intention of helping people learn how to get well on their own and practically for free. He was my kind of doctor. He even visited me at home once when I was too sick to come to the office. We invited him to dinner a number of times, and he always came. (He was a single man who appreciated spending time with our family.)
Dr. Terrell was attempting to keep alive the "folk wisdom" on healing that was popular a hundred years ago. They had labor-intensive "sanitoriums", which were considered cutting-edge at the time, where people went to get well. This was before the advent of antibiotics. Once we had those, the sanitoriums went out the window. It was no longer necessary to nurse someone through an infection with all those "man hours" anymore. Just prescribe them an antibiotic and send them home. Unfortunately, along with the advances in pharmaceudicals came the loss of the knowledge and practise of using natural remedies and treatments. I believe there is a need for both. Hopefully, these two kinds of approaches will get together someday. That's my dream anyway.