Shelli D.

My husband and I consider ourselves to be healthy individuals and we joined Beacom Family Chiropractic hoping to find a place where we could receive care in maintaining our health. We found this and so much more!

I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 1998 at the age of 20 as well as other injuries. Dr. Brent suggested I see Dr. Helena for a cranial adjustment and "have my head examined" because of my history. Out of curiosity I eagerly made an appointment! Upon seeing Dr. Helena she asked if I dream regularly as this is normal brain activity. I did not dream much at all until my first cranial adjustment and could not honestly recall the last time I had. After that initial adjustment and since I've been having cranial adjustments weekly, I dream nightly and I experience deeper sleep than I ever have. I fall asleep quickly and sleep sound through the night. I awake feeling ALIVE!!

I have experienced other health benefits since coming to Beacom's as well. I no longer have back or neck pain as a result of my job since receiving regular adjustments. I have more energy and just feel happier!

Beacom Family Chiropractic truly is our "family" now. We look forward to years of good health and realize how important chiropractic care is in finding optimal health.

Here's to feeling your BEST everyday!

Shelli D


My grandson, Spencer has Asperger's Syndrome, which is a form of Autism. In November 2010, I took him to see Santa Claus at Beacom Chiropractic where he met Dr. Helena and Dr. Brent. That half hour changed his life. He met Dr. Helena first and loved her immediately. Then he got a 5 minute massage and he kept saying ah, ah, ah. He enjoyed meeting everyone because they were so nice to him.

We filled out the paperwork and Spencer started treatment the very next week after his x-rays and a plan was formed for his treatment.

Within one week of seeing Dr. Brent, Spencer said, I'm not taking my pills anymore. They make me angry. He had been taking ADHD medicine and anxiety medicine, both which were hurting more than helping him. All I could see they were doing was making him angry and taking away his appetite.

After about a month I started noticing changes in Spencer. He started eating. Not only at home, but I had started packing his lunch and he was eating at school too. Before he hardly ate any breakfast and he never ate the hot lunch at school. And he didn't get so angry so often. The most important change, and the one I will be forever grateful is that my happy, loud, wild, little boy was back. He is happy again. He acts like a 10 year old. Sure, he still sometimes gets in trouble but most 10 year old boys do. Dr. Brent has been a blessing in Spencer's life. Those few minutes he spends with Spencer are positive and encouraging and uplifting for my boy. Spencer often asks when I pick him up from school, are we going to see Dr. Brent today. Since starting his adjustments he has grown 1 inch and gained 4 pounds which he needed. He is finally filling out and his ribs don't show anymore.

Everyone at Beacom seems to know Spencer and care about him, from the front desk ladies to the massage ladies (one who recommended a very helpful book to me) to Thea. Everyone there truly walks their talk. Dr. Brent and Dr. Helena are encouraging and helpful and just what my boy needed. Thank you from a grateful grandma.


Ray & Anna

I had my first Chiropractic adjustment in 1989. My neck and shoulder were hurting all the time. After getting adjusted that one time, I felt much better. When I was younger, I had many falls, fallen off a bucking horse, broken ankle, etc. I have a crooked spinal column (scoliosis) because of not having been adjusted when these injuries occurred. I wish I started Chiropractic care when I was younger.

I had only one adjustment in 1989 because I didn't know any Chiropractors where we lived. Once I did find a Chiropractor, I started going regularly. I was 33 when I found out about my scoliosis. I started care at Beacom Family Chiropractic in 2010. Since I started care at BFC, I have less pain and I'm able to move better. However, the best reason is at 65 years old, I love getting adjusted because Chiropractic makes life more livable and enjoyable.

I have traveled a lot to find different practitioners to be a part of my "health-care" team. I feel like I have been "everywhere!" My desire is to STAY with BFC because they have helped me the most! Thank you, BFC, for all you do for me and my family.

-Anna P.

Robert & Diane

In 1996 a truck rear-ended my 1990 Ford LTD, leaving me with three herniated disks in the lower back, an elongated neck (a lot of tissue damage), torn right rotator cup, and a concussion. I went to a host of medical doctors, a Chiropractor, and physical therapists. I was still being treated when a car pulled out in front of the truck I was riding as a passenger in, in November of 1999. I had just unhooked my seat belt to reach in the back seat for something when the accident occurred, and I hit the windshield. I re-injured my lower back, my shoulder muscles, compressed my neck, and received a traumatic brain injury.

This was the beginning of a host of medical people intervening in my life. From 1996 to October of 2013, I have been under someone's medical care. This time period included 10 years of one to three times a week physical therapy, and three months of physical therapy for six years. During this time I had two different Chiropractors that didn't seem to give me much relief.

In May of 2013, Nelson B. introduced me to the concept of Cranial Adjustments. I was quite skeptical about this idea, but Nelson was getting some good results from Dr. Helena Beacom. I heard Dr. Beacom speak in October 2013 about Cranial Adjustments, and her husband Dr. Brent Beacom about Spinal Adjustment. I must say, at this point I had pretty much given up on Chiropractic care due to the results I have had from my last three Doctors of Chiropractic. However, I contacted Dr. Helena and decided I would give Chiropractic care another chance. This was one of the best decisions I made through this whole recovery process.

I had been on three different medications (down from the host of them at the beginning). Dr. Helena asked that I consider going off my medication to be able to monitor any improvements while I was getting cranial adjustments. This was fine with me, as I was trying to get off the last ones anyway. Let me say at this point my lower back was a mess. I had pain throughout my back, and my muscles were all knotted up. My neck had severe damage done to it in the two accidents, which made turning my neck very difficult. At the beginning of their care, I could not turn to the left at all. I had a lot of headaches and severe sinus drainage.

After a couple of cranial adjustments, I started falling asleep and slept normal hours without using medication; something I hadn't been able to do since November of 1999. This was truly a blessing that I hadn't expected. I was getting three adjustments a week, which included two cranial adjustments. In 30 days, the ringing in one ear stopped; another blessing that wasn't expected. I have had severe ringing in both ears since November of 1999. At the end of about four months, the ringing had stopped in both ears, and I had some improvement in my hearing. Actually: a considerable improvement in my hearing.

My headaches had been cut in half by five or six months, and a lot of times they would go away in a couple of hours on their own. The most I had to use to get rid of them was a couple of aspirins. This was a major improvement because before, I was using muscle relaxers and stronger pain-killers to make them go away. Throughout this time, my lower back and the rest of my spine is improving. My May, my neck feels like flesh again, and its motion has improved dramatically. The noise in my head has dropped considerably, and I have had the most clarity of mind that I have had since my accident in 1999. My hearing has improved and there is no ringing. My sinus drainage is about half of what it was, and I now only use medication for acid reflux, and an occasional aspirin for headaches. I can now work several hours without severe pain in my lower back, and my general quality of life has improved a lot.

I am very grateful for Dr. Brent and Dr. Helena for their knowledge, care, and dedication to their patients and profession. There are Chiropractors, and there are Chiropractors, and these two doctors have been a blessing to me. I followed their instructions, and the rewards have been worth it.

Robert W.


I started seeing Dr. Brent in June of 2011. When I first started coming, I was walking with a cane, had filed for disability, and had been treated at the pain clinic for over a year with injections every 3 weeks and had a 24/7 pain patch.

I started to see an obvious improvement after only two weeks of Chiropractic care. I was getting adjusted for approximately three months when I no longer used a cane every day. However, the pain decreasing with Chiropractic care was the biggest blessing. Prior to Chiropractic, I spent days on end in a recliner in tears from the pain, even with taking drugs. Now I can enjoy all the activities I had to give up before like hiking, canoeing, and gardening. I no longer have to pay for someone to clean my house, although that has its upside. I enjoy knowing I can do it myself.

Stick with regular Chiropractic care! It does make a difference! I know instantly when I've gone too long without an adjustment; the pressure, pain, and immobility start to creep back in. I'm too young to ever feel that old again. Chiropractic care is like a fountain of youth!

-Vickie F.

Jeff M.

In December of 2015 I got sick in Africa. It was intense. I was vomiting blood and was told I was going to die.  Through an odd series of circumstances I was able to make it back to Michigan. I assumed that after a few weeks of medication and rest I would be back out on another adventure, or at least better. I was wrong.  It took me 6 months and 3 antibiotic treatments just to beat the bacteria. And the least treatment, which is the one that worked, was a 3-month holistic treatment not available at hospitals. Even after that I didn't recover.

My symptoms are legion. An insanely intense migraine, I basically moved between the couch and my bed avoiding light and sound for a few months because I was so sensitive to those things. My joints ached. I had lost most of my strength. I went to pick up a 3 lb hammer at one point and could barely grip it. My hands would shake. One half of my face, the right side, would twitch uncontrollably. My resting heart rate was over 100 all the time. I couldn't walk across the street to get the mail and make it back without running out of breath and having to take a break and lean on a car for awhile. My weight was going up like someone blowing up a balloon. I gained 10 lbs in one week and then 10 lbs the next week. I have a few stretch marks. I went from 170 lbs to 235 lbs in a few weeks. Everything was wrong.

Luckily I have a friend that is a chiropractor, Michael Rykse. He was the one that found my spinal deformities. I have four major deformities: my C1 is partially fused to my skull (occipitalization of the atlas) and only partially formed, my C2 and C3 are fused in the back and my odontoid is retroflexed, I have partially formed cervical ribs off of my C7 vertebrae, and I have a fully formed L6 (it should only go to L5). Even though I've had a bunch of concussions from football, baseball, mountain biking, sailing, etc. I never had spinal x-rays done. I don't know why.

My symptoms became really scary when I started having memory issues. Not minor memory issues, major memory issues. Short term memory issues are quite annoying. I started testing it and my working memory dropped to four digits. A normal person can do about double that. At one point I had a high IQ, in the top 1 or 2 percent, now my IQ dropped below average. But, more frightening than all of that is long-term memory loss. I got lost, quite a few times trying to drive roads I have been driving my entire life. I was having trouble reading, which is insane. I've read thousands of books, I own thousands of books, and my reading comprehension scores had always been near perfect. I remember asking someone what a word was. I just didn't recognize it. The word was "piece." They thought I was joking. It was a scary moment to realize how quickly my memory was deteriorating. What have you forgotten? How would you know?

I did and tried many things with multiple different practitioners; traction, supplements, various adjustments, and movement therapy with pain specialists. I learned things the entire way, but I wasn't making too much progress. Some, but it was still not an uptrend. The medical system is a story in itself. They couldn't figure out what infection I had (and ran the wrong tests), and that's just the beginning. I was rejected by surgeons in Muskegon and at Cornell University because they didn't want to touch it. The Michigan Head and Spine Institute told me they didn't think they were competent enough to deal with it, and I believe them. The Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders said I should take some painkillers. Doctors are so helpful - I'm joking, I've found them to be the opposite.

I had an argument with a Physicians Assistant one time about whether cause and effect exists. She strongly believed that there is no such thing and that I should take a bunch of pills to slow down my heart and numb the pain. Not only did she not want to look into the cause, she didn't believe there is such a thing as a cause. It was an odd conversation. I had an MD explain to me that he can't read x-rays. I told him that the shiny white things are bones. It went how you would expect.

My spinal deformities have the name Klippel-Feil Syndrome, KFS for short, and most doctors have never heard of it. It's fairly rare and there has been little research on it, but I did spend several hundred dollars collecting the research articles I could find.

I had made a general post on Facebook asking for ideas and a friend of mine, Dawn, mentioned that there was a unique chiropractor in Whitehall; Dr. Helena Beacom can make adjustments to the skull. I had eight theories that I was contemplating at the time on why I was having so many issues. One of them was that the retroflexed odontoid, meaning a bone in the front of my neck is pressing back against the brainstem (these deformities are congenital, from birth, so my entire brainstem is in a different position because of this), and the odontoid might be cutting off the proper flow of cerebral spinal fluid, which is the juice that keeps your brain clean (and a few other things). I had talked to someone that does cranio-sacral adjustments before to move the fluid around, but if the odontoid really was causing a block then that could just put more pressure on the brain and cause more damage, so I hadn't done that. But this was different and I wanted to look into it.

I must say that the cranial adjustments that Dr. Helena made were pretty crazy. Remember those 12 concussions I've had? Well, some stuff was off. I had already been seeing stars and hearing buzzing on a daily basis for a long time (since December 2015), but she would press softly on these little spots and my entire field of vision would go nuts with patterns of green and black, or it would do something else. It was different every time. 

My C1 was pressing up against my brainstem. Your brainstem controls all sorts of things, so it would make sense that many of my issues stemmed from that issue with my stem. Dr. Helena, and her husband Dr. Brent, often work with children. And adjusting children can be a bit different. Dr. Helena did not start out doing normal adjustments on me. She started by just pressing against my C1, basically trying to press it off of my brainstem. This she eventually did. Within a few minutes of Dr. Helena pushing that bone away from my brainstem it would slide back. A first we did this unusual thing where I would get adjusted, sit in the waiting area (which is unique with dogs and kids running around) and then get adjusted again. We started making decent progress within a week or two.

Now, it's not like it's been all smooth sailing from there. I was still on that rollercoaster blind folded, but things did start to go better. For quite awhile I had given up driving and walking because I found that the impact on my spine was too much and significantly diminished my brains ability to function. I have slowly been regaining my ability to withstand impact. I go for small walks in Oakhurst Cemetery in Whitehall on Thursdays after my adjustments. I also do quite a bit of driving again. Near the beginning of 2018 I took a trip from Michigan to Nebraska with my mother and my aunt to see my older sister and did fairly well.

My cognitive abilities have returned. In 2018 I took the necessary tests and joined the high IQ society Mensa. It's the largest IQ society in the world and only takes the top 2 percent. My working memory scores are back up to average, not what mine once were, but still a huge improvement. My weight has dropped from that insanely high number of 235 with 35 percent body fat to about 172 with 13 percent body fat. That's more normal for me.

Much of my strength has returned. I've found that I can only do very light weights, I started with 3 lb weights and now I've worked my way up to 6 lb weights. I used to do power lifting and have Cross fit and kettle bell certifications, so it's a bit different. I can only do some motions, and I only workout once every 7 to 14 days, but it's still a ton of progress. I'm very happy with it.

This is basically the shortest version of the story that I can tell while also including a decent number of the relevant events. I'm not sure even I will ever be able to recall all that has happened over the last few years concerning my health, but this a pretty good summary. The difference between the depths of where I've been and my current level of performance and health is huge. And that wouldn't have been possible without the Beacom Family Chiropractic.

Jeff M.

Nan & Russ

Sometimes, just saying thank you isn’t enough for me.  Both of you know how much you help those of us who are fortunate enough to be your patients.  I have had chiropractic care since the late 1970s.  I had one doctor who immediately dropped fees when Russ and I lost insurance to a price we could afford so we could continue our treatment.  One of my doctors in Colorado stopped by my house when I was unable to get to his office before he closed.  He was on his way to a conference and took time to care for me in my kitchen chair and on my living room floor.  Recently we lost chiropractic coverage again.  My current doctor at that time said they didn’t have a program for uninsured cash pays.  That, coupled with an integrity issue, sent me searching once again.  
Then I found the two of you!  From the moment I was helped on the phone to my very first adjustment, I felt like I was the most important situation.  The kindness, joy, educational info, and really?  Staying for a Health Talk when it was just me?  Who does that?  You!!  Then, knowing my old bones were injured many times and required more care than I was able to afford, you gifted me with a plan I can handle.  Sometimes I feel as if I am taking advantage of the two of you.  I am forever grateful for the people you are that lead you to be the honorable, charitable, community-minded, child-loving doctors who allow us to walk in!  No appointment!  I admire who you are and benefit from what you do.  In the decades of chiropractic care in my past, NEVER have I EVER been able to walk in and get treated.  
Thank you, Beacom Family, for changing my life and allowing me to take part in your generous charities.

Nan S.

Payton & Shannon

Payton was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, affecting all 4 limbs. She was twisted in her umbilical cord, and instead of actively moving while in utero, she was continuously rolling, causing the cord to become tighter around her. It was never caught on any ultrasound, so she was delivered naturally. She was born completely folded in half. Her shoulders, elbows, and hands were locked against her chest with her hips dislocated, both knees hyper-extended 15 degrees, and bilateral clubbed feet. She had no muscle tone in any of her body, and every joint was locked in place. She was shipped to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital where her father and I were told "to be hopeful, but that the chances of her ever walking, brushing her teeth, coloring, or having a normal childhood were slim to none." We started weekly physical and occupational therapy at 6 weeks old with our first goal, which was to correct the torticollis in her neck from the cord being wrapped around. We also started bi-weekly serial casting in hopes of getting some normal flexion in her knees. We were also told that Payton would have to undergo two hip surgeries in a few years to correct the hip dysplasia, but only one hip could be done at a time, followed by 6 months of casts per leg.

At 8 months old, we felt defeated because hardly any progress was made, and it sounded like a lifetime of surgeries awaited our baby. This is when we decided there had to be more we could do instead of subjecting our child to surgery after surgery. I took her to Dr. Brent with her understanding he would tell us what her father and I had already repeatedly heard: "There probably isn't anything I can do for your daughter." However, that was not the case. He did tell us he wasn't sure what would happen, but that he could open up her nerve pathways and allow messages from her body to be sent to her brain and vice versa. Two weeks into chiropractic care, a miracle happened, and Payton moved her forearm. That slight movement gave us hope, because it was the first time Payton moved any part of her body on her own. After a month, her torticollis was corrected. 6 months of PT and OT could not correct it, but chiropractic care had it fixed in one month. We noticed over the next 6 months, Payton began to gain muscle strength throughout her body, and her joints were loosening up.

At a year and a half old, we took her to see her orthopedic surgeon, expecting a hip surgery in our future. However, the x-rays showed that her hips were almost back in the sockets, and everything was forming how it was supposed to. Her surgeon told us to keep doing whatever we were doing because her body seemed to be correcting itself. It was not her body correcting itself; it was her body receiving chiropractic care 3 times a week. Since then, Payton has made leaps and bounds, loosening up in her joints and gaining muscle. She has active movement in both arms, and she can use her hands to play, hold utensils, stack blocks, and color. Her knees have a 20 degree bend, and she can scoot on the floor as fast as we can walk. She can roll on the floor, turn pages in books, and she is also learning how to walk with the assistance of a kidwalk. Although we still see PT and OT weekly, we owe 75 percent of her progress to Beacom Family Chiropractic. If there is anything I've learned over the last 3 years, it is to have faith in holistic care, and that your brain and body cannot transmit any messages unless your body is in proper alignment. Payton is living proof to me and everyone that watches her progress that chiropractic care changed her life in the best possible way.


Stephanie D.

When I first started seeing Dr. Helena for cranial adjustments, I had terrible allergies that seemed to get a little worse every year, I took medication for it daily and still found little relief. I had frequent tension headaches, difficulty focusing/staying on task to the point that deviation from routine would really put me in to a tailspin of sorts. I had a little bit of a hot temper, mild impulse control issues and I found that I’d often “lose words”, especially as the day progressed.  I caffeinated to get moving every morning and to stay awake throughout the day only to take Melatonin to help me fall and stay asleep every night.

Before my first session I decided that to be able to maximize my experience and to be able to truly evaluate the progress of my adjustments, I needed to quit taking any kind of allergy medication, to quit taking Melatonin and to reduce my caffeine consumption and of course really start drinking much more water.

The night after my first adjustment, having not taken Melatonin, I laid down, closed my eyes and slept like a baby. I’ve struggled with falling asleep for as long as I can remember, so to be able to lay down and just sleep with out the aide of any “drugs” was beyond amazing! For the most part, I still fall asleep almost immediately once I lay down.

After just three or four adjustments, my co-workers started noticing a difference in me, one noting specifically that I was much more even tempered. I myself noticed that I have an easier time focusing on the task at hand, and that the little things that really irritated me before just didn’t seem as important. I have not had any headaches and not only am I able to breathe normally without the aide of allergy meds, but I have felt very little congestion and pressure. Considering that this has been one of the worst springs for people with allergies, this is nothing short of miraculous.

I’ve now been a patient of BFC for several years.  While I consciously recognized that my quality of life had improved, until I sat down to write this, I don’t think that I truly realized what a great difference they’ve made in my life. Thanks to the amazing family at Beacom Family Chiropractic, I am living a happier, healthier life and it only gets better day by day… I will forever be grateful.

Stephanie D



As a child, I fell backwards out of a tree house onto the back of my neck. Without so much as a bruise, I had almost forgotten about this incident. As an adult, I spent many frustrating years in and out of doctor's offices, getting multiple x-rays, expensive CAT scans, and receiving unhelpful and seemingly inept "educated guesses" as to what was causing such daily pain, discomfort, and visible swelling in my neck and upper back. Nearly two decades after that childhood fall, I took the advice of my mother-in-law and visited Beacom Family Chiropractic. Through very adequate time spent interviewing me of my past injury and evaluating my spine, Dr. Brent was able to pin-point the root of my constant discomfort; and, for the first time ever, I was finally able to get relief through regular chiropractic care. In addition to not having to live with daily pain, I no longer have ANY signs of seasonal allergies. I barely remember life with regular doses of Advil, Allegra-D, and Advil Cold and Sinus.

My growing family and I are all patients at Beacom Family Chiropractic. Though my husband and I are both strong believers in chiropractic care as part of a healthy body and functioning nervous system, we were again taken by surprise of its power in the fall of 2014 with the birth of our second son. Breastfeeding is very important to me. I was determined to make it work, but I found myself exhausted, discouraged, and almost entirely transitioned into formula feeding after about 3 weeks of an endlessly fussy and discontented hungry baby. Nursing was not working, and I was overwhelmed with feelings of failure and disappointment. One of my midwives was determined to help me succeed, and suggested cranial adjustments for my infant. Within hours of her suggestion, we were a heap of desperation in Dr. Helena's office. Dr. Helena spent time not only on a cranial adjustment for Atticus, but also adjusting his jaw and neck, and evaluating the function of his tongue and jaw muscles. I thought I was imagining it, but Atticus started nursing well immediately! Within 10 days of his first cranial adjustment, formula supplementation had become unnecessary. This was not a miracle; this was science. Careful cranial adjustments had positively affected the control of his tongue, and had also allowed my baby to nurse comfortably and thus efficiently, signalling my body to produce the milk he needed to grow into the healthy baby he is today.

The nervous system of your body affects the very core of your health. I trust the doctors and staff at Beacom Family Chiropractic with the health of myself and my family, and I recommend them to those interested in living a healthy lifestyle.

Laura, mother of two.

Karen P.

THE SHORT STORY: I was diagnosed with scoliosis (an “S”-curve of the spine) at age 14.  I didn’t start regular chiropractic care until Dr. Brent Beacom explained its value and importance in my life at age 27.  Over the last ten years, chiropractic has been an essential part of my weekly life, and my curvature has even diminished remarkably under his care.  My husband also receives regular adjustments, which have been a great help to him.

I believe in chiropractic so much, even our dogs get adjusted by my holistic veterinarian who provides this service.  I had a dog which benefited by adjustments which alleviated nerve pressure causing urinary incontinence, starting at the age of ten.  The few times she has had this problem, chiropractic put a stop to it right away, with no need to consider medication, surgery, or even early euthanasia as many other dog owners may have felt compelled to do (we lost her just shy of 15 years old).  Our newest pack member needed his first adjustment after a simple puppy tumble caused him pain, and that exam found two subluxations at 11 weeks old.

What symptoms might you have that could be alleviated by chiropractic adjustments?  You might not know until you allow chiropractic to work its magic with your Innate.  I heartily recommend chiropractic care for people and animals of all ages.  I hope that perhaps my story may be an encouragement to you as you make choices regarding health care for yourself and for your family.  I especially urge parents to continue reading, and to choose chiropractic for your children.  To understand more about why I am so passionate about this, please read on.

THE LONG STORY: My mother has scoliosis.  A doctor recommended that she accept surgery to implant a rod in her spine at the age of 18.  She refused, and has had no medical care for her spine since then.  On the other hand, she has had a variety of other surgeries and medical problems throughout her life.  She does occasionally seek out chiropractic care more frequently now, but she sought out adjustments only infrequently when I was a child.  With my current understanding, I am made to wonder how many of those medical problems could have been diminished or eliminated through chiropractic if she had started regular care even just ten or fifteen years ago.

The theory about scoliosis back then (I would not be surprised if it is still commonly shared now) is that it is frequently genetically based, and usually passed from mother to daughter.  This single myth caused much pain for my mother and me over the years, and still does sometimes.  I know she worried about me during my adolescence.  At age 14, I performed a “standing long jump” in gym class (part of the “Presidential Fitness Program”).  My back was jarred by the landing, and I was in such intense pain, I was x-rayed the next day.  I was diagnosed at that time with scoliosis.  Instead of having a straight spine when viewed from behind, mine looks like a big “S.”

Over the next few years, I was x-rayed and examined by medical doctors every six months.  Now I feel that this was essentially a waste of time, effort, and finances, as it seems that the doctors were simply waiting for the curvature to get bad enough to either put me in a brace (an approach they never seemed to have much confidence in) or to recommend surgery (also highly debatable then, as it is now).  There was nothing else they could do, and they never felt that it was suitable to recommend either approach for me.  The medical profession has little hope of “curing” scoliosis, which is still a great mystery to them.  I don’t remember a single one of those doctors recommending chiropractic care.  Now I am not surprised by that fact at all, but it is still disheartening and disappointing, as chiropractic could have made such a difference in my long-term health if I had started then!

My mother didn’t tell me for many years that she felt great guilt over the thought that she had passed on this “dis-ease” to me.  When that day came, I quickly explained that never once had I blamed her for it, and I wish that I could have erased all that pain from her.  It was another decade or so before a chiropractor told me that scoliosis was not genetic in cause.  I called Mom right away.  I needed her to know that it was not her fault, even genetically.  As she also never understood chiropractic as I do now (and continue to learn), I can also not hold her responsible for failing to provide that care when I was younger.

But you’re reading this today.  You have this opportunity.  And you have that choice now.  Please don’t make the mistake of ignoring it!

Before I move on, there is one more thing I want to tell you about this genetic theory and the fallout it caused for me.  Because I thought I carried some sort of scoliosis gene, as a teenage I determined that it would not be fair for me to pass it on to another child, and risk passing on the pain that can come with it.  I married with that in mind, and my husband was relieved, as he did not really want children either.  At that time, I was quite content with that decision.

But time and biology can change your perspective, ladies.  My body, like yours, was designed for parenthood, and there are times when those hormones trigger natural, nurturing urges in most of us.  Now I know that under chiropractic care, I could have had a chance to handle a pregnancy and raise a healthy child with a healthy spine.  But those decisions were made long ago, and I have to do battle with “mother nature” from time to time emotionally.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful, compassionate husband who listens and helps me to get through it, and these moments of introspection help me to grow.  As a dog lover and trainer, I also typically express my nurturing instincts with my dogs, and that helps.  But mothers know that this is not the same.  So, mothers, please consider the impact that chiropractic can have on your daughters.  Lead them by your example, and start them on chiropractic NOW.  When the medical profession gives you absolutes, seek a second opinion from a chiropractor.  As for me, I tend to turn there first every time.

So if it wasn’t genetics, what caused my scoliosis?  I believe that mine started with a fall when I was about ten.  I tripped over a very low brick wall in the dark, and fell to the cement about 6ft down as I remember it.  I know that I landed heavily on one hip.  Such an injury can create a subluxation which the body can’t handle on its own.  If no help arrives, the spine is forced to compensate somehow in order to bring some form of balance back to the body.  I believe that if I had received chiropractic adjustments to correct the initial subluxations(s), I would not have developed scoliosis.  It was likely also exacerbated by the fact that puberty arrived with a few years of the fall.  Now can you see why I recommend chiropractic to children?  How many times do they fall or receive other injuries that a medical doctor will not see as a risk for spinal trauma

Years later, I went to Dr. Beacom because I had pain and I just wanted it alleviated (sound familiar?).  I wanted a quick fix.  At age 27, I was reminded that my spine was not going to correct itself, and that the degeneration which would occur in the decades to come could leave me with a life of misery.  Dr. Beacom explained how chiropractic works to help the body heal itself, and that while we can’t necessarily reverse time, we can slow down the degeneration and help me live a longer, better life.  He scared me, but I needed to hear the truth.  I immediately determined that I would start on the path he would light for me, and stay there.  And I’ve been walking it ever since.

In January of 2012, we took two new x-rays of my spine.  What we found was a decrease in my upper curve by 11 degrees over the previous four years (15 degrees over the last eight!).  This curve went from 39 degrees to 24 degrees.  I would not have had this great reduction if I had stopped four years ago; remember that when you think you’ve have enough chiropractic.  The lower curve, the more dramatic one, has been reduced by six degrees overall (41 down to 35 degrees).  I’m excited at the prospect of more progress in the years to come.

A sideways view of my spine also showed the benefit of chiropractic care.  Four years before, my neck was very straight, and this can create degenerative problems where the vertebrae meet each other, in addition to other nervous system weaknesses.  In my new x-ray, my neck has the natural curve it is supposed to have, or at least much closer to it.  That was a pleasant surprise for me, and I didn’t even realize I had that problem!  Could you have problems that you don’t know about right now?

In 2011, I took a hard fall while riding my bicycle.  I went to Dr. Beacom that very day.  But we didn’t realize the extent of that injury until the January x-ray revealed a torque of my pelvis in my right hip from time to time (a compensatory response), but the injury was on the left side of my pelvis and sacrum.  With that x-ray in mind, we were able to focus more on that area to help reposition those vertebrae, and this degree of injury can take many adjustments to fix.  How many injuries have you received over your lifetime that may have been ignored?  How many pains have you dismissed, or simply medicated for?  Has your medical doctor attempted, but failed, to help alleviate symptoms of pain or illness because the original cause may be hidden in your spine?

As I consider my mother’s medical history, I wonder what her life could have been like if she had started chiropractic as a teenager.  She can’t turn back the clock on her life, just as I can’t change my past.  But I do hope, and expect, that my future looks brighter for me now because I started accepting chiropractic when I did.  I want to avoid as many problems as I can.  Medical doctors will warn that I may have inherited a “genetic predisposition” to heart and blood pressure issues, diabetes, etc., but if I help my spine and my body to be in the best shape I can, I have hope that I can diminish, if not eliminate, the possibility that those symptoms will show up in my medical history.  It is most certainly possible!

My dogs get chiropractic, too.  When I first had them examined, every one of them needed at least one adjustment.  They can’t always tell you when they hurt, and many will attempt to hide pain, injury, and illness because the Canis in them (the animal instinct) tells them to hide it.  As a dog trainer for about ten years, I had my eye out for dogs that show subtle signs of spinal subluxations, and in many cases, I pointed out things to dog owners who had no idea what their dog was telling me.  I had learned to see and feel some of those symptoms, and subluxations definitely have an effect on behavior in all animals.

Puppies, like human infants, can get their first subluxation through the birthing process.  I know a breeder who took a whole litter in to her vet to examine and cure one very young pup of her unusual aggression through chiropractic.  My puppy, Abel Will, miscalculated a trip up a few steps and took a little tumble.  He cried and held up one foreleg, and later the other.  Our vet discovered a subluxation between the shoulders, and an easy adjustment put a stop to the muscle spasms and pain.  How many puppies don’t get this type of care early, when they may need it the most?

My own Lucy suddenly wet the bed and limped on one hind leg until I took her in for an adjustment.  Like me, she had a problem with her pelvis and sacrum.  Hers seemed to easily slip out of alignment from time to time as she aged.  How many dogs are put down for incontinence, aggression, or other symptoms of illness or behavior problems which chiropractic can alleviate?  Too many, I believe.

I love chiropractic so much I even created a Facebook page for my special drawings demonstrating “chiro art:” my “Chiropractic Portraits” page.  I draw historical chiropractic figures, as well as creating new, unique chiropractic-related images.  You can see some of them in my chiropractor’s office.

Just as with any profession, not all chiropractors are the same.  I happen to have “struck gold” with mine.  I have a chiropractor who believes in the body’s Innate ability to heal itself (for more about Innate, look up Dr. B.J. Palmer, who wrote extensively on the subject).  He prefers to use his hands over instrumentation to feel subluxations and their signs and symptoms and to correct them.  He surprises me sometimes with his ability to find my sore places, which I might not even know exist until he points them out.  He educates his patients (and anyone who will listen) about wellness and the role chiropractic can play in your long-term health care planning.  He loves adjusting infants, children, and adults of all ages, but he prefers patients who are dedicated to getting the most out of chiropractic.  Don’t just see it as just a “quick fix” for pain-relief.  It is so much more!

Drs. Brent and Helena Beacom are passionate about their work, and this enthusiasm and compassion is contagious and inspirational.  I have told them more than once that I would be hard-pressed to move from the area because I trust my spine to them so much.  “Dr. B” always sighs, ducks his head, and reminds me that I could always find another chiropractor who shares his skills and philosophy.  I know he’s right.  This is good news for you, too!  So please: listen to what he and other doctors of chiropractic like him will tell you.  Follow their advice and recommendations.  Your health, life, and the lives of your family depend on the decisions you make today!  I hope you choose well.  I hope you choose chiropractic.

Karen P.