Talking About Common Pain Problems with Dr. Madeleine
Graydon: Thanks for stopping by! Why don't you introduce yourself?
Madeleine: My name is Madeleine and I'm a chiropractor. I'm so happy to be here! My clinic is only 15 minutes away so it's so nice to meet another local business in the area.
Graydon: Yes, we were wondering if you could share more about your practice and your wellness journey.
Madeleine: Definitely. I just graduated this summer so I've just started at my clinic in August - which is really exciting and learning lots. [I am] starting my business, marketing, and bringing in new patients, but it has been pretty incredible meeting people and helping them with their concerns.
Graydon: Can you tell me a little bit about why you got into chiropractor?
Madeleine: Growing up I knew I wanted to work in healthcare. I was very active growing up, and I was a competitive dancer and was fascinated by the way the human body worked so that was something I was constantly drawn to. Also when I was ten years old, my family went on a ski trip. My mom ended up getting into an accident, someone skied right into her and their skis went into her back and was paralyzed momentarily. The rehabilitation stage took a long time. She tried working with a bunch of healthcare professionals to get help. My dad knew someone who was a chiropractor. She did one treatment with him and felt significantly better. So that was my introduction into the chiropractic world. But she's fine now. She's skiing again, doing yoga, biking.
Graydon: I've seen a few chiropractors, some are great but others are a bit forceful. Which is a good release but is a little frightening.
Madeleine: Definitely, it can seem a bit frightening at times but chiropractors are trained extensively in what we do and that we make sure everything is safe for the patient. But there are so many other things that we do as well. Chiropractors are doctors of the muscular so we work with muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and even nerves. So yes, adjustments are something we do which can cause that cracking sound but we also do a lot of mobilizations which is joint therapy, soft tissue work, loosening up muscles and really stretching. So there are so many different things within our scope of practice and within our toolbox. So if someone doesn't like one kind of therapy, there are others we can use.
Graydon: Do most people come in with pain problems?
Madeleine: Yes, traditionally chiropractors helped treat the spine, so a lot of people come in with back and neck aches. But there are a lot of people like athletes who want to improve their mobility so we may also treat shoulders or hips and knees. We also treat arthritis in different parts of the body like your knees or wrist. So we are able to treat the entire body in a very comprehensive way.
Graydon: I think I may have to book an appointment with you!
Madeleine: Yes we'll chat after!
Graydon: So you make it sound so simple but I have a funny feeling that going through school is not easy.
Madeleine: There's two chiropractor schools in Canada: one in Quebec and another in Toronto. For Toronto you have to complete three years of undergraduate to be accepted. And after you get in there is a very extensive workload. The hours are long, there is so much to know about the human body. There were times where it felt overwhelming. Although I loved what I was doing, it was tough.
Graydon: But people are definitely making themselves vulnerable with you so you definitely need to know what you're doing. You probably see people who just want an adjustment and some who are really sick.
Madeleine: A lot of people come in and we start off talking about their health history. Because they might book an appointment because of a neck ache but so much more is revealed during the appointment. Whether it's a personal issue or another underlying health issue. So we have to be there and be supportive.
Graydon: What is it like dealing with people who aren't well? Is that exhausting?
Madeleine: There are times where it's exhausting but on the flip side you are helping people with their physical pain. Even talking to people and helping them what they are going through. But it's important to have your own support system. A lot of my colleagues and I will talk about our struggles starting our clinics and dealing with difficult situations. That's the best, having friends that are able to help out.
Graydon: Have you ever had to navigate anything challenging in your life from a wellness perspective?
Madeleine: Going through school was a stressful time. It was hard to see a lot of my friends graduate before me, who were already working. In the middle of my education, my family was going through a lot of personal things so my stress was a lot to deal with. It takes a toll on your body. You want to be your best self and help people but it's important to realize when you need help yourself and reach out. Take time for things that you enjoy.
Graydon: Do you work out a lot?
Madeleine: I got into yoga in high school when my mom was working as a yoga instructor. It's one of my favourite forms of activities. I always encourage my patients and friends to find an activity that helps them release stress and find that outlet. That is not only good for your emotional and mental health but also for your physical health. It's nice to have someone to set goals with whether it's a family, friend or health professional.
Graydon: Now you mentioned that you've struggled with your skin. Do you have any tips on how you navigated through that and healed your body?
Madeleine: It's an ongoing process but back when I was struggling with my skin I dealt with a lot of breakouts. I started using an antibiotic and I found that it would clear my skin but then the acne would come back. And I didn't want to keep taking antibiotics so that's when I started seeing a naturopathic doctor who recommended natural products and helped me make changes in my diet.
Graydon: What helped specifically?
Madeleine: I was told dairy, sugar, and alcohol were the three most common culprits. Fully eliminated any alcohol but didn't see any changes. Then I cut out dairy and within four weeks and saw major benefits. After that I found out I had a dairy sensitivity, so I took dairy out of my diet for a year before incorporating a little bit back into my diet. I also cut down on sugar for health reasons but dairy had the biggest impact for me.
Graydon: So do you have any inspiration you would like to share in terms of what to do when you are navigating through a challenging time in your life?
Madeleine: I think taking time for self care. So many of us are go go go, and we're trying to fit all these different aspects into our life. If you are feeling like you have no free time that's when it becomes essential to take time for yourself. Even if it's just a few minutes every day, reflect on how you're going to approach a situation or aspect of your life to introduce positivity into your life.
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