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A first experience of chiropractic – a mummy patient’s perspective

First off I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Josie and I am Polly’s ‘behind the scenes’ assistant. Hence why you don’t know me – otherwise I’ve obviously not been doing the behind the scenes bit very well! I give Polly a hand with admin, invoices, some marketing, organising events (for example the very important CBH Xmas social each year, which would you believe we have already got a date for!) and various other ad hoc bits. But I am also a patient of Polly and Nicole’s and so I wanted to contribute some articles when Polly mentioned she’d be having blogs for patients to read on the shiny new website! I’ll not be giving advice (I’ll leave that to the professionals!) but offering a perspective from the point of view of a patient now and then.

I wanted my introductory blog for Chiropractic By Hand to focus on my very first experience of chiropractic. Something that is obviously going to vary greatly from person to person. I know years ago Polly’s first ever experience of it made her change her entire career path and she discovered she wanted to be a chiropractor (which I am sure will be covered in a later blog). Mine was a tad less dramatic but for me extremely significant in my ‘new mum’ journey.

I found Polly by pure fluke on a recommendation my husband and I received whilst we were in hospital after the birth of my daughter. Neither of us knew much about what to expect but as we had the recommendation for Polly as being a specialist with babies we decided it worth the trek on two trains (bless us, we were still too scared of putting her in the car seat to venture it by car). It was a cold, wet November day and I recall crying as I limped along Balham High Road to find Chiropractic By Hand. Not just from the pain (we were taking my daughter to get her checked but incidentally I couldn’t really walk from lower back pain so we decided to get me checked out too!) but also just the anxiety of having our tiny daughter out and about. Exhaustion and probably above all the hormones floating around in me.

And then finally we arrived and within minutes we’d transitioned from a cold, traffic ridden street into Polly’s welcoming and warm treatment room. She had the lights down low with the diffuser on and it was all very relaxing. Polly gave out such a personal warmth and sense of understanding (no doubt something to do with her being a qualified doula as well as a chiropractor!) that my new mum anxieties were immediately comforted and I could actually feel myself let out a long silent breath. I felt that here was somewhere I could be just that little bit calmer.

I’m not going to go into the specific of the treatments because as mentioned all the treatments will vary from patient to patient. Plus my baby brain really was in full force then and so I can’t really remember exactly what Polly did either to my daughter or myself. But what does stick in my mind is that when treating my daughter Polly was incredibly gentle and explained everything she was doing as she did it. Also that she used a giant dog cushion to put our daughter on (not a used one of course) because it was soft and fury and was seemingly appreciated by the baby patients! So we felt comforted by the explanations and sorry to use a cheesy pun, but that our new-born really was in safe hands. For me I’d been really scared about the treatment as I was in so much pain but again it was all very gentle.

We were fully on board for following the treatment plans Polly advised (and again explained) for both myself and my daughter. I left feeling relieved we’d found somebody who was obviously much attuned to the emotional rollercoaster new mums can be going through and I was also intrigued about chiropractic care. It was something I’d never really given much thought to and two years on I am so glad my very first experience of it had been with such a kind and caring chiropractor, especially at what was for me an extremely vulnerable time! My only wish back then as we got our stuff together to leave was that I was small enough to lay on the babies’ dog cushion so I could curl up in the corner of Polly’s room for a good nap!