“People who say that it can’t be done should not interrupt those of us who are doing it!”

The unknown author of this quote precisely explained my thoughts and feelings after completing five days at the CLEAR Institute with Dr. Dennis Woggon.

Although I knew I wanted to become a Chiropractor from a young age, it wasn’t until I started at Palmer that I became intrigued learning about and correcting Scoliosis, especially my own.  Perhaps from my eagerness to answer the ‘why’s’ in life, I cannot and will not accept that my scoliosis is idiopathic.  I am determined to discover how this condition was conceived in myself, and how, in others, it is born.  Fueling the flame further, I found no answers at school, the place where chiropractors become experts on the spine, nervous, and muscular systems.  Too many times, I hear, “besides pain management, there is nothing chiropractic can do for patients with Scoliosis.”

It was not until I became involved in the Pettibon Club that I knew there was light at the end of my question mark tunnel.  From this technique, I learned of Dr. Dennis Woggon, and it was from then on, my spirit calmed to know someone else shared my passion.  During this time of revelation, I was concerned my scoliosis was worsening due to the increased pain in my neck, hips, and back.  Meanwhile, fables of scoliosis stabilizing after teenage growth spurts, incapable of progression, fueled my intuition.  After fighting for new X-rays at the Palmer Clinic, my suspicion became evident.  My scoliosis had progressed by a Cobb angle of at least 10 more degrees in a period of eight months.  The next step in my journey for knowledge and correction was to visit the CLEAR Institute and Dr. Woggon.

A rush came over my whole body when I saw my new form.

I arrived on a Monday morning at the St. Cloud Chiropractic Clinic not sure what to expect.  DeJeanne, an upper quarter student, accompanied me.  With a scoliosis worse than mine, and this being her second visit to the clinic, she gave me a sense encouragement.  I was surprised to find Dr. Woggon already at the clinic treating patients at 7:30 that morning.  After I filled out a history and evaluation, Dr. Woggon took my X-rays.  I was shocked to find out how bad my scoliosis actually was: 142% loss of cervical lordosis, 1.4 inches of forward head posture, 24 pounds apparent head weight and a triple curve scoliosis with angles measuring 21 degrees upper dorsal, 40 degrees lower dorsal, and 33 degrees lumbar curvatures.

Now that we had a blueprint to my spine, the work began.  Each morning and afternoon for the next four days, I wobbled, performed cervical traction, stretched, exercised, warmed my spine up, and got adjusted.  In addition to those treatments, I sat in the Scoliosis Traction Chair for 30 minutes.  After the chair, I concluded each session with wearing head weights and hip weights on a vibrating platform.  After 6 hours of treatment a day, I experienced great exhaustion, not only physically but emotionally as well.  I often napped after the morning treatments on my lunch break, and I longed for my bed with the conclusion of the afternoon sessions.

It was Monday morning when I received my first adjustment, and had a peculiar emotional response.  I choked back the tears, trying not to let my new Chiropractor see my tears.  I wanted him to be proud of how strong I was… silly thoughts, now when I look back.  Later that week, I watched Dr. Woggon adjust another scoliosis patient, and saw she had the same response I had.  The hardest day was after the second day of treatments.  Although DeJeanne was staying with me, I longed for family and friends.  Besides having headaches, I also was sore from the treatments, physically exhausted, and emotionally unstable.  I dug deep and carried on, giving it all I had to give.  Surprisingly, I woke the next morning, feeling better than the first two days.  That morning we took another X-ray of my cervical curve to make sure I was responding to treatment.  Seeing my neck reversing back to a lordotic curve, filled my soul with encouragement and strength to keep working hard.  The days flew by after that.  It seemed my body was adapting to the treatments and its new form.

I woke Friday morning excited, wondering how my spine had changed.  Did the treatments work on me?  I soon found out when Dr. Woggon took my last set of X-rays.  He put the X-rays of my cervicals and scoliotic spine on the view box.  A rush came over my whole body when I saw my new form.  My triple curve scoliosis went from 21 degrees in the upper dorsals to 8 degrees, 40 degrees in the mid dorsals to 22 degrees, and 33 degrees in the lumbars to 13 degrees!  My cervical lordosis went from a loss of 142% to a loss of only 90% and a reduction of forward head posture by 11 pounds and 2.1 inches.  My strength and range of motions all improved dramatically, and my lung capacity went from 3100 cc to 3300 cc.  By the rehydration of my discs and the straightening of my spine, I was a half-inch taller.  Overall, I was amazed by the results.

In the days following my treatment at the CLEAR Institute, I began to realize how much better I felt.  (These new feelings are hard to explain, and probably even harder for others to relate to.)   I had a new sense of who I was after my trip to CLEAR.  I felt like I had a heavy fog lifted off me.  Things like my self-esteem, mental capability, concentration, hearing, vision, and overall well-being were all enhanced.  As strange as it may sound, it was as if I was looking at the world and experiencing life in a new, brighter dimension.  Although all this was remarkable, I believe it was my satisfaction with the fact chiropractic care for scoliotic patients truly was possible and it was EXISTENT… after all, I had experienced it myself.  Thus, for all those who are indifferent and not in agreement, I leave you with my opening quote, one in which Dr. Woggon uses frequently, “People who say that it can’t be done should not interrupt those of us who are doing it!”