The Benefits of Being a Bloomington Female Chiropractor
Ever since I was 11 years old, I wanted to be a chiropractor. Along the way, there were many who discouraged me. I was told I too smart to be a chiropractor, that I should go to school to become a “real” doctor. That I would make more money if I was a medical doctor. That being a small framed female, I didn’t have the strength to be a chiropractor.
The ironic thing is, these seemingly “negative” things actually were positive!
Today, medical doctors are struggling with the decrease in pay from insurance companies, increase in the costs of malpractice, and the increase in stress with having to see more patients a day. Plus, their jobs are less about health and more about dispensing drugs, and juggling that with keeping up with drug regulations.
Being a female, my biggest concern was whether or not I would be strong enough. Not only was I weak from being female, but I was very weakened from a sickness as a child. Brushing my hair was exhausting. Getting up from a squat was difficult. I was motivated to become as strong as I could get, yet still, being female, I was no where near as strong as my male counterparts.
Benefit #1: Females in General are Not as Strong as Males
Some may think that this is a negative, as they believe males must be better at adjusting because they are stronger, and that females are not strong enough to really adjust.
Let me dispel this myth with one simple fact: Chiropractic schools do not incorporate weight training in their schooling. If strength was proportionate to the effectiveness of an adjustment, schools of chiropractic would incorporate a strength training program for their students.
There are many different adjusting styles, ranging from firm to gentle. Female chiropractors can do them all, just like their male counterparts.
The critical aspect of an adjustment is the skill of the chiropractor, not the strength. Body positions, speed of the impulse and direction of the thrust are the makings of a great adjustment.
I have had many new Bloomington patients take one look at my little female frame and doubt that I can adjust them; as their previous male chiropractor who was much larger and stronger than me struggled to get them to adjust. That is my favorite type of new patient, as I love seeing their eyes go big, and hearing them exclaim that was the best adjustment they ever had. My skill makes me seem much stronger than I actually am. Though, I will admit, there are times that my adjusting can look quite comical. Some patients are so large or so tight, that my feet have to leave the ground, or I leave foot prints on my walls, just so that I can get them adjusted.
Seriously, it takes a lot of training, experience and knowledge of anatomy to get to a level where a small framed female can adjust a large stiff body.
I eventually realized that this was an advantage. Where my male student counterparts often relied on their strength to power through the body to get a body to adjust, I was forced to fine tune my adjustments such that I could get stiff joints to release with less force.
Like any profession, there are those that are more skilled than others. Sadly, I have taken on patients of other male chiropractors who hurt them with an adjustment that was too rough. In my 18 years of practice, I have yet to receive a patient that claimed a female chiropractor hurt them.
Benefit #2: Females are Less Intimidating
Many patients, females and males alike, are more comfortable with women touching them than a man for a myriad of reasons (past abuse situations, phobias, religious restrictions, etc.). I have gained many new patients, simply because they were specifically look for a female chiropractor.
Plus, in general, I find most female chiropractors are more nurturing than most of their male counterparts. Most of the male chiropractors I know look at their patients biomechanically, where female chiropractors tend to address the emotional needs of the patients. Even if the male is very nurturing, I have had women admit that they see a female practitioner so they can openly cry without worrying about a doctor thinking they are crazy.
An example of this is when I took over my husband’s patients when he had to stop practicing chiropractic after a career ending injury to his knee. Patients who had been seeing him for years opened up to me more in the first five minutes than they had to him after years of care. Many cried and hugged me. When I told my husband this, he was surprised. He is very nurturing, sensitive and cares very deeply about his patients. It saddened him that his gender and 6’2” frame was likely the barrier of patients opening up to him. Worse, he in return, would have been hesitant to hug female patients, for fear of them perceiving it as a form of sexual harassment. Which brings me to my third (and in my bias view) the best benefit.
Benefit #3: Females Have More Freedom to Hug
Being a female, when I hug a female (and even when I hug a male) patient, I do not get a sense of the patient worrying about sexual harassment. Sadly, the number one cause of a malpractice suit to a chiropractor is sexual in nature. I will never forget reading a case where a patient allegedly sued a male chiropractor for sexual assault, and finding out all the chiropractor did was adjust them. The patient felt assaulted during a side posture adjustment because the male chiropractor “put his hand on my buttock and thrusted”. Even though the chiropractor was just doing his job, that act made her feel violated, so the jury ruled in her favor, feeling he should have explained himself better.
So, my husband was always sure to be very articulate of his actions, not wanting to inadvertently make a patient feel uncomfortable. He would explain the reasoning and intention of his adjustments for fear it would be misconstrued as a sexual act. He had to be clear with his adjusting, let alone have the freedom to hug them in a consoling way.
Where I hug patients every day. Sometimes it is because they are so grateful that they are feeling so much better they want to hug someone. Sometimes it is to console those who have openly cried in the safety of my treatment room. I am honored that they feel my office is safe place to work on releasing the root cause of their physical tensions (stress). And being a female, I have more freedom to authentically hug them back. I believe this helps facilitate their healing, when they realize how much their stress is negatively impacting their health, and that they have someone who truly cares about them.
I am so grateful every day that I followed my passion of becoming a chiropractor, not letting my doubts prevent me from following my dream. Especially since I thought being a female would be a disadvantage, when in fact, it ended up being an advantage. Contact your Bloomington Female Chiropractor today!