After His Mom’s Post-Polio Syndrome was Healed by a Chiropractor He Decided to Become One
After His Mom’s Post-Polio Syndrome was Healed by a Chiropractor He Decided to Become OneFebruary 23rd, 2019 by Jason Ingham, DC
My mother was stunning. A woman with long, flowing blond hair, she was captivating enough to make anyone do a double take. Unfortunately, as apparent as her beauty was, so too were her physical limitations.
As an infant, Mom was diagnosed with polio. It was terrifying news at the time, considering that most infants who contracted the disease didn’t survive. Mom on the other hand, was a fighter. Her tiny body battled the polio with the aid of doctors and medicine, but the disease didn’t leave her unmarred. Instead, it left the right side of her body limp, weak, and defenseless.
At a young age, she spent several months living with the aid of an iron lung. Even after that time had passed and she began to flourish into an attractive young woman, the right side of her body served as a permanent reminder of the disease that had attempted to claim her life. The virus had multiplied in her nervous system, which prevented nerve cells from activating skeletal muscle, specifically in her right leg. This condition is termed acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). As a child, I remember the imbalance in her body. One leg was longer than the other because her hips were misaligned and her muscles were imbalanced. Seemingly simple tasks, like climbing the stairs, proved increasingly challenging with age. As she hobbled up, one step at a time, the pain and discomfort were evident on her delicate features.
Most kids my age were scolded or sent to their rooms as a form of punishment for bad behavior. My sister and I, however, were disciplined by being tasked with massaging Mom’s aching muscles. Today of course, I realize this was less of a penalty and more for her benefit as she tried to cope with musculoskeletal problems.
Despite her appreciation of these massages, Mom never pursued alternative medicines like therapy—because Dad, a well-respected respiratory therapist in Michigan, didn’t believe in them. If there was one thing he had full faith in, it was traditional medicine and traditional medicine only. The thought of anything nontraditional made him “poo-poo” and shake his head in distaste.
My dad was my ultimate role model and one of the coolest guys I knew. He had a secretary and an office and our family had a nice, big house and seemingly plenty of money. Naturally, because I looked up to him, I absorbed his opinions and perspective on life, adopting many of his thoughts and insights as my own. His beliefs pertaining to medicine were one of them, prompting me to wrinkle my nose at the mention of nontraditional medicinal alternatives.
Dad’s opinions influenced more than just my young mind; they also impacted the treatment mom received. Because he was well connected in the medical community, Mom had the entire Bon Secours Hospital at her disposal, which (according to Dad) meant she was in the best medical hands possible.
From my perspective, however, her condition never improved. I still saw her struggle with the stairs, with walking, with lifting things. The pain on her face was as clear as day, triggering my own emotions and sympathy.
Dad’s perspective, however, was distinguished from mine. In his eyes, Mom was under the best care—this was as good as it was ever going to get for her, and he was confident in that belief.
Little did he know he’d be proven wrong.
The Power of an Effective Chiropractor
When I was six, Mom and Dad divorced. With Dad no longer around to denigrate the idea, Mom started seeing a chiropractor, something my dad and several others in the medical profession considered “fake medicine” and ruled out as an insignificant, ineffective practice.
Initially, because I’d absorbed so much of my dad’s beliefs, I recall having a negative outlook about her visit.
“We going to the snake charmer, Mom?” I’d often tease. However, because I knew it meant so much to her, I restrained the urge to voice my doubts about chiropractic.
During the sessions, I’d struggle to reign in my horror as the chiropractor, Dr. Semlow, grabbed hold of Mom’s neck until the frightening sounds of clicks and pops resounded throughout the room. When he started treating her hips we discovered some shocking news. Dr. Semlow shared that most people who have hip displacement have hips that are anywhere from zero to three millimeters misaligned. Mom, on the other hand, was a whopping thirty millimeters out of position—the most he’d ever seen.
To say it was scary to see her go through all this therapy would be an understatement, especially for someone like me who was already uneasy about it all from the start.
Regardless of my apprehension, Mom continued with her appointments, and soon I begrudgingly noticed a marked improvement in her movements. Diminished were the earlier immediately visible signs of atrophy debilitating her body. The effects of the chiropractic treatment were apparent on more than just her physical progress. Mom’s disposition changed. She appeared happier and more at ease than ever before.
Thinking back, I wonder how her life would have been different if she’d had chiropractic care from a young age—how high school would have played out for her, how prom might have been a different experience. Of one thing I’m sure: a good chiropractor would have transformed the course of her life.
Dr. Ingham’s practice is located in Chicago. Visit his website here: https://chiropracticsportscare.com/dr-ingham/