The In8 Life: How Going to the Chiropractor Changed My Outlook on Health – PART 1

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The In8 Life: How Going to the Chiropractor Changed My Outlook on Health – PART 1

I’m at the chiropractor and I’ve had an elastic band wrapped tightly around my finger for 30 minutes. Myself and two other individual’s are trying to ignore the slight irritation as we nod in agreement that perhaps our health is not at an optimal level, but that it can be.

You’re probably wondering why is this girl talking about going to the chiropractor and why does she have an elastic band wrapped around her finger?

Last month I was approached by our editor and asked if I wanted to go and do a review on a new Geelong business, The In8 Life. Hearing it was a chiropractor, I thought ‘why not?’ I’ve never been to one before, I’d love to give it a go.

Ironically on my 24th birthday- the day before my first appointment- I hurt my back, resulting in me walking around like a geriatric at least 40 years earlier than I had originally hoped.

It’s safe to say I was excited to go to the chiropractor because I thought I’d walk in, they’d “crack” my back and I’d walk out feeling better and go on with my life until I hurt it again.

I was wrong about that, and I’m glad I was.

So this brings us back to the elastic band. To cut a long story short, it was a metaphor that whilst sometimes we function and live with something that blocks the flow of our system, we, as brilliant beings, are able to adapt. And while the tip of my finger was losing circulation, I could still use it and ultimately deal. To be honest, I forgot about it and was only reminded by the man shifting uncomfortably in his seat next to me – who was seriously not enjoying this learning process.

The introductory workshop wasn’t just for me either, but for every potential client that walks into The In8 Life. There’s something about ‘introductory workshop’ that makes people want to awkwardly moonwalk out of there, but I promise this wasn’t like that. In saying that, let me tell you what it was like with part one of my review.

Before the appointment:
As I said before, I had never been to a chiropracter so I had a lot of assumptions of what I’d be up for. Assumptions like being nothing more than a number through the door, but mainly the assumption that I’d have my back cracked and then sent on my merry way. Having a brief look at their website, I saw it was owned by Dr. Sam and Dr. Gabriel Floreani, a family of four who specialised in vitalistic and chiropractic health. These two words, in particular vitality, kept cropping up all over their website so I decided that I would wait until I had my first appointment to try and understand it and how that could possibly be implemented in correcting my posture.

The First appointment:
I missed the very first ‘appointment’ which was a dinner shouted by the family at a nearby restaurant Ambrosia, which is offered to all new clients as a way of creating community. From hearing this first, I knew this would be a different experience.

Located off Pakington Street, the house exterior continues throughout, giving the clinic a homely feel. There wasn’t a hard plastic chair or outdated carpet in sight, but instead warm dim lighting, bamboo finishes and comfy couches filling the space, creating a very relaxing and uplifting environment. With black feature walls and hand painted quotes, I was offered water and tea and immediately put at ease – I did briefly question if I was in the right place.

Filling out the pre questionnaire, I did notice that they didn’t just ask boring questions about my health like, ‘did I smoke?’ (no), ‘did I drink?’ (no), ‘did I spend lots of time with my cat?’ (yes), but more along the lines of what did I want from these chiropractor appointments, how do I feel about my overall health? What are ways that I can improve it? And what struck me in my answers was that they were psychologically motivated. I didn’t want to feel so stressed out anymore, I didn’t want my thought patterns to automatically jump to the worst about myself when I did something less than perfect. I wanted to sleep better and function better in all aspects of my life, not just physically. It was almost like I was being gently guided into thinking about my health as a whole.

After this existential health moment I was having, I was navigated into a quiet office with Dr. Sam who explained that before the introductory workshop, he would attach my finger to a heart rate monitor for five minutes, which would monitor my heart rate variability – I googled this later and it basically measures the intervals between your heartbeat to gage whether it works at varying length (which is good) or if it beats like a metronome (which is bad).**

I was left alone for five minutes to watch a YouTube video about chiropractic study and what a “sublaxation” is – another scientific word that essentially means “something blocking the flow.” The flow of course being the messages that shoot through your Central Nervous System to all the important parts of the body. This is pretty much the foundations of chiropractic health, and something that The In8 Life pay attention to.

Once that five minutes was up, I was brought out to join the other new clients to have the workshop with Sam, bringing us to the elastic band. It’s a great metaphor for what the foundations of In8 Life is about, and that’s the philosophy that we are highly intelligent beings who can both adapt and heal. Going to the chiropractor isn’t – or at least shouldn’t – be about going to get “fixed” but to be aided, so that our body can heal itself and work at its optimum level.

The workshop was interesting in that it invited myself and other new clients to discuss what health means and what we think health is compared to the societal standards of health.

As the workshop wrapped up, Sam took me back to the office to finish off the simple tests that would determine my health baseline and also how my spine and posture was. I layed down on the table for 30 seconds if that, so he could get a feel of my spine and the entire time I was thinking ‘where is the cracking?!’ Why is this doctor actually taking the time to see how my body was functioning before he even gets to trying to “fix” it. As Sam explained, it’s not about trying to “fix” me. It’s about seeing where I can improve my health and aiding me to do that. By figuring out my health baseline, it means that in x amount of adjustments we can see how my body has improved – which, to be honest is a really great way of seeing the value in your money and also your health.

Before the appointment wrapped up, Sam did grab a small spine model that showcased the very top of the spine and told me that at the top of my neck, where the spine began was twisted, blocking the “hole of life”. SO HE WAS GOING TO CRACK IT. Guys, it finally happened and I’ll be real, I was afraid of having my neck cracked. Being such a vulnerable part of your body, that is a lot of trust that you put into a stranger’s hands, but luckily he made me feel really relaxed before he did it. And then the most embarrassing thing happened, I started crying. Not because it hurt, not because I was scared but because it was the strangest sensation of all this tension being released- both physically and emotionally. It just confirmed for me that your health is the components of the emotional, physical and psychological being tied together and it all stems from your Central Nervous System…To Be Continued.

Check out part two next issue when I talk about returning 24 hours later to have the rest of my spine corrected and the results from my health baseline!

** This may sound counter-intuitive but essentially, a healthy heart should pump for you, when you need it. If it’s just pumping like a robot, it means that it’s too ‘perfect’ and unnatural and probably doing it because you’re in survival mode, not in thriving mode.

Written by Caitlin Haddad
Working with The In8 Life

When & Where: The In8 Life, 53 Hope Street Geelong West, 5298 1838