Flashback 5 years ago 2015. As my hopes were high for the year, things got off to a terrible start. I came home New Year’s Eve, to find one of my dogs, Chloe, had passed away completely unexpectedly. I was heartbroken. She was only 6. The experience was terrible. I felt lost, confused, hurt, angry. She was a total daddy’s girl. I was devastated. My heart physically ached.
Unfortunately, a new semester of chiropractic college was starting again in a week and there was little time to be glum. I put on my game face, rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I put my energy into school and my new fitness routine. I worked out religiously. I stuck to the program my trainer had given me.
Then, about a week or two into the school year, I hurt myself somehow. It felt like an overuse injury. Pull ups were a big part of my workout routine and now when I hung from the bar, my shoulders hurt. I couldn’t do pull ups or even hang from the bar without pain. Another thing to knock the wind out of my sails. I was very frustrated.
Luckily, I was in chiropractic college and I could get treated at the student clinic. There I was given all sorts of sprain strain diagnoses and treated with every laser, hot pack, soft tissue modality and ultrasound wand you could shake a stick at. I was traditionally adjusted too, of course. But that never seemed to do much. At best I was 10% better for a few days and then right back to where I was. My gym routine was hosed till further notice.
That semester, we took a class that I don’t remember the name of, but it was a survey course in different chiropractic techniques. Each week we were assigned reading on a different technique and then on Thursdays docs who did that technique in their office would come in to teach and demonstrate.
Needless to say, I wasn’t very enthused. People were so dogmatic about the techniques they practiced it was almost insufferable. So, I spent most Thursdays with my arms across my chest, watching a great deal of suspicion and skepticism.
One week, I remember we had reading to do for the class and I accidentally started reading the wrong chapter. I was reading about Network. It made no sense. I couldn’t grasp what the in the world they were talking about. My study partner told me I was reading the wrong chapter, we were supposed to study N.E.T., not “Network.” I was relieved, because that chapter made no sense.
Finally, one week the Network Spinal Analysis practitioners came in. They were doing light touches on each other's spines and acting like it was the most amazing thing. I stood in the back with arms folded. Was I really going to be subjected to this nonsense for 3 HOURS? 3 HOURS?? Somebody shoot me.
They talked some more and I spent most of the time being moments from just walking out. Most of my classmates shared the same sentiments. They moved us to the adjusting lab and the doctors started to work on students. I declined trying it for myself
One practitioner, Dr. Chris George was talking to one of the students and the conversation was very interesting. After she left, I started talking to him. I’m not sure what it was about the guy but talking one on one, he seemed to be actually very sharp. I got the sense that he was actually pretty smart (turns out he had a 4.0 in chiropractic school and was valedictorian of his class) and what he had to say made a lot of sense. To this day, I don’t remember what he talked about, it wasn’t Network, but it was about chiropractic and what it means to serve people and things like that. I was intrigued. I felt like this guy was on to SOMETHING, I just didn’t know what. I took his business card and asked if I could visit his office some time. I did not get any network done on me that day, despite several offers.
That February, a woman I had just started dating moved into a new apartment in West Hollywood. Turns out, it was walking distance from Dr. George’s clinic. I got in touch with him and paid him a visit. Seeing his clinic was a very eye-opening experience… mainly because of the clientele. His patients were models, actors, comedians, paparazzi and professional skateboarders. There seemed to be no “normal people.” It was a very surreal experience.
It was a very novel experience for the day. The clientele, the work he was doing on them, I felt like I had side-stepped into a different dimension. At the end of the day, he brought me back to a treatment room and said “Okay, well we’re finally done for the day, time for me to work on you,” he said.“Ah, you know what, actually, I think I’m good,” I responded. My reluctance was palpable.“Really, are you sure?” He asked.“Yeah, you know I got adjusted in class yesterday, so… I think I’m good,” I said, trying to find a way out the door.“You mean you came all this way, spent the whole day here, saw everything you saw, and are just going to walk away now. You don’t want to at least TRY this?” He asked, almost patronizing me.“Thanks for the offer, but I just don’t think it’s for me.” I said.“That’s interesting. How will you know if it’s for you or not unless you try? I mean you could get on the table and nothing could happen, and you could walk right out of here, but at least you’d know, right?”
Dr. George had a great point.
I couldn’t argue with that. I hopped on the table, excited to prove this man wrong. He was going to do his little voodoo on me, and I was certain that NOTHING would happen for me.
I guess by this point in the story it’s no surprise that I was completely wrong. I can’t recount all the details of the experience, because I don’t remember. But I remember as soon as he took his thumb off my sacrum on the first contact my body shook involuntarily. First my pelvis, but then pretty soon I was flopping around the table like a fish. I couldn’t help but want to move. It felt good. I was so present to the experience that the part of my mind that stenographies experiences like that was not functioning. I don’t remember a lot of details as I said.
What I do remember however, is seeing flashes in my mind's eye. In the movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure," when the phone booth / time machine flies through space it travels these channels of energy and images float past. That’s exactly what happened to me. I saw images of my dog Chloe. I saw memories of when I first brought her home, throughout her life and all the up until her death. It makes no sense, but her spirit spoke to me and told me that she was safe where she was and that she loved me and knew I loved her. All the grief that I had suppressed the past few months came out all at once. I cried profusely on the table. Dr. George consoled me and we talked about the experience. He understood. He comforted me. I made peace with my dog passing finally, something I had been suppressing I was finally able to process. He had seen this kind of thing happen before he said. Later that year, his dog would end up passing away too.
As if this story couldn’t get any crazier, the next Monday I went to the gym to see how my shoulders were doing. I hung from the bar… no pain. I tried a pull up… no pain.
I had heard many stories in my time about spiritual experiences, emotions being stored in the body showing up as physical pain and so on. I had written it all of up until then. But there was no denying it once I experienced it first-hand. At this point it's like there wasn't even a choice. I knew this was something I would have to learn and employ to serve others. 5 years later, here I am.