Unlike most, I have had the extraordinary good fortune of being born into chiropractic. I was half an hour old when I received my first adjustment, lovingly delivered by my Dad, Dr. Richard McMinn, in the comfort of our home, where I had been born. Dad was the first chiropractor in Esperance (the French for ‘hope’), a small town on the south coast of Western Australia, and I the town’s first natural childbirth.
Why was I adjusted almost immediately after emerging into this world? Simply, so I could have the best start with which to begin my life in the world. This best start was the optimum function of my nervous system: communication free of interference. Free communication between my brain and the lungs I had less than an hour previous filled with air for the first time. Free communication between my brain and the largest organ of my body, my skin, which was experiencing changes in temperature for the first time. Free communication between my brain and the eyes that were adjusting from a life in darkness to a life in light. Free communication between my brain and my vocal chords, which I now needed to tell my mum I was hungry. Free communication between my brain and my digestive system, which I needed now because I no longer had an umbilical cord. Free communication between my brain and my muscles as I was learning to use them. Free communication between my brain and my immune system as it was learning to deal with new and constantly changing threats. Free communication between my brain and my heart as it pumped blood around my body, delivering nutrients and collecting waste. Free communication between my brain and my endocrine system as it secreted hormones in the exact amounts my body needed. Free communication to and from every cell, tissue and organ in my body.
I truly did have the extraordinary good fortune of being born into hands that would gift me with regular chiropractic adjustments.
During birth this communication can become compromised, as in any experience of our lives, from the mundane to the major. Birth is an intense experience not just for the mother, but also for the child. The physical stress alone on a child’s neck is enormous as he journeys from womb to world, let alone the emotional stress that accompanies such a polar change in environment. These stresses can give a child vertebral subluxations: a misalignment of the vertebrae that chokes the spinal nerve, distorting and constricting the communication between brain and body. I don’t know if I was subluxated during my birth, but I am eternally grateful that to begin my life I was given the gift of chiropractic adjustments to free my nervous system of interference, freedom to be the best me I could.
Fast forward through my childhood and adolescence and I was now a young man living in Sydney. Having left my family in the UK, I was receiving spasmodic chiropractic care. I knew I should be seen at least once a week, like I had been most of my life, but I didn’t know why I should. Knowing the why makes all the difference between action and inaction. Towards the end of my time in Sydney, I began to transition into rumspringa – a term derived from the Pennsylvania German for ‘running around’ – a stage of my life where I explored the Devil’s Playground, had a cornucopia of experiences, learnt some lessons and discovered who I was and what I could be.
I slowly pulled away from my rumspringa until I left it behind for good in October 2008. I attended the United Chiropractic Association conference in Birmingham, England and heard Dr. Ron Oberstein speak on how it is chiropractic finds us, rather than us finding chiropractic. It was in listening to the impassioned Dr. Oberstein that I realised I understood the why of chiropractic. My head practically exploded: I had lived 26 years of my life in a chiropractic environment and had somehow missed the point of why I received regular chiropractic care: to free the nervous system so my body and mind too could be free!
Following Dr. Oberstein’s talk, another chiropractor, Dr. Michelle Nielsen, gave a talk about a new chiropractic college opening in Spain, the Schola Chiropractica Barcelona and I knew instantly what I wanted to commit my life to: helping people and their nervous systems to be free. I signed up for the college on the spot.
Chiropractic had found me.
footnote: Over the following weeks Damon’s excitement increased each day and finally he had the realisation that he did not want to wait for Schola Chiropractica Barcelona to open as there was still 500,000 euros to be raised with no guarantees. Subsequently, New Zealand College of Chiropractic became the object of his desire and now not just a desire but a reality.
Damon has begun his Chiropractic studies and the following is an excerpt from an email Damon sent 16/04/2009
“Last night had my first taster at the college led by Graham Dobson. LOVED IT! Palpated the EOP, C7, though had difficulty detecting the Atlas on myself and my partner. Tried sensing a hair underneath sheets of paper (very illuminating as to how sensitive the fingers are!!!), apparently college record is 84 of a phonebook. Gave some exercises to prep us for 1st year ie. with hair and also shapes. Have a new phonebook just waiting for me.!!!!!!!!!!!