A Car Accident Guided Me Toward Chiropractic Care

Dr. Stephen Heilman Chiropractor

My first year of college created my career path for me. I was driving home late one evening and a car ran a red light and plowed into me as I was going through the intersection. I was quite shaken up by the experience, but I was “fine” or so I thought. By the next morning excruciating pain and muscle spasms traveled throughout my neck and back, and the pounding headaches seemed to never quit.

I saw my family doctor because “that was who you go to when you are not feeling good,” and he gave me a list of exercises, and the typical anti-inflammatory medication with some muscle relaxers. Not only did I find them to taste disgusting, but they made me sleepy and depressed. I inquired about chiropractic care as I had chiropractic adjustments as a child from my godfather, but the doctor instructed for me to NOT go to a Chiropractor as the treatments would hurt too much (actually the phrase he used was “they will KILL you”).

Well after two weeks of continuously feeling worse I decided to go to a Chiropractor anyways. The first thing I noticed was how detailed and thorough the examinations was; in fact, significantly more thorough than the visit to the medical doctor. I had the feeling that the Chiropractor really understood my situation and made me confidant that he knew what I was going through. From the very first adjustment my body responded favorably, and the tremendous relief of pain that I experienced with every spinal adjustment eventually made my back stronger and more flexible. But that was not my biggest miracle. My never ending skull splitting headaches that made studying impossible began to disappear.

My Chiropractic Journey

That first year of college provided me with a learning opportunity I could never have learned in a classroom, for Dr. Salem instilled in me the desire to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. I’ll never forget what he told me…”Steve, You should become a Chiropractor like your godfather was, you will get sick people well without using drugs or surgery, and You will develop a passion for going to work every day. There is no other career that will give you this same feeling that I have!” He said it with such certainty, and it was from the heart. No other doctor had talked to me about loving their profession like that. The choice seemed so obvious and so absolute that I knew I had to go to the administrative office at the school and set my major to pre-chiropractic studies. It was a matter of formality of course, as every other medical degree required the exact same prerequisites. But I knew from that moment forward that being a Chiropractor was meant to be for me.

Dr. Stephen Heilman reunites with Dr. Gregory Salem 2014

The chiropractic school that I chose was Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in Whittier California. My godfather graduated from there and their professional reputation for a good program was well known. Being a native southern Californian didn’t make me want to travel away from home either.

L.A.C.C. was well known for their focus on an orthopedic approach for Chiropractic philosophy, and an intense primer for rehabilitation and physical therapy. The strategy was to have their graduates be comfortable with orthopedic surgeons and neurologists on a medical level. Many times as a student we wondered if they were training us to be radiologists or orthopedists instead as so much of the learning was geared in that direction.

My favorite instructor was Dr. Debra Reed. Dr. Reed was passionate about the chiropractic approach to dealing with chiropractic care. This may seem obvious to anyone, however since our science training was so intensely focused on medical risks and pathology, one may have forgotten why they went to chiropractic school in the first place. But Dr. Reed worked on us to look at each patient as a chiropractor’s project. Look first to the spine and how to fix it, but double check to make sure nothing else is hiding in there.

A Wellness Lifestyle

A Kiwanis Club of Escondido member since 2004, I’ve served our club and community in a number of ways. From 2007 through 2008, and again from 2014 through 2015, I served as the club president and in 2006 and 2007 as vice president. Kiwanis Club of Escondido and Kiwanis International has a mission statement of “Serving the Children of the World, One Child, One Community at a time.” My current focus is Key Club adviser for Escondido High School.

Also I am a frequent donor for the San Diego Blood Bank. Because of the universal donor blood type I have made it my mission to frequently donate blood platelets. One of the special needs for this type of donation is for children with leukemia, and so my blood platelet donations have been designated to serve the needs of patients at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

On the weekends I am either digging in the organic garden at home, or playing Frisbee golf at Kit Carson Park. (Most of the time I am searching for my missing frisbees)

I try to set the example for my patients and my community. I am well known for good posture and positive outlooks regarding our future and community. If you find me shopping you will notice plenty of farm-raised whole foods, and something to read about in the shopping cart. I do have my ice-cream vice, and a weakness for dark chocolate. Beware though, if you study what’s in my shopping cart, then I may peak in your cart to see what vices you have in there and suggest a healthier enjoyable alternative. Since I have experienced a severe back injury I strive to stay active, get monthly chiropractic care, and regular spinal stretching for myself.

Enough about me! How can we help you with today’s safe and natural chiropractic care? Give us a call so we can help you take your first step towards better health.

If you have any questions about our ESCONDIDO chiropractor, or would like to learn more about chiropractic care at Heilman Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression, please call us at 7604804480 today!