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  • Writer's pictureDr. Maya Pande

How Did I Get Here? (AKA My Chiropractic Story)

This is me in my high school yearbook graduation picture. By the time this was taken, I had already had a lot of different career ambitions: Musician (who didn't want to be one?), neuro-physicist (I don't know where that came from, I'm not sure I even knew what one did!) and ultimately veterinarian.

Chiropractic wasn't even on my radar.

I took becoming a vet seriously. I worked at an animal hospital from my last year of high school through my university years. Then something happened that changed my path.

I saw a chiropractor.

I had been having low back pain since I was 15 years old. I don't know what caused it. It could have been the result of a bad fall I had in grade 9 or other factors. And it turns out that lifting big dogs and heavy bags of food at the vet clinic wasn't good for it. A Saturday morning shift usually left me immobile for the rest of the weekend with the humiliating consequences of telling my friends I couldn't go out because I had back pain – like "old people".

I went to my doctor trusting that she would know what was best for this problem. I remember thinking that if she thought I needed a chiropractor, she would recommend one. Nope. She simply prescribed muscle relaxants that made me sleepy. Maybe she hoped if I was asleep I would forget I was in pain? It didn't work. It was my father who suggested I go see one. By this time I was 20. You know how you just think something is normal until it's pointed out to you that it's not? That's where I was - kind of numb to my daily pain. My low back and by now my neck and mid back were hurting too. I had just thought it would all go away. Or I would have to live with it.

But it's not what you think. Getting out of pain through chiropractic care (which happened) wasn't enough to make me switch career paths. What was? Finally being able to breathe properly again.

Over the past few years I noticed that whenever I was stressed or tired, I couldn't take deep breaths without pain. Sharp, sudden, excruciating pain around my right shoulder blade each time I tried. How many deep breaths have you taken since you started reading this? Imagine each one was accompanied by pain. Horrendous.

I started to dread them - those supposedly soul-satisfying, mind-calming deep breaths. My main coping measure was NOT taking any. Genius, right? When my body eventually told me I had to, I would have to contort myself and brace myself for pain. I was getting really good at it.

One day, I walked in for my chiropractic appointment and he noticed my breathing struggles. I waved him off, saying there wasn't anything he could do about it. Luckily, he didn't listen and through a more focused examination, he found the cause of my pain and anguish. It was a rib that was (essentially) going in and out of place! I was so happy to find a solution!

And that's when I knew. This. This was what I wanted to do. Help people the way I had been helped. Help the hopeless find hope again. Make lives better. With just my hands.

I'm now in my 21st year in practice and my first year back in my hometown of London, ON

Welcome to my new practice and my new blog. Let's take a deep breath together and get started.

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