By Dr. Madeline Behrendt, D.C.
On September 11, 2001 America’s nervous system suffered a massive insult, overloading all physical and emotional stress circuits. We became stronger, increasing our compassion, capacity, and production. We became more fragile, and so many made promises, seeking a little something, some substance, with all of life’s sauce.
September 11, 2011 marks a decade of life “after.” America’s nervous system has a new set of stresses and needs care more than ever. As this observance reconnects us to the commotion and emotion of the 9/11 experience, are the promises of 2001 on minds dealing with 2011?
I promised to document Chiropractic activities in our Society. The result was a special issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR) visiting some of Chiropractic’s most dedicated and featuring their projects including: Chiropractic for Humanity’s on-site adjustment in NYC soup kitchens and shelters; identifying Red Flags in care of Battered Women; tracking Chiropractic’s benefits for the anxious, and Chiropractors and creativity. Yet one story still called to me.
Because what I remember most about 9/11 is not that day, but the days after – the outpouring of people at their best, asking how they can help and what can they do to make life better. I shared in this rising tone by developing “Chiropractic Rescue and the American Tragedy: the Chiropractic Relief Efforts at Ground Zero.” Perhaps this story of Chiropractors providing adjustments at Ground Zero respite centers offered readers some progress in reclaiming dignity and humanity. Certainly Chiropractors were a perfect fit for what the workers needed: offering care and caring to remove nerve interference and improve stress response, and helping tired bodies track properly so workers could finish their missions.
I was moved by how people responded to the story: the press release was ranked #1 on the Newswise Top Hits report for the June 2004 MedNews stories, leading in the number of hits over medical press releases from the Mayo Clinic and Harvard.
Since then, the promise of service has never wavered for Chiropractic; missions provide Chiropractic adjustments to the underserved all over the world. Here at home, the “Healing Hands 4 Heroes” campaign provides a donated course of Chiropractic care for the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, in New Jersey nearly 200 Chiropractors are helping our veterans heal, and additional states are on board.
Life moves and promises take on a different shape. I’ve returned to my roots, in the creative center of the world I help creative talent thrive, while continuing my work promoting Women’s Wellness, especially fertility. What moves have your promises seen over the past decade?
You can revisit Chiropractic’s moments at Ground Zero – the first person accounts and comments from the NYC Police Commissioner still give me goose bumps. I wrote about the process of creating the story in “Anything, Nothing, and Everything,” my contribution to Dr. Liz Anderson-Peacock’s book Pearls of Wisdom, and she has graciously allowed an excerpt to be reprinted.
My love to all those wounded by the actions of 9/11, and my best to all who are marking this moment, may our new promises guide us to an even stronger life. [email protected]
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