By Robert G. Berkowitz, D.C.
Dear Fellow Chiropractor and Friends of ChiropracTIC,
I, for some reason wanted to share in my experience of 9/21/2001. I volunteered my services as a Chiropractor to check spines at both the Javits Center and at Ground Zero. The Javits Center is a large coliseum where the boat show, auto show, etc. are held, but presently serves as headquarters for FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where you start the credentialing process. The Javits Center is about a mile from Ground Zero where the World Trade Center devastation took place.
They say that pictures do not justly serve the magnitude of the reality. They are RIGHT. To say it is a ‘war zone’ or ‘hell zone’ is correct.
The hoops one must go through to get credentialed is pure luck, which I defined as the meeting of preparation and opportunity. To get to Ground Zero is the same only 10 fold tougher. The difficulty is due to security and the constant upgrading of the protocols as things unfold to a more organized and structural format.
I spent the first half of the day checking spines at the Javits Center in a room set aside for the Acupuncturists, Message Therapists and the Chiropractors. I then decided to attempt to get to Ground Zero for both personal reasons of seeing it first hand, as well as serving Chiropractic.
I believe what I find most ironic is that all Chiropractic ‘schools of thought’, were there to check spines and NOT ONE case history longer than 30 seconds took place, NO consultation to explore their family history or their medical history, NO review of systems, orthopedic tests, neuro tests to determine a preliminary diagnosis in order to figure out which blood tests, urine tests, and x-rays should be ordered to determine if they were a Chiropractic case, as well as NO ONE was considering which other professional should be brought in on the case.
I did witness and take part in, the spending of a few minutes with a perfect stranger who chose to have their spine checked by this make shift chiropractic team. After a consultation consisting mostly of their name and where they were from (I must have checked people from 20 different states) I would simultaneously check their spine as we interacted OUR chiropractic story and applied the necessary forces to bring about a spinal adjustment. Perhaps the other Chiropractors asked about their symptoms and then proceeded to check their spine and make the necessary adjustments. I would estimate that each visit took less than 5 minutes
Perhaps the naysayers would harp on poor chiropractic care, negligent care, etc. All I know is that the masses were provided a service they chose to avail themselves at an affordable rate. In my office I strive to be reasonable, available and affordable so I viewed this as an outside office.
I believe that had CCE been there, not a fire fighter, police officer, search and rescue worker or anyone for that matter would have had their spine adjusted. Simply put, a lot of action would have taken place, but NO care rendered.
I wonder if the licensed Chiropractors on the CCE, COA, FCLB, ACA, NBCE, ETC, would have done differently than we were doing. I THINK NOT!
Overall it was an enriching and enlightening experience I can’t wait to do again and recommend it highly.
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