I woke at 06:45, slept straight though and had 9 hours and 44 minutes sleep, so my app told me. I had woken up once in the night, something which I never normally do, but I knew my body clock wasn't quite 100% yet.
I was sore from the snowboarding in my feet and my gluts but I dragged myself out of bed to do my usual morning routine. Today I was going to be shadowing Don in the morning and his son Brandon had 2 new patients in the afternoon...
I arrived at the coastal Wellness centre ahead of time and I was able to have a good chat with Don about everything we did yesterday. Recalling the steps taken. His wife explained she had scheduled a few gaps so we could spend more time talking between patients. This was truly typical of the guys here, and the culture in Canada. Everyone was so accommodating, helpful and caring.
I think I did more hands-on work than Donny this morning. Every patient he got me up and asked me what I would do and then preceded to let me continue under his supervision. Most patients were more than happy with this. One patient did ask "just to clarify Dr Don you will be working on me today?" he replied absolutely. Then he just checked everything I did and said fantastic, you're all done. The patient had a huge smile on her face. I found this extremely humbling and so grateful. He really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
The big thing I took away from today was old chronic ligament damage repairing. Dr Don explained that when you sprain a ligament, you damage the periosteum of bone where that ligament attached. If the periosteum never heals, then that ligament is insufficient and will always change the proprioception of the skin to the brain. This will affect muscle firing patterns and range of motion of that joint.
I had a very bad left ankle sprain from playing football around 15 years ago. He showed me on my peroneus longus tendon how to reverse this ligament damage to instigate permanent healing. Today as I write this, I tried a deep squat this morning and my left ankle was moving perfectly. I can't remember it feeling so good. The usual foot flare has gone. I can't wait to implement this technique on my patients, again it's a game changer.
We finished the shift and Dr Don turned to me and said, "any questions?" I laughed and said, "how long have you got!?" we preceded to chat about all things healing, Chiropractic and then transcended into deeper questions of life, universe and quantum reality. It was nice to chat to someone so experienced in life to gain their perspective on reality, especially when he had a commonality to mine...
One patient joked and said Don you could wave a feather over my body and I would get better. An interesting comment I thought. This man had what one might describe as "healing hands". Just the mere presence of his energy in the room was enough to have an effect on people. Why might that be I thought? We discussed this at length as to why so many different practitioners have such different techniques and all kinds of patients get better. He said " well sometimes they do... And sometimes they don't. I really think it's down to the doctor patient relationship and the transfer of energy between the two people". I said but can't anyone can learn these techniques you're doing? He said yes anyone can learn them, but the skill is in the feeling. Then you'll know when to use what technique, and when not to! "
This was as evident in the afternoon when I shadowed his Son Brandon. A top guy, and has clearly learnt the techniques down to a T. I somehow couldn't help but feel he didn't have the same presence as his Dad, but then again, his old man had 30 years more experience! Brandon told me a lot about how to communicate with patients, and a great tip on how to check how the body will perform under the stress of gravity, without getting the patient to stand up and lay back down again. This invaluable tip will save me so much time and energy in future.
I did really hit a wall around 3pm as I think the adjustment Donny did to me earlier had sent my body into a parasympathetic response. I was drowsy, hungry and thirsty and was exhausted. I said my goodbyes to Don's Wife, the loveliest receptionist you could imagine! She had taken me for lunch earlier and given me an insight into Dr Don's life and what he had been though to get to here. I won't share the story here because it's personal but let's say he is a phenomenal man and has been through a lot. It all stemmed from a very bad car crash age 16 and he was left disabled. Then he found chiropractic kinesiology and it changed his life.
I headed back to the lodge for a quick nap to recover. I was off to the NHL ice hockey game that night to watch the Vancouver Cannucks v Chicago Black Hawks. It was due to be a big game and the atmosphere did not disappoint! The cannucks won 3-0 and the game was on another level of skill and pace that I had ever seen before. I sat next to a group of Canadian girls who were more than friendly and that just typifies what Vancouver was all about. Everyone is do friendly. I headed home to bed as I was off to Denver the next day. I couldn't help but feel disappointed it was my last night in Vancouver, I think this is my personal favourite city I have ever visited! Next stop Denver.