Perceptions of India
Delhi was smoggy, dirty and claustrophobically busy. Flying to Northern India’s rural and tea-growing districts was a welcome contrast, with our group staying in Siliguri, which only had 7million people in a non-starving level of existence. Here the family unit is paramount and many a family of 5 could all fit on a small “postie-bike” for school drop-off and travel to work. Traffic movement was organic and horn beeping was instructional rather than abusive. After a few days you could relax into the mayhem of movement and let go of the dashboard or seatbelt.
Perceptions of patients
The polite and gracious children welcomed the novelty of a check up for their spine and enjoyed adjustments. We saw a diverse range of conditions that would not be seen in an entire chiropractic career in Australia. Undiagnosed leg fractures, post-traumatic brain injury in teens, cancer, burns and cuts that have had no management and a myriad of bizarre skin conditions had us all involved in clinical decision making, dressing wounds and referring to hospitals for ongoing care. Parents, family and other adults made use of our services as well and challenged us with marked spinal and postural distortions, screamingly high blood pressures, and chronic syndromes that have worsened due to no access to or affordability of any care.
Perceptions of students
There was something about this cohort of university students who paid their way and cooperated in ways that ensured that each day ran smoothly. Enthusiastic, yet humble, they saw more patients in a day than they would in a month in Perth. Confronted with complex injuries, they initially struggled with a treatment plan, but took instruction graciously and by day 4, had their management algorhythms in place and focussed on mastering their adjustments. The immersion into Hands on India has honed many of these final year student chiro’s skills in ways that will make them prized associates.
Perceptions of colleagues
To have such a diverse range of practitioners living and working together for two weeks was an intense and rewarding experience. I gained a greater appreciation of chiropractic styles, philosophy and wisdom which opened my mind to different approaches. Differing opinions were voiced in respectful ways and discussions probably helped observers make up their own minds on management and practice styles.
Check out our facebook page for some photos Andrew took on his journey!