Should I become a chiropractor

Dr. Marco A. Belizaire M. received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ. granted by a full Track and Field scholarship and earned his Doctorate of Chiropractic in 1993 at Life Chiropractic College, now Life University in Marietta, GA.

In the year 2000 Dr. Belizaire’s heart and passion called him to work in the country of Costa Rica, Central America as one of their Olympic team Chiropractors and member of the Olympic Committee Technical Committee; afterwards to the neighboring country of Panama where he has founded and established A.G.A.P.E Chiropractic Center, the countries largest Chiropractic clinic. He travels once a month to Panama to serve the needs of his patients and promote the benefits of chiropractic and wellness care to his countrymen, even educating and demonstrating through radio and television. Being bilingual enhances the effectiveness of educating his patients and the public by empowering them to make wise decisions concerning their health, life and well-being.

As a former Olympic track athlete, he translates the knowledge and expertise of understanding biomechanical functions of the human body in relationship to increased peak performance from a neuro-musculoskeletal point of view, combined with extensive post graduate training in sports chiropractic to work with olympic teams and athletes from the elite level to the weekend warriors. He encourages his patients to experience the benefits of Chiropractic care from infancy to elderly, and promote the enhancement of overall well-being whether a weekend, elite or professional athlete.

He currently serves as one of the Sports Chiropractors with the Sports Medicine staff for the Unites States Track and Field Federation serving in most major Championships since 2012.

Dr. Belizaire practices at the A.G.A.P.E Chiropractic and Wellness Center, Inc. in Smyrna, GA. and Panama City, Panama, Central America. He is married to his lovely wife Virginia and has four children, Stephen and Sterling and the twins Marquis Antonio and Miranda Victoria. He is very strong in his Christian faith and active in his church Linked Up Church, in Atlanta, GA. When Dr. Belizaire is not serving his patients in Atlanta or Panama, or at the track working with the athletes he is enjoying some time reading, salsa dancing and of course watching sports. He may be contacted via email at [email protected] or at 770-434-5707

Hippocrates put the word out centuries ago: “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” Even in 460-377 BC, the importance of the spine frame was recognized as an integral component to the art and science of healing.
Over 30 years ago, I entered college with full intentions of becoming a medical doctor. Though I enrolled in a pre-med program with the goal of becoming a surgeon, by graduation my heart was drawn elsewhere: I wanted to explore different ways to address health issues. I had never been to a chiropractor, but I had briefly heard about it. A few years later, with little knowledge about the profession and without much research, I took a chance: I changed academic tracks and enrolled in a chiropractic program. While attending a lecture there, I met a speaker who shared some of the most profound words I had ever heard: “The body is a self-healing organism. The power that made the body will heal the body.” The message served as affirmation that I had made the right decision. Chiropractic would be the profession where my heart and intellect intersected in a singular intention: to serve others.
A Doctor of Chiropractic is…
A doctor of chiropractic, also called a chiropractor or DC, is a health care provider who focuses on the inherent recuperative powers of the body. The primary focus of chiropractic is the relationship between the central nervous system and the spine: the central nervous system controls and regulates all functions in the body while the spine serves as the protective structure.
Critical connections: Why maintaining effective communication really is key…
The spine is a very flexible structure, which makes it susceptible to physical, chemical and emotional stressors. Over time, the stressors cause small shifts in the spine’s structures and can generate a cascade of effects within the body. In a nutshell… Small shifts in the spine cause mild irritation to the nervous system, which in turn alters the vital communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When the brain’s communication with the body is impaired, a symptom manifests- typically an ache, pain, weakness or tightness. (As a point of reference, anything abnormal in the body is considered a symptom: headache, constipation, menstrual cramps, fevers, insomnia, lack of concentration, etc.)
Chiropractic: the practice of getting the brain and the body back on speaking terms …
The chiropractor’s job is not to treat the symptom or condition but rather try to find its cause. With the spine as the main focus, areas of imbalance are first identified within the central nervous system and spine and a series of specific adjustments are made. It’s important to note that chiropractic is not limited to physical adjustments; patient education is integral to the practice. By teaching people about the possible causes of their symptoms and how to implement healthy daily habits, DCs not only address the physical body but also empower people to achieve a healthier quality of life.
Roadmap to the Doctor of Chiropractic…
Despite the growth, popularity and increased use of chiropractic care, many people are still unaware of the rigors of chiropractic education. Like medical doctors, chiropractors undergo a stringent education in the healing sciences. And in some areas of study- such as anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition and public health- chiropractors receive even more intensive education than their MD counterparts.
To become a doctor of chiropractic, candidates must complete several years of pre-medical undergraduate education. Upon acceptance to an accredited chiropractic college, students undertake a rigorous course of study for four to five academic years, effectively exceeding the standard number of classroom hours required by medical schools. Extensive training includes education in sciences such as neurology, orthopedics and physiology, in the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging, laboratory and examination procedures, state of the art chiropractic investigative technologies and a one-year clinical practicum focusing on patient care.
In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. (Source: American Chiropractic Association, 2014)
Licensure and recognition…
In order to practice, all doctors of chiropractic must pass a series of National Boards as well as a licensing exam for the state in which they choose to practice. In addition, most states require annual completion of clinical continuing education programs for re-licensure. Licensed doctors of chiropractic may practice in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in many countries around the world.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands officially recognize chiropractic as a primary healthcare profession distinct from medicine. Source: The American Chiropractic Association (www.acatoday.org) | 2014
Defining the Differences: the DC vs the MD…
While chiropractic care focuses on a non-invasive approach to healthcare without the use of drugs or surgeries, some might think that chiropractic education is less stringent than that of MD counterparts. To the contrary. As noted above, chiropractic training requires more educational credit hours than most medical schools. (Source: American Chiropractic Association, 2014)
So what’s the primary difference between MD and DC programs? A different focus in the teaching curricula, which results from different approaches to treating patients. MDs learn a paradigm focused on diagnoses and symptom treatment approaches. And, when possible, a curative approach is taken to resolve health issues. DCs, on the other hand, are trained under a paradigm centered on the prevention of chronic disease, which also incorporates patient education as a means of empowering them to take responsible actions to improve their health and well-being.
Chiropractic: The name says it all…
The term chiropractic means “done by hands.” Because chiropractic care requires mastery of highly skilled, intricate adjustment techniques, chiropractic education dedicates a significant portion of time to clinical training. Though there are a number of techniques that utilize instruments to adjust the articulations of the spine and extremities, the hands serve as the primary instrument by which to effect work.
Notes from the Chiropractor…
According to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, chiropractic in the United States is the third largest primary healthcare profession, surpassed in numbers only by physicians and dentists. It is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative healthcare professions. And although some refer to it as alternative care. I find this category misleading and incorrect: Chiropractic is not an alternative treatment but rather a philosophy, an art and science that works with the body to allow healing in a more natural way, independent of any symptoms or disease present within the body. Guided by a proactive approach, chiropractors even take care of patients without symptoms. After all, our ultimate goal is to help people achieve optimal health… naturally. Source: National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (www.nbce.org) | 2014

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