—Does your body hurt constantly? A visit to the chiropractor can be the solution. The San Francisco Day Labor Program (DLP) and Women’s Collective offers a free monthly chiropractic visit, located on Cesar Chavez and Mission St. The DLP not only offers chiropractic care to its members, but also to the general public.
“The chiropractor helps aligning the body. It helps keeping your nervous system healthy”, said Lori Pino, coordinator, counsellor, and initiator of the chiropractic program at the DLP. Pino has collected over 430 medical files in her almost 4 years of coming monthly to the DLP. Three-fourths of patients seen are returning for another appointment. For each visit the doctor and his/her students make to the office, there are from 5-10 walk-ins, of day laborers and domestic workers that are not members of the program.
“It’s not a massage, it is a hands-on manipulation”, said Pino, referring to the chiropractic treatment. “It feels good, as if you were a chicken getting its neck twisted,” said Francisco Galindo, member of the DLP. The chiropractor’s monthly visit to the DLP is very important, because most of its members work in moving jobs, lifting heavy objects. Other common jobs are in gardening/landscaping, painting, street cleaning , and construction. Pino explained that among the most common causes of pain are sleeping in bad positions, falling, stumbling while carrying objects, and lifting heavy objects.
“I had an accident in March while I was working. I fell back-first onto cement and hit my head. I was wearing a hard-hat at the time, but even still the fall hurt. I wore a cast for quite some time, but the pain has returned. Now I feel much better.” said José Cuevas, member of the DLP, after being attended by a chiropractor.
“Bones always move. The nervous system is connected to one’s bones. Our bodies are dynamic… [The chiropractor] helps people grow stronger in all aspects”, said Gabriella Cole, intern student. Cole also explained that because the nervous system and bones are connected, pain from one part of the body can be reflected in another area. These is evident in Javier Martinez’s case, member of the DLP, who was injured playing soccer some time ago. When he works lifting heavy objects or gardening his pain returns; his knees become inflamed and the pain reaches through to his back. “Now, I can walk better,” said Javier, after getting checked by a chiropractor.
Chiropractic students benefit from their visit to the DLP. Students learn how to deal with different situations. “These are the kind of patients I work with. In the university, the college population is young, healthy and thin. But see this population here, they work very hard every day, they are in pain…this a great learning experience for my students. This is the real world,” said Bruce Chester, chiropractic doctor from Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward.
Students from Life Chiropractic College West also volunteer abroad. Among other countries, they travel to El Salvador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ghana, and Cambodia. The DLP also offers other services (for its members) such as job training, support groups, medical check-ups, English classes, and political education. If you want to become a member of the DLP, or La Colectiva de Mujeres, please visit us at 3358 Cesar Chavez St. The chiropractor’s next visit will be on Saturday, November 24 from 7-11am. Please come!