Providing chiropractic care for police officers and health care marketing to law enforcement
Law enforcement is a physically demanding profession requiring officers to be healthy and mobile to perform their duties safely and efficiently. I began health care marketing to law enforcement and treating police officers after being asked to participate on a logistics team for an international running event for law enforcement personnel. It was an unbelievably challenging event — a 120-mile relay race through the desert.
A high-ranking officer asked if I’d work with his runners after hearing me explain how chiropractic care works. The team nearly took the championship and after the race I spoke with the wise captain of the team and explained that although his runners were top-notch, their training program was incomplete. I pointed out that almost all elite athletic teams have a chiropractor on staff working with the athletes to optimize joint function and boost neurologic, muscular and immune health. He had the foresight to see to it that his team received the frequency of treatments they needed.
Partnerships in law enforcement care — where it began
I started providing chiropractic care to the team at every race they competed in throughout their running season. Over the next several years I became so involved with their efforts that I became the team chiropractor for the largest sheriff’s department in Los Angeles County.
I loved helping these ultra-strong, mega-dedicated men and women. I noticed that I was benefitting from my time with them as well. With each encounter I grew more and more inspired by their commitment to fitness and how each sought to improve all other aspects of their health. I realized quickly that I wanted to protect and serve this special population of people who spend their lives protecting and serving us all.
An inquisitive young deputy asked me why I hadn’t run with them instead of just giving care on the sidelines. I quickly explained that I was a competitive swimmer but had never been a runner. I further told him that it was a joy to apply all that I knew about the biomechanics of running and I was happy just helping to prevent and take care of running injuries. Later it occurred to me that I would only be able to give my very best care if I experienced firsthand how it felt to train and compete as a runner.
Shortly after my epiphany I began training for my first-ever 10k race. In just a few weeks following a running schedule to prepare me for my race, I began experiencing severe discomfort in my first MTP joint and turned to three-arch, flexible custom orthotics for help.
I told all my patients who ran about the support I experienced and recommended they begin wearing these custom orthotics too. To this day, my patients call me a miracle worker … I always remind them that removing subluxations, improving muscle function, and having their bodies properly supported with custom stabilization is what allows the body to do its own miraculous work.
Reinforcing the role and importance of posture and stability
I explain to my patients that posture is the position of your spinal bones, ligaments, and muscles and therefore, it’s the window for viewing their spine globally. If posture is out of balance, then the spine is out of balance and unhealthy pressure is more than likely being placed upon their nerve system.
Simple, everyday things like sleeping, standing, or walking abnormally to more difficult occurrences such as work stresses, auto accidents, recreational injuries and emotional stress can result in spinal imbalances.
Talking to my patients about the fact that the nervous system controls every function of the body, and the body is supported by the feet, makes it easy for them to understand that their feet, their very foundation, must be optimally balanced for good health. Getting regularly-scheduled adjustments and muscle work for the spine and extremities, coupled with balancing the feet using custom orthotics, provides the best scenario for the spine and allows unrestricted nervous system activity.
Treating members of law enforcement
Are you currently treating or interested in treating police officers and providing health care marketing to law enforcement? Be acutely aware of the physical demands of the various jobs these patients perform and how their unique working conditions and equipment put unrelenting strain on their neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, ankles and feet:
- A standard police uniform is uncomfortable, tight-fitting and restrictive.
- It usually includes a Kevlar vest, which traps body heat, an unforgiving leather duty belt that carries heavy items like a gun, taser, handcuffs and flashlights, plus they wear hard boots.
- Consider the magnitude of weight on their bodies throughout an entire day’s activities, like getting in and out of a patrol car approximately 30-50 times per day, running after suspects, sitting and standing, etc.
- They often must stand for long periods of time — ie: skirmish line during civil unrest, maintaining crime scene perimeters, evacuation procedures, containments at large events, and offering aid to fire departments during wildfires, etc.
- When working in custody facilities and courthouses, law enforcement officers must walk and stand on concrete floors during shifts that last between 8-16 hours per day.
Overcoming challenges in treating police officers
In my practice I offer comprehensive care, so first-time patients are always scanned to visualize foot posture and global body imbalances. A treatment plan is offered to support a 45-day acclimation phase for custom orthotic wear.
My patients become educated to understand that ongoing chiropractic care and wearing their custom orthotics daily are some of the most proactive approaches to keeping themselves moving well while meeting the physical demands of their jobs and minimizing the aches and pains that come from their activities of daily living. A very important aspect of the level of care I provide begins with conversations about the mind-body connection.
Caring for mind and body
Many of us know that eating nutritious foods and taking supplements, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and having a clean air supply will help to preserve health.
And while this is true, it’s also very important for people to consider what they’re thinking about, how to think about what they’re thinking, and most importantly begin to uncover the unconscious programs that control their lives.
I teach my patients that only 10% of the nervous system carries or perceives pain messages. That means almost 90% of the system may be heavily stressed and we receive little to no warning about that because it is unconscious. The stress that public servants, like police officers, regularly experience as they put the welfare of others first on the job while pushing aside their own needs, predisposes them to unforeseen dangers. Because of these insidious, life-altering emotional states, I use neurolinguistics programming concepts to help my patients better manage emotional stresses that are more than likely being ignored.
Because our unconscious mind stores thousands of years of genetic coding which goes far beyond our scientific understanding of the body, in my practice I provide both mind and body care. We begin from the ground, at the feet, and work our way to the top.
DANIELLE SOKOL, DC, is a graduate of California State University and the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. She was previously an adjunct instructor at the Southern California University of Health Sciences and a speaker for Clinical Health Systems Inc. Chiropractic. She writes for Foot Levelers, is currently in private practice in La Mirada, Calif., and serves as the team doctor for the largest sheriff’s department in Los Angeles. She can be reached at email@example.com.