0 A Trip to Mexico
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Dynamic Chiropractic – August 27, 2007, Vol. 25, Issue 18

A Trip to Mexico

By Irvin S. Stern, DC, CMT

A group of philanthropic health care practitioners recently returned from assisting the local population of Piedras Negras, Mexico. Our trip is organized annually by Rotary International. A group of chiropractors and massage therapists travel to a little town where there are a couple of MDs, but not a single chiropractor.

We go there to make a difference in other people's lives. We have so much here in the United States, but often fail to see the utter poverty elsewhere in the world.

The 16 volunteers came from various states, including California, Nevada, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida and Pennsylvania. Most of the chiropractors were graduates of Palmer Chiropractic College or Palmer West. Jon Floto (Fallon, Nev.) and I (Chico, Calif.) flew out of Chico on Dr. Floto's personal airplane. We headed out early on a Monday morning for Indio, Calif. (near Palm Springs). We stopped there long enough to fill our empty stomachs and the plane's empty gas tanks. In another town close by, we found a place to sleep. The next morning, we departed early for Piedras Negras.

We arrived at sunset and were met by our hosts. Later that same evening, we met all the other health care practitioners who had already arrived, either by commercial air or automobile travel. After we all introduced ourselves, ate and got acquainted, we turned in for a good night's rest.

The next morning, we were up for an early breakfast, and then were transported to the local hospital. Amazed by all the patients at the entrance to the hospital who were waiting to receive care, we squeezed in to see our treatment rooms. While we organized our treatment tables/notepads, met our translators and mentally oriented ourselves, the TV camera/radio personnel were busy as well. A media crew filmed all of us, especially while we provided treatment. Of course, the town mayor was a star for that day, as his picture appeared in the local newspaper the following morning.

When the major dignitary filming was completed, each patient was ushered in. Communicating with a person who speaks a different language can be very tricky and involved. Fortunately, each of us was assigned a translator. Even though we did not receive the entire detailed health history or perfect X-rays of each patient, we often were able to figure out what was wrong. The body and nervous system are universal, no matter where a person lives or what language they speak.

With each patient, I discussed their health issues, helping everyone as best I could. Hearing just a laugh and seeing a little smile after a single treatment was all it took to communicate relief. One woman told me, via a translator, how wonderful I was for telling her what no one else would say. She made it all worthwhile for me to make this arduous trip down south of the Rio Grande River.

This entire experience lasted for about a week. It took two days to get down there and two more days to return home. The actual treatment time only spanned a little more than two days. We worked hard during the day and were hosted royally at night. On our half-day off, we were shown a historical site and a few educational operations. One school was set up for mentally challenged youngsters. The other school functioned as a housing/maintenance and education facility for severely physically challenged people of all ages. Rotary International supports each of these educational operations both financially and spiritually. One evening, we received certificates for our philanthropic work, and later, we witnessed a demonstration of various types of Mexican dancing by a youth group. The last evening, we were treated to a mariachi band performance at the home of one of our hosts.

The originators of this assistance program, Drs. James and Terri Coats, are both practicing chiropractors in Arkansas. The Coats began this project five years ago. Hopefully, more healers, no matter what school they were trained at, will come along with us next year. All in all, it was an intense yet rewarding week, one that I will remember for a long time. For more information, please contact Dr. Terri Coats at .

Dr. Irvin Stern is a 1992 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic West. He practices chiropractic and massage in Chico, Calif. For comments or questions regarding this article, e-mail .

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