Chiro-Picker’s Fresh Pick — My Greatest Chiropractic Pick to Date: An Owl

Updated Picker Imageby  Todd Waters, aka “The Chiro-Picker” – SpinalColumnRadio featured blogger

ChiroPicker OwlOk, get this… TRUE STORY.

“The picker in me told me to turn my car around and go retrieve the body.”  

Let me explain…

I was driving to ChiroPicker Headquarters to do some work when I saw this large bird get hit by a truck. The bird got tossed up in the air and then dropped straight down on the pavement. A second truck swerved to avoid running over the fowl. It was then that the picker in me told me to turn my car around and go retrieve the body. I thought a taxidermist could make a nice trophy of a hawk. At the very least, he deserved a better grave than being massacred on the highway.

I pulled my car over to the side of the road and scooped him up. I was afraid examine him too much because I didn’t know how bad the damage was. It appeared, though, that one side of his face had taken the blow. His body felt like a warm, limp, sleepy cat in my hands as I laid him down in the backseat.

I drove off with a heavy heart. As I wondered what to do with him, I reached back to feel his little claws out of sympathy and to make sure I wasn’t imagining this weird event.  Sadly, I heard a soft rustle behind me, and I hoped his dying breath was not in agony.  I hurried home to bury the little guy.

I parked the car with thoughts of finding a shovel to dig a grave.  However, before I could open the backdoor I was stunned to see an OWL standing up in my back seat staring back at me!  A Big Owl!   He gave me  a wink (as one of his eyes was closed from the accident) and then looked down as if he was waiting to be executed by his captor.

I was very excited to see him alive, to be sure, but then I realized that I had a stinking big owl in my car.  What the heck was I going to do with him?? My first thought was to get him checked by a veternarian, as I’m sure he had one heck of a headache from the encounter with the truck. Maybe the vet give him some aspirin for his headache… Maybe his wings were broken.  Maybe if I released him back into the wild, he wouldn’t survive.

Back into the car we went as I drove my new buddy to the nearest vet.  Owly winked at me in the rearview mirror and tried to keep his balance as I raced to the animal doc. No dice.  The clinic wouldn’t look at an owl, and neither would the second vet we called upon. I walked backed to the car and noticed that Owly was now riding shotgun as he claimed the front passenger seat with his head pressing against the window.  His wings fluttered and spread fully and then I realized what an incredibly big Owl I had in my car and how ridiculous this situation was becoming.

I got back behind the wheel and told him to hang on. We were going home — his, that is.

I wonder how many drivers looked in my car and saw a big old owl staring back at them and fluttering its wings.  Owly was a good passenger and remained still. He seemed to have an ancient wisdom within that disciplined him to stay calm — either that or he was still stunned from the head trauma. I looked at him, and he looked back at me with his one eye. I felt like I should keep him for awhile and nurse him back to health.

It was then that the Chiropractic Philosophy seemed come upon me loud and clear.  

How could I take care of this animal better than the Universal Intelligence of nature? While my educated-brain would attempt to provide shelter and conditions I thought would keep the bird alive and healthy, even my best efforts, could not take care of this animal better than the innate inside him. My educated efforts, though not my intention, would probably end up damaging or killing Owly sooner or later. Maybe he’d grow to like me and would shed all fear of humans and other predators, making himself an easy meal once I did set him free.

I knew the answer to this dillema was to let him go and to trust that he would find his own way.  I’m sure he could have used a Chiropractic adjustment though… but we were both happy he was still alive.

As I parked the car in an open field near where I had found him, I opened his door and hoped for the best. I stood in awe as his magnificent wings fanned out to carry him away.  He crossed the field and then landed safely in in the security of a pine. As I waved goodbye, I told myself that nobody would ever believe what had just happened to me. …But then again, I am known for doing some pretty weird things — so maybe they would.

ChiroPicker Owl 2Weeks later, as I was tending to a chiropicking run, guess who I saw hanging in his hood?  …It was Owly, sitting in a tree, waiting for some lunch to pass by. I pulled my car over and grabbed my camera so I could prove to people that Owly really did exist. I wasn’t just telling a tall tale.

Owly had his head down looking for a tasty snack but lifted it and looked directly into my eyes …with BOTH of his!  His eye had healed and looked healthy!  He was absolutley gorgeous!  I felt like I was staring into the face of an ancient, wise elder that knew more about the universe than I ever could.  I was looking into the face of the Great Innate.

The words we have all come to know ring so true, “Nature needs no help, just no interference.”  

That little fellow just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong micro-second of time. Luckily I was there to remove him from the danger of being squashed on the road.  He just needed a moment to regain his consciousness.  Owly was injured… but I couldn’t heal himonly nature could.  It reminded me of BJ’s famous quote: “The power that made the body heals the body.”

How does all this relate to Chiropractic?  You Chiropractors save lives everyday… just like I did with Owly.  You don’t heal people, but you remove the intereference that puts the body in danger so that it can do the healing itself.  I didn’t heal Owly, but I removed the interference (that of being roadkill) that would have kept him from not only healing, but living.

I felt an incredible sense of pride that I had given this bird a chance at life that was almost taken away.  And yet the experience was very humbling.  For a brief moment, I’m certain I had a taste of what it’s like to be a DC.  It was incredibly awesome!

ChiropracTOR, I hope the pride YOU feel when helping people realize their full health and potential never becomes a tired routine.  With every adjustment, I hope YOU realize the incredibly awesome power YOU are privileged to work with — “…the power that animates the living world.”

I guess this was my “Ah-Ha Moment” …when Chiropractic philosophy became more than just words I skimmed on paper.  Owly sure did teach me a lot.  I took a photo of him (above) so you could see that he does exist.

I have named him Mahomed Owl Lee.  Because he’s a CHAMP!  And a great teacher.

‘Til next time.  — CP

— no animals were harmed in the telling of this story, but it did require two beers to write —

The DC Angle:

Thomas Lamar, DC

Who ya gonna call?  Who? Who?

Okay, I must admit, I kept waiting for him to take the Owl to the chiropractor… but I can certainly understand his reluctance given the owl is a BIRD of PREY and that it does have RAZOR SHARP talons. Dunno how receptive Simmons would have been. 😉

His story reminded me of my own “bird story.”

tweety birdBack in the day when I was a chiropracTOR and Dad of 3, I recall eating lunch at the dinning room table with my young family.  Suddenly our grilled cheese chomping and soup slurping came to a screeching THUD!  Something had hit the sliding glass door, and had hit it HARD.  We all got up to peer out the glass pane.  And there at the foot of the doorway lay a small tweaty bird.  Motionless.  Cries and sobs came forth from my wee children as they witnessed the dead bird on our balcony that had head-planted our glass door just moments beforehand.

“Do SOMETHING Daddy!” they cried.

And, so like all good dads, I went outside to assess the situation.  I picked up the limp feathered creature and laid it in the palm of my hand, bringing it closer to the glass for all to see.  And then — more out of curiosity than anything else — I began to palpate and motion the tiny vertebrae in its neck. Clearly it was subluxated.  I mean, how could it NOT be?  Should I adjust it?  What did I have to lose?  Besides, I had three pairs of young eyes glued to my every move… and I was supposed to DO something.

So I gave him a tiny, bird-adjustment.

And then quick as the flip of a switch, the bird sprang to life and popped to its feet.  The interference was removed and life was now coursing through its nervous system. He preceded to sit in the palm of my hand for what seemed like a minute, much to the delight of my audience, and then… he flew off.

Yep!  Dads Rock… I know.  And so does chiropracTIC.

…And THAT is something I’ll never grow tired of, Todd. — TL

(BTW… there may be more to this “Owl Encounter” than Todd realizes.  Check out this past Picker article he penned awhile back. Also, like Todd’s article, no animals were harmed in the writing of mine either… but mine only took one beer).

Dr. Thomas Lamar  loves chiropracTIC and its associated history.  He podcasts, with the assistance of his audio-engineer son, Logan, on SpinalColumnRadio.com from his home studio in Kingston, WA.  Lamar also practices chiropractic in Kingston with an emphasis on family wellness.

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• Hang out at his favorite Chiro History watering hole

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