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“HEY!... are you winking at my wife?!?”

Updated: Jun 15

"No, sorry, I’m having a facial spasm."

Story by Randy Grathen

In February of 2022, I woke one morning, and the left side of my face was twitching. I don’t know what caused it, but I thought it would quit. Boy, was I wrong! My left eye was winking, the corner of my mouth was jerking, and the rest of the left side of my face decided to join in, jumping around like kids at a Rave.

Over the next 5-1/2 months, the twitch got worse. My family doctor sent me to a neurologist. They did an MRI brain scan and found that I did indeed have one, which was reassuring because several friends over the years had expressed doubt. The scan showed no abnormalities, so he prescribed pills – muscle relaxers. I took them for two weeks with no effect. Next, he tried some new, very expensive, anti-seizure medication. I read the potential side-effects, "fits of rage" and "thoughts of suicide." I had serious doubt about trying this remedy, but I took the pills for the prescribed three weeks just in case they worked. In the end, Laurie and I were still talking to each other, and I hadn’t killed anyone including myself. But the pills did nothing.

So now what? I’m not that vain, I could live with the spasms if I had to, but I didn’t want to get punched out for winking at some guy’s wife or have people dialing 911 thinking I was having a seizure.

A chance phone call…

Laurie’s former boss called one day. He had questions about a project she worked on before she retired, and we moved to Florida. He also asked how I was doing, and she told him about my facial spasms. He said, “My sister had the same kind of problem, and she went to a chiropractor, and he fixed her.” “You should call her.” So, we did. Her spasms had gotten so bad that she had to use a straw to drink liquids. She had been dealing with the spasms for over 15 years. But after just ONE chiropractic adjustment, she was cured. Praise God! She gave us the name of her chiropractor and his phone number. Unfortunately, he was 6 hours away, but he gave us the name of a chiropractor in our area.

The Sievert Chiropractic Clinic LLC…

There is a sense that something is ‘different’ about this place from the moment you walk in. The smile on people’s faces, the easy banter with each other and the clients project a warm familiarity and there was Christian music playing over the P.A. system.

I don't have the names of all the people who work there, but I can tell you that everyone I had contact with react the same. Quick with a welcoming smile, and easy to talk to. Amelia, Donna & Sophia, are the receptionists. They are the first people you'll meet. Kristina or Diona the Medical Assistants, would greet me and escort me to an exam room, get my latest info, and take my vitals. If I needed x-rays Mary is at the ready.

Dr. Sievert and Aaron, a Nurse Practitioner, come next. Dr. Sievert and I talked about my symptoms, got some background information, then said, “Alright, we’re going to fix this.” The three of us had just became a team. Arron has a winning smile and crushing handshake. He looks like a body-builder, and could probably peel a coconut bare handed. I liked him from the moment we met.

And finally there is Summer, a Chiropractic Assistant. I like to think of her position as a massage-ologist. She gives great muscle massages. The phrase “it hurts so good” is her line of work. She is also an accomplished artist and writer. You can read one of her stories at Our High Places here.

The result…

I always thought chiropractic procedures included the chiropractor climbing on the table with you, twisting you into a pretzel; bones and joints going snap, crackle, pop, and then helping you hobble out the door with a promise to do it to you all over again next week. Well, the only thing I got right was “I’ll see you next week.” Dr. Sievert was making mechanical adjustments to my Atlas Vertebra, with no physical contact with the bone itself. The Atlas machine uses a solenoid to drive a mass against the back of a tuned stylus placed at a precise spot at the side of the neck below the ear. The impact creates a focused sonic pulse physically moving the Atlas Vertebra, instantly decreasing nerve compression. And that compression is what was triggering my spasms.

Early on my adjustments would last 3 to 5 days then start acting up again, sometimes strong enough at night that I didn’t sleep well. Then I’d have to wait several more days for my next adjustment. After some trial and error to determine how much adjustment and in what direction was needed, Dr. Sievert found the sweet spot. I may have to go back for an occasional tune-up but life is good!

Final comments...

My first encounter with a chiropractor was when we moved back to Wisconsin after retiring from the Air Force. Doctor Jim Ford lived next door. I asked him why he became a chiropractor. His response took me completely by surprise. When he was a boy, he had terrible, debilitating asthma. His father took him to one doctor after another who were unable to do anything to relieve his symptoms. One day however, a friend said, "why don’t you take him to a chiropractor?" Well, they had tried everything else, so why not? From that day forward Jim never had asthma issues again. Because of that experience, he became a chiropractor.

In my opinion, chiropractic medicine is constantly taking hits from general medical practitioners. They get lumped in with acupuncture and voodoo, although acupuncture does actually work. But why the animosity? Because today’s physicians have a pill for everything and get paid handsomely to push the latest experimental pill on their patients. Anti-seizure meds for example. We have become the pharmaceutical companies’ clinical trial. A pain reliever has its place in medicine, but it only relieves the symptom. The real question is, what is the root cause of the ailment? Treat that!

Dr. Daniel David Palmer started modern Chiropractic manipulation in 1895. His first patient was a Mr. Harvey Lillard who lost his hearing 17 years earlier. He was picking up a wagon wheel to put in his wagon and heard a loud “pop” in his neck and then lost his hearing completely. Upon examination Dr. Palmer detected a bone that was out of place. By moving the misaligned vertebra back to its correct position, Mr. Harvey’s hearing was restored instantly.

I talked with Dr. Sievert about this very issue recently and he told me the American Medical Association (AMA) tried to get chiropractic medicine banned in the United States. What are they afraid of? It took a Supreme Court ruling to prevent that from happening. But the battle is not yet over. Professional jealousy and money are powerful, sometime evil, motivators. Chiropractic practitioners are still struggling to take their rightful place in the medical community.

But in the mean time, don't forget there are at least 4 people that you now know of who were cured without surgery, or pills. Just sayin.’

Thank you, Dr. Sievert, and the entire team at Sievert Chiropractic Clinic - God Bless you all. And thank you God for arranging this God Wink moment in my life.

Rerun Update...

After seeing my regular doctor, a Neurologist, then finally a Chiropractor Chiropractic isn't magic. One-and-Done isn't the norm when working on one's anatomy. I have had to go back to get readjusted on occasion, but that doesn't in any way change my opinion about what I wrote. My Atlas vertebra keeps slipping back to its old position over time (it's as pigheaded as I am) but in between adjustments I am significantly better. At my age body parts start wearing out so I may never again be completely "healed". But my life and my health is pretty dang good right now, so I'm not complaining.

If you'd like to learn more about how the Atlas Orthogonal instrument works click here.

If you'd like to contact Dr. Sievert's office: 239-936-1233, Fort Myers FL.

For more stories from Our High Places, click here

To join Our High Places Facebook - click here


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