What does it mean to give, love and serve on a global scale? After a 14-day, 10-city tour of China with the International Chiropractic Association, Dr. Ryan and Dr. Denise Dopps have a new awareness and passion for bringing chiropractic to the world.
The Wichita chiropractors gave educational presentations with 50-300 people present, in addition to workshops. The Dopps were humbled and excited to serve some folks who had never heard of an adjustment, much less received one.
“I traveled two hours to be here today,” said one attendee.
As much as they love to speak and educate, the Dopps believe chiropractic is meant to lived out. The very word chiropractor is taken from the Greek “chir” for hand and “prassein” meaning to do. And so despite language barriers, the Dopps laid hands on attendees and gave some 600 adjustments.
At some events, there was a constant flow of people on their tables; to interact with for a brief moment and bless with an adjustment. When possible, the Dopps worked with a translator to hear people’s stories and share what issues they found during the adjustment.
Some people brought x-rays with them, both new ones that had been taken that day, and old x-rays from 30-40 years ago.
Dr. Ryan held up an x-ray and was shocked by what he saw. One vertebra wasn’t complete – it was a triangle on its side instead of a cube. Through the interpreter, Dr. Ryan explained that this hemivertebra, created a wedge in the spine that gave the woman a structural deformity.
The woman was absolutely shocked to hear this. It wasn’t clear whether her doctors hadn’t seen this, but even without translation, it was clear from her body language that she had no idea what was going on with her back.
The conversation became more interesting. “I had a baby a few months ago,” the woman said. “The baby must have taken that part of my bone to grow its own body.”
“It doesn’t quite work like that.” Dr. Ryan tried to take a moment to give some explanation of anatomy and pregnancy, but in a brief moment, with things lost in translation, it wasn’t easy. It highlighted to the Dopps the need to continue to educate the general population of the world on how their bodies work.
As travel aficionados, the Dopps have enjoyed being in Asia before. This trip was personally impactful and enriching to them, as they made memories together. They were warmed by Chinese hospitality, each host doing so much to make them comfortable, happy and satisfied. Even busy important people went out of their way to take the visitors sightseeing. The variety of food was amazingly diverses; blood soup was a surprise, complete with cubes of coagulated blood and strings of intestines.
Chiropractic Awareness & Hope
The Dopps knew they were helping to create awareness in a place where there is not currently an infrastructure for the continued care and follow-through that they longed to offer. The care they were able to give seemed like “not a drop in the bucket, but a mist over the ocean,” said Dr. Ryan. Even with more ambassadors from the ICA traveling to China, the Dopps know that sending chiropractors out to fill the vast need isn’t sustainable long-term.
However, they are inspired by the hopes, dreams and plans to open chiropractic schools, training doctors to serve their own people. For example, Life Chiropractic College West has started a program in India.
Dr. Ryan and Dr. Denise were surprised and encouraged to see that China is getting its start in chiropractic from a principled versus a therapeutic basis. “The country is getting off on the right foot,” said Dr. Ryan, “understanding that nerve interference decreases the quality of life.”