If you look in Dr. Ernie von Schilling’s grade 12 year-book, under the question of what are you going to be, it will tell you exactly what he became… a chiropractor.
Dr. Ernie von Schilling was born in the Comox Valley and when he was 13 years old he woke up paralyzed from the waist down. “My Dad carried me into the chiropractor’s office that very day and I walked out, I didn’t run out but I walked out.” recalled Dr. von Schilling
The paralysis was a result of severely pinched nerves in his back due to scoliosis. Dr. von Schilling said the chiropractic care did more than correct the scoliosis; it also helped him as an athlete. “I was more balanced, stronger and more coordinated.”
The whole chiropractic experience inspired von Schilling to pursue it as a career. “I was really impressed, as you can imagine. I thought if I could just help one kid, as I have been helped, it would be amazing.”
After several years of study, Dr. von Schilling returned to the North Island and went on to practice in both Port McNeil and Courtenay. In December 2002 he moved into his current location downstairs in the City Centre Mall on Duncan Avenue and 5th Street.
One of the areas of chiropractic that is gaining wider attention is the role it can play in the healthy development of babies and infants.
“One of my favourite sayings,” he said, “is, as the twig is bent so grows the tree. So it makes sense that ones chiropractic care begins shortly after birth,” Dr. von Schilling said, “They call it labor for the mother, but it is also labor for the baby. There is a lot of pressure so it is important to check the babies after delivery for spinal misalignment.” It is important to understand that a chiropractor does not treat conditions or diseases. The expertise of the chiropractor is in the checking of the child’s spine for misalignments that may impair nervous system function, therefore affecting the overall body function. The chiropractic adjustment restores nervous system function allowing the body the ability to express a greater state of health and well-being.
Chiropractic care is also very gentle and best described by Dr. von Schilling. “The pressure we use on babies when we adjust them, is like when you go to the grocery store and feel the firmness of a tomato.”
According to chiropractic pediatric specialists, other than after birth there are five times in a babies first years of life that spinal examinations are recommended:
When the babies first start to hold their heads up,
when they first sit up,
when they start to crawl,
when they begin to stand up and
when they take their first steps.
“Any activity that is new to them is going to put stress on the part they are using. It is possible it could misalign so it should be checked to see if it is operating properly so the activity will be easier,” said Dr. von Schilling.
In order for older children to avoid spinal misalignment which can lead to scoliosis, Dr. von Schilling recommends monthly visits to the chiropractor, although this can vary depending on how active the child is and the stability of their spine. “Think how often they fall and tumble, sleep awkwardly, wrestle with other kids,” said Dr. von Schilling, explaining that “Spinal misalignments are usually the result of an accumulation of things, it is a build up.”
If neglected, spinal misalignment can lead to more serious problems such as scoliosis, and later in life, an impaired nervous system function. Any interference to the body’s vital nervous system adversely affects the body’s ability to function at its best. “If you catch problems early then it can be corrected,” said Dr. von Schilling. “It is an important part of a health wellness program, more and more people are adding it to their wellness lifestyle. As everyone is living longer, 8 % of the population in North America are 100 years or older, they want to have an active lifestyle and be in the best of health. If your nervous system is healthy then your body will respond quickly to healing a new injured area.
Dr. von Schilling said “For myself to keep my health and nervous system functioning at optimum level, I follow my 5 steps to a healthy life and I get a weekly Chiropractic treatment”. Chiropractic changed my life at 13 and I became the fastest runner on the North Island and a basketball player winning the Island. I have had some back problems so that I do understand pain when I reputured a disc lifting a freezer.