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A Manipulative Swede - Article from Costa Blanca News

December 13 1991

Reference: Costa Blanca News Friday, 13th December, 1991, page 15 Woman´s Angle, by Cathy Humphreys A Manipulative Swede! Experts say that 80 per cent of the population at some time in their lives, suffer from some sort of back pain and that it is one of the most common causes for taking time off work, yet in most cases it can be prevented. One young man who certainly knows a lot about back pain is Johan Nilsson, a Swedish chiropractor in Alfaz del Pi. And he emphasises that if people take notice of minor twinges when they start, serious problems can be avoided. When I first heard the term Chiropractic a few years ago, I thought it was something to do with feet (as in chiropody). But it is in fact a complex natural treatment for a number of ailments which involves expert manipulation of the spinal column, reacting with the nervous system itself. Although back problems come high on the list of these ailments, a chiropractor deals with all articulations and joints and can bring relief to people suffering from all sorts of problems, from asthma and sinusitis to arthritis and stress. The method takes into account that the spine is the focal point for the whole nervous system, and each vertebra has a direct effect on the various parts of the body. Cave drawings in the South of France have shown that chiropractic was used as early as 17,500 years BC, and in recent years it has been widely recognised by the medical profession as a successful way to relieve pain and tension. Johan studied chiropractic in Stockholm for four years before deciding to come to Spain to set up his surgery. His parents were already living in this area – his mother is a part-time teacher at the Norwegian School in Alfaz del Pi – so he already knew the Costa Blanca quite well. He arrived here two years ago and opened his surgery nearly a year ago. Since then, he has helped hundreds of people suffering from a variety of ailments. As he speaks a number of languages, his list of patients is truly international with about 40 per cent Spanish, 30 per cent Scandinavian and the rest a mixture of British, French, German and Dutch. They come from as far away as Javea and Cartagena, and he has even treated visitors from Albacete and Andorra. Although most of them are middle-aged, he has also treated a number of youngsters and he emphasises that rapid diagnosis on children can prevent minor problems developing into serious ones in later life. When someone arrives with a problem, he asks them a number of questions about their medical history and actual condition beefore going on to orthopaedic and muscular tests. He also asks to see any x-rays they may have concerning their problem and because of this he works closely with a number of local doctors in the area. The surgery is bright and airy with a warm, relaxing atmosphere and Johan insists that a friendly rapport with his patients is essential. Most of his treatment is manual but he occasionally uses a small metal “stamp” for carefully putting joints back into place. Manipulative treatment can take anything from 25 minutes to three hours and, while most people feel immediate effects, usually four to six visits are needed before the symptoms are completely alleviated. After the manipulation has eased the pain, he encourages home exercise for patients and also explains how to avoid future problems through better posture and a healthier lifestyle. But it isn´t only humans that have benefitted from Johan´s administerings for he also treats horses and dogs. In Sweden and the United States, chiropractic is often used at top racehorse stables, and he studied animal chiropractic as an additional course. His love for dogs comes from the fact that his family have always owned pets and the equestrian connection comes from Johan´s days in the Swedish Cavalry. He admits that although it is the same philosophy for animals and humans, the technique is different, especially as dogs and horses cannot describe their symptoms. But his success rate is just as impressive with the animal world as with his two-legged patients! In between his surgery hours and his house calls Johan, who has been singing in public since he was 7 years old, still finds time to relax with the popular Costa Barber Singers, and he also has his own singing quartet which regularly give shows on the Costa Blanca. Next May, a big show is being planned in Benissa, which he is looking forward to. So, whether you have four legs or two, whether you want to be entertained or cured, Johan can probably help you. Who knows, perhaps he can even be persuaded to serenade you at the same time as he puts your joints back into place!
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