Check in for my international flight to Japan was at the Bradley International Terminal in the Los Angeles Airport (LAX). Whenever I traveled with the Olympic Judo Team, I would meet them there for trips to Asia. When I finally found my departure gate, the first thing I saw was one of the women athletes, Sherry, lying back on a pile of duffel bags with an icepack on her face. This was her story.
It’s mid December and Sherry lives and trains at The Olympic Training Center (USOTC), in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At 6 A.M., a group of young people decide to go out and play soccer in one of the adjoining fields. Picture: Colorado, December, ice, snow, and really cold!
As Sherry was running to kick the ball, another player got to it first, kicked it and the ball hit Sherry directly in the face. She fell, got up and fell again—face down, completely unconscious. The young people there did everything you’re not supposed to do. First, they turned her over; she was bleeding from both eyes, her nose and mouth. The blood was shooting out of her eyes.
In a panic, several of the young men picked her up and ran with her to the Medical Treatment Center that is staffed twenty-four hours a day. They called an ambulance, stopped her bleeding and sent her to the hospital for exam and X-Rays. No broken bones, but she had shifted the nasal cartilage and had massive swelling and contusions of her face. Her coach was called and, the quick version is, she had just made the “A-Team” and this was to be her first International Tournament, so there was no way she was not going. Judo Players (like many Elite Athletes) compete injured all the time.
When I finally saw her that evening at LAX, her face was swollen, bruised and both eyes were almost completely shut and filled with blood. After she told me her story, she said, “I just had rhinoplasty last year and now I’ll have to have it again!”
“Maybe not,” I said.
“Can you help with this?”
“Will it hurt?”
“Oh yes,” I said.
“OK, do it now.”
Sherry was a beautiful eighteen-year-old young woman who hated looking like the loser of a prizefight, so she had about a pound of makeup on her face (didn’t do much good). I had to clean her face with alcohol swabs to get to the skin of her nose. I need to tell you right now that, in the acute stage, you will only have one chance to make this adjustment, so take your time and do it right.
After cleaning her face, I used a Kleenex to take hold of the tip of her nose with my thumb and index finger. (See Figure 1) I held her head back and pulled sharply downward on her nose and there was a very little click that I almost didn’t hear because of the scream.
Then I ran for my life! Sherry may only have been a 105-pound young female, but she is also a Black Belt in judo and I think she was trying to kill me!
During the flight, the attendants brought ice every hour and, by the time we arrived at the venue hotel in Fukuoka, Japan, much of Sherry’s pain and swelling had resolved. Arrangements were made to have her examined by an ophthalmologist who, after a two-hour exam, pronounced her fit to compete.
After a week of two to three practices a day, she was ready for her competition on Saturday. She did well and won a Bronze Medal. In the group photo (Figure 2), taken after the competition, you can see Sherry, seated on the far left, with little or no visible injury.
One more thing I would like to tell you about this adjustment. In the chronic stages, you can repeat this on just about every treatment visit with no pain at all. It is possible to straighten a chronically bent or displaced nose cartilage with this adjustment.
Keep in mind, this is NOT an adjustment for a broken nasal bone! This adjustment is specifically for a bent or deviated nasal cartilage.
After cleaning her face, I used a Kleenex to take
hold of the tip of her nose with my thumb and index finger.
Dr. Le Beau practices at Chiropractic Industrial and Sports Center; 1365 West Vista Way, Suite 100; Vista, CA 92083. Send your questions to Dr. Le Beau, send them to him at [email protected]