IT WAS IN MARCH 1997 THAT IT HAPPENED. THOMAS L. SEJAC WAS NO lightweight. At 247 pounds in his bare feet, moving him would have proved a challenge to an NFL lineman.

While you don’t need the ability to bench press a Buick to be a chiropractor, power, force, and upper-body strength are required. Manipulations are performed on the pelvic region and on the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Procedures include a lot of pulling, tugging, twisting, pressing, and bending. A chiropractor can’t merely tell patients to position themselves on the treatment table; he or she has to do it. “The procedures are very specific,” Joan was to explain later. “It may look like I’m just moving anything, but that’s not correct. I’ve ...

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