Switching to Decaf

I’ve had back pain since my teens and finally got treatment from a chiropractor at age thirty-one when I found myself walking crooked, favoring my left leg and gritting my teeth every time my sciatic nerve shot waves of pain down my right leg. The treatments helped a lot! When I move from Markham to Mississauga, I found a new chiropractor, Dr. Sandy Bhasin, who takes a holistic approach. He encourages his patients to exercise, improve their diets, and work on their mental and spiritual health. Better yet, it’s not just talk. He serves as an example of this healthy life style and provides patients with the resources needed to apply changes to their lives.

While my former chiropractor had improved my life greatly by ridding me of my sciatic nerve issues and later addressing my foot pain, a bunion, with orthotics, his success at adjusting my neck was barely noticeable. I lived with constant pain and headaches. My best friend was ibuprofen. Within a couple of months, Dr. Sandy minimized my pain to annoyance, rid me of headaches, and even managed to improve my posture. I no longer felt like a turtle trying to peek out of her shell. When I adopted a bad posture such as craning my neck, it automatically redressed itself to a natural position.


I was ecstatic until I started waking up every day with full body pain. I didn’t know what to think then because I got my back adjusted regularly, stretched, and used heat treatments. My body felt broken. Every morning, I thought “I’m too young to feel like I’m ninety.” So during one of my weekly appointments, I told Dr. Sandy about it. I had three major habits working against me: smoking, lack of sleep, and a high caffeine intake. I expected him to tell me to quit smoking because all those chemicals messed with my body. Instead, without hesitation, he recommended I switch to decaf. I agreed to try it. According to him, it would take about three months for me to feel the difference in my body. I figured another three months of pain compared to a life time was more than manageable.

I rarely drank coffee for the jolt; I drank it for the taste. I grew up on coffee. Breakfast on school days when I was in kindergarten often consisted of a mug of warm milk and coffee accompanied by gigantic Italian cookies so dry and powdery they would make me choke unless I dipped them in my café au lait. (No, my parents were not concerned with the effects of caffeine on my growing body. I was usually a quiet pensive kid so I don’t think ever considered that it would harm me.) That same day that Dr. Sandy told me to make the switch, I bought my first medium decaf, two creams, one sugar at Tim Horton’s. It was a little different but it still tasted like coffee. So, I switched to decaf at home which has been a bit of an adventure-like all coffee, no two decafs taste alike.

I couldn’t believe it when, within a week, my pain started to recede. And it was gone within a couple of weeks. So much for the three months Dr. Sandy had predicted! It’s been about ten months since I made the switch and it still seems like such a miracle to me that I wanted to share this story with everyone. If you are a regular coffee drinker, why not give decaf a try?


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  1. #1 by Siddharth on January 26, 2012 - 11:44 PM

    What would you rate Dr. Bhasin out of 10 ? Would you say he is economical ?

    • #2 by Patricia Caviglia on January 28, 2012 - 3:36 AM

      I would say that he’s 10. I thing that his fee is within the norm.

  2. #3 by patriciasands on October 1, 2011 - 8:11 PM

    Isn’t it amazing when such a simple change in a habit can accomplish a result like this!

    • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on October 2, 2011 - 5:00 PM

      You made me think of all the little, seemingly insignificant things we do, and the power they have like holding the door open for a stranger instead of ignoring the person, choosing to skip the donut when buying a coffee or tapping in to our patience when stuck in traffic. These little things improve our mental and physical health more than that once a year vacation or weekend at the spa because it’s the way we live our lives daily that truly affects us.

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