Chiropractic Care Helps Man Dance in Sacred Lakota Ceremony

Willard, a Sioux Falls Chiropractic patient, has worked with Native American young people as a youth and young adult counselor for decades. Two years ago, in an effort to form a common bond with some of his clients, Willard agreed to an unusual request; he committed to dance in the Vermillion Area Sun Dance Ritual.

When Willard committed to participating in the Lakota Sun Dance, he committed to serving for four years. His first year was a great success, and it helped establish a meaningful cultural connection with his counseling clients. However, in early 2017, Willard developed severe plantar fasciitis.

The Problem of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain. It is when the tissue band that runs from your toes to your heel becomes inflamed, causing intense and debilitating heel pain.
For Willard, his foot pain began by limiting his ability to walk extended distances. It rapidly progressed to daily pain that made even getting out of bed in the morning difficult.
Willard knew that without an intervention, the Sun Dance would be impossible. The Lakota Sun Dance ritual extends over four complete days, and participants are on their feet for 7 to 10 hours a day.

Giving Chiropractic a Try

"I wasn't so sure a chiropractor could help me, but my wife sees Dr. Chris so I decided to give it a try," Willard said. "I knew that if I didn't do something, I would not be able to dance."
Willard followed every part of the recommended chiropractic treatment and experienced significant improvement, but he still wasn't sure if he could fulfill his commitment to dance.
"I thought I just had to try dancing," Willard said. "I received such good improvement with my chiropractic care that I needed to do this - I had made the commitment."

The Sun Dance

In early August, Willard participated in the dance; and he was pleased to report that it was a tremendous success.
"I was actually able to do the ENTIRE dance," Willard said. "I was surprised at how good I felt when I was done."
Now that he is in maintenance mode with his plantar fasciitis, Willard continues to swear by his occasional chiropractic adjustments.

He is looking forward to continuing the dance ritual over the next two years; and we couldn't be more proud.


Way to go, Willard! If you struggle with pain from plantar fasciitis, or any other pain that keeps you from living your life, we want to help you get back to the activities you enjoy. Make an appointment with Sioux Falls Chiropractic, and try downloading our stretches to help relieve your pain immediately.
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