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Not Just Back Talk by Crick and Crack: Medicine and Chiropractic – Part 1

Many of my colleagues became chiropractors because they had a family connection or positive personal experience with chiropractic. Such was not the case with me. In fact, without even being aware of it, while growing up I had a very typical preconceived notion/prejudice toward chiropractic.

This first came to light when I was a junior in high school, walking across the parking with my good friend Chris after school one day. I casually asked him what his father did for work, and he told me he was a chiropractor. My reaction was a very innocent “Really?”. He then asked me if I had a problem with that; my answer was “no, I guess not”, and that for the most part was the end of the discussion. Somewhere in my youth, I had “learned” that chiropractic had a questionable reputation. The reason for that I would come to understand later.

While studying anatomy and physiology in college and searching for a career path, knowing my interest in science another friend suggested that perhaps chiropractic might suit me, as he had been seeing a chiropractic doctor for a neck injury with great success. That moment essentially gave my life the direction it was needing. I did some research on chiropractic, and learned that it had an undeserved reputation as a somewhat illegitimate healing art, but actually had much to offer. I liked the idea of being an underdog, and being on the right side of good argument, and proceeded to steer my academic career toward the goal of obtaining a chiropractic degree. While in school, I studied the history of chiropractic as a profession, and manipulation as a healing modality. During my training, and also in subsequent years of practice, I learned a great deal about the relationship between organized medicine and my chosen profession, and found that historically it was not pretty.

In the next several columns I will talk about the history of chiropractic and manipulation, the relationship between medicine and chiropractic, and lastly, and sadly, what organized medicine covertly did in an attempt to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession. These last facts account not only for my previous unknowing bias, but also for the ongoing prejudice of millions of people in this country, and abroad, toward chiropractic.

To be clear, these articles are not being written from a defensive stance, but from an educational perspective to help correct the wrongdoings of a powerful and organized political machine many years ago.

I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me.

Yours in health,

Crick and Crack

Dr. Thomas Turek grew up in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University and New York Chiropractic College. He has practiced in St. Johnsbury for over 35 years, and lives in Waterford with his wife Dorothy. Dr. Travis Howard grew up in Rantoul, Ill. He was a medic in the Air Force for eight years. He attended University of Maryland European Division, Illinois State University, and Logan College of Chiropractic. He lives with his wife and three sons in Littleton, N.H. To submit a question for the column, email

Not Just Back Talk by Crick and Crack: Medicine and Chiropractic: Part 2

In our last column, I talked about how many people across the country, and indeed across the world, have an unfounded prejudice towards the practice of chiropractic, and how I too fell victim to a conspiracy by organized medicine to denigrate and eliminate, the chiropractic profession.

This resulted in a landmark lawsuit that began in October 1976, initiated by Chester Wilk, a chiropractor, and four colleagues, who filed suit against the American Medical Association, as well as the American Hospital Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Physicians, and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals. The suit claimed that the defendants had participated for years in an illegal conspiracy to destroy chiropractic.

On August 24, 1987, 11 years later, after endless wrangling in the courts, US District Court Judge Susan Getzendanner ruled that the AMA and its officials were guilty, as charged, of attempting to eliminate the chiropractic profession. While the AMA and co-defendants denied many of the charges, they admitted that they had labeled chiropractic as an “unscientific cult,” by claiming that the basis for chiropractic was unscientific and that chiropractic education was insufficient. After the judge’s ruling, the AMA appealed but lost their appeal.

The fact is that manipulation is a well-established healthcare practice/form of treatment. It dates back 4,000-5,000 years. Research shows that cave dwelling wall paintings depict practitioners manipulating their patients. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, treated many of his patients with manipulation, and in fact, said “look first to the spine for the cause of disease,”

Over the centuries, manipulation interventions have fallen in and out of favor with the medical profession. Historically, manipulation can trace its origins from parallel developments in many parts of the world where it was used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including spinal disorders. It is acknowledged that spinal manipulation is and was widely practiced in many cultures and often in remote world communities in Indonesia, Hawaii, Japan, China and India, and Central Asia, and Mexico, as well as in Russia and Norway. Claudius Galen, a noted Roman surgeon, provided evidence of manipulation including acts of standing or walking on the dysfunctional spinal region; he even commented on the works of Hippocrates with many illustrations of his manipulative techniques.

After the Renaissance, many medical texts included treatises on manipulation. By the 19th century, a significant portion of the established medical profession expressed disdain for the “bonesetters” and their practices and did their best to run them out of business. At the same time, however, they couldn’t help but recognize just how popular these bone setters had become to the general populace.

In 1882, Robert Jones, the founder of British orthopedics, wrote “we should mend our ways rather than abuse the unqualified. Dramatic success in their hands should cause us to inquire as to the reason. It is not wise or dignified to waste time denouncing their mistakes, for we cannot hide the fact that their successes are our failures.” It is around this time that both osteopathy, founded by a medical physician, Andrew Taylor Still, and chiropractic, founded by Daniel David Palmer, were both founded. Dr. Still founded osteopathy due to his disenchantment with the results of traditional medicine, which even at this time included the common practice of bloodletting. Daniel David Palmer, credited with treating patients with manipulative of the spine and codifying chiropractic in 1895, started a chiropractic college shortly thereafter.

Next time: the evolution of medical and chiropractic colleges; the Wilk suit begins.

Yours in Health,

Crick and Crack

Dr. Thomas Turek grew up in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University and New York Chiropractic College. He has practiced in St. Johnsbury for over 35 years, and lives in Waterford with his wife Dorothy. Dr. Travis Howard grew up in Rantoul, Ill. He was a medic in the Air Force for eight years. He attended University of Maryland European Division, Illinois State University, and Logan College of Chiropractic. He lives with his wife and three sons in Littleton, N.H. To submit a question for the column, email

Not Just Back Talk by Crick and Crack: Medicine and Chiropractic – Part 3

This is the third part in a series of articles addressing the history of the relationship between medicine and chiropractic. In the first article, we discussed the unconscious bias most people had, and many still have, toward the chiropractic profession, as a result of covert efforts to contain and eliminate it by organized medicine. In Part 2, we discussed the antagonism that existed in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries between medicine and those practitioners of manipulation, often known as bonesetters.

We will now continue with the discussion, leading up to the eventual suit brought by Dr. Chester Wilk, a chiropractor, and three colleagues, against the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical organization defendants in 1976, hereafter known as Wilk v AMA. In that suit, the plaintiffs charged that the AMA conspired to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession. Important in its defense was the AMA’s claim that chiropractic was unscientific, and its schools substandard. As background, it is important to understand the evolution of both professions.

In an article entitled A History of Manipulative Therapy by Erland Pettman, PT, published in 2007, it stated that medicine in the 18th century was based on the philosophy of “observe and use what helps, avoid what does harm”. Using this logic, in 1796 Benjamin Rush, America’s most prominent physician, concluded that bloodletting was the most logical approach for the treatment of fever. His approach was lauded, and the instrument used, the lancet, was to give its name to the world’s most prestigious medical journal. In 1800, medicine was justifiably called “the withered arm of science”. Throughout the 19th century admission for medical training in American universities was most often the student’s ability to pay, the course often consisted of two 4-month semesters, and a student could fail 40% of his classes and still graduate. An attempt to introduce written exams was protested, as over half of Harvard’s medical students could barely write. After graduation, new doctors often went to Europe to augment their training. The profession of medicine at this time was in disarray and disrepute. It was against this backdrop that osteopathy and chiropractic emerged, both professions founded by men disenchanted with the unpredictable results of practical medicine at the time. In the early 20th century, a standard of medical education was established, and by 1923, two-thirds of all medical schools were forced to close, with only a small remainder left having met the necessary criteria.

At this same time, many chiropractic colleges were being established, with minimal credentialing and standards, much like their earlier medical counterparts. The curricula, however, included the basic sciences of anatomy, chemistry, and physics, but instead of surgery, chiropractic students were trained in manipulation and physical medicine. By the late 1960’s, the maturation of chiropractic colleges paralleled that of medical colleges, and they were accredited by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), the same governmental agency that accredited medical schools. Many schools closed, and the remaining 30% met the required established standard. The irony cannot be ignored here that the AMA accused the chiropractic profession of substandard education, and used this as justification to proceed with clandestine efforts to eliminate it when it was guilty of exactly the same thing a scant 50 years earlier.

Next time: Wilk v AMA: the facts revealed

Yours in health,

Crick and Crack

Dr. Thomas Turek grew up in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University and New York Chiropractic College. He has practiced in St. Johnsbury for over 35 years, and lives in Waterford with his wife Dorothy. Dr. Travis Howard grew up in Rantoul, Ill. He was a medic in the Air Force for eight years. He attended University of Maryland European Division, Illinois State University, and Logan College of Chiropractic. He lives with his wife and three sons in Littleton, N.H. To submit a question for the column, email

Not Just Back Talk by Crick and Crack: Medicine and Chiropractic, Part 4

This article is the 4th in a series about the relationship between organized medicine and chiropractic, leading up to the facts surrounding the lawsuit brought by Dr. Chester Wilk, and three chiropractic colleagues against the American Medical Association, known as Wilk v AMA. In the first article, we talked about the fact there has been a long-standing prejudice against chiropractors. In the second article, we addressed that there has been discourse between medicine and practitioners of manipulation that dates back to the Renaissance. Last week we talked about the educational standards of medical and chiropractic colleges, and that by the 1960’s they were both accredited by the Department of Education. In today’s article, we will discuss the Wilk suit in detail.

On August 27, 1987, the future of the chiropractic changed when federal court judge Susan Getzendanner found the American Medical Association (AMA) guilty of conspiring to destroy chiropractic. In her findings, the judge cited that the AMA’s plot dated back to 1962. In that year, the Iowa Medical Society adopted a resolution known as the Iowa Plan, which stated specifically “what medicine should do about the chiropractic menace”, which included a section titled “undertake a positive program of containment”, suggesting the ‘containment’ might be pursued along the following lines:

-encourage ethical complaints against doctors of chiropractic

-oppose chiropractic inroads in health insurance

-oppose chiropractic inroads in workers compensation

-oppose chiropractic inroads and labor unions

-oppose chiropractic inroads into hospitals

-contain chiropractic schools

The Iowa Plan, soon thereafter adopted by the AMA as well, stated that such actions taken by the medical profession should be persistent and behind the scenes whenever possible, and that the medical community should never give professional recognition to doctors of chiropractic, and thus a successful program of containment would result in the decline of chiropractic.

NOTE: Evidence of this conspiracy could be found even in our small state of Vermont, where in 1980 a resolution, promulgated by the AMA, was passed by the legislature which allowed for insurance companies to not reimburse for “manipulation of the spine”; the language approved by the Vermont legislature was the exact language given to them by the AMA. It was noted, however, that if a manipulation was performed by physical therapist it would be reimbursed. Through extensive lobbying by chiropractic advocates, this rule was eventually repealed by legislative action in 1998, allowing for a leveling of the reimbursement playing field. Governor Dean, a medical doctor, threatened to veto this legislation, but facing an overwhelming override by the legislature, signed it into law.

The judge further stated that “as early as September 1963, the AMA’s objective was the complete elimination of the chiropractic profession”. Two months later, the AMA formed the Committee on Quackery, and by 1964 its goal was to do away with chiropractic throughout the United States.

The committee was to achieve its goals by: distributing publications critical of chiropractic, assisting others in preparation of anti-chiropractic literature, warning that professional association between medical physicians and chiropractors was unethical, and discouraging colleges, universities and faculty from cooperating with chiropractic schools. In 1966 the AMA adopted a resolution calling chiropractic an “unscientific cult”. Since the AMA’s code of ethics prevented medical doctors from associating with unscientific practitioners, this specific label would prevent medical doctors from associating with chiropractors, including making referrals, accepting referrals, or providing diagnostic, laboratory or radiology services. The judge also stated that one of the AMA’s specific goals was to keep chiropractors out of hospitals, as a way of delegitimizing them. In 1973 the AMA’s lead attorney published an article titled “The Right and Duty of Hospitals to Exclude Chiropractors” in the Journal of the AMA, and warned every hospital attorney that their accreditation might be lost if hospitals dealt with chiropractors.

In a particularly outrageous fashion, the AMA went so far as to disseminate to every medical office in the United States an article from a medical journal disparaging chiropractic, and questioning its scientific basis and efficacy. It was discovered in the Wilk trial that the “medical journal” from whence the article came was nonexistent. As someone who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, the Wilk suit and all that it exposed helped me to understand exactly where the unexplained bias I had against chiropractic in my youth had come from. I, like most of America, had fallen prey to the AMA conspiracy to discredit chiropractic.

In two weeks: The Wilk concludes (and Summer officially begins!)

Yours in Health,

Crick and Crack

Dr. Thomas Turek grew up in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University and New York Chiropractic College. He has practiced in St. Johnsbury for over 35 years, and lives in Waterford with his wife Dorothy. Dr. Travis Howard grew up in Rantoul, Ill. He was a medic in the Air Force for eight years. He attended University of Maryland European Division, Illinois State University, and Logan College of Chiropractic. He lives with his wife and three sons in Littleton, N.H. To submit a question for the column, email

The Heredity Myth

heredityStop Blaming your condition on your genes and start getting healthy. Being taught to blame your genes on heredity is being taught to take a “victim” mentality instead of being a victor.

Researchers from Sweden studied more than 44,000 pairs of identical twins from Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

They compared the rates of 11 different cancers. By calculating the incidence of the same cancer in both twins, the researchers were able to roughly estimate the role of genetic factors. Identical twins have identical genetic makeup. So, if you believe that your health condition comes from heredity, both twins should have an extremely high chance of having the exact same condition. Instead, what the researchers found was that if one of the pair developed cancer, the odds of the other twin developing the same cancer turned out to be less than 15%.

This means that, based on the results of the study, diet, lifestyle, and environment are 85% more important than heredity.
Source:Lichtenstein, P. et al., “Environmental and heritable factors in the causation of cancer”, New England Journal of Medicine, July 13th, 2000, vol. 343 no. 2

The most important thing you can do for your health is to keep the system that controls and coordinates “everything” healthy- The Nerve System. The brain and Nervous system is the master control system of the body. All nerves from this master control system come out of the spine. If the spine gets out of alignment (a subluxation), it dramatically affects the nervous system, having a devastating effect on the health of the entire body and a negative effect on the quality of life of the individual.

Chiropractors remove these subluxations, improving the health,m restoring function, enhancing maximum health potential and increasing the quality of life of every individual under chiropractic care-especially senior citizens.

Can Chiropractic Care Improve Your Body’s Ability to Self Heal?

central-nervous-system-1The human body is continuously striving to maintain health adequate for survival. More than 10,000 disturbances to our cells come from free radicals. Some of the most potent varieties include reactive oxygen species (ROS) which our cells must constantly defend against. Our bodies are equipped with the amazing capability to self-heal by preventing and repairing damage done to the body. One powerful strategy to enhance this ability for our bodies to self-heal is chiropractic care.

The complex network of activity that controls all functions within the body, including healing, is the central nervous system.
Consisting of the brain and spinal cord, the central nervous system serves as a signaling pathway to communicate with 75 trillion cells for proper functioning. Part of our physiological makeup needed for the human body to function optimally is a sensory system called proprioception. Proprioception allows the brain to sense information based off of stimuli being inflicted on skin, joints, and muscle receptors.

Healing is affected by Physical Nerve Stress

When the spinal bones are improperly aligned this causes a physical form of nerve stress that adversely impacts the body’s healing potential. The stress hormone cortisol elevates when physical nerve stress creates a deficiency in proprioception. This disrupts brain signaling and therefore disturbs the body’s potential for healing. Read more at 

Daily trauma such as sports activities and common accidents at home or in the car are known as macro traumas. Less noticeable traumas including repetitive motions, improper sleep habits, and bad posture are referred to as micro traumas and also cause spine and nervous system damage. A modern day health epidemic receiving little attention.

6-Day Old Infant getting examined and Adjusted by Dr. Michalski

image-1Most Have Been Damaged Since Birth

Even before the average american baby is born, it is generally subjected to the severely damaging effects of toxic chemicals and drugs taken by its mother. Perhaps a relatively harmless dose for her, but a tragic overdose to an embryo weighing only a few ounces. These toxins cause the embryo to grow in a poisonous enviroment which interferes with its ability to develop normally and naturally.

If the human being makes it to the birth process, and many do not, it is then confronted with what is perhaps the easiest time for even more severe damage to occur.

babyAfter the head of the child appears, the physician grabs it and twists it around in a figure 8 motion, pulling it up to free the lower shoulder and forcing it down to free the upper shoulder. This causes great stress in the cervical spine, a stress forceful enough to severely damage delicate nerve tissues and tiny neck bones. More times than it should, this results in a still birth.

  • In America, more than 50,000 Babies are either stillborn, dead or dying at birth.
  • According to the World Health Organization, The United States has an infant mortality rate worse than 20 other developed countries.
  • More than a million fetal lives are terminated by abortion each year in the United States.
  • Between 10,000 and 25,000 die within the first year from so-called “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”
  • Of the over 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year:
    • Over 150,000 are physically handicapped
    • Over 100,000 are mentally retarded

Fetal deaths associated with child birth are the 5th major cause of mortality in the United States, and for those infants who live, it is now estimated that one out of 16 has a recognizable mental or physical defect at birth.

Birth trauma, even when not apparent in the early years, has been demonstrated to cause abnormal function, aberrant behavior and premature death. In the vast majority of cases, these consequences do not appear in forty, fifty, or even sixty years. Over 75% are damaged in this way.

(Towbin Study 1968)  


Surprise: Chiropractors Can Treat These 5 Conditions

chiro-treatment-blogYou might think chiropractors are only able to help with back aches, stiff necks, slipped discs and whiplash injuries. If so, you’re not alone – but you’re missing out.

Chiropractic care – which is based on the understanding that, given the opportunity, the mind and body can heal itself – can treat many issues that might surprise you.

Here’s a look at the top five most surprising conditions a chiropractor can treat:

1. Migraines and tension headaches

Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional. Some are persistent. Some are dull and nagging, while others cause debilitating pain and nausea. Taking a painkiller and hoping your headache goes away is one option. But there’s a better one.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by chiropractic doctors – is an effective way to treat tension headaches and headaches that begin in the neck.

In a clinical trial conducted at Macquarie University, 72 percent of migraine sufferers experienced either “substantial” or “noticeable” improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment.

In fact, most headaches are related to muscle tension in the neck, which is an increasingly common condition among Americans who spend hours in the same position or posture(such as in front of a computer or television), leading to joint irritation and tension in the upper back and scalp that cause headaches.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate stress on your system.
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet or the addition of vitamins.
  • Offer advice on posture, ergonomics, exercises and relaxation techniques.

2. Stress and anxiety

We perceive stress from three basic sources: our environment, our body and our emotions.

Environmental stress includes noise, weather, physical threats, time pressures and performance standards. Body stress includes disease processes, organ malfunction, poor nutrition, poor sleep and physical injury. And emotional stress is more difficult to define, but it encompasses our reactions, in both thought and emotion, to environmental and physical stressors.

Jobs today are increasingly complex as the business world becomes more and more competitive. Physical stresses such as sound, air and water pollution have also grown worse over the last century – especially in the United States – and so have emotional and psychological stresses caused by an increasing awareness of troubles and tragedies around the globe, brought to our attention every hour by the Internet and its 24/7 news cycle.

Many illnesses are caused or worsened by stress, which activates our “fight or flight” reaction. This systemic reaction affects almost every part of the body, as the hypothalamus in the brain stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which causes an increase in heart rate, blood volume and blood pressure, redirecting blood away from our digestive system and extremities.

When prolonged, the long-term effects of this state can be disastrous to good health and cause high blood pressure, muscle tissue damage, diabetes, infertility, damage to the immune system and slowed healing from disease and injury.

Chiropractors work primarily with the spine – the root of the nervous system through which nerve impulses travel between the brain and the rest of the body – and can help the body manage and process this stress in a healthier way.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

  • Chiropractors can release muscle tension, one effect of chronic stress that leads to nerve irritation and creates uneven pressures on the body’s bony structures, which can cause the spinal column to become misaligned. This, in turn, helps the body return to a more balanced, relaxed state.
  • Chiropractic adjustments can reduce spinal nerve irritation and improve blood circulation, which can help signal the brain to turn off the “fight or flight” response and begin the healing process.
  • A doctor of chiropractic can suggest nutritional supplements, like B complex vitamins, to help the body cope with stress.
  • A chiropractor can also recommend relaxation techniques and discuss posture and environmental changes to help you recover from chronic stress.

3. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder involving widespread pain and sensitivity throughout the entire musculoskeletal system. To be diagnosed with FM, a patient typically has a minimum of 11 out of 18 specific tender points on the body. In addition to pain, patients also report long-term fatigue and/or disturbed sleep and mood. Other disorders commonly associated with FM include irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ pain and dysfunction, psychological conditions and some autoimmune diseases.

Fibromyalgia is a widespread condition that affects about 2 percent of the United States, and medical science has yet to discover the cause of this condition.

Since those with FM often experience an altered mood, like depression, many experts focus on the psychological aspect of the disease. Others feel that FM is more physiological and has its origins in physical trauma or chronic postural alterations. Still others suggest that FM is a central nervous system disorder rooted in neurochemical imbalances, since those with FM are hypersensitive to even the slightest stimuli and often have a pain response to normally non-painful pressure or activity. Since all information from the outside world is collected and analyzed by the nervous system, it’s logical to assume that if a person with FM is sensitive to a stimulus that others are not, there may be something wrong with this system.

It’s often difficult for patients to find solutions for all of their symptoms, but recent studies show that chiropractic adjustments combined with a soft tissue technique called ischemic compression can help FM patients.

In one study, 60 percent of the subjects treated by a chiropractor experienced a significant improvement: reduced pain, improved sleep and decreased fatigue.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

  • Chiropractors are trained as neuromusculoskeletal specialists, and one of the main focuses of chiropractic care is the positive impact it can have on a person’s nervous system. Therefore, chiropractic adjustments can improve a FM patient’s nervous system, which gives them a better chance for recovery.
  • Chiropractic care can treat pressure points, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches and pain from musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Chiropractors can also reduce a patient’s overall pain through spinal adjustments that increase the mobility between spinal vertebrae, which have become restricted, locked or slightly out of proper position, thereby increasing cervical and lumbar range of motion.

4. Weak immune systems

The nervous system, endocrine system and immune system are inextricably linked. Together they share tiny messenger molecules that mediate communication between them, creating optimal responses for the body to adapt and heal appropriately.

Until recently, one of these messenger molecules, IL-2, was thought of as an immune system molecule. But recent studies have clearly shown its presence and activity in the nervous system, leading researchers to believe that neural dysfunctions due to spinal misalignments are stressful to the body and can cause abnormal changes that lead to a poorly coordinated immune response.

Subluxation is the term for misalignments of the spine that cause compression and irritation of nerve pathways, affecting the body’s organs. Subluxations are an example of physical nerve stress that affects neuronal control. According to researchers, such stressful conditions lead to altered measures of immune function and an increased susceptibility to a variety of diseases.

It’s important to note here how the endocrine system also impacts the immune system by producing cortisol in the adrenal glands – endocrine glands that are directly connected to the nervous system through the sympathetic nervous system – a stress hormone that inhibits the immune system.

If the sympathetic nervous system is too “switched on” due to stress and subluxation, it can increase the adrenal glands’ synthesis of cortisol, in turn affecting the immune system.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

  • Chiropractic care is the only way to detect and eliminate subluxation, and chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce the stress on the nervous system, thereby boosting the coordinated responses of the nervous and immune systems.
  • One research group found that when an adjustment was applied to a subluxated area, the white blood cell count collected rose significantly.
  • Another study measured the effects of six months of regular chiropractic care on the immune system function of HIV patients. At the end of six months of care, the patients who had received regular adjustments showed a 48 percent increase in the number of CD4+ T cells, whereas patients who had not been adjusted showed an 8 percent decrease in CD4+ T cells.

5. Flexibility

When we’re younger, it’s easy to take our extensive range of motion and flexibility for granted. As we age, a number of health conditions – and the cumulative effects of wear and tear – can affect our ability to move the way we used to.

But a decrease in range of motion and flexibility can result in a downward spiral of disability.

For example, an injury or degenerative condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness, may limit our flexibility and range of motion. When this happens, we may avoid activities that involve the affected body parts, either consciously or unconsciously.

This then becomes a classic case of “use it or lose it.” Without regular exercise, the muscles and joints stiffen, adhesions and scar tissue can form, and mobility may be further reduced. Eventually, a person can become completely incapacitated, and ordinary tasks such as picking up something off the floor or tying your shoes can become extremely challenging or painful.

Regular chiropractic can help increase both range of motion and flexibility.

A study performed by researchers at the Phillip Chiropractic Research Centre of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic adjustments increased range of motion in the 105 patients who participated in the study. There were three phases of this study, in which each of the participants was given no adjustments, fake adjustments or true adjustments. In each phase, the patients who were given the true adjustments showed a significant improvement in range of motion, which was not the case for the other two groups.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

  • A chiropractor uses spinal adjustments and manipulations to other parts of the body to realign the bones and joints so as to reduce pain, restore range of motion and improve flexibility, balance and coordination.
  • Your chiropractor can also recommend specific exercises that can be done at home to increase your strength and flexibility so that you’re able to maintain and build upon the gains from your chiropractic adjustments.
  • Regular chiropractic care can reduce or eliminate the source of your back and joint pain, allowing you to resume your normal activities and to remain more flexible into your golden years.

Dr. David L. Starr – November 30, 2015

Animal chiropractor offers treatment for aging, injured pets

A 15-year-old spaniel was experiencing occasional incontinence and difficulty in walking, particularly with stairs.

The dog was diagnosed with arthritis in both the hips and pelvis. His primary veterinarian, who did not want to put him on medications because of the risk of liver and kidney damage, recommended chiropractic care. After a few months, the dog no longer had incontinence and was once again able to climb the stairs.

A large breed dog that was often stumbling and falling was diagnosed with the neurological disease known as “Wobblers.”  After his first chiropractic treatment, both his balance and walking improved. Three months later, he was running for the first time since his owner adopted him.

dog-chiro2These two dogs were treated by Dr. Stephanie Boehm, a licensed chiropractic physician and certified veterinary spinal manipulative therapist. Boehm has volunteered to help both dogs and cats at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin.

“I treated a young terrier mix on several occasions that was brought in paralyzed in her hind limbs,” she said. “A volunteer built her a wheelchair in order to allow her to go on walks and get around easier, but her spirit was unfazed by her physical limitations. She was recently adopted, and she has been doing very well.”

Her practice, ChiroHealth Animal Wellness, offers a gentle, holistic approach to health care for pets which analyzes and treats dysfunction of the spine and joints. Just like chiropractic care for humans, animal chiropractic is centered around the nervous system.

“When an animal has arthritis, the bones and joints are what suffer the most,” Boehm said. “But it is often forgotten that the muscles, tendons, and ligaments near the joints where there is arthritis are affected as well. Muscles tend to get hypertonic or tight near areas of arthritis, which can become uncomfortable and a source of discomfort if left untreated. Arthritic changes over a period of time can lead to weak muscles as well, putting tendons and ligaments at risk for injury if the muscles associated with them are now weak or not functioning properly.”

horse-chiroBoehm earned her Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard. She received her specialization in animals from The Healing Oasis in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. She offers chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue manipulation, cold laser therapy, basic rehabilitative work, and needling, which is similar to acupuncture.

“Growing up, I strongly considered becoming a veterinarian but was very interested in chiropractic medicine as well,” Boehm said. “I provide chiropractic care for animals as I would for people. The difference though, besides anatomy, is that my animal patients cannot tell me what is hurting them. It’s my job to find the root of the problem so as to get people’s pets back to their healthiest state possible.”

Boehm has worked with mostly dogs and horses and sometimes cats.

“Some of the unique dogs I have treated include an Irish Wolfhound, European Great Dane, Belgian Sheepdog, and a 5-week-old Chihuahua puppy,” Boehm said. “I have worked with some amazing thoroughbreds at Arlington Race Track as well as with a Westphalian horse, Pony of America, Quarter Horses and Appaloosas.”

Boehm said she would like to expand her practice to include exotic animals. She sees a variety of cases at Anderson.

“At Anderson Animal Shelter, I have seen animals from all walks of life,” she said. “Some have injuries either physical or emotional, and some are just anxious to find a place to call home. They do an amazing job there of rescuing many animals from high kill shelters and giving them a chance to find their forever home.”

dog-chiro3Boehm owns two domestic shorthair cats that she adopted five years ago when she moved from Wisconsin to Illinois. Raji is 5 years old, and Abe is 10. She is also the “godmother” to two dogs, a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, or Chi-weenie, named Addison and a German Shepherd/Terrier mix named Wriglee. She believes that one of the best things a person can do to improve their pet’s health and mobility is to ensure they get exercise.

“Every animal is different, but maintaining a healthy exercise schedule is very important to keeping an animal’s overall health and joint health well. People should also become educated about a healthy diet for their pet and keep their animal within a healthy weight range in order to reduce some wear and tear on the body.”

Since Boehm knows how difficult it can be to transport an elderly or injured pet to an office, she offers house and barn calls.

Denise Moran is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.

Natural Healing is the Focus


The Story of Michalski Chiropractic has all the elements of a classic tear-jerker, including the most important one, a happy ending.

Eleven years ago, Bobbi Michalski was seriously injured in a car accident.  So severe were her injuries, in fact, that her doctors gave her very little chance of ever walking again.  Her chiropractor, Dr. Ron Michalski, was the only one who offered her hope.  “When they told me that I would be in a wheelchair, he refused to believe that.” Bobbi said recently.

Sure enough, after extensive therapy that combined chiropractic treatments with neuromuscular massage, a healthy diet and vitamins, Bobbi did walk again.  Actually, Bobbi had been Dr. Michalski’s patient even before the accident.  She began seeing him for treatment of a sinus problem.  She was so impressed by how well the treatment worked that she became Dr. Michalski’s office manager.  Somewhere along the way she and Dr. Michalski fell in love.  Today they are married and partners in running the Michalski Chiropractic Wellness Centre at 11407 West Blue Mound Road.

Bobbi Michalski said the center offers much more than traditional chiropractic clinics.  “After the accident, I looked at my own treatment program and thought, ‘Just think of what we could do for the general public’” she said.

Michalski Chiropractic Wellness Centre services include nutritional consulting, massage therapy and another type of therapy- called a hydrotherapy chair- in which patients can direct a jet of hot water along their spines in a massage-like motion- as well as traditional chiropractic treatment.

Bobbi Michalski said it was part of a comprehensive approach to health care that does not rely on chemicals.

“The flu has become almost an industry unto itself,” She said. “People are out there getting flu shots and taking medicines.  If you could just keep your body healthy, you would not get the flu.  It’s all about staying healthy by keeping your body balanced, therefore having a healthy immune system.”

Chiropractic treatment itself is a natural approach to health care, she said.  The process involves actually moving bones to take the pressure off of nerves and can be used to treat everything from headaches and sinus conditions to carpal tunnel syndrome, Michalski said.

bobbi-2016Chiropractic treatment itself is a natural approach to health care, she said.  The process involves actually moving bones to take the pressure off of nerves and can be used to treat everything from headaches and sinus conditions to carpal tunnel syndrome, Michalski said.

Chiropractic treatment involves the use of a device called an Activator, which Michalski describes as an instrument that applies just 15 lbs of pressure to the area out of alignment.  This gets the pressure off the nerve.  “It is totally noninvasive,” Michalski said.

Chiropractic treatment is becoming more accepted by the medical community, Michalski said.  It is enough for everyone from very young infants to the elderly, she said.

“Like natural food and medicines, it is a treatment program that does not involve putting chemicals into the body or cutting open the body,” she said.  “It gives the body a chance to heal itself and the body is the most effective pharmacy there is.”

A while ago, the procedure was not so highly thought of by many of the medical professionals.  “About 8 years ago the American Medical Association accepted chiropractic and now it is covered by all medical plans,” she said.

While Bobbi manages the office, the actual work is done by Dr. Michalski and Dr. Hauke, and a staff of licensed massage therapists and intuitionalists.

A patient seeking chiropractic treatment has several options, Bobbi Michalski said.  “We will first do a computerized muscle and nerve scan, a consultation, complete examination, and then decide on a course of treatment,” she said.  “Treatment may be deep massage to loosen and hard tissue and free up bones themselves for the actual chiropractic treatment.”

Depending on what type of treatment a patient requires, a course of treatment could last from a month to a year.  “It depends if the patient is seeking simply relief from a nagging pain or treatment for something more serious,” she said.

Reprint of article that was in the Wauwatosa Times in 1998