Academy of Chiropractic’s

Doctors PI Program

#101

 From the Desk of:

 Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP


"Asthma, Personal Injury, Research and the Power of Chiropractic"
 


The following is a testimonial Jennifer, a 19 year old patient, wrote to me 30 years ago and is the underlying causes of many of the things I have done and do today. The following words are unedited and presented exactly as given to me:
 
My story does not begin with chiropractic care. It begins with being diagnosed with asthma as a very young child. As long as I can remember, I always had trouble breathing. I lived by the clock, always taking medicine. I ruined many family vacations because they had to take me to the doctor. I missed large amounts of school because I was constantly in the hospital.

When I was 11 years old, I was labeled a severe asthmatic. I went for surgery and had a reaction to the anesthesia. The next thing I remember I woke up in the intensive care unit of St.  Charles Hospital. That night I experienced something I'll never forget...The doctors said due to my asthma and weak lungs, a blood clot went to my lung during surgery. They had to tap my lung and could not give me pain killers because they didn't want the lung to collapse. Well, they tapped my lung three times but, it collapsed anyway. I remember being so tired from the pain that I just slept.  The doctors put me on a respirator. They promised it would only be for five days. I would not agree to it any other way. In my eyes only people who are old or dying go on respirators and they never came off. I was heavily sedated and don’t remember much. I do remember the doctors telling my parents that I probably would not make it through the night. When I heard that I realized how sick I was. This was not just going to go away. Then I thought, I'm only 17 years old, I refuse to die this young. NO WAY! The doctor ordered the respirator to be taken off since I was not getting any better.  From that point on I was on respiratory treatments four and five times a day and through the night.

I've spent more than half my life on almost every asthma medication ever made. I did not know at the time that long time use of these medications causes your nervous system to deteriorate. I also did not know that the medication would cause me to sweat, my hands to shake, and my heart to race. The medication made me breathe better but the rest of me felt worse. As I was getting older I started to ask questions about my medications. Someday I would like to have a baby; I could not have a normal baby on these medications. I couldn't find a doctor on Long Island or New York City who would take me off or lesson the dose of the medication. For the first time in my life I was stable and the doctors wanted to keep me there.

I was then in a major car accident and was referred to Dr. Mark Studin. I was being adjusted regularly for my headaches, back and neck pain. I did not tell Dr. Mark about my asthma initally. However, I started to notice a difference in my breathing. We were talking one day and I told him about my wish to come off the medication. Dr. Mark said he would help me. I thought this was really funny, after all what does a chiropractor know about asthma? When I told my parents about this they went through the roof! My father wanted to kill Dr. Mark, that “chiropractors are quacks” he said! I was very nervous but, my goal was to be off medication and not have to live my life around a nebulizer machine. No one else shared this goal with me except Dr. Mark. I decided to work with him, after all what was the worst thing that could happen. I could end up in the hospital or back on the medication. I had nothing to lose. I slowly cut down the medications. Now I am drug free and have been that way for almost two years! I have not been back in the hospital in that time.

My asthma is not cured and will never be. I will have severe asthma for the rest of my  life. However, my asthma is controlled and maintained by chiropractic care. I go to the chiropractor 2 to 3 times a week and I have no problems. I would rather drive to a chiropractor 2 or 3 times a week then have to take pills and do respiratory treatments daily. All of those medications might help you breath but, you have to stop and think about the damage it's doing to the other parts of your body.

Once I was off all of my medication I threw everything out except one inhaler. I will always carry it with me wherever I go. I will never be able to forget what a frightening feeling it is not being able to breathe. It gives me peace of mind to know that my inhaler is close if that ever happens and I can't get to Dr. Mark.

To all those people who are suffering from asthma or parents who have children suffering from asthma, there are other alternatives besides all that medication. Even if you don't believe in chiropractic care...I DIDN'T.
 
Dr. Studin's Commentary:

Before I talk about the issues at hand, I want you to understand where I come from. I was an "ultra straight" chiropractor, a term that I detest now, 30 years later, because I realize how I contributed to the divisiveness in our profession. However, I cared for families and taught through "lay lectures" and believed that by sheer force of will, if you were under chiropractic care, your body would heal itself if the brain could communicate to the cells, tissues and organs.

Caring for asthmatics was not just a daily occurrence; it was an hourly occurrence, as I treated too many to remember and they ALL got well and the majority had stories similar to Jennifer's. I just happened to come across the letter that she wrote me. I also had patients regain hearing, ulcers clear up, Chron's resolve, bowel problems resolve, menstrual cycles normalize, breach babies turn, infertile patients become able to conceive, skin ailments get better, migraines go away, high blood pressures normalize, chronic colds and flus decrease in frequency over the years, and on and on. When I think back, most everyone got better under chiropractic care because I helped their bodies work better. Although I have binders full of letters of testimonials from patients, I lived through the emotions of people having their lives resurrected and and they began to live. This was an everyday occurrence. 
 
With all of this abundance, you should be asking why I stopped. The answer is simple and frustrating. Simply put, adjusting 650 people each and every week took its toll on my body. The herniated discs, carpal tunnel syndrome, abdominal herniations, shoulder degeneration and subsequent surgeries didn't stop me. It was the 2 compression fractures that caused me to lose 2 1/2" in height that got me. My associates, I had 2 whose primary roles were evaluations, x-rays and re-evaluations, could not sustain the practice as they didn't have as big a vision as I did and couldn't communicate as well as I could. My compression fractures left me unable to care for more than a few patients per day. With that being said, there were good and bad problems.
 
The good:
 
The "Personal Injury" to "Family Care" to "Wellness" Paradigm
 
Through education, I was able to get accident victims to bring their families in for a spinal "check-up" and through the process of the evaluation and education, I created a family practice through my accident cases. Most of these patients stayed a lifetime as my PVA was 113. 
 
The above testimonial explains that I took an accident case patient, got her to understand chiropractic through education and she got well. In the end, her parents became patients, including her father who thought I was worse than the devil! His name is Stanley and he came every visit in the beginning and stood over both of us; I thought he was going to kick the crap out of me every visit for the first few weeks. I was ready to take one for the team, but it also gave me an opportunity to educate him. 

The moral of this story and every other story of patients who got well is education, education, education. "Subluxation based chiropractic" is not mutually exclusive to practicing with clinical excellence and everything else I teach, so you can educate and adjust and still be a great doctor. 
 
For those of you who choose to practice "structural based chiropractic," I applaud you because we need both types of practitioners to care for a community. The only caveat is that if you diagnose a problem that you don't care for, PLEASE refer your patient to another chiropractor who does, not a medical doctor who doesn't understand what we do. This goes for both types of practitioners. This type of relationship takes a divided chiropractic community and through recognition and respect of each other's abilities, creates a unified profession.
 
The bad
 
Here is the real problem; I didn't write a research report or a case study on Jennifer and the other patients who got well under chiropractic care. That would have set the foundation for a comprehensive research program on scientifically certifying that chiropractic affects the central nervous system and changes autonomic function.
 
Many believe and have written, "Who cares whether the scientific community or outsiders care about chiropractic? It works, we know it and the only people I have to convince are my patients." This attitude reminds me of the person who wants to create a small fortune. His actions could create a large fortune, but he chooses to have a small fortune instead. The "who gives a crap about what others think" attitude is the same thing; what we do is an "unknown" due to a lack of research those who would refer, mostly MD's who now believe chiropractic belongs in healthcare unlike they did 20-30 years ago, do not have the resources to refer to us. Never lose sight of the fact that we care for 5% of the population and they care for 95% of the population. 
 
Medicine is built on "evidenced-based" conclusions where care is based upon either research or case reports that show evidence of what works and what doesn't. In spite of my passion, love and experiential understanding of chiropractic, it is built on a belief that is theological in explanation and understanding. It doesn't negate that chiropractic works; it means that both you and I have to require others to use that same theological approach to refer a patient and it isn't fair to expect the world to open the floodgates of referrals. Just like in the movie "Jerry Maguire," "Show me the money research," and as in the movie "Field of Dreams," "Build Get it and they will come." 
 
I have lectured to many, many MD's nationwide and they all ask the same thing, "Where is the literature?"  The literature is now here. There is so much research that validates what we do unlike 30 years ago. Go to www.USChiropracticDirectory.com and click on the research tab. It's all there for you to take or go to www.lulu.com and put "studin" in the search tab. There are volumes of the "Science of Chiropractic" that has hundreds of pages of pro-chiropractic literature for the medical and legal communities. I have hit the easy button for you!