About your host

Back in high school I was a math whiz.  I was excelling in advanced math class­es at Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty at the ripe age of 14.  If I had stayed with the plan, maybe by now I’d be head­ing a bil­lion dol­lar tech com­pa­ny.  Or be a tenured pro­fes­sor some­where.

Man writing equations on blackboardd

But instead, in col­lege, along with the grad­u­ate-lev­el math class­es I was tak­ing, I also took African Dance. Once those drums start­ed to play, and I expe­ri­enced the joy of explor­ing the dif­fer­ent rhythms of move­ment, noth­ing else mat­tered as much.

I got hooked on dance.  But more­over, I got hooked on hav­ing a rela­tion­ship with the phys­i­cal body.  And I dis­cov­ered the pow­er of a new type of knowl­edge – new to me, any­way — knowl­edge that grew from the inside out.

Even though I was good at mul­ti­ple choice tests – real­ly, real­ly good, in fact — fill­ing in the cor­rect answer bub­ble sud­den­ly didn’t seem very impor­tant.   Instead, I became pas­sion­ate about gain­ing aware­ness of my own limbs, spine, breath, and emo­tion­al expres­sion. My under­stand­ing of the brain shift­ed — no longer just a use­ful repos­i­to­ry for infor­ma­tion, the brain became a flu­id orches­tra­tor of move­ment learn­ing.dance class

Ulti­mate­ly, that’s what led me to study chi­ro­prac­tic. I want­ed to be a real doc­tor. A doc­tor who could help peo­ple tap into the most pow­er­ful heal­ing forces avail­able – the inner con­nec­tion to the body and its poten­tial. That’s the most effec­tive way to improve health.

I soon dis­cov­ered that the mus­cles and joints (and the lig­a­ments, ten­dons and bones), were only a small piece of the action.  Your brain is in charge of con­trol­ling and inte­grat­ing your body.

So I also had to become expert in how the brain and ner­vous sys­tem oper­ates.

schematic of the brain

That meant learn­ing how indi­vid­ual nerve cells fire to con­trol mus­cle actions. But it also meant under­stand­ing the larg­er prin­ci­ples of thought, emo­tion, moti­va­tion and metaphor that guide the whole human enter­prise.

Chi­ro­prac­tic is only a small piece of it

The chi­ro­prac­tic treat­ment mod­el, with its empha­sis on per­son­al­ized man­u­al ther­a­py, makes a tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tion to improv­ing the nation’s health.

But if a chi­ro­prac­tor is only using the meth­ods he or she learned in chi­ro­prac­tic school, a lot of potent heal­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties are being left unex­plored.

I’ve stud­ied yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais, Alexan­der tech­nique, Laban Move­ment Analy­sis, bal­let, gyro­ton­ics, and oth­er meth­ods of move­ment, align­ment, and body aware­ness.  I start­ed study­ing these meth­ods long before I even dreamed I’d be a chi­ro­prac­tor and, basi­cal­ly, I’ve nev­er stopped learn­ing.

These meth­ods are based on devel­op­ing your move­ment and pos­tur­al aware­ness, and giv­ing you the tools to guide your body towards health and full func­tion­ing.

I’ve also stud­ied a range of con­nec­tive tis­sue ther­a­pies: fric­tion mas­sage, trig­ger point ther­a­py, myofas­cial release, Neu­ro­tac­tile Ther­a­py, and cran­iosacral har­mon­ics.

 

NeuroTactile Therapy (bindegewebsmasage)

These meth­ods are effec­tive means to release and bal­ance the con­nec­tive tis­sues and mus­cles, as well as the nerve sig­nals they send back to the brain.

My exten­sive knowl­edge of anato­my and phys­i­ol­o­gy has helped me grasp the impor­tant prin­ci­ples com­mon to all of these meth­ods.  And lis­ten­ing to thou­sands of patients over thir­ty years has helped me under­stand the par­tic­u­lar ways indi­vid­u­als neglect their inner move­ment and body resources – and the pain and oth­er prob­lems that result.

As far as this study and expe­ri­ence has been able to car­ry me in my quest to help my patients, it’s still not enough.  Because there’s an addi­tion­al dimen­sion of health that takes place in the envi­ron­men­tal and social realm.

Your health doesn’t begin or end at your skin sur­face

The new sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies pour­ing out show the many aspects of our envi­ron­ment – both phys­i­cal and social – that have a pro­found influ­ence on health.

For instance, we know the sig­nif­i­cant role that pol­lu­tants play as con­trib­u­tors to can­cer, neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems, and more.  The qual­i­ty and puri­ty of the food we eat is also a major health fac­tor. I’ve tak­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op exten­sive knowl­edge of nutri­tion and how eat­ing pat­terns influ­ence an individual’s health.

More­over, our social envi­ron­ment – the net­works of fam­i­ly, friends, and social milieu as a whole – is anoth­er vital influ­ence on health.  It’s been proven. A spe­cif­ic fea­ture is the nature of the rela­tion­ship you have with your physi­cian. In today’s tough health­care envi­ron­ment, I’ve strength­ened my com­mit­ment to tak­ing the nec­es­sary time to engage with patients as indi­vid­u­als.

Build­ing a life­time of health has many dimen­sions. In addi­tion to the effec­tive man­u­al ther­a­py tech­niques I use in my prac­tice, I invite my patients to call the sis­ter they haven’t spo­ken to late­ly, pet their cat, take a yoga class at the gym, go out of their way to thank the serv­er behind the counter at the cof­fee (or juice) bar, or join the church choir.

Togeth­er we can build a world of bet­ter health.

 

children playing

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4 Responses to About your host

  1. Dianne says:

    Just dis­cov­ered this blog at The Body Series…look for­ward to read­ing all of it! Real­ly appre­ci­ate the qual­i­ty of this mate­r­i­al.

  2. Laura Donnelly says:

    Me again — I did the exer­cis­es for my shoul­der this morn­ing, great for wak­ing it up and gen­tly encour­ag­ing greater range of motion. It is always stiff in the morn­ing when I get up. Thank you for shar­ing those.

    Videos are well done, easy to see what to do and what not to do, clear and sim­ple. Enough info to help but not so much that it is over­whelm­ing or too big of a project to tack­le.

  3. Laura Donnelly says:

    Ron — what a won­der­ful site!! How great to see how you have devel­oped your work and your busi­ness. I’m buy­ing your shoul­der exer­cise video as I jammed up my shoul­der this fall mov­ing from Tuc­son to Phoenix. I will send a real email just want­ed to say hi here. We won’t talk about how long ago it was that I helped out in your office or that you helped me when I was pan­ick­ing because my lit­tle toe was numb. I still do the stretch you gave me back then — although much more gen­tly than in the old days. Take care and hap­py new year!

  4. George Blomme says:

    Very good blog cov­er­ing lots of dif­fer­ent sub­jets — sev­er­al of inter­est to me. Info about the author “splendiy done”. Masthead/Logo would be suit­able for ur oth­er newslet­ters, but each in a dif­fer­ent col­or.

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