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Hall of Famers Metallica Swear by Chiropractica
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Written by Don Oyao, MA.,DC.(USA)ND., MA Sp.Chiro Sci(Australia)   
Monday, 24 January 2011 17:05


hat do rock stars and Olympic athletes have in common? No, this isn’t the lead up to a punchline.

Both share a need or desire for chiropractic care to enhance their demanding performances. Having been a team doctor for six Olympic competitions, my latest “gig” with Metallica has shown me that intense activity, endurance and strength are sought by both kinds of performers, be it on stage in front of thousands of fans or competing for a gold medal at an Olympic event.

For the last nine years and more than one thousand tour dates, I have been providing Metallica’s band members with almost daily care.  Going on thirty years of making music and more than 100 million albums sold, Metallica’s rock and roll habits of decades ago have simply been replaced with more conservative routines, as they prepare for their two-hour-plus concerts.

Pre-concert care, deep tissue work and rub-downs between songs are just a few of what Metallica’s band members have required on the road.

Voodoo doctor

Vocalist and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield has called me a voodoo doctor and bass guitarist Robert Trujillo says my treatments resemble acupressure.  I’m counted on by drummer Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett, who happens to be my cousin.

At the end of the day, all of the band’s members are finely tuned into the idea of how they can best prepare for demanding concerts to please their fans of many ages.

Odd as it seems, treating rock stars and competitive athletes have a lot in common.  Trujillo needs constant attention to his guitar-strumming arm and its speed-demon fingers, even between songs backstage.  Deep tissue work before shows has also become a Metallica tradition.

Metallica’s band members must individually maintain cardio-vascular endurance, an exercise and stretching regime and a balanced diet and nutrition.  With the bands’ intense concert schedule and travel itinerary, Metallica members must be at a peak performance state both physically and mentally.  Subsequently, their qualitative longevity deserves and requires preventative and maintenance healthcare on a daily basis.

To me, Metallica brings harmony to their fans as the band roams the jungle of a world filled with chaos and insanity.  Helping Metallica bring their music to the world has been my own rock and roll dream come true. It has been a privilege to work and tour around the world living in the mad, mad world of Metallica.

Almost Famous

I’ve been a huge fan since my cousin Kirk invited me to a Metallica concert in San Francisco in the early 1980’s, not long after the band formed in 1981.

metallicawcaptionMy family had always been chiropractic-oriented family and believed each of our innate abilities flourished throughout our lives whenever the life force was made to flow freely with chiropractic care. That was our gospel, and one that Metallica eventually tuned in to.

During the early 1980’s,  Metallica released hits with fast tempos and instrumentals, fast becoming well known as one of the top four thrash metal bands, alongside Anthrax, Megadeath and Slayer.  Because of their aggressive musicianship, Metallica gained a loyal fan base in an underground music community.

In 1986, Metallica’s album, Master of Puppets was described and acclaimed as one of the most influential metal thrash albums of all time.  In 1993 onward, Metallica achieved substantial commercial success with the Black Album, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.  With the release of the Black Album, Metallica shifted and expanded its musical direction resulting in an album that appealed to a mainstream audience.

It was Kirk who was convinced of the power of chiropractic and insisted that his spine is adjusted regularly.  His sister, Jennifer Hammett also plunged into the world of chiropractic in the 1990’s.

As an Australian/American citizen, I would meet and work with the band on a part-time basis when I lived in Australia.  It was at the time, in 2000, that Metallica released St. Anger, an album that seemed to have alienated a number of fans. Nevertheless, the band created a documentary describing and exposing the bands most inner hopes, fears and turmoils.

After given them adjustments a number of shows, by 2002, they appointed me as Metallica’s full-time touring band doctor.

Diehard fan

The diehard Metallica fortress that had grown through nearly 30 years was becoming much more stable and solid. It didn’t
matter if fans had come and gone during the last 29 years, Metallica music had been a great source of love and support for many fans to lean on.

They have been through a lot that some fans criticized, from signing on to  a major label, to doing a ballad, to cutting their hair, to fighting Napster, as well as to create a documentary that brought on their most intimate fears to the public. Yet the Metallica fortress stood solid and unshakable.

Releasing nine studio albums, three live albums, two EPs, 24 music videos and 45 singles, Metallica has won nine Grammy Awards.  Metallica has also had five consecutive albums debut at the top of Billboard 200, the first band to do so.

Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio in April 2010. When they accepted the new title, it was one of the best moments of my life.

After having worked behind the scenes at concerts in cities around the country and the world, adjusting the band to keep on playing for fans, I can definitely say, it’s only rock and roll, but I like it.


Dr. Don Oyao is a six-time Official Olympic Team Doctor in Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Lillihammer 1994, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008.  He now works as Metallica’s touring band chiropractor and one of their biggest fans.

What’s Your Solution? The Real Skinny on our Obesity Epidemic— No Pun intended
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Written by Susan Blackard, R.N., N.D.C, M.H.A., F.N.P.C   
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 16:25

Is there any one contributor to chronic health conditions more prevalent and dangerous than obesity? National obesity rates among adults has doubled since 1980 alone, yet it seems to be overlooked and misunderstood more often than any other disease catalyst. The explosion of weight loss products and the plethora of theories behind weight gain have seemingly done nothing more than water down this issue, leaving the public confused and indifferent. In this article, we delve beyond the turmoil surrounding the obesity issue and offer new insight into what obesity means for you and your patients.
The fact is this problem is not going away and, yet, people continue to attend their weight loss meetings, eat their tiny out-of-the-box meals, drink their shakes and work out like crazy. We have worked with people who have stuck to these protocols for years, losing very little and gaining it all back plus some. Then, either by design or misconception, they blame it on themselves. And so, for years, we have been banging our heads against the wall with this “calories-in-versus-calories-out” solution. No wonder this is a billion dollar industry!
Diet and exercise have long been touted as both the problem and the solution. If the real solution is that simple, and completely free, then why are so many people walking around dangerously overweight in a country known worldwide for its ambition and persistence? It may be because diet and exercise do not always work! In fact, some experts are finding that diet and exercise alone work a very low percentage of the time.
Still, fitness enthusiasts and “health freaks” will talk all day about self control and the like, but evidence is building against a new culprit. The fact is, these overweight people are often deemed weak minded, lazy and lacking in self control, but may possess a very real and unfortunate cause for the fat they cannot lose and the cravings that simply will not go away.
People suffering from hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue are great examples. These individuals tend to carry excess fat and have an extremely difficult time taking it off. In addition, a variety of mental and emotional circumstances come to mind including uncontrollable appetite and abnormal satiety. The probable reason?

Whether it be from various heavy metals, including mercury or copper, perchlorate, BPA, food additives, prescription drugs, plastics, bromide, fluoride, or any of the thousands of chemicals used in pesticides, evidence on the causes of obesity is mounting on a much deeper issue, much more complex than the calories-in-versus-calories-out theory.
These toxins, and many more, are becoming virtually unavoidable. Take drinking water, for example. Runoff adds pesticides and perchlorate (rocket fuel), and various prescription drugs are tossed into the mix by unsafe disposal methods. The water is then treated with chloride and fluoride before it finally ends up in your glass. If you do the research on these chemicals, you will find that there is something very wrong with this formula and that's just one limited example.
Exposure is happening through the consumption of everyday products that are trusted to be safe. Scarier yet is alarming evidence that mothers have a great capacity to pass such toxic substances to a fetus. In this situation, the issues will be present throughout development, resulting in potential problems deeper than science has currently explored.
A perfect illustration of these points is the use of diethylstilbestrol (DES) by expecting mothers to prevent miscarriages during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The consequences were a wide range of devastating birth defects, all from a product deemed safe for consumption.
New evidence is continually surfacing supporting this cause and many experts agree that increased toxicity can lead to any number of imbalances which manifest themselves as excess fat. In addition, some hypothesize that, as a direct result of greater exposure over a prolonged period, the youngest generation of Americans will have even greater health issues than those of their parents.
It is plausible to assume that a wide range of imbalances could be caused along these same lines. In May, the Government even released a piece titled: Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation. In it they reveal that “scientists have coined the term “obesogens” for chemicals that they believe may promote weight gain and obesity. Such chemicals may promote obesity by increasing the number of fat cells, changing the amount of calories burned at rest, altering energy balance, and altering the body’s mechanisms for appetite and satiety. Fetal and infant exposure to such chemicals may result in more weight gain per food consumed and also possibly less weight loss per amount of energy expended. The health effects of these chemicals during fetal and infant development may persist throughout life, long after the exposures occur.”1
These “obesogens” are some of the exact same substances mentioned earlier in this piece. They are found in various everyday products and we are no doubt exposed to them frequently.
To have the science community finally becoming skeptical of these everyday chemicals is both alarming and refreshing.
The bright side to all of this? The living cell is an incredibly resilient structure. It will work very hard to remove these toxins from its being and return to homeostasis. The body has proven very capable of exercising this power with many less powerful intruders and illnesses; however, strong evidence supports the idea that, in most cases, it has great difficulty removing the more harmful substances all by itself.
This problem presents a remarkable opportunity for health professionals. Experts are finding that giving the body a little bit of help can be incredibly beneficial to the body's healing process. Clinical, nonprescription detoxification of these toxins has been found to produce the needed fuel for bringing balance to the body. For this, we recommend you look to homeopathic remedies for their unparalleled safety, effectiveness, ease of use and affordability.
Where weight loss is concerned, it is vital to find programs that provide the ability to uncover a wide range of imbalances which may be causing weight gain and retention. Notice the use of the word “program.”
Successful programs will produce quality, lasting results, while providing the patient with lifestyle education for successful, back-to-everyday life. It is imperative that a program involve the consumption of real food as opposed to shakes or meals in a box. Meal replacements and those that come in boxes tend to represent a set of perpetual diet programs which produce poor results, a low quality of life and do not give the patient any basis for living a healthy life outside the diet.  
In addition to being results-driven and including each element previously mentioned, you will be best served selecting a turn-key program which is easily implemented into an existing practice. However, the amount of clawing and scratching you want to do is totally up to you, as developing a clinically tested successful program on your own takes years and a lot of money. Finally—an end is in sight to the era of ball and chain diets as you, the practitioner, now have the power to provide real results.

Susan Blackard, R.N., N.D.C, M.H.A., F.N.P.C, is an expert on obesity and detoxification at the Rejuvenation Institute of Natural Health. For more information, download the free e-book on clinical weight loss at or call 1-877-942-4669.
White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity. Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation. May 2010.

Nutritional Alternatives to Prescription Drugs
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Written by Dr. Howard F. Loomis, D.C.   
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 16:20

by Dr. Howard F. Loomis, D.C.

Prescription drugs are used to treat disease. They WORK by blocking a human enzyme system or by filling specific receptor sites, thus directing the body’s biochemistry. Their specific need and even dosage can be pinpointed by the use of various laboratory testing.
However, nutritional supplements (whether protein, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals) do not, by themselves, perform WORK. They must be put to work by specific enzyme action. Nevertheless, the concept of considering nutritional alternatives to prescription drugs is well worth the effort.  I must point out (with tongue in cheek) that it is too late for rose hips when you have just fallen off the top of a ten story building. In other words, nutritional supplements find their best use for maintaining health—not treating disease.
With the above in mind, it would seem advisable to incorporate enzyme supplementation into one’s nutritional recommendations. There are many different enzymes that can be safely used for nutritional use, but similar to prescription drug use, one must be certain to use the correct enzyme or combination of enzymes for each individual patient’s needs. Shotgun approaches to nutritional supplementation, while easy and convenient, are seldom successful in the long term for restoring normal function.
I use food enzymes to improve digestion and to nourish the body when signs of inflammation appear; that is, increased heat or fever, redness, swelling, pain and muscle contraction. I generally do not use enzymes derived from beef and pork (marketed under the name of pancreatin), since they are only useful in inflammatory conditions, and not for improving digestion. In this article, I will be pointing out a very useful physical finding that chiropractors can use to determine when a patient requires food enzyme supplementation—namely, loss of normal thoracic kyphosis in cases of indigestion, metabolic syndrome, and restless legs.
An important part of every case history, and even ongoing case notes, should be knowledge of the patient’s prescription and over-the-counter drug use. This has always been important, because drugs mask symptoms and physical findings that are important in making an accurate assessment of the need for chiropractic care. In fact, it could be recommended that you set aside time to review prescription drug use with each patient at least every 3 to 6 months. Most of your patients will appreciate the effort.
It is important to remember that any visceral dysfunction produces contraction(s) in the muscles that share spinal innervation with the stressed organ(s). This occurs not only in the periphery but at the spine as well. Thus, we have the occurrence of spinal subluxation contaminant with visceral dysfunction.
When prescription drugs are used to alter visceral function, muscle contractions and subluxation patterns change. Thus, it is imperative that a patient’s use of prescription medications and any changes that are made in their medications be carefully noted by the clinician.
Your patients should be informed that prescription drugs are used for the treatment of disease and they do not restore normal function, nor can they maintain health. Since all prescribed drugs interfere with normal body functions, by either blocking receptor sites or interfering with a human enzyme system, they all cause side effects that can be recognized very early by changes in muscle contraction and subluxation patterns.
Let’s now consider some of the more common conditions you see in your practice for which the patient is using prescription medication. Recall that all symptoms are caused by the inability of an organ system to fulfill its role in maintaining homeostasis, either because it is nutrient deficient or there is excessive waste accumulation. Since we are making nutritional recommendations, we’ll begin with digestion.

Proton Pump Inhibitors for Digestive Symptoms
These drugs block the production of stomach acid to reduce symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, gas and bloating. Unfortunately these drugs are recommended solely based on symptoms, since there are no laboratory tests to specifically identify whether the problems are caused by stomach, biliary or pancreatic dysfunction.
Proton Pump inhibitors reduce symptoms but do not affect the muscle contractions, loss of range of motion, and chronic subluxation patterns associated with compromised digestion.
Invariably, since the digestive organs receive sympathetic innervation from the mid-thoracic area, these patients will exhibit a loss of the normal thoracic kyphosis. It is important to remember that this is not an osseous problem, but rather is caused by muscle contraction.
Very often this is the underlying cause of chronic headache complaints and non-traumatic shoulder complaints.

Fibrates Used with Statin Drugs
Fibrates are used in combination with statins for a range of metabolic disorders, including high cholesterol and high lipid levels in the blood. Although less effective in lowering LDL, fibrates increase HDL levels and decrease triglyceride levels. They also seem to improve insulin resistance and other features of the metabolic syndrome, in particular hypertension and diabetes mellitus type 2.
Fibrates are able to penetrate cell membranes and block fatty acid receptors within the cell. They stimulate a class of intracellular receptors that modulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Fibrates are agonists, that is they replace fatty acids as well as prostaglandins and leukotrienes at the receptor sites within the cells of muscle, liver, and other tissues. Of course, there are side effects to all this:
The most obvious is myopathy—muscle pain with CPK elevations.
T5 to T9—most fibrates can cause mild stomach upset and, since they increase the cholesterol content of bile, they increase the risk for gallstones.
T10 to T11—in combination with statin drugs, fibrates cause an increased risk of rhabdomyolysis (idiosyncratic destruction of muscle tissue) leading to renal failure.    

Dopamine Agonists for Restless Legs
There are no laboratory tests to diagnose RLS and no physical examination findings are indicated for determining the presence or cause of RLS. Recommendations for the drug are based solely on symptoms. Since movement relieves the symptoms,  it is commonly reported that the symptoms only occur or are worse at night.
Orally administered dopamine agonists are being widely advertised for symptomatic relief of RLS. In pharmacology, an agonist is a substance that binds to a specific receptor and triggers a response in the cell. It mimics the action of a neurotransmitter or hormone that normally binds at that site. Since agonists are useful in replacing the neuron-transmitter dopamine, these drugs are also used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Of course the patho-physiology of both Parkinson’s and RLS is unknown.
Studies have shown that these drugs have helped some people control or improve their symptoms. Although they may seem to help at first, later these medicines may make symptoms worse by a process called augmentation.
The most common side effects in clinical trials for RLS were nausea, headache, and tiredness. Studies indicated the drug has little or no effect on blood pressure or pulse rate when lying down. But, upon standing, they produce a drop in blood pressure, both the systolic and diastolic. These changes are accompanied by lightheadedness upon arising, general fatigue, inability to tolerate stress, and a slow, weak pulse rate. Based on the above, it is reasonable to assume you will again find loss of normal thoracic kyphosis in these patients due to muscle contraction.
Increased urinary potassium losses also become significant when dopamine agonists are used for symptoms of RLS. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include stiff, sore joints, constipation, inability to think clearly, and cardiac arrhythmias.
In my practice, I used nutrition to maintain health and give support to those patients taking medications.  Food enzymes are the key to improving digestion and nourishing the body when signs of inflammation appear.  The loss of normal thoracic kyphosis is an easily recognizable sign warning you when a patient requires food enzyme supplementation.
Again, your patients should be informed that prescription drugs are used for the treatment of disease and they do not restore normal function, nor can they maintain health.


Dr. Howard Loomis can be reached by mail at 6421 Enterprise Lane, Madison, WI 53719 or by phone at 1-800-662-2630.  
Visit his website at:

Decompression... Where it all Began
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Written by Allan Dyer, B.S., M.D., Ph. D.   
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 15:02

Dr. Allan Dyer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy and is a doctor of Internal Medicine. He was also awarded a Ph.D. for his graduate studies and pioneer work in Transthoracic Cardiac Defibrillation.

During his career as a senior administrator and Deputy Minister of Health, he instituted the hospital services quality assessment, generic drug substitution program, prescription drug benefit, emergency air ambulance and paramedic programs for the government of Ontario.

On retirement from government service, he pursued research leading to the development of spinal decompression technology

He coined the term Vertebral Axial Decompression and registered the first medical device to administer this procedure with the Food and Drug Administration. He has been awarded three US patents on the equipment and the procedure for non-surgical spinal decompression .

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Dyer….



TAC: Could you tell our readers about the VAX-D table. How did the idea evolve?

Dyer: The recognition that chiropractic manipulation does help relieve low back pain coupled with the fact that research had shown discogenic lesions to be the main pain generator led to investigation to develop technology that could be programmed to modulate intervertebral discs beyond that possible with manual methods.

Many years ago, a pioneer in the back pain field named Cyriax hypothesized that, if we could find a method to distract the spine that would not elicit trunk muscles’ contraction, we should be able to produce negative intradiscal pressure, which, if strong enough, could suck a herniated disc back in.

We started the search with standard traction devices like the Tru-Trac device, but found that linear traction (whether applied statically or intermittently) did not bypass trunk muscle contraction.

We discovered that tension applied to the spinal column using a logarithmic time force curve bypassed the muscle guarding reflex, and lowered the disc pressure to negative levels.

Recently, we have made significant advances in motion control technology that incorporates physiological biofeedback to control and perfect the decompression procedure.



TAC: There are a certain amount of doctors out there that would say there is no difference between decompression and traction. How would you respond to this assertion?

Dyer: Because there are commonalities with traction superficially, some people equate the procedures. The same superficial attitude would state that a CT scan is nothing more than an X-ray. The difference in both cases is the inclusion of computer technology that significantly impacts the outcome of the procedure.

Traction has been in use for many years as an unsupervised physical therapy modality. Traction has not been shown to lower intradiscal pressures, and has had a dismal track record with chronic low back pain. Anderson and Nachemson placed pressure transducers in four subjects in the lumbar spine during traction procedures. They found that the intradiscal pressures went up dramatically in both cases. They concluded that at no time was negative intradiscal pressure observed and, therefore, the disc could not be sucked back in as proposed by Cyriax. They suggested that, in order to produce a relative reduction in disc pressure, traction must be administered in such a way as to allow trunk muscle relaxation. Traction can be expected to increase intradiscal pressure and can, therefore, aggravate a protruded, herniated or extruded disc. It is, therefore, contra-indicated for patients with herniated discs.

Technological advances, along with our research, led to the development of VAX-D Treatment. The computer control of the equipment allows controllable, effective axial distraction to be applied to the lumbar vertebral column without eliciting trunk muscle contraction. We found that distractive forces must be applied and released in a progressive logarithmic fashion.



TAC: Can you please explain what is meant when you say that it is a logarithmic pull pattern?

Dyer: VAX-D incorporates computer programmed technology that applies the tension according to a logarithmic curve. Essentially, as tension is increased, the time function is progressively slowed. This is a critical difference between VAX-D and traction and is the reason VAX-D was issued a US patent #6,039,7376. This patent describes the complex computer program and illustrates the logarithmic time/tension curve.

Traction applies tension on a linear time rate; e.g., if you plot the strength of tension (lbs.) vs. time (secs.), the plot is a straight line. The biological response to traction causes reflex muscle guarding. This is a homeostatic protective response that prevents traction from decompressing discs. When the procedure is governed by a logarithmic time rate, reflex guarding is averted, and the disc pressure can be decreased to negative levels.



TAC: What would you say is the percentage of tables sold to chiropractors versus those sold to other professions?

Dyer: About 65 percent of our devices are utilized by MD’s and DO’s. The remainder are used by chiropractors and PT’s.



TAC: What kind of research has been done on the VAX-D and/or decompression in general?

Dyer: It should be noted that VAX-D is the only device proven to achieve spinal decompression through direct recording of negative pressures in intervertebral discs in living subjects. No other device has been shown to lower the disc pressure. In addition, independent clinical research has demonstrated neurodecompression following VAX-D. No other product has ever published comparable research studies. Therefore, practitioners using any other devices cannot legally substantiate spinal decompression claims.

VAX-D also has a number of clinical studies that have demonstrated significant efficacy. That fact that these clinical studies have shown consistent levels of success also provides practitioners with research evidence of efficacy.

In a recent internet search (January 2008) using PubMed, Medline, and Embase, we could not find any clinical research on any of the other so called decompression tables published in "peer reviewed" medical journals. Yet they all claim success rates in excess of 85 percent.


TAC: What is the biggest difference between the way the way MD’s approach the use of the decompression, versus how a DC initially approaches it? Is it any different to that of a DO?

Dyer: MD’ and DO’s are able to utilize the complete VAX-D protocol in the treatment of back and neck pain. Many patients have a large inflammatory component to their spinal disorder. The VAX-D protocol includes the use of certain prescription pharmaceutical agents in conjunction with the mechanical therapy. In addition, particular diagnosis, such as Internal Disc Disruption, require the concomitant use of Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors (MMPI’s) along with an oral steroid such as methylprednisolone.

DC’s and PT’s are unable to prescribe so they are not able to take advantage of all of the treatment adjuncts unless associated with a multi disciplinary practice.

Also, many DC’s (and some DO’s) add spinal manipulation to the procedure. We caution all practioners not to add any adjunct that has the potential to increase the intradiscal pressure.


TAC: Are there any threats to the use of this technology as a form of improving low back pain in the future?

Dyer: There are several unrelated answers to this question. One threat has been the use of fraudulent and illegal marketing techniques. Some practitioners have already been subject to fines for making false claims.

The other threat to the availability of the treatment is improper denial of claims for the service by insurance providers and third party payers. The treatment is often denied on the basis that the treatment is "investigational and experimental" in nature. In fact, the treatment does not have an investigational regulatory status with the US Food and Drug Administration, whose mandate is to make such determinations. Investigation devices must be utilized under an Investigational Device Exemption.

Several landmark class action lawsuits against a number of managed care companies have concluded that they have engaged in a conspiracy to improperly deny and delay claims, in whole or in part, and/or reduce payment to physicians based upon improper use of definitions of Experimental and Investigational status of treatments.

We believe that "evidence based medicine" should be a determining factor in whether a drug or device should be recognized and reimbursed by the health insurance industry.

VAX-D is the only device with a long history of studies published in peer reviewed journals, including a recent study, in February 2008, that showed short- and long-term outcomes after VAX-D treatment in a large sample of patients with activity-limiting low back pain that had failed at least two previous, non-surgical treatments. The study showed that patients had significantly improved pain and disability scores at end of treatment, at 30 days and at 180 days post-discharge.


TAC: Can you tell our readers about the cervical component? What kind of conditions have demonstrated improvement?

Dyer: Anatomical differences and enhanced proprioceptor reflex sensitivity, compared to the lumbar spine, dictate the use of higher precision and special adaptations to successfully treat discogenic lesions in the cervical spine.

Research found that the application of tension needed to be strictly controlled in the horizontal plane and the vertical plane in order to avoid triggering muscle guarding and spasm in the cervical spine. The cervical collar component is also critical for distracting the head and neck, because it allows the required mobility of a circumferential lift system, while providing the necessary support and immobilization for patients in the post treatment period when the muscle guarding reflexes have been reduced. Without the protection of the collar, head and neck movements will trigger muscle spasm, increased intradiscal pressure and neck pain.

We have many of the new Genesis Cervical systems in the field now, and they all report success with herniated and degenerative disc disease cases. We will need to do properly designed clinical studies in order to determine the overall success rates with different conditions.


TAC: How do post surgical patients respond to decompression?

Dyer: Post surgical patients respond positively to VAX-D treatment, although the reported success rate in the literature is lower. An outcome study on 778 patients wrote: "Thirty-one patients had previous lumbar disc surgery. Eighty-four percent of this group’s pain scores, 71 percent of their mobility scores and 61 percent of their activity scores improved by one unit or more with therapy, and 65 percent of their pain scores were reduced to 0 or 1. Vertebral axial decompression was well tolerated."


TAC: While there are many different types of decompression tables available with varying degrees of research to support it, what’s your advice to our readers who may be using any type of "decompression" table in their practice?

Dyer: Look to purchase equipment that has clinical support published in peer reviewed medical journals. Don’t base the purchase on marketing hype. Look for at least Level II evidence of efficacy.


TAC: Is there an issue that doctors using decompression along with cash prepayment plans should be aware of? (Ie, Is the patient paying for something that they’re not getting??) Can you explain this concern?

Dyer: Yes, there is an issue when a practitioner is charging a patient for decompression, using a traction device. In addition, a patient should be treated with equipment that has clinical support for its efficacy.


TAC: When it comes to decompression, there are many concerns and/or rumors about the government or insurance companies giving doctors problems when utilizing this new technology. Who are these people/organizations? And why do you think they are giving doctors such a hard time?

Dyer: The Department of Justice has an obligation to protect the public against false advertising. The DOJ and some insurance companies have initiated investigations into fraudulent claims made by decompression device manufacturers, and then repeated by practitioners in promoting the service. Patients cannot be induced to take a treatment based upon fraudulent claims.

The spinal decompression industry is full of misinformation, unsubstantiated claims and marketing hype. Many manufacturers have been quoting research done on VAX -D as though it applies to their device. That is illegal. It is disconcerting that the industry has grown so large, when a search of the medical literature reveals there are no studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals on devices other than VAX-D.

Many device manufacturers claim that their equipment will lower the intradiscal pressure. To this day, VAX-D is the ONLY device shown in clinical research to decompress the disc to negative levels (Ramos & Martin, Journal of Neurosurgery).


TAC: Any final words for our readers?

Dyer: We at VAX-D have always been more interested in the outcome for the patient, rather than the marketability of the equipment. One of our mottos is, "Real Science, Real Studies, Real Results".

I would advise purchasers to make their decisions on clinical evidence rather than on marketing hype, and to make sure that they can substantiate any claims that they make regarding the treatment and its success rates.


Inspiring Millions to Become More Fulfilled and Successful
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Written by TAC Staff   
Friday, 24 September 2010 15:12

Inspiring Millions to Become More Fulfilled and Successful


Dr. John F. Demartini earned his Bachelor of Science degree while majoring in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston in 1978 and was accepted at Texas Chiropractic College earlier that year. In 1982, Dr. Demartini acquired his Doctorate Degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude, as Salutatorian of his class. In addition, he earned a Special Achievement Award in Clinical Practice. Throughout his clinical training, he specialized in somatopsychic and psychosomatic health disorders while undergoing curricular and extracurricular studies in clinical psychology.


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