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Dynamic Chiropractic – November 15, 2000, Vol. 18, Issue 24
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Dynamic Chiropractic

PBS Special Features Ted Carrick,DC

By Editorial Staff

Each week, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) presents the program "Body & Soul," which takes a look at "the latest in optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health." The program presents the leading experts on alternative therapies and the stories of people whose lives have been changed by alternative health.

Show #209, "Waking up the Brain: Amazing Adjustments," featured program series creator Gail Harris speaking with chiropractic neurologist Ted Carrick, DC,PhD, a postgraduate professor of clinical neurology at Logan College of Chiropractic. He is the author of Neurophysiological Implications in Learning, and for 21 years has had a specialty practice in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.

The program began by explaining: "For about one hundred years, chiropractors have been studying the relationship between a healthy spine and a healthy body and spirit."

A woman was then introduced who for most of her adult life had suffered from an extreme case of vertigo, a condition that had radically restricted her activities. The program notes: "After years of searching for a cure through conventional medicine, she found relief in the last place she expected to - chiropractic treatment."

The patient consulted Kathleen Power,DC, of Pasadena, California, who felt that one of her teachers, Dr. Carrick, might be able to help her. The patient, aside from the vertigo, was experiencing sounds in her head and ears, and tachycardia, or a "racing" heart. Sometimes her face would droop, her lids would close, and she couldn't move one side of her face. She would have angulation and stiffness of body parts, conditions often associated with strokes.

"I saw her in grand rounds," Dr. Carrick reported on the program, "and her changes were immediate, as a consequence of what we were able to do with her." He assessed that the patient suffered a "nonablative left cortical lesion," and gave her specific exercises to "increase the integrity of the left side of her brain."

After one week of the exercises, she felt relief, and was soon doing things she'd never done before. "I had this feeling of being brought back to life," the patient explained.

Gail Harris then interviewed Dr. Carrick. "What kinds of things can be treated through chiropractic?" she inquired.

Carrick explained that chiropractic is a global body treatment, and opined: "We're finding every day that more and more things that we didn't think were associated with chiropractic treatment can be affected very nicely."

Dr. Carrick also explained to the program's host that the chiropractic profession has developed specialists in neurology, orthopedics, radiology, etc., and that "if a general chiropractor has a problem, he or she will customarily refer the person to the chiropractic specialist if the condition is amenable to the type of work we do."

Harris then inquired about a condition that was not part of the practice of most chiropractors: "We first heard about you as an incredible chiropractor that had been able to wake up coma patients. Now I know that's not something that you do routinely. But most people on hearing a statement like that would say, 'How can that be?'"

Dr. Carrick replied: "Well, the treatment of patients in a coma, and I've had considerable experience and been blessed to attend many of them, is not really much different than treating other patients. We use the same techniques, that is to say, my specialty of neurology. We look at the brain, and use brain-based treatment to cause change."

Ms. Harris continued: "So if someone were in a coma, how would you know what to do?" Dr. Carrick elaborated: "We look at the way their eyes react; we look at different reflexes - which way their eyes may go or not go; we look at the stiffness in the joints; the angulation of the body parts can tell what parts of the brain have been damaged; and then we can do specific things, which we have found to be successful."

"It is a fairly common circumstance even now, that when a chiropractor does something that makes a difference, both he and his patient are amazed?" Ms. Harris proffered.

"You know, when you first start to practice, it's an amazing miracle," related Dr. Carrick. "And the second patient is an amazing miracle. And it keeps going. But after a period of time, it's clinical experience. You have a feeling the treatment is going to cause a drastic change in the patients. But the miracle never ever leaves us. So as a profession, the rewards of this type of practice are incredible. It's miracles, every day, hundreds of times a day, in your office."

Dr. Carrick also spoke about his experience with another patient, and how treating her changed them both:

"We're certainly not treating her for the genetic expression of what she has (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), and neither is there anybody at this time that can do that. But we're treating her wholeness, specific to lesions in her brain, that allow us to have her functioning without her heart racing out of her chest, without her spinning out of control, without her eyes not being able to focus.

"She couldn't get up and do an exercise for instance - she couldn't walk. So, we had to devise different mechanisms that would allow us to cause a brain-changing activity... In her case, we would use warm air stimulation for instance, in her ear, and hook her up to the ECG monitor and we would see an abrupt change in the rate of her heart.

"I think with all the miracles and the mysteries of the human nervous system, nothing surprises me anymore."

Editor's note: Consult your local listings or call your local PBS station for airing times for "Waking up the Brain: Amazing Adjustment" (show #209). While the series is offered through PBS Plus, the top syndication service of PBS, each station determines when and where to run it. There is no uniform air date.

Purchase of a videotape of the program is available through Beacon Productions, 50 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA 02472. The phone number is 617-924-7711.

For more information on the program, go to http://www.pbs.org/bodyandsoul. Among the web pages devoted to the "Waking up the Brain: Amazing Adjustments" program, is a "Help Yourself" link that offers tips on preventing back pain and what treatment to expect during a visit to the chiropractor, from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

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