Not Just for Bad Backs: Local Chiropractors Use a Range of Techniques and Technology to Promote Good Health
Sep 30, 2016 10:43PM
● By Sheila Julson
Dr. Andrew Ashton
Chiropractic has been referred to as the literal backbone of our health care. The spinal column is made up of independent vertebrae that allow the body to move while performing daily motions. It also helps protect the delicate central nervous system that controls and coordinates every muscle, tissue and organ of the body. Spinal misalignments—referred to by chiropractors as subluxations—can cause one to experience pain, discomfort, decreased mobility and other symptoms and conditions. Chiropractic centers on the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, under the belief that such disorders affect general health via the nervous system.
Lancaster and Berks County residents have many options for chiropractic care, and several of these practitioners specialize in unique methods and offer state-of-the-art technology to provide individualized care to help achieve overall wellness.
Dr. Clorinda Forte-Katz
Katz Family Chiropractic
9 Bristol Ct., Ste. 2, Wyomissing
Dr. Clorinda Forte-Katz developed an interest in chiropractic as a pre-med student in college. Unlike conventional Western medicine, chiropractic addressed the health issues she was having at the time. Since 1991, Forte-Katz has served patients of all ages, and specializes in the Sacro Occipital Technic (SOT), a gentle system of chiropractic that integrates the art, science and philosophy of optimizing the innate human healing systems. “People associate popping or cracking with chiropractic, but that’s not what I do,” she explains. “SOT uses body weight, gravity and breath, and it introduces the correction in a much different way than patients usually associate with chiropractic.”
The enigma of the human brain has fascinated Forte-Katz for years, and she is passionate about staying on top of new developments in brain technology. She’s a Certified Craniopath through International Craniopathic Society, and she offers The NeuroInfiniti, which tests the body’s stress levels, stress recovery and how the nervous system is functioning, allowing the chiropractor to develop a customized treatment plan. Another service, BrainTap, uses light and sound to retrain the brain and help get patients into a meditative state.
“The power that made the body heals the body. We just need to remove the interference—physical, chemical and emotional—to allow the body to heal itself,” she says.
Dr. Martin Rodgers
Family Chiropractic Wellness Center
1717 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster
Dr. Martin Rodgers, also known as “Dr. Marty”, founded Family Chiropractic Wellness Center in 1989. He discovered chiropractic after sustaining injuries from a surfing accident, and he was amazed by how the treatment had helped. “I couldn’t believe that everyone wasn’t under chiropractic care,” he enthuses. As a firm believer in truth and ethics, he says that chiropractic puts peoples’ wellness ahead of profits by keeping the body at its optimal performance. “The focus of chiropractic is the nervous system. A lot of people think that chiropractic is just for back pain, neck pain or headaches, but it’s about optimal performance and being at your best—now, and in the future.”
At his new 5,000-square-foot facility, which includes a massage suite in the lower level, Rodgers treats headaches, neck pain, lower back pain, sciatica and disc problems. He’s one of only a few chiropractors in Lancaster County certified in spinal decompression therapy, and uses state-of-the-art equipment to rehabilitate discs, which he says has helped many of his patients avoid surgery.
Rodgers, whose sons also work with him at the clinic, strives to focus on every patient and his or her lifestyles, hobbies and long-term health goals. “We ask, ‘What has this condition prevented you from doing?’ Whether it’s gardening, running, bowling, going fishing, traveling or playing with the grandchildren, we find out where patients really want to be, and we help get them active. We look at that whole picture.”
Dr. Andrew Ashton
A Therapeutic Effect
313 D Primrose Ln., Mountvillle
Doctor of Chiropractic Andrew Ashton owns A Therapeutic Effect with his wife, Sue Ashton, a massage therapist. The wellness center offers chiropractic, therapeutic massage, colon hydrotherapy and esthetician services, including facial and body treatments. Before becoming a chiropractor, Ashton first started out studying athletic training. “I realized that I didn’t like waiting for people to get hurt and shifted my studies to focus on the physical therapy aspect. From this, I incorporated that the body was a self-healing organism and given the proper care and support, it will heal more effectively.”
Ashton provides chiropractic care for all ages. His skill set as a practitioner spans from performance enhancement all the way to orthopedic conditions (he refers patients out when needed). He specializes in the Torque Release Technique—a low-force, highly specific adjustment that he says is incredibly effective. A Therapeutic Effect also incorporates chiropractic and massage for the betterment of all patients.
“Chiropractic is part of a wellness program that marries the physical, chemical and emotional aspects of our health,” he says. “Chiropractic is very adaptable, as it can be used to help increase an individual’s functionality, from injury all the way to enhancing athletic and sports performance. A growing faction of the population integrates chiropractic into their wellness and health maintenance care to ensure that their body works at or as close to 100 percent as possible.”
Dr. Thomas Wachtmann
Link Chiropractic Clinic
3130 Pricetown Rd., Ste. H, Fleetwood
Dr. Thomas Wachtmann had exposure to the chiropractic profession from childhood on. His great-grandmother was one of the first female chiropractors in history and had Dr. B. J. Palmer as one of her instructors. His brother is also a chiropractor. Although chiropractic runs in his family, he had always had an interest in nutrition, exercise and staying healthy, so pursuing a career as a doctor of chiropractic was the next natural step.
Wachtmann prefers more traditional, hands-on adjusting techniques, but his practice brings more to the table than just chiropractic. He offers Functional Diagnostic Medicine (FDM), which he says is all about finding and fixing the root cause of whatever disorder or disease a patient may have, and not about merely suppressing symptoms. He also utilizes non-surgical spinal decompression for disc bulges and herniations, scoliosis and post-surgical syndrome. Link Chiropractic Clinic offers services from a massage therapist and a facial reflexologist, who is also a licensed esthetician. The staff works together in a synergistic way to help people be well.
Like the age-old saying, “health is wealth,” Wachtmann emphasizes that health is the number one asset people possess—without it, it’s impossible to enjoy everything life has to offer. “Chiropractic is fundamental to that because it focuses on relieving pressure on the nervous system, which enhances communication between the brain and the rest of the body, and that in turn helps keep everything healthy and working properly,” he says. “The psychological income I derive from helping people along this journey is what I enjoy most about what I do.”
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.