Dr. Day, a Doctor of Chiropractic, exercise physiologist, nutrition specialist and wellness advocate. Learn how his life shaped him as a practitioner.
Slipping through the Cracks: How Chiropractic and Nutrition can Help your Condition
A little bit about myself, and how it shaped me as a practitioner.
This is meant to encourage those who are going through a health trial to see that their are answers, but to also emphasize that healing is a journey and you need guides along the way. I was a Chronic Fatigue sufferer for over 7 years. Since becoming a holistic doctor I have treated hundreds of patient’s with digestive complaints, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and numerous Autoimmune conditions with great success. I apply the principles and modalities that worked for me and patient’s get better consistently.
Never give up, and trust in the healing capacity in your own body God has given you….
One morning in undergraduate school in 2001 I woke up and my whole body felt like it had been infused with lead weights. After a few hours of mustering some energy, I went off to the student health clinic and was diagnosed with mononucleosis and told to rest for a week.
It was a long week, but I was unconcerned with my symptoms of extreme fatigue as I was told it was a short term illness that many college students contract.
Three weeks later and feeling no different, and having missed a lot of class, I went back to the clinic and received an oral dose of corticosteroids. I was cured! I felt instantly better and went back to my old life. Sadly it only lasted for the amount of the drug prescription.
The condition worsened and at one point I even counted 23 ulcers in my mouth and was unable to talk. I missed several weeks of school and the fatigue was such I just stayed in bed until it was time to go to class.
During this time I also began to notice intense gastritis and stomach burning, and sought out the care of an internal medicine specialist. I was eventually given an endocscopy and told my stomach was very inflamed. I was put on acid reducers.
I was also prescribed anti-depressants by another M.D. as I was told it was most likely emotionally related, but this drug made me feel even worse. But this practitioner did realize the symptoms and diagnosed me with a disease they had read can carry on after mono, chronic fatigue syndrome.
Without any injuries soon after this phantom illness with the swelling of my lymph nodes my neck lost all range of motion and I began to feel vertigo and mental fog all the time.
After two rounds of physical therapy over several months were unsuccessful, I began to dose alcohol and occasional marijuana to loosen my muscles that always made me feel worse after. I also noticed I had a very strong proclivity to fried foods.
I spent a summer in Southern California with family and literally laid on the beach and slept almost all summer. I remember trying to surf for 20 minutes and getting battered by the waves and wondering if I would ever make it back to the beach with the fatigue I felt. Eventually I made it in, and proceeded to pass out on a blanket at San Onofre state beach for 2 1/2 hours with people milling all around. At that moment I realized how something was really wrong. If a 21 year old athlete couldn’t swim for 30 minutes something was really off.
The summer of complete rest gave me some relief, but if I increased my output at all, I crashed. I spent my senior year of undergraduate school in waves of fatigue if I overdid anything. I would be sore for 2 weeks from skiing or weight lifting, and would often get tonsillitis or a sinus infection after a pickup basketball game.
I kept my 4.0 GPA and spent the summer under the gifting a good friend living rent free, because I did not have the energy to both study for the MCAT and work.
I got the MCAT scores I needed and was overjoyed. I would finally be a medical student at West Virginia University! My childhood dream. But I was plagued by concern of how I would be able to perform my duties with my current condition. This feeling got stronger and stronger as I carried out my secondary application procedure for medical school one day.
The next morning I shot out of bed, catapulted by what felt like an audible voice telling me to change directions in my life drastically. I decided to take a year off much to the shock of my colleagues and travel and figure out what I wanted from life.
On chance meeting I ran into an old friend who had just finished pharmacy school. I asked him if he was excited and he said was. But in his words “If I could do it over, I’d be a chiropractor.”
I had never known what a chiropractor was or did. I knew they didn’t have the greatest reputation, but something about his statement hit me at my core.
I remembered a pre-medical friend of mine who told me about a chiropractor who had helped him with shoulder pain he had been plagued with for years. I remember thinking that I thought I knew this man as well rounded person and I felt embarrassed for him he had been duped to believe the chiropractor had cured him.
I was taught they did nothing, and wasn’t sure why they were considered doctors.
But I had remembered the man’s name and sought him out the following week. It was a rainy day and he was very inviting and completely encouraging about my conditions. He said chiropractic could help, gave me an examination and my first adjustment.
I remember that day feeling energy for the first time in years and a sense of clarity. I went home and applied for chiropractic school.
I asked my sweetheart to marry me and we journeyed off to California to chiropractic school where I had this sinking feeling I would find the answers to my questions.
I immersed myself in the study of the human body. I was known as the student with 6 books on health in my back pack, reading them while taking class notes as well. I was on a mission.
Regular chiropractic care in the student clinic restored so much energy, reduced so much pain, I couldn’t believe it!
But I still had a ways to go, I would still take more time to heal, and have to rest a whole weekend in bed after a week at school.
I began to seek out “gurus” in the wellness field. I shadowed
the Men’s Olympic Volleyball team chiropractor and nutritionist
the Pro surf tour chiropractor
the San Diego Chargers chiropractor
a Functional Medicine specialist in Long Beach
‘wellness chiropractors‘ with practices full to the brim with satisfied patients.
They all began to help me connect the dots even more. Books to read, research papers to review, exercise instruction, nutrition instruction.
Here’s a brief summary:
Dr. Tim Brown of pro surf tour fame taught me that the whole body is controlled by the nervous system. He taught me the art of Propriceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and about the work of primal neural networks and the research of Vladimir Janda.
He diagnosed me with Upper Crossed Syndrome, and helped me to realize my neck pain wasn’t from my neck at all, but from tight pectorals, lattisimus and weak spinal stabilizers. He was also the first person that showed me the value of being in the moment, that was still living in the past and worrying about the future.
Dr. Doug Andersen taught me the value of blood work and micronutrient value and getting down to the brass tacks of hydration, sleep, caloric intake in history taking.
Dr. Joe Horrigan taught me the value of the examination, and every finding a doctor needs to treat the patient with precision is right their in the body.
Dr. Paul Stately and Dr. Louis Rice showed me models for great patient care and how to be amazing at the art of the chiropractic adjustment done gently and fluidly.
Dr. Jorge Guevara and Dr. Allen Austin taught me how to become a soft tissue specialist as well as a chiropractor.
Dr. Mark Dedubovay provided an encyclopedic knowledge of all things nutrition and how to blend it seamlessly with chiropractic care to the benefit of the patient.
I began to transform my diet on a tight budget, I took regular yoga classes, added acupuncture to my chiropractic regimen and transformed even more.
The last step was from two trainings in particular. One with the Institute of Functional Medicine: Dr David Brady, Dr. Leon Chaitow and Dr. Alex Vasquez teachings in particular. The other training was from Datis Kharrazian in Encinitas, California.
These opened the door to me to true Functional Nutrition and a natural based approach to endocrinology. Where the missing link in my healing was found.
Through saliva testing called the Adrenal Stress Index, I learned I was in stage 7 adrenal exhaustion. The last and final stage after a body is completely exhausted from stressful events emotionally, physically, and chemically. That my salivary IgA was non existent which meant I couldn’t fight off bacteria or viruses that I encountered.
Through detailed blood testing I found out I had a low white blood cell count, low Vitamin D, abnormal liver enzymes, hypoglycemia and B12 and folic acid anemia.
A local wellness oriented M.D. helped me find out I have a genetic condition called Gilbert’s Syndrome that means the body is unable to eliminate toxins and an accumulation of bilirubin begins to build in the body.
A comprehensive stool test showed me I had two chronic pathogenic bacterial infections in my digestive system, no beneficial probiotics, and poor digestive enzyme counts. This made sense as I was on approximately 20 rounds of anti-biotics as a child.
I found through IgG food testing I was sensitive to many of the foods I was eating.
Now seeing 100’s of cases like this in my practice I realize I might have been the toughest case I’ve ever seen!
But it has truly been an amazing journey! Today I feel great!
I continue to get regular chiropractic care for myself and my family.
I eat to live and don’t live to eat.
I eat a clean diet with small amount of grains(quinoa and rice), no corn, no soy, no gluten, and small amounts of dairy.
Almost a Paleo or Mediterranean diet with super foods, fermented foods, and lot’s of plant nutrients. My meat is all from natural sources but minimal intake. The reason I can’t categorize is Paleo does not allow beans or rice and I eat them.
I practice regular yoga and meditation and have two children that teach me more about my practice and my health every day.
I have a spiritual community and try to take rest moments throughout my day to just “be.”
I have a supplement regimen and I get good rest. I also get monthly massages and acupuncture.
Am I 100% cured?…Probably not, but I’m feeling the best for my genetic potential and all life has thrown at me. I get to surf whenever I want and lift weights again, play with my children and treat a waiting list practice.
I hope that those reading this will find hope even if you’ve slipped through the cracks for a very long time. If you are in the Long Beach, CA area we would love to have you as a patient at Daywellness and go on a journey with us to health restoration. We are also developing a program called “Restoration” that is a complete summary of everything I talked about in this article. For more information please call our office. 562-594-6800
If not in the area, seek out help from a functional medicine practitioner and a wellness chiropractor in your area. I wasted many years doing web research when specialists could have cared for me and saved me a lot of time.
Challenge your paradigms of what you think chiropractic is: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/10/conspiracy-against-chiropractic.aspx
A list of resources for you: