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Jeannine M.

During the summer of 2010 I found it increasingly difficult to sustain my yoga practice, and I experienced what I call "shazzams" often enough to be alarming. These "shazzams" are sharp, electrifying pains that immobilize me momentarily and impede my ability to flex and twist. I am an active retired teacher used to gardening and going to the gym and adventure traveling with my husband. I knew I had to investigate this increasingly debilitating problem.

In September of 2010 I was diagnosed with a herniated disc. The diagnosis was made through an MRI ordered by an orthopedic physician who had been recommended to me by another physician. The diagnosis was conveyed to me via voicemail, along with the direction to call another medical practice to schedule an epidural injection of cortisone at a hospital 25 miles from my home. This impersonal generic response to my diagnosis irritated me. Okay, herniated discs are a dime a dozen; lots of people in their 60s have worn-out backs, and lots of people get these epidurals. I was no doubt an unexceptional patient for this physician. But I have had few medical problems in my life, and for me this was an exceptional experience. I wanted to be treated personally, and I wanted some choices. After I called the orthopedic guy's office and spoke with a disinterested office worker who seemed too busy to pay attention, I decided that I would consider other avenues. I was not enthusiastic about the epidural and I was unconvinced that I had to go to that doctor's hospital choice when Doylestown Hospital is not only nearby but also excellent. The office worker promised to send a package of information that I could carry to another facility. It arrived and I pondered what to do next.

A friend told me about Adam Wagner's chiropractic practice in Doylestown. He said that Adam had been successfully treating his wife for the past year and that Adam's office was the opposite of what I'd experienced from the orthopedic specialist's office: caring, personal, individualized, and full of options. I made my first appointment with Adam in December, 2010. I have not looked back. I have been receiving a variety of treatments at his office for a year now. I have not had any injections, I have been empowered to make my own decisions about my therapies, and I have had choices from a variety of modalities. Not only do I receive spinal decompression therapy and other treatments, but also - through Adam's expert, good-natured suggestions - I have learned to modify my lifestyle a bit in order to enjoy a relatively pain-free, active retirement.

Adam began with a personal interview: who am I, what is the problem, why was I there? He explained that he would like to take it slowly, to try the decompression therapy, to try other treatments if necessary, to let me set the pace and the frequency of treatments after I started to get results. He made specific recommendations, but I felt in control of my own body. I explained that because I have had several allergic reactions to a variety of drugs (sulfas, cephalosporins) and that I had serious side effects from a steroid treatment for a wasp sting that I was hesitant to agree to chemical treatments. I am not a drug taker and never have been. I also told him that I was a woman with roots in a natural lifestyle; for example, I'd given birth twice with nothing more than Lamaze breathing techniques. Adam listened to me: he learned that I enjoyed my biweekly yoga classes until the disc interfered, that I am a lifelong learner who likes to discuss the specifics of my case and my treatment options, and that I appreciate being treated like an intelligent person capable of making my own decisions. He impressed me from the very beginning as a healthcare practitioner with both extensive knowledge and compassion.

At first I was getting decompression, ultrasound, heat, massage - twice a week. My pain eased, settled down; my mobility increased. I began to feel confident that I could exercise; Adam helped me to select a trainer at my gym, and I worked with him for several months as well. Now, a year later, I am receiving decompression treatment every other week and massage/heat/electrodes/adjustment (this rarely) as needed. I know that I can try something new if Adam thinks that it might be useful to me. Recently, J.P., Adam's acupuncturist on staff, applied cups to my thoracic region to experiment with stimulating blood into my muscle tissue there. If I need to step it up with the passage of time, I know I can get expert acupuncture treatments in his capable hands.

Everyone on Adam's staff deserves special mention. Deb and Vicki have been unfailingly kind, friendly, personal, and enthusiastic. They are genuinely interested in providing excellent care for their patients. I have never felt like just another herniated disc in their office!

In sum, my spine, my nerves, my muscles - all are involved in my treatments at Adam Wagner's healing practice. Most importantly, however, my mind is considered along with my body: I am actively involved in therapeutic decision-making. I find this dimension of Adam's approach to be priceless.