Sunday, August 2, 2009

PART TWO: Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome: Purple Feet and a Pounding Heart

By Alice Teisan

In October 1999 when I was still experiencing CFIDS symptoms, a friend recommended I see Dr. Marshall Dickholtz, Sr. He is a National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) specialist. In Chiropractics, NUCCA is a specific form of chiropractic adjusting, focusing on an atlas vertebra relationship to the head and the rest of the cervical spine at the brain stem level. Having just completed a year of unsuccessful yet intensive Chiropractic treatment, I listened apprehensively, and prayed that my hopes wouldn’t be dashed again by yet another ineffective, all-consuming treatment option. After researching the treatment and discussing the findings with my internist, she then prescribed the treatment. I realized it met all my criteria - including being affordable, non-invasive, having a high success rate, and being respected within the western medical framework.

Prior to the appointment with Dr. Dickholtz, Sr., I completed an extensive health history profile. One of the first questions on the health history was, had I ever had a head injury? I thought, "Who hasn’t hit their head?" Then I remembered four memorable head injuries throughout my life. The most serious one took place a year prior to CFIDS and the most recent one occurred six months before seeing Dr. Dickholtz, Sr.

My initial appointment with Dr. Dickholtz, Sr. was extensive. After looking at the completed health history, he did six different kinds of tests to determine the problem. He asked me to sit in a chair, while he used a neurocalometer that measured the temperature difference of each side of my cervical spine (from the shoulders to the base of the skull). He also performed a supine leg check, which measured leg length differences in relationship to muscle spasms that occurs on each side of my body. Another test involved standing on an anatometer, which looked at a posture scan in relationship to my hip level and pelvic rotation position. There was a horizontal line chart that showed the level of the ears in the standing position relative to the talking of three X-rays, when seated, of the cervical spine and skull that were taken lastly.

After all the tests were performed, Dr. Dickholtz, Sr. examined and measured the X-rays and determined the proper adjustment needed to return my spine and head to a balanced position. Through the X-ray measurements, he was able to return the C1 (atlas) and the rest of the vertebrae to within a quarter degree of their proper positions.

Once the specific chiropractic adjustment was performed, it took my body time to acclimate before standing without feeling faint. When able, I walked the length of the exam room a couple times allowing my body to rebalance itself from the adjustment (correction). Before the four-hour appointment was completed, all six of the above tests were performed again and post X-rays taken to make sure that the adjustment was correct.

Dr. Dickholtz, Sr. describes the adjustment as equivalent to major surgery done on the body. Recovery time of a month is necessary before experiencing benefits. In my case my heart palpitations, tachycardia and irregular beats subsided immediately.

Follow-up visits include periodic checks to make sure the adjustment is holding.

Within a month of being adjusted I began to feel my neck, shoulder and back muscles loosen. Many aching, arthritic type pains, severe CFIDS-type headaches and the beet-red color in my face and neck subsided.

The ideal is to have the first adjustment be the only one needed, which many of his patients have experienced. My adjustment’s average holding time is three to four months.

The initial adjustment held four months before I hit my head, knocking my alignment out of place. Not totally believing the chiropractic treatment was helping I waited until my next scheduled appointment, two months later. At the time I didn’t realize that my NMOT symptoms along with exacerbated CFIDS symptoms begin almost immediately after my alignment was no longer holding.

Also during the two months that my adjustment was out from December 2000 to February 2001, after having worked three and a half years part time, I began to experience exacerbated CFIDS symptoms. The increased fatigue, inability to concentrate, increased tremors, and a heart rate over 140 when standing, along with fevers and the inability to perform simple daily tasks, resulted in my third total disability. However, within a week of having my neck readjusted, my heart rate dropped under 100 when standing. When my adjustment is holding, I experience great relief even though I am still disabled.

Dealing with CFIDS requires patience, persistence, stamina and a hope in Heaven to complete the journey well. How glad I am that I found a NUCCA Doctor, even though it has not provided the ultimate cure. It has provided restoration of new life to my body and a lessening of many CFIDS related symptoms, along with a continued hope for further healing. When my chiropractic adjustment is holding, the day-to-day pain and difficulties with CFIDS are much more manageable and less painful, allowing me to have a focus on something more enjoyable than my severe suffering.

For more information, contact the author, Alice Teisan, at Dr. Marshall Dickholtz, Sr., can be contacted at

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