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  A mind, set for the future

The human brain: a storybook of evolution, a palette for the infinite expression of human experience, a thing of mystery and a constant source of wonder. The past decade has been an incredibly exciting time, in terms of our rapidly growing knowledge of the human brain. The present and future potential for the application of this expanding knowledge base, toward the benefit of human kind is astounding. This is the soul of our institute.

The Chiropractic profession, since its beginning, has always had its roots in clinical neurology. This curriculum has been formulated so that those Chiropractors who desire a superior knowledge of neurology might obtain a standard which will enable them to better care for their patients and become referral sources for neurological diagnosis.

Each module has been assigned 15 credit hours. The completion of our 345 hour Diplomate Program in Neurology will culminate in a thorough knowledge of clinical neurology qualifying the Doctor of Chiropractic to serve his/her patients, profession and society in a competent specialized manner. Our program also qualifies chiropractors to be eligible to sit for the diplomate examination of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board.

All Carrick Institute faculty are clinicians who are board certified in a health care discipline. They will introduce the subject material in integrated sections of breadth, depth and application. There will be a correlation of chiropractic technique throughout each module. All areas of breadth, depth, application and technique are interwoven with an emphasis on the art of Chiropractic application. Ours is an immersion course of integrated materials in a problem oriented mode of learning.

Our Graduate School Program is not one which teaches the Chiropractor how to refer difficult neurological cases but one which emphasizes and teaches the treatment of the human nervous system using non pharmaceutical and non surgical techniques. Clinical Neurology will be explored and the breadth, depth and clinical applications will be associated with practicums and contact technique groups for each knowledge area module.


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What follows is a transcript of a brief portion of a 1999, PBS© television special that featured Dr. Carrick. This video can be purchased from PBS© by clicking on the company icon above.

(This entire transcript and associated video special are property of PBS. Please do not reproduce or copy without permission.)

Ted Carrick, DC, PhD, is the Distinguished PostGraduate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Logan College of Chiropractic, near St. Louis, MO. He is the author of Neurophysiological Implications in Learning, and for 21 years he has had a specialty practice limited to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. Dr. Carrick is an active brain researcher, teacher and clinician who attends patients throughout the world.

Chiropractic treatment is a relatively new approach to medical care. For just about one hundred years, chiropractors have been studying the relationship between a healthy spine and a healthy body and spirit. On this week's Body & Soul, we meet up with a remarkable chiropractic neurologist -- one who finds cures for patients who had almost given up hope.

For most of her adult life, Mariangela Pino suffered from extreme vertigo, a condition that severely restricted her life. After years of searching for a cure through conventional medicine, she found relief in the last place she expected to -- in chiropractic treatment.

Finally, we'll meet Lucinda Harman, who is bound to inspire you with her grace and courage. With Dr. Carrick's help, this former college professor of neuropsychology has found meaning and power in her own physical challenges, and helps others to do the same.

Next, series creator Gail Harris talks with chiropractic neurologist Ted Carrick about how even coma patients are benefiting from neurological treatment that doesn't require surgery or drugs.

Chiropractic Neurologist Ted Carrick, DC, PhD.

For 21 years, Dr. Ted Carrick has had a specialty practice in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. He is Professor Emeritus of Neurology, Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas and Distinguished PostGraduate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Logan College of Chiropractic, in Chesterfield, MO, and attends patients throughout the world. Senior executive producer Gail Harris spoke with this remarkable healer and teacher. Following are some excerpts from their conversation:

Gail Harris: What kinds of things can be treated through chiropractic?

Ted Carrick: Well, 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. There are testimonials from people who have had their eyesight and hearing back, and people waking up from comas.

It would seem that the level of one's existence, the ability to participate at a high level of society -- to laugh, to cry, to enjoy activities, to not perceive painful stimulation if it's not necessary -- are things that chiropractic definitely does affect. The level to which some treatment will affect these is unknown from individual to individual.

GH: What about chronic conditions like arthritis, or life-threatening illnesses like cancer?

TC: There are many cancer patients who see chiropractors for treatment -- certainly not for the cancer. We don't do anything for that disorder. But we can do things to make patients more comfortable, to be able to live with the disorder. To decrease the degree of pain, to bless them with a little bit of a smile or other consequences that are associated with the brain.

It's important to realize that chiropractic treatment is not a treatment that is specific for a shoulder or a knee, but is a global body treatment.

GH: What is the difference between a regular chiropractor, and a chiropractic neurologist, which is what you are?

TC: Well, the difference is in training in the discipline. The neurologists in the chiropractic profession have an additional three years of training, specific to the neurological system. And they serve their communities as referral services to a variety of physicians -- medical and chiropractic, dentists, podiatrists -- on neurological problems.

GH: If someone comes to a chiropractor, and perhaps is not successful, does that mean that chiropractic doesn't work, or that perhaps they need to see a chiropractic specialist?

TC: Over the last hundred years, the chiropractic profession has developed specialists, similar to the medical model, where we have neurologists, orthopedists, radiologists, etc. And now more so, 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.

GH: We first heard about you as an incredible chiropractor who 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?"

TC: 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.

GH: So if someone were in a coma, how would you know what to do?

TC: We make an examination, and largely, when people are in a comatose state, they can't speak to you, so their body must speak to you. 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.

GH: Is it a fairly common circumstance even now, that when a chiropractor does something that makes a difference, both he and his patient are amazed?

GH: You know, when you first start to practice, it's an amazing miracle. 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.

A Balancing Act

For close to 30 years, Mariangela Pino suffered from a feeling of constant motion or vertigo that made normal life extremely difficult. Even ordinary tasks like leaning her head back in the shower were impossible. Conventional medicine was unable to diagnose or treat her. Finally, Pino consulted a chiropractor in Pasadena, CA, Dr. Kathleen Power, who felt the person who might be able to help her was one of Power's teachers, chiropractic neurologist Ted Carrick. Dr. Carrick and Ms. Pino each spoke with Body & Soul about her journey to healing.

Pino: I've probably been to 500 hospitals, and most of them on an emergency basis. Wherever I moved, I would always calculate how far is the hospital, and where's the entrance to the emergency room?

Carrick: It's important that what we're treating is something that is realistic -- that we know what we're talking about. It's not hopscotch or a throw of the dice that we're going to say 'You have vertigo, we're going to do this and see what happens.' Because with all cases of vertigo, even when symptoms are similar to Mariangela's, there can be entirely different lesions or pathology or scenarios.

Pino: So I said over the phone to Dr. Power, "I'm really, really sick. I'm actually a lot sicker than I told you, and I was wondering if I could come over there today and tell you the truth because I'm feeling really scared and lonely, and I need a friend."

Carrick: Dr. Power went through her physical examination, and was able to tell me about Mariangela's eye functions, her direction of spin, and her fragility. Also the long-term history of her suffering and the variety of treatments that she had had, as well as her fear of going through another barrage of treatments which may or may not be successful.

Pino: And then later Dr. Power told me about some people Dr. Carrick had helped -- people he had helped bring back from comas, and I said, "Do you know what? I feel like I'm in a coma, and I really want to wake up."

Carrick: My assessment was that Mariangela suffered a non-ablative left cortical lesion. Which simply means that there's something wrong with the functioning of the left side of her brain. The word non-ablative means that there's nothing structurally wrong -- for instance you may have a muscle that looks good, but if you can't move your arm, even though there's nothing wrong with the muscle, it's the function of the muscle.

Pino: So Dr. Power gave me this ball, and had me squeeze the ball with my right hand. And it actually helped a little. There was a feeling that things were coming into focus -- and I'm like, "Well, that's really weird."

Carrick: The treatment is specific to increase the integrity of the left side of her brain. So, my direction of treatment, especially in Mariangela's case, was to use whole body direction to increase the functioning of the left side of her brain, and decrease the dominance of the right side. Not only do we give them specific exercises, we tell them things they definitely shouldn't do -- for instance don't look in that direction. When you're sitting in a restaurant and there's a window, don't sit on this side of the room. So the exercises are very, very important.

Pino: In the first week I felt relief from the various exercises -- I was a really good patient. And I woke up one morning, and realized I had been able to sleep on my left side. There were a series of things I was able to do, that I had never done before.

Carrick: Although an exercise is very simple -- if I move my arm it's very simple -- the consequences of an exercise are not simple. Sometimes we do things that seem very, very trivial and there's a cure or a cessation of symptoms immediately. And I think that people must realize that it's not the magnitude of the treatment, but the consequences of the treatment. So, things that are trivial to some people, may be of great magnitude in the entirety of someone's life.

Pino: I'd been in treatment for about two and a half months. And I had an incredible response, waking up in the morning, shampooing my hair like a normal person, okay? And getting dressed to go for my treatment -- I did all my exercises... And I had this feeling of being brought back to life.

Carrick: I feel greatly satisfied in being able to do that, and at the same time I feel very frustrated that I can't do it for everybody. I like the feeling.

A Life in Equilibrium

Sometimes, the patient isn't the only one affected by the treatment. Dr. Ted Carrick spoke with Body & Soul about his experience treating Lucinda Harman, and how it changed them both.

"Lucinda Harman is a marvelous human being. She's been a university professor, she's an experimental psychologist by trade. She's taught neurophysiology, neurobiology, and clinical neurology at the university level. And has been through just a heck of a life, with a lot of problems that have been very, very complex, that we were able to assist her with.

"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.

"I saw Lucinda in grand rounds. At the time I saw her she was completely disabled. She was unable to speak, to think, to work at a level that would be reasonable for a professor. She had feelings of dizziness, vertigo, sounds in her head and ears, and tachycardia, or a fast racing heart -- which really would go out of control. When this would happen, her legs would swell up almost like an elephant, 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, similar to what you see with an individual having a stroke.

"I think Lucinda's one of the very fortunate ones because I saw her in grand rounds, and her changes were immediate, as a consequence of what we were able to do with her.

"In Lucinda's case, it was a little more difficult because 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. We would see her legs shrink in front of us.

"I think with all the miracles and the mysteries of the human nervous system, nothing surprises me anymore, and if it was Lucinda's case by itself, I would definitely be in awe. But there's more then one Lucinda -- there are many patients like this that I've attended to, many thousands of them and there are many thousands more that are treated by my colleagues. So, she's not an isolated case, although she's an individual case.

"The things that seem to be miracles are things that you only see once or twice. When you start seeing them every day of your clinical life, they're not that miraculous, but you realize how very fragile we are. Someone can play in the Super Bowl and get slam dunked and get up and go to Disney World, and somebody else can step off a curb and never be the same. We're very strong, yet we're very, very fragile. The things that chiropractic specialists are doing, although they seem simple, are very, very complex. If we do them on the wrong side, if we do them with the wrong temperature, or misapply them in some way, we can make the people worse.

"I think Lucinda will be doing some great things. Even though she has a PhD in these studies, because of her disorder she has learned just a hundred-fold more about the nervous system. And I believe that this is one woman who will be able to share with other people what she has learned as a consequence of her own unfortunate scenario.

"Lucinda's wonderful. I don't think any of us know how we would deal with that type of situation. She certainly has been dealt a bad deck of cards, but she's playing a winning hand -- I think she's inspirational to other people."

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