How debilitating can back pain be?
Dr. Shaff: Back pain is, I believe, the number two cause of missed work days in the United States. The only one that’s superior to that is the cold or flu. Back pain is a major economic problem in the United States because people miss time from work, and they also miss time from activities they enjoy, and family events and being with their family
It sounds like there’s so many things that can go wrong with your back.
Dr. Shaff: It’s multi-faceted, really taking care of people with back pain, and there are usually multiple causes. It’s usually caused over a lifetime of abuse and improper maintenance of our bodies and not taking care of our spines. We take better care of our teeth then our spines, actually.
What can we do to maintain our spines and why do we ignore them?
Dr. Shaff: I think we ignore them really basically from ignorance. We don’t realize, first of all, that posture is the basis of all good life, and by having good posture, being in alignment, all of your joints are going to work and that’s actually going to prevent you from having future arthritic degeneration of the spine. Arthritic degeneration and arthritic changes of the body are basically due to misalignments that occur over the course of a lifetime, and you start to get improper wear and tear on your joints, such as driving a car that’s got, let’s say, a bad alignment. If you never fix the alignment, the whole car is going to eventually go. We are not taught from early childhood that it’s important to have good posture, to exercise appropriately, to keep our body in alignment. Chiropractors specialize in making sure that the spinal alignment and the joints of our body are in proper place to keep it from breaking down in future degeneration
People think it’s imperative to go to the dentist, but not that it’s imperative to see a chiropractor.
Dr. Shaff: Very true, and they don’t think it’s important until they start to develop a pain, an issue. Most of the time a person has a pain or an issue, it’s from years of minor little aches and pains that we’ve basically been learning to live with or we’ll just pop a pill and the pain will go away temporarily, but we don’t really address the true cause, which is proper mechanics and proper alignment of the body.
What is this new device and how does it work?
Dr. Shaff: The device is called the Fenzian. The Fenzian initially came from Russia. It was developed for utilization in the space program for cosmonauts to try to give them an approach to treat pain without giving chemicals or drugs. They don’t want cosmonauts to necessarily have any kind of mind altering drugs because it’s very important that they are aware at all times. The technology then came to the west.
How long ago was this?
Dr. Shaff: This was back in the early 80s.
Was this something for them to use while they were in space?
Dr. Shaff: Yes, it was something for them to use while they were in space. It’s been utilized in Russia since 1986 at some of the hospitals there. This type of technology is an electrical wave form. It was brought to the west by a doctor, a surgeon, by the name of James Colthurst who is from Great Britain. James then has gone ahead and furthered the technology and now brought it to the west for doctors to utilize. I’ve been using the equipment for three years and have had excellent results. What the equipment basically does and what it basically is utilized for is to help treat pain, and it’s to help people with painful issues. The way that the device works is that our body and our nervous system normally communicate by way of electrical impulses. These electrical impulses are of a certain frequency and a certain type. Now when we have an injury, we have an illness, or we have a problem with our spine, what happens is we develop pinched nerves, and these pinched nerves then go ahead and the electrical frequency becomes abnormal. What the machine does is it detects areas of abnormal electrical frequency and goes ahead and puts in an electrical frequency that’s the exact same as the way the body normally communicates and it goes ahead and resets the electrical impulses, or the frequency, let’s say at that level, thereby going ahead and resetting the body to its normal electrical frequency. Then the body can heal itself.
How does it know what’s normal?
Dr. Shaff: It actually detects skin resistance, and it actually sends an electrical impulse into the body, bounces off. Then there’s a computer chip inside that adjusts the frequency, what it reads, and then goes ahead and continues to put an electrical frequency until the area becomes neutralized. It’s a constant biofeedback loop that’s going on with the machine as it’s sending an impulse into the body.
So it ignores the areas that have fine electrical impulses, but hones in on the areas that are problems?
Dr. Shaff: There’s actually an electrical meter on the machine. I can read the meter. Also there’s a technique where we just brush or we move the device and actually it’s kind of interesting. The device actually gets stuck on areas of lower electrical resistance, where we can’t brush it or sweep it over the body.
Is it a hand-held device?
Dr. Shaff: Yes, it is.
It seems like a pretty powerful device.
Dr. Shaff: It is very powerful and it really has made some significant recovery for my patients. As a chiropractor, what we’re primarily dealing with is there’s one system of the body that controls and coordinates functions that’s your nervous system and your brain — any type of issue that creates an imbalance in the nervous system, that doesn’t let the body communicate properly is going to create illness and problems. As a chiropractor, it’s my job to find where the nervous system is not working properly. As a chiropractor, what I do is I manually take the pressure off the nerve by doing a chiropractic treatment adjustment. In the past when I would do that then we would just wait for the body to reset the electrical impulse naturally. Now I can go ahead and after I do my chiropractic adjustment, apply the Fenzian. Electrically I can reset that nervous system and the body can heal that much quicker and the frequency comes more into balance quicker. We see faster recovery, reduction in muscle spasm, reduction in swelling and inflammation, I would say 50 percent faster than I ever saw before, not utilizing the Fenzian
Do you still do a chiropractic adjustment first?
Dr. Shaff: I do that on many of patients that we utilize the Fenzian on. We do chiropractic adjustments and chiropractic care.
How do you know where the area is that needs to be adjusted?
Dr. Shaff: It’s based upon where the patient hurts and also based upon this technique of rubbing, where the machine will actually get stuck and there’s an issue there, often after I’ve given an adjustment, I know that that area needs to be treated with the Fenzian. I’ll apply the Fenzian and this last method. We actually take digital measurements along the spine and the nervous system. If they are out of balance, we can then go ahead and I’ll apply the treatment there, but the Fenzian also is a standalone device, and there are times that I do utilize the Fenzian for just let’s say a sprained shoulder, or a knee issue or other parts of the body to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain. It is a standalone device for that too.
What have studies on the Fenzian shown?
Dr. Shaff: Research has basically been done through Dr. Colthurst in Great Britain. He’s very active in researching this and I believe there are some research studies currently going on throughout the United States and in Great Britain, showing that the Fenzian is extremely beneficial in speeding recovery. There’s also a lot of clinical data that has been obtained from doctors utilizing the Fenzian and therapists showing people getting back to their act ivies much quicker.
How is this device affecting patient’s lives?
Dr. Shaff: Well the situation is that, when we get injured, our body gets stuck in sort of what we call a feedback loop. This feedback loop is sort of like a skip in a record and that skip gets stuck and the person gets stuck in a pain frequency. What the Fenzian does is it breaks the pain frequency or it unsticks the record, and allows the body now to continue to go through the healing process. Very often with patients who’ve had chronic pain or a new injury, before they get stuck in a pain frequency, or if they’ve had a chronic problems and they are stuck there, we apply the Fenzian and the Fenzian allows that natural healing to occur by promoting proper electrical frequencies that allows healing and reduce pain.
Are there side effects from using the Fenzian?
Dr. Shaff: There are no known side effects. The only times that you cannot use the Fenzian is on people that have electrical implants such as a pacemaker or defibrillator because you may disturb the electrical frequency of those.
What type of conditions can it be used on? Is it any kind of back pain — upper, lower, middle?
Dr. Shaff: It’s utilized for most back pain. We have very good results with acute injuries. Chronic injuries take a longer time. I’ve been very effective with patients that have herniated disks, have spinal stenosis, and helping them reduce the pain and inflammation on a quicker level. It’s extremely beneficial for sports injuries, sprains, strains. If there is a lot of tissue damage to an area — let’s say like person has a rotator cuff tear and it’s totally torn — well it’s going to help reduce the swelling, the inflammation and the pain, but if there is tissue damage, it’s not going to repair the tissue damage.
Does this help with sciatic nerve problems?
Dr. Shaff: Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve — a nerve that exits our lower back and goes down our leg. By taking inflammation out of the area using the Fenzian and also restoring the normal electrical supply back into the region of the body, the body is going to go ahead and heal that and reduce the pain impulses. It primarily influences a type of pain fiber called a C fiber.
How does the Fenzian reduce inflammation?
Dr. Shaff: It’s done using electrical impulses. By improving the electrical impulses, the body then goes through a healing process. If we have improper frequency going on in that area, the body can’t mount a defense and can’t start the healing process, so people with, for example, chronic tendinitis, their body doesn’t recognize it and can’t mount a defense to start to heal that process until it can communicate properly with the brain, again through the nervous system. This is sort of like a reset button on a computer where we go ahead and reset the electrical impulse, then the master computer, or the brain, which can now communicate with the rest of the body, especially that region that’s been injured, and allow natural healing to occur.
Does Fenzian need to be done repeatedly for the pain to stay away?
Dr. Shaff: Great question. In the initial phases, when we are first starting to treat somebody, we’re often going to see them three times a week for a period of about a month. After that we start to see a person less frequently — twice a week, once a week — until we get them to a point where they’re feeling relatively well and pain-free. At that point we do recommend maintenance therapy and maintenance therapy is anywhere between once or twice a month with the Fenzian, but most people start to feel a result with the Fenzian within about three to six visits.
You’ve been in this industry for so long. What are your thoughts on this new device?
Dr. Shaff: My thoughts are that I don’t know if I would ever want to practice chiropractic without the Fenzian in the future, because it allows me to, as I stated earlier, to restore the electrical impulse and the connection of the nervous system throughout the body. As a chiropractor, our primary goal is to restore the normal electrical supply of the brain the nervous system and the body. By utilizing the Fenzian I’m able to do my chiropractic care to realign the person, allow the natural nerve enervation to an area, but the Fenzian jump starts the whole body again, sort of like putting a battery to it, or to a car and getting the car to have more juice; it jump starts the body and allows it to speed the recovery.
If your insurance covers chiropractic care, would is also cover the Fenzian?
Dr. Shaff: It may in fact cover it, yes. Many insurances cover Fenzian care.
If someone were to come and pay out of pocket, is it an expensive treatment?
Dr. Shaff: It’s not an expensive treatment. After we’ve done an initial examination to determine if the person is a candidate for either chiropractic with Fenzian or Fenzian alone, visits run anywhere between $50 and $75.
Roughly how many people are offering treatments with Fenzian in the United States?
Dr. Shaff: I don’t know. Unfortunately there aren’t enough practitioners right now. Dr. James Colthurst originally brought the equipment to the United States and started working with doctors here, because he’s a researcher and primarily does all of his work in Europe. He went back to England and is now concentrating on his research and practice there, and has not been back to the United States in over a year to teach more doctors how to use the device. I get calls on a regular basis from doctors wanting to know more about it, wanting to study it and use it. Unfortunately, you have to go to England now to study with James to really know the technique and the process.
Source: Ivanhoe News
Alan Shaff, D.C., a chiropractor at Boca Delray Chiropractic and Holistic Care Center in Delray Beach, Fla.,