Before Logan University’s Viscero-Somatic Center (VSC) opened in August 2015, David Beavers, DC, MEd, MPH, chair of the VSC, had a vision for it.
“Much of chiropractic in general is moving away from the concept of ‘total health,’” he said. “This Center is an effort to reintroduce that connection by using chiropractic and nutrition together to address total health.”
Dr. Beavers explained that the viscerosomatic connection traces back to basic embryology in that the internal organs and their condition of health affects bodily reflexes and vice versa. So, often, if external treatments are not helping enough, it’s time to also look at internal health.
For a common example, if the left arm is tingling and/or numb, it may be a sign to check the heart. This, said Dr. Beavers, is just one well-known example and barely scratches the surface of the many similar connections.
“Often, recurring issues are a result of poor nutrition and lifestyle habits with reduced spinal health, but health screenings and recommendations do not dig deep enough or lend themselves to a complete lifestyle shift,” said Dr. Beavers. “Often it takes a detailed diagnosis and motivational interviewing to help guide patients toward improved total health.”
At its core, the VSC uses nutrition and enzymatic nutrition with chiropractic care to address biochemical and biomechanical imbalances of the body, such as concurrent low back pain and digestive issues, or mid back pain and asthma. The Center’s interns often use comprehensive blood studies and DEXA scans for patient analysis for both full body composition and osteoporosis.
“Treatment may just be a matter of simply changing the foods people eat, adding certain supplements, starting an exercise program and using functional nutrition,” said Dr. Beavers. “But we look at everything and request that patients record foods consumed, water intake, stress, exercise and sleep for seven days—basically, how everything comes in and goes out. This isn’t just a simple three-day food diary.”
Patients of the VSC include those who may need more in-depth nutritional and lifestyle analyses as these relate to internal health issues, especially in the case of a recurring problem.
“We’re not a weight loss clinic,” said Dr. Beavers, “but we are a health clinic. And in the process of getting healthy, most patients will end up losing weight.”