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Reprinted by The Chiropractic Journal 1992
|Chiropractor Working Miracles With Handicapped
Helping Children in New Mexico
by Cheryl Wittenauer
|"A chiropractor who practices in
Santa Fe and Corrales (New Mexico) is working some miracles with profoundly
retarded and severely handicapped children in Albuquerque’s southwest valley.
The children, who range from 3 to 14 years of age, live at Casa Angelica, a private home founded 25 years ago by the Canossian Sisters, an international religious order that originated in Italy.
Some of the children are blind, deaf or crippled; others have cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, birth defects or were abused by their parents. All of them have damage to the central nervous system.
That’s where Dr. Robert Lupowitz, an associate of Sangre de Cristo Chiropractic Center on Marcy Street, comes in.
For the last 14 months, Lupowitz has been going to the home an hour every Tuesday to adjust 10 children. He went at the invitation of a pediatrician who works with the children regularly. Lupowitz’s service is voluntary.
Chiropractic is an art and science based on the theory that disease is caused by interference with nerve function. It employs adjustment of the spine and nervous system to restore normal nerve function.
But instead of vigorous manipulation, Lupowitz makes adjustments with a very light touch–about four to six ounces of pressure, he said. He also believes in doing as little as he can to allow the system to start helping itself.
He said that bones are only an entering point to the root of an injury–the brain and spine. “If we can affect a change in the source, we can effect change everywhere else,” he said. His technique is to touch or twist a vertebrae with light pressure that helps to complete a circuit from the brain to the segment, by affecting the meninges, membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord. He said the inherent leverage of muscles, ligaments and the skeleton will move the bones around.
“We want motion because the spine is a mobile system,” he said. “We’re not moving bones around. We’re completing the circuit. Cracking bones just doesn’t do it.”
Only a minority of chiropractors use the light touch, he said. Mary Chavez, a licensed practical nurse who works full time at Casa Angelica, described the work she has seen as “putting their bodies back in balance.” The amount of pressure Lupowitz uses is as little as that which would be applied to an eye without making it hurt.
“It seems like he’s not doing anything,” Chavez said. “But if I hadn’t experienced it myself, I never would have believed it.”
Chavez said she became so relaxed from an adjustment she received from Lupowitz, all she wanted to do was go home and rest.
Of the changes she has observed in the children, she said,”I’m in awe.”
A boy with curvature of the spine and who used to arch his back without a body brace doesn’t arch anymore.
Children with muscle spasms that caused their hands to curl or brain damage that caused their legs to cross scissors-style have since relaxed their limbs.
A child who was immobile has taken a few steps. A deaf girl can hear. Even the facial expressions of the children have changed, Chavez said. They seem happier.
She believes if the treatment continued, the children would make even more remarkable progress.
Lupowitz said his work is an unexplored field. He is not aware of any study by a chiropractor working with severely handicapped patients. “I’ve had kids in my practice with central-nervous system disorders or paralysis,” he said. “But they’ve not been institutionalized or this dysfunctional.”
Lupowitz, a member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, has submitted a paper on the research he conducted in the last 14 months at Casa Angelica for next year’s International Conference on Spinal Manipulation.