High Country Doctor
Dr. McCormick's Acupuncture Naturopathic Family & Sports Medicine


What is Naprapathy and How Can It Help?

Naprapathic Medicine is a doctoral level health and wellness practice utilizing integrative manual and nutritional medicine to promote the body's natural healing response. Naprapathy utilizes hands-on healing techniques as well as nutritional counseling, exercise and relaxation methods to evaluate and treat a wide variety of health, pain and mobility concerns. Naprapaths are doctors who align the body through manipulating soft tissue utilizing techniques from various origins including Chinese medicine and the practice of Tui Na, with a history of practice by skilled physicians for over 3,000 years.  Although the term "naprapathy" was invented in the United States in recent times (around the same time as chiropractic in the early 1900's), many of the manual medicine techniques have been used for centuries in cultures throughout the world including Europe and Asia.  Naprapathy represents a modern evidence-based approach to manual therapy utilizing a blend of the most effective modern and classical hands-on healthcare techniques.  Tui Na, acupressure, trigger point therapy, active release stretching, yogic and qi gong breathing techniques along with energy medicine based modalities are an integral part of this highly effective manual therapy when performed by Dr. McCormick.

Soft tissue blockages and muscle restrictions develop in response to mental and emotional stress, physical injuries, poor nutrition, repetitive motion, exposure to environmental factors and improper postural alignment. These blockages and restrictions may restrict circulation in the arteries, veins, or lymph and energetic systems, and also irritate nerves. During treatment the spinal alignment is corrected through stretching the soft tissue with gentle movements and soft tissue manipulation. All muscular and skeletal misalignment is addressed including back, shoulder and hip pain. This therapy helps restore the body's natural flexibility by release of tension, leaving the muscles and connective tissue pliable and in balance. This not only relieves pain and improves mobility, but enhances blood flow, nerve conduction, and the circulation of vital energy (qi).  These are the things essential to promotion of an optimal healing response.

What is Connective Tissue? 
It is the most widely distributed tissue in human body. It includes skin, hair, nails, blood, lymph, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, discs, bone, etc. . So your body is a complex network of these tissues which, when in perfect balance, give you strength and endurance to accomplish all those daily tasks with vibrant energy. It is this connective tissue, known as fascia, that serves as the super highway for vital energy to circulate. The imbalance in tissue and energy can happen slowly as a result of daily activities such as repetitive movements, bad postural habits, and poor diet. However, it can also happen suddenly as a result of injury from sprains/strains, falls, and accidents. All this, combined with environmental factors from pollution, radiation, magnetic fields, and most of all--stress--results in connective tissue damage and vital energy imbalance. Connective tissue damage causes restrictions in spinal mobility, blood supply, lymphatic flow, and most importantly, interference to nerve energy conduction. You may be totally unaware of the imbalance until a build-up of symptoms reaches a level your body can no longer accommodate, culminating in pain and loss of function.

Why Naprapathy Works?
By removing nerve interference caused by mental, emotional or physical stressors, the brain is able to communicate without obstruction to all the organ systems in the body. This free flow of energy restores the delicate inner-workings of the body, allowing it to heal and to perform at optimum levels. Regular naprapathy treatments help to maintain the body's natural balance and vitality. There is a famous traditional Asian medicine text that says “where there is pain there is no free flow (of nerve energy circulation), where there is no pain there is free flow.” Maintaining the normal free flow of circulation of vital energy is essential to optimal health and healing.

A first time Naprapathic visit includes a comprehensive medical history followed by a thorough spine examination and postural analysis along with a vital energy assessment of the nervous system through meridian analysis. Additionally, an evaluation of the "Three Pillars of Health" – Immune System, Detoxification System, and Digestive System - is made to help identify the underlying cause of the patient's condition and pattern of imbalance.

Nutritional and Botanical Medicine Approach
The nutritional aspect of Naprapathic treatment involves balancing the internal chemistry of the body. You may have heard before that "you are what you eat." This is true only if your digestion and absorption are perfectly efficient, and match your needs. Naprapaths are highly trained in botanical medicine and nutritional therapy. This is accomplished through an extensive questionnaire and health analysis. Lab tests and blood panel results are helpful as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Expect From My Visit?
Your first visit begins with an extensive review of your health history followed by an evaluation of body alignment, muscle strength, and joint range of motion along with analysis of your nerve energy circulation via meridian analysis. The treatment follows: series of stretches, specific for your condition manipulation, and, if your condition warrants, adjunctive therapy such as col laser, infra-red heat, cryotherapy, electro-therapy, micro-current stimulation, ultrasound, dry needling (acupuncture) and other manual therapies such as gua sha (similar to Graston) and cupping. You may be prescribed therapeutic exercises to do at home and a botanical medicine formula or nutritional supplements from our natural pharmacy. Mostly, however, you will leave feeling regenerated and the pain retreating or, often, already gone. Please, allow us about 90 minutes for your first visit, about 45 for the subsequent ones to accomplish this.

How Does Naprapathic Medicine Differ From Chiropractic and Why Is Naprapathy A Safer and More Holistic Approach?
Chiropractic approach is based on the subluxation theory: bones that are out of alignment are realigned by high velocity techniques and this approach has resulted in many documented cases of rib fractures and other more serious injuries. Chiropractors are notorious for unsafe practices including performing acupuncture with dangerously limited 'crash course' training that is less than 3% of the minimum basic education required for entry level in the field of acupuncture and with no supervised student internship in an approved supervised teaching clinic.  Our clinic takes an approach to care that does not support this limited and dangerously flawed chiropractic philosophy.  In many ways this opinion was shared by the founder of Naprapathy who studied chiropractic extensively and did not fully support "subluxation theory" as the cause of disease, pain and low vitality. Naprapathic Medicine is based on the belief that it is the muscle, ligament, or tendon that holds and moves the bone, so they have to be balanced for the bone to be aligned. This allows for the slow, gentle movements to stretch the tensed, contracted tissue to relieve your pain. The traditional Asian style of “naprapathy” (known as Tui Na) also addresses imbalances of the flow of vital energy through the energetic systems of the body. Promotion of the proper flow of circulation through these various connective tissue structures is essential restoration and maintenance of health including joint and spinal alignment.  

Do You Refer To Other Specialists?
Yes, we do. We also welcome input from your other healthcare providers. In fact Naprapapathic Medicine is gaining recognition as being a vital part of integrative medicine and many doctors in related fields are becoming naprapaths by embracing the philosophy and utilizing their skills in manual medicine.

Is A Naprapath Just A Glorified Massage Therapist?
No, they are not massage therapists and naprapathy is not simply some form of massage since it is its own distinct field of health care.  The typical massage therapist holds a certificate of completion from trade school (most commonly a 500 hour program) and is not required to hold a pre-med college degree prior to entry into massage school. Naprapaths are complementary healthcare practitioners that hold doctoral degrees in manual medicine, completing a minimum of four years of full-time undergarduate and another four years of graduate college study that includes many hundreds of hours of clinical internship. They take national board examinations demonstrating proficiency and safety in their field of manual medicine. Just as the founder of Naprapathy was originally a student of chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, many doctors from similar manual medicine disciplines have realigned the focus of their practice with the principles of Naprapathic Medicine. Naturopathic Doctors (ND) and Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) extensively trained in Tui Na and manual medicine are among the growing community of naprapaths. Naprapathy practitioners stay updated on new developments in their field through attending continuing education seminars on a regular basis and CEU's are a requirement for ongoing membership in professional associations.  Dr. Oakley Smith is and will always be the pioneer of authentic,educated and sincere manual medicine in America. However, he was influenced by a medicine with a lineage of physicians and practice that had been developing for thousands of years before his "discoveries" since he fundamentally embraced Tui Na. Tui Na is part of the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is the practice of Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine around the world. Dr. McCormick has been practicing Naprapthy/Tui Na since 1989 and often made many chiropractors mad because he actually helps people get well so they don't have to make his care a "lifestyle" based on having to keep coming back again and again for treatment until the insurance benefits run out (as is done with many chiropractic offices).

More About Naprapathic Medicine vs. Chiropractic and Its History: A Wake-Up Call To Patients "Hypnotized" By Chiropractors

Naprapathic Medicine specializes in the evaluation and treatment of neuro-muscular and musculo-skelatal conditions through gentle manipulation of muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout the spine and the whole body to relieve pain, alleviate stress, and promote healing by restoring the balance of nerve energy circulation.

The term Naprapathy comes from the Czech work Napravit meaning to correct, and the Greek Pathos meaning suffering. The science of this unique approach to correct suffering was established at the dawn of the 20th Century by Dr. Oakley Smith in Chicago. During the same time in Davenport, Iowa chiropractic was founded by D.D. Palmer, a grocery store worker who also dabbled in hypnosis and understood how to manipulate minds and pitch a good sale. He had no knowledge of any Eastern manual therapy practices or even yoga.  In his mind, he believed he was inventing a "new" hands-on therapy when in fact, more advanced and precise practices of manual therapy had been developed and practiced for thousands of years throughout Asia. Through the power of suggestion and an aggressive, carefully worded, persuasive sales pitch, his flawed, non-medical and non-scientific philosophy known as chiropractic  was spread throughout the rural population. It was marketed just like the newest snake-oil that could cure any ailment.  With the help of local churches and an 'old boy network' in various towns throughout his region of the Midwest, his new "chiropractic cult" spread like a virus.  During this time, Dr. Smith was also promoting and researching naprapathy's manual therapy techniques among the Midwest population, including the urban and rural areas around Chicago . However, his promotion of naprapathy was not based on fanaticism and a hypnotizing sales pitch delivered with religious fervor and entrancing word scripts.  One can easily see this slick sales tactics used by chiropractors even today.  It is an inherent part of the practice of chiropractic and is what continues to get patients to keep coming back again and again while never really healing the patient (and the fact that their insurance is paying for also helps encourage the patients return).  The used car salesman and the chiropractor have developed a stereotypical persona that have much in common.

Dr. Oakley Smith was a student of osteopathic medicine.  As a medical student grounded in years of university education in human anatomy and physiology he understood the flaws in the uneducated and non-medical perspective of chiropractic.  Chiropractic was clearly determined to be a very distinctly different profession from naprapathy with a completely different philosophy not based on medical science. Through his research as a medical school student, Smith discovered that abnormally tense and improperly balanced ligaments, tendons and muscles can impinge on nerves causing pain and dysfunction in the part of the body served by that nerve: it could mean neuromuscular or organ system pathology. However, this was not a new discovery since physicians throughout China and India had an understanding of this concept for centuries prior to his "discovery" and conclusions. His findings and perspective diverged from the chiropractic philosophy he knew well since Palmer and Smith were rivals in the heartland of the United States. As a side note, Palmer had a strong dislike for Smith because of his divergent medically based perspective and practice (and possibly due to Smith's advanced education in medicine and being a world traveler).  However, this did not stop Smith from helping get Palmer out of jail when he was arrested for practicing osteopathic medicine without a license. Palmer had no college or medical education. Smith, potentially putting himself in an unfavorable light among his medical colleagues, argued Palmer's defense based despite it being an unscientific and not properly referenced manual that Palmer had written (completely based on conjecture). Smith's compassion for this uneducated grocer and hypnotist may have unintentionally saved the practice of chiropractic. Palmer's practice manual was submitted as evidence and helped him get released from jail and later supported the drafting of a practice act that became law and helped prevent him and other chiropractors from further arrests fro practicing medicine.  That legislation was quickly adopted in many other States. Chiropractic is regulated apart from the practice of medicine since it was not included in the practice of medicine since it was not viewed as medical practice.

Dr. Oakley Smith was an educated and internationally traveled young man that came to the local grocer's defense in time of need (and even after this kind act of grace Palmer still set out to destroy Oakley's development and promotion of naprapathy because it was perceived as competition and a threat to the survival of the practice of unscientific, non-medical chiropractic.  This attack was based out of greed, fear and the need to 'save face' since there was much concern Palmer was exposed as a fake and a quack in the public eye. With his limited exposure to the world and other cultures other than his Iowa town (with no formal study in any form of health practice or medicine), Palmer went on a quest with his influential minister friends to spread the "gospel' of chiropractic like a religion (and often did it with the help of the local rural church communities in tent revivals as a healing crusade). However, Oakley went on to focus his energy on medical education, healing, and helping others free of charge. Unlike chiropractic, Smith's treatment focus was not on simply "fixing misaligned" bones impinging nerves as being the fundamental origin of pathology. Chiropractors have market the term that is still part of common jargon with many patients being brainwashed to say  "my back is out" when in fact they have tight muscles (connective tissue, etc.) causing their pain.

Many centuries prior to the dawn of the term “naprapathy", manual medicine was used in the practice of Asian medicine (this also influenced much of Eastern European manual medicine which Oakley experienced first hand in his travels). The theory, philosophy and style of manual medicine that most resembles naprapathy is known as Tui Na (translated from Chinese as “push-grasp”) and is used in hospitals wards to this day throughout Asia. The founder of chiropractic had no medical background and was simply an ignorant grocer and hypnotist that never was exposed to Asian medicine or the Eastern European influence combined with this ancient medicine, as Oakley had experienced.  Palmer's minister friend Rev. Samuel Weed (who knew how to pack churches with his charismatic communication) helped Palmer name his practice "chiropractic" and groom Palmer to explode his new business venture and pseudo-health religion. He created what the American Medical Association (AMA) then and today still considers to be an "unscientific cult". It was no mistake that religion and hypnosis formed the basis for brain-washing a significant number of people.  Many trusting and faith filled people began to accept this new flawed philosophy and "pseudo-religion" known as chiropractic. There is no mistake that the chiropractic professions logo closely resembles a very sacred religious symbol since chiropractic was and continues to be marketed like a form of religion mixed with a smarmy sales pitch. Additionally, chiropractors have historically held themselves out to be the supreme leaders of the world of alternative and complementary healing therapies. It is important to mention the chiropractic profession's encroachment on other natural health professions' turf and the "hijacking" of patients from other professionals when they don't have the training or knowledge (i.e. acupuncture and Chinese medicine).

The AMA recognizes the practice of manual therapies including acupuncture and embraces them as part of complementary medical care. There departments in many prominent medical institutions and medical research facilities throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.  Chiropractic has not been welcome in any of these conventional medical settings and for many good reasons. The chiropractic profession has hypnotized the insurance industry to pad their pockets with profits (and often my corrupt and deceptive means) but the establishment of real medical professionals will never embrace this "unscientific cult" practice that hypnotizes its patients and gets them coming back again and again for "treatment" with religious fervor. Looking at the history and origins of chiropractic it is very clear there is something very questionable about the profession and the practice. The public needs to stay away from the hypnosis and cult-like brainwashing that chiropractors are trained to do, to "hook" an ever returning patient in the "chiropractic lifestyle". The roots of hate, deception, smarmy sales and hypnotic scripting to influence faith-filled people will soon end. We live in the age of technology and information. Chiropractic was initially based on taking advantage of the uneducated population in rural Midwest communities and then it spread like a the plague elsewhere. Times have changed for the better now that information is at our finger's tips. The time of chiropractic is going away as the profession is dying and it will be a good thing once it is gone for good. If insurance didn't cover the cost of chiropractic care, the profession would have died a long time ago.  Most chiropractors would easily admit to that. It is time to watch the rise of Naprapathy that will fill the void left when chiropractic fades away. Chiropractors know this and that is what motivates them to intrude on the professional turf of other complementary and alternative medicine practitioners (through loop-holes in their legislative Practice Acts in various slower evolved States). This has certainly been the case with acupuncture. Chiropractors are holding themselves out to the public as being qualified acupuncturist when they have only completed a highly abbreviated "crash course" (usually 100 hours or less), obtained an attractive yet bogus and deceptive diploma from a non-accredited "Academy" (invented by a chiropractic organization to undermine the national standards of the acupuncture profession) and have less that five percent of the accepted standard education in the field of acupuncture.  There is no way, in good conscience that these chiropractors can practice acupuncture in communities among properly trained practitioners, doctors of acupuncture and their patients. At some point the public will call them out on their lies, deception and intrusion on the legitimately trained acupuncture professionals practicing in their communities. Chiropractors worked hard to suppress the work of Dr. Oakley Smith and the growth and popularity of Naprapathy practice in America. It was viewed as a direct threat to the growth and popularity of the cult-like spread of chiropractic and its unscientific approach that is marketed with a religious style scripting that attempts hypnosis of the public.

Dr. McCormick completed training at an integrative medicine hospital in Nanjing, China were he was an intern in the manual medicine department with medical professionals rooted in the sophisticated and advanced medicine that has a history of more than a few thousands years  of practice by countless skilled physicians and researches.  Additionally, He has studied and practiced with numerous medical doctors, physical therapists, naturopaths, naprapaths and tui na professionals since the late 1980's (including chiropractors where he learned the flaws of chiropractic from the inside of clinical practice on so many levels).  He has many years of experience teaching yoga, active isolated stretching and rehabilitative exercise. Additionally, his career experience included being an elite sports conditioning coach and personal trainer.  He brings many years of skill and experience to his work with each individual patient.

The Naprapathic treatment restores the balance, which along with sound nutritional guidance and prescription of herbal and nutritional medicine (when appropriate), allows your body to heal and stay well.




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