Interview With Dr. Michael Smatt
This week we feature an interview with Dr. Michael Smatt, Advisory Board Member, HealthCorps.
How did you become involved in HealthCorps?
My patient, Merrill Richmond (a consultant and board advisor for HealthCorps) referred Michelle Bouchard to me for a consultation and chiropractic evaluation. Michelle was thrilled with her results and asked if I would be interested in becoming part of the HealthCorps’ team. The chiropractic philosophy was an instant match with HealthCorps. I made a presentation to the HealthCorps team on the science, philosophy and art of chiropractic. The presentation was well received, and I later wrote curriculum to be included in the HealthCorps’ curriculum model, with Dr. Lori Smatt. Lori and I were honored to be asked to become Board Advisors for HealthCorps.
Specifically what do you hope to contribute to the organization?
I want to teach the students and coordinators that health comes from within, and in order for them to express health and vitality, it was imperative to remove any interference that prevent this from happening. The objectives of HealthCorps are to teach the students how to become healthy and how to stay healthy. I am able to do my part by educating the student body that they should be checked for subluxation on a regular basis, to make sure there are no interferences in communicating the messages between the brain and the body.
You mention that you had a hand in the actual curriculum being handed off to coordinators, and then in turn to the students?
Dr. Lori and I wrote the chiropractic curriculum to show students that they can become healthy by removing the stresses to the nervous system. We are working on assigning each coordinator to a local chiropractic office to get a first hand experience with what we do and why we do it.
Why did you choose chiropractic medicine for your professional path? Can you explain its primary goals?
At 13 years of age I had a condition called ulcerative colitis. At the same time in my life I had sores in the corners of my mouth and water retention in both knees. I was made fun of in school because I looked like I had lipstick on (like a clown). Medicine was not helping me and I began to get worse and worse. Our neighbor told my father to bring me to a chiropractor. His examination showed that I had 4 vertebrae misaligned, causing pressure on the sciatic nerve, in turn, causing nerve interference to my colon. He also found that I had pressure on my brain stem and he strongly suggested that my body would function better if this pressure was removed. At the time this sounded logical to my father, so we followed through. I started receiving chiropractic adjustments 3 times per week. Within weeks, the sores on my mouth cleared up and the swelling of my knees showed significant improvement. In 4 months, I was completely healed and that experience fueled my decision to become a chiropractor.
The goal in chiropractic is to teach people how to become free from within. To be free means free of interference to the nervous system, so you can become healthy and stay healthy. Our goal is to teach people that symptoms can become a friend of sorts, who warns them that something is not right internally. We teach people to always search for the cause of their health problems, instead of simply relieving the symptoms with drugs.
Fundamental Health Principles
There is a Universal Intelligence which directs the origin, growth and normal activity of all living things.
There is a resident within each of us – Life Force or Innate Intelligence, which is part of that Universal Intelligence.
This Innate Intelligence originates in the brain and is transmitted through the spinal cord and nerve tissues to all parts of the body.
The normal function of every cell in the body depends on this.
Since all messages travel from the brain to the body, we must keep these channels free from interference for optimal health and healing.
Innate Intelligence is a term used to describe the organizing properties of living things. It was originally coined by Dr. D. D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic. This vitalistic concept states that all life contains Innate (inborn) Intelligence and that this force is responsible for the organization, maintenance and healing of the body. Historically, chiropractors knew that if they removed the interference to the nervous system (by way of a spinal adjustment) and once the spine is in correct alignment, Innate Intelligence can act by way of the nervous system, to heal disease within the body.
You mention vertebral subluxation on your website homepage as a specific focus of your practice – Can you help us understand the condition and your approach.
The nervous system (brain and spine) is the first system formed in the body. The purpose of the nervous system is to control and coordinate every function of the body. The brain transmits messages down the spine and out from the spinal nerves to every tissue cell in the body. These messages are often interfered with, resulting in disease in the body. This kind of an interference is called a vertebral subluxation, and it’s when one or more vertebrae move out of alignment, causing pressure on one or more spinal nerves. Chiropractors correct subluxations, allowing the specific messages from the brain to flow to the tissue cell, thus allowing the body to heal itself.
How do you see traditional medicine and the benefits of chiropractic working in unison in the same patient?
A patient should be educated by their doctor to seek more natural ways to get out of a health crisis, whether it involve weight loss, cessation of smoking and drinking, following a healthier diet, increasing exercise, adopting a better attitude including more forgiveness, less blame, more responsibility, etc. Medication may be needed with certain patients depending on their age or the health conditions they have. Some people do have limitation of matter, where all natural approaches have been exhausted and the patient must rely on drugs or surgeries.
You’ve clearly worked with many high profile individuals – any special healing outcomes you can share?
Over the past 32 years in practice, I have treated many celebrities, some who have gone public with their treatment experience. To name a few, Gloria Steinem, Phyllis George and Marla Maples as a result of the miracles that took place in their own journey to improved health, went public sharing their story on TV, radio, and in magazine columns and health articles. Chiropractors detect and correct vertebral subluxations. We do not treat disease or symptoms, as in the case of the medical doctor. We educate our patients that once we remove interference, the body has a better chance to heal. Once I adjust the subluxation, my role as a chiropractor is complete. It is now up to the power within the patient to heal. As a result, I have seen many conditions virtually vanish. Some examples would be Crohn’s disease, hypertension, anemia, mentrual cramps, diabetes, headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, obesity, anorexia, trigeminal neuralgia, neck and back pain, infertility, various skin conditions, hair loss, vision problems, hearing problems, vertigo, colic, addictions and the list goes on and on.
Next week: Dr. Lorri Smatt gives us her perspective on chiropractic and why she became an Advisory Board Member.