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Giving Patients Their Lives Back - Long Beach Magazine 07-08

This article is from the Long Beach Magazine

Giving Patients Their Lives Back


Sometimes in the middle of a consultation, Dr. Roger Smith will see a
certain look flash in the eyes of a new patient, a look somewhere between
hope and a tinge of "Is this guy for real?"

Smith, an upper cervical chiropractor, understands the cynicism because he's seen it
often enough at his practice, Smith Upper Cervical Health Care. His patients typically
arrive at his office after years of being shuffled from
doctor to doctor, trying a variety of treatments or taking prescription pills for temporary
relief for conditions such as back pain, chronic headache,
allergies, sinus problems, numbness, and fibromyalgia. A lot of times, these conditions
can be difficult to treat and patients are frustrated and worried they will never feel 100 percent ever again.

Talking with Smith about what he does can sound like a magic trick, or as he says,
"selling snake oil." But Smith backs up what he's peddling: "I don't think we need pills, potions, or
lotions to be healthy. The thing with modern medicine is we all want to take a pill to make the
symptom go away …Drugs will shut the symptom down, but it's still there."

Smith is one of about 75 doctors worldwide who practices upper cervical care through the
Blair Chiropractic Technique. This procedure focuses on bringing the body into balance
by adjusting two specific vertebrae:
the atlas and the axis. When these two are misaligned, this can bring on a host
of problems from depression, indigestion, difficulty sleeping, swollen knees,
dizziness, among others, like high blood pressure. In fact, an eight week study
proved significant blood pressure reductions from this procedure as printed in
online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension. The imbalance of these
vertebras can be triggered from birth (being pulled from the birth canal), a
car accident, or emotional stress, to name a few different causes. "People
aren't aware the upper cervical area is a nerve area that communicates to
the rest of the body," Smith says, "and when properly adjusted, can mean
a healthier life."

Take Edith Dworak, 72, who could barely move her left shoulder before
she met Smith. She was uncomfortable and in pain, but her doctors chalked
it up to arthritis, and she was told to learn to live with the discomfort. She
and her husband met Smith at an art show, and he invited them both
to come in for a consultation. Nearly four years later, Dworak-and her husband-lead
pain-free lives.

"I am no spring chicken, but now I eat right, exercise, go to the gym, and I even
lift weights," Dworak says with a laugh. "I am doing things now that I never
would have dreamed of doing."

Improving people's overall health and changing their lives are two of the reasons
Smith chose this specialty. Smith was 14 when his grandmother, who suffered from
allergies and fatigue, moved to the beach and was taken to an upper cervical chiropractor
in Huntington Beach. The experience of seeing his grandmother evolve from tired and
sickly to healthy and alive was enough to make him a believer. He now commutes from
his home in Long Beach to the same office where his grandmother was treated and works
with the doctor who became his mentor when he was a teenager.

"What we do here is actually improve people's health," Smith says. "But this is teamwork,
and you have to work hard, because you are in charge of your life and your health."

Treatment begins with neurological tests, heat-sensitive instrumentation, and x-rays of
the upper cervical area. Smith also works with patients on nutritional goals, exercise
plans, rest recommendations, positive thinking, and spirituality. John Bell, a dockworker
at the Long Beach Port, was 28 when he was referred to Smith . After years of migraine
headaches and popping sinus and allergy pills every day, he was looking for something new.

"The first time Dr. Smith adjusted me, I felt like something had been released inside of me,"
Bell says. "Now I surf, play volleyball … I truly feel like I got my life back.

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  • "My pain is gone! I had resolved myself that this nagging, chronic pain in my neck and shoulders was simply "part of life". Thanks to Dr. Smith's precision Upper Cervical adjustments I am pain free! Many thanks to your mindful approach to the health and well being of your patients."
    Jo D. / Huntington Beach, CA
  • "For nearly 20 years I have suffered with severe pain and stiffness in my neck and shoulders. I went to a number of Chiro's and P.T.' s which only gave me temporary relief. Now 2 months after seeing Dr. Smith I am 90% pain free. I don't know how to thank you Dr. Smith. This has truly changed my life."
    Teresa M. / San Pedro
  • "I'm so glad I found Dr. Smith. In a very short time he straightened out my crookedness. What a wonderful way to feel as strong & healthy as I possibly can. THANK YOU Dr. Smith!"
    Mary R. / Santa Ana
  • "I recommend Dr. Smith for anybody that has a symptom that just hangs around and they cannot figure out what to do to get rid of the pain."
    Nathaniel B. / Los Angeles
  • "Since my first adjustment, what was once one of the weakest parts of my body is now one of the healthiest and consistent parts."
    Jeff F. / Fullerton
  • "I've had my migraines go away, my hip pain from surgery minimize and my shoulder / neck pain of over 15 years completely disappear! Amazing!"
    Emily M. / Fullerton
  • "I've been under Chiropractic care since I was a child. It would help, but I always had pain. The 3D imaging Dr. Smith uses told the whole story. I'm on the mend and that feels fantastic. I actually feel taller. I wish I would have know about Dr. Smith and the Blair Technique years ago!"
    Shirley M. / Huntington Beach
  • "Constant chronic pain. I suffered a whiplash and western medicine was at a loss to help me and I have had to suffer and cope with nerve pain for 40 years, until I had my first adjustment with Dr. Smith. I experienced instant relief and getting better and healing more everyday."
    Pamela C. / Cypress
  • "I am now seeing the healing effects. My IBS symptoms have really improved, as have my migraines.! Thank you so much! My son's back pain from scoliosis has improved as well. After seeing positive results, I referred my husband for his hip pain and he has seen improvement as well!"
    Maureen S. / Huntington Beach

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