Dr. Curtis Fedorchuk, a chiropractor from Dahlonaga, Ga., armed with technology that has been used by NASA, has made remarkable inroads in the battle against asthma. Fedorchuk's research was recently published in 'The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research' and detailed the wonderful transformation of his star patient - a seven year-old girl who had suffered from severe asthma and chronic cough for almost her entire life.

Before encountering Dr. Fedorchuk, this little girl was using multiple oral medications and inhalers that totaled 24 inhalations per day - yet her symptoms persisted. Her parents were not only shouldering the financial burden of their daughter's care, but the hours of lost sleep caused by asthma attacks impacted the entire family. Concerned about the volume of medications that their daughter was consuming, the parents sought help from Dr. Fedorchuk.

Following an examination using the Insight Discovery Subluxation Station (the diagnostic tool that has not only benefited the space program, but has been used by chiropractors treating Super Bowl champions and Olympic gold medalists), the young girl began receiving chiropractic adjustments.

By nightfall after her first adjustment, the little girl's coughing ceased. Over the next three weeks (while visiting Dr. Fedorchuk for adjustments two to three times per week), the little girl's mom reported no attacks, an increase in activity levels and a decrease in the need to use an inhaler. After four weeks, she was no longer using the inhalers. Her teachers noticed the change in the child's demeanor, while swimming and running became part of her everyday life.

Subsequent tests showed an increase in lung capacity and the girl's visits to the chiropractor became less frequent. Within 10 months from the onset of care, Dr. Fedorchuk's young patient was no longer using any medications - only carrying Albuterol in the event of an emergency.

Childhood asthma is prevalent in the United States with nine million people under the age of 18 suffering from this debilitating lung ailment, four times as many as 20 years ago. For some, this leads to a lifetime of suffering or, for those less fortunate, death. There are approximately 5,000 deaths annually in the U.S. that are linked to asthma.

After reading about Dr. Fedorchuk's research, I wanted to do more for those in my community who fight respiratory ailments.

The use of technology identifies areas of disturbance in the nervous system that could be caused by stress, trauma or toxins. Asthmatics have more frequent incidents of misalignment of the upper and lower thoracic region, which is the area of the shoulders and below. That condition can lead to dysponesis - best described as a short circuit effect between the brain and muscles - which in turn causes abnormal tonic muscle activity. Shoulder tension triggers a decrease in lung volume, which increases the likelihood of respiratory ailments. The patient simply has less air to breathe. Since dysponesis can lead to asthma, we can now help prevent or manage the disease by treating its underlying cause.

Today's medical treatment of asthma remains largely pharmacological.

Despite the increase in prescription drug usage, the prevalence of asthma increased 75 percent from 1980 to 1994. Direct health care costs for asthma-related illnesses in the U.S. amount to more than $11.5 billion annually - with over $5 billion of that figure being directed towards prescription drugs.

Aside from the obvious physical benefits this little girl derived from her chiropractic adjustments, one can't dismiss the financial ramifications during this time of economic woe. Her need for medication decreased along with her medical bills.

With all that in mind, you might say that chiropractic care for asthmatics is a breath of fresh air.

Judith E. Allan is a chiropractor in Lake Oswego at Oregon Natural Health Clinic. Visit the clinic's Web page at

/jallandc/door .

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