HEALING WHAT AILS YOU — Dr. Kelly Chwojdak of Safe Harbor Chiropractic in Hamburg is pictured treating a patient with an ArthroStim. Photos by Jessie Owen.
HAMBURG — “How does that feel?” Dr. Kelly Chwojdak asked a patient, while spraying pain relief medication onto the woman’s back. “You’ve come very far today. I’m proud of you.”
Another patient, who said that she felt discomfort while driving her car, was asked to sit on the edge of the table. “Put your foot on the pedal and your hands on the wheel,” Chwojdak said, while she explored the individual’s back with her fingers.
Chwojdak waved her hands in the air above her patient’s head and then reached for a machine called an ArthroStim®. The tool clicked for a few seconds, the patient was placed into a different position, and the ArthroStim again worked its magic.
The method used at Safe Harbor Chiropractic is called the Koren Specific Technique. Rather than twisting, popping or forcibly moving her patients’ bodies, Chwojdak makes corrections to her patients, using the ArthroStim.
The local chiropractor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human anatomy and physiology from Empire State College and then received her doctorate of chiropractic at New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
She is certified in the Koren Specific Technique, torque release, Auriculotherapy and injury prevention. She was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research for being the only chiropractor in the world to successfully treat a pre-term infant with bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
Chwojdak said that she chose to open one of her practices in Hamburg, “because I just love the Southtowns.”
Safe Harbor Chiropractic is located in Suite J of the office park on Quinby Drive.
When they arrive for their consultations, patients are first asked to step onto bilateral scales; Chwojdak said that their body weight should not be equal on both sides, but that the scales should flip-flop. An individual who consistently carries more weight on one side than the other has an old holding pattern that the doctor said needs to be addressed.
Chwojdak can do a thermography scan on her patients, to check for swelling and inflammation on the spine, as well as a surface EMG, which will tell her where patients are holding their spinal tension.
The actual chiropractic adjustments are individualized to the patient, according to Chwojdak. “I use a variety of techniques,” she said. “There’s really an art to chiropractic; I have been able to adapt a lot of techniques for my patients.”
Chwojdak said that she began using the KST, because “I knew there was a way to adjust [patients] in motion. It made sense to adjust patients in the position they are in when they experience the discomfort.”
She said that, as a medical practitioner, she is always looking for what is new and at the cutting edge of developing advancements, “so patients can heal to their fullest.”
Dr. Tedd Koren originated the KST to correct a form of nerve stress caused by distortions to the spine and structural system. This stress, called subluxation, can cause physical, mental and emotional malfunction, according to Chwojdak.
“KST is very gentle and yet very powerful,” she said. “Patients usually notice dramatic changes from the first visit.” She explained that patients will also hold corrections for longer than they would with a traditional chiropractic adjustment.
NONINVASIVE — Dr. Kelly Chwojdak of Safe Harbor Chiropractic in Hamburg is pictured reading the patient’s energy.
Chwojdak checks the body for subluxations in a noninvasive manner. “I read the body and that patient’s energy,” she said. “This is a different form of muscle testing. It falls under kinesiology: sensing the energy from the body. It’s almost like magnets.”
The chiropractor said that she has been doing muscle testing for 17 years and is adept at reading her patients’ bodies.
“People come to me because they are tired of not getting results,” she said. “People need to be exposed to how great chiropractic care really is.”
“She uses kinesiology and muscle testing to see what your body needs,” said Chiropractic Assistant Dana Clothier. “This is 100 percent a holistic way of taking care of your body.”
According to Koren Publications, the tool utilized in KST, the ArthroStim, targets and controls force to correct subluxations, distortions, interferences and/or stress.
Various sleeves are used on the ArthroStim, to achieve different results. The tool “introduces gentle force into your body at 12 – 24 taps, or cycles per second,” according to Koren Publications.
These taps correct the spine and structural system. They can be done while patients are walking, standing or sitting.
Chwojdak said that, while KST helps patients with their back and neck pain, her treatments go beyond that. “There is really a psychological and emotional aspect to chiropractic care,” she said. “I can help you with anything that is holding you back.”
Patients are given “The Vital Connection” pamphlet, which includes a graphic of the spine and explains the common subluxation locations and how those subluxations can affect their health.
“Different organs can be adjusted,” Chwojdak said. “Your body will tell me what it needs.”
Chwojdak said that she can help her patients with many ailments, including headaches, eye pain, diabetes, rheumatism, liver troubles, heartburn and many more. She said that her technique can also help non-physical ailments, such as stress, insomnia and low self-esteem. “It is limitless,” she said, about KST. “There are so many things I’ve seen change. Your body has the ability to heal itself. We just need to open the door.”
This treatment can also kick-start the immune system. “Tens of thousands of white blood cells are released into your body every time you are adjusted,” Clothier explained.
This treatment is also safe for pregnant women and babies. “My 19-month-old daughter has been adjusted since birth,” Clothier said. “This allows babies to have their nervous systems’ firing on all cylinders. We really don’t pay enough attention to our nervous system.”
Chwojdak said that her technique can help infants with anything from constipation to colic and gastric reflex. “They love it,” she said. “You can see the relief in their face when we’ve fixed something that was wrong.”
The Hamburg practice also includes a HydroMassage room, complete with a heated dry water massage table. “The effects are the same as a massage, but in half the time,” Chwojdak said. “This is great for stress and muscle tension.” Safe Harbor was the first WNY location to obtain a HydroMassage bed.
Safe Harbor also features an acupuncturist and Chwojdak can additionally take digital foot scans of patients’ feet for custom orthodontics; she also has a body fat composition analyzer. She can fit patients with kinesiology tape, which supports strained muscles and joints. “Applied in a certain manner, this helps patients heal faster,” she said. “It’s a great treatment.”
Patients who are looking for ways to improve their diets or lose weight may also take advantage of the Nutrition Response Technique offered at Safe Harbor Chiropractic.
Chwojdak said that she designs clinical nutrition programs, using whole food supplements from Standard Process®, to “improve organ function and meet patient/practitioner goals.” She said that she will help patients maintain healthy diets and come up with nutritional programs that best meet their needs.
According to the chiropractor, the organic supplements she provides to those who seek her out for nutritional help are 100 percent absorbable by the body.
“I can do many nutritional and herbal tests to find out what’s going on with the patients,” she said. “I can help people who want to improve on their lives in any area. I want to help my patients be happy.”
Safe Harbor Chiropractic is currently accepting new patients. For more information, call 648-7613 or visit www.safeharborchiropractic.com.
The Hamburg practice is located at 4390 Quinby Drive, Suite J.