March 20, 2009
On a recent Saturday morning, the clinic had a visit from Darlene Corkett, the proprietor of the Waldencroft Clinic in Barrie. Darlene purchased her first BioFlex System in May 2006 and a second unit, one month later. Over the past three years, she has developed an extensive practice in which she works on a full-time basis.
In conversing with Darlene, I was impressed with her skills in assessing patients and applying proper treatment. As we often say at Meditech, “she really gets it!”
On the occasion of that visit, I was so intrigued by her comments that I asked her to write an article about her experiences and the nature of her practice.
Her unedited article is being published in the Laser Report to serve as a “beacon” for other BioFlex users and to illustrate the benefits her efforts bring to the community.
My introduction to the Meditech laser machine was actually through my mother, who lives in the Maritimes. She had just finished reading an article about LILT by Dr. Gifford-Jones and she wanted to know if laser would be something she would benefit from. Her doctor was suggesting a total hip replacement due to a thyroid medication induced osteoporosis. I promised I would look into it.
After touring Meditech’s clinic on Horner Avenue, I met with Dr. Fred Kahn and was immediately impressed with what I saw and heard about LILT.
I purchased my first machine in May 2006 and my second machine one month later. It wasn’t long before I was very busy with the large number of senior clientele I was treating with Shiatsu and Acupuncture. I started by asking my patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis if I could treat their conditions with laser. Many, many treatments later with a tremendous amount of great feedback from my clients I felt I was just beginning to know how to customize the machines.
Each patient has their own unique set of problems, and history. Listening to their complaints and symptoms gives me a better idea as to how I can set up the protocols to suit their needs. Listening is the key!
My background as a Certified Shiatsu Therapist and Acupuncturist helps me to evaluate and zero in on their chief complaint. Combining my skills as a therapist with the sheer love I have of the study of the human body and pathologies, I was becoming more and more comfortable with “tweaking” the protocols.
The senior patients who come to my clinic are extremely active and get quite annoyed when they are unable to carry out the activities they had previously been enjoying because of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. They also want to get in and out of treatment as quickly as possible.
I explain to them that the protocol for a specific pathology usually requires a certain number of treatments, and since everyone reacts differently to laser, I reassess them at each visit.
Using “Paula”, my life size skeleton, and charts, I also explain the results of their MRIs, x-rays and CT scans in as much detail as possible. This helps them visualize the problem, and gives them some responsibility for healing themselves. I have found that the more a patient knows about their body the greater their empowerment. It also engages them as very compliant clients. Although I could not prevent my mother’s hip replacements, she did come and visit for a while and had post-operative treatments. She is now back to walking and snowshoeing and remains pain free.
Madeline B., age 72, presented with symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in her knees, hands and feet and shoulders.
She was diagnosed with these conditions in 1967 at age 31. For 26 years she had Gold shots. Arthroscopic surgery was done on both knees in 1989. She was taking Methotrexate for 15 years and is presently on a new drug, Arava. As of 2 years ago, she is no longer taking Methotrexate. She is also a controlled diabetic on Metformin. She finds that heat helps to reduce pain.
When Madeline came to the clinic in August 2006 she was in severe pain. Her knees, hands, shoulder joints and feet were all red and swollen. She had been scheduled many times for bilateral knee replacements but was unable to get the surgery done due to low platelet count. (Methotrexate shuts down the immune system.) Because of the severity and the large area of pain, I decided to customize the rheumatoid arthritis protocol to treat the knees first. The results in the next ten days were remarkable with a significant decrease of pain and a decrease in heat and redness in the knees. Her gait, which had been greatly affected by her pain, normalized. She was able to walk much better, with greater stability, and most importantly, she started to sleep again.
Madeline still suffered from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in her hands, shoulders and feet so I changed the protocol once again to treat the spine.
The results of this treatment were amazing! Ten treatments later, her whole body responded to the treatments. For the first time in several years, she was able to climb the stairs to the arena to watch her grandson play hockey! She now comes in for one treatment every month. This is enough to keep the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis under control.
Her community activities have increased, and she and her friends and family feel that she hasn’t been this terrific in many years.
The majority of my clients are seniors with degenerative diseases, and even though it is sometimes difficult to treat people with such debilitating problems, it is very satisfying and exciting to see what can be done with LILT. Having treated many people like Madeline, I feel that laser therapy is nothing short of miraculous!
Darlene Corkett CST, D.Ac
Waldencroft Shiatsu Clinic