In the early 1960s, my father, Dr. Sheldon Sinett, graduated from Chiropractic school even before there was a New York state license to practice and opened for business at my grandmother's house in Brooklyn, converting her front porch into an office. My grandmother would bake for the patients, and my father would treat them. My father would frequently tell me that when he started, no one knew what a Chiropractor was, and he attributed his success more to my grandmother's baking skills then to his chiropractic skills!
From his first office in my grandmother's house, my father learned a vital lesson, which he later taught me: Always welcome a patient to your office like you would a guest to your living room. A photo of him with that quote is in my waiting room today.
My father quickly outgrew my grandmother's front porch and moved into a "real office" in Brooklyn. He would work from eight in the morning until eight at night, seeing tons of patients. This practice went on for about 15 years until one day, he bent down to pick up a tennis ball and couldn't get back up. His back "went out," and after treating so many patients with severe pain, he found himself experiencing the same thing. He took a few days off from work to rest in bed, but the days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into nine long months without any relief from his spasms and pain.
For those nine months, my father searched for answers to HIS back problem. He never lost sight of how ironic it was that someone who made a living helping people with their back pain was suddenly completely debilitated from that same ailment. He went for endless treatments and consultations with every known profession, including his own, but nothing helped. A surgeon recommended exploratory surgery (never a good term), offering to open him up to see if they could find anything.
Hoping to find another option, he went to see a doctor in Detroit with the fortuitous name of Dr. George Goodheart. Dr. Goodheart asked one question that no one else had bothered to ask: Why do you have back spasms? All the other doctors failed because they focused on treating the spasms, rather than getting to the root cause of the spasms. According to Dr. Goodheart, the answer, oddly enough, was that my father's diet, which consisted of sugar and caffeine, was upsetting his digestive system. Anything that can upset your digestive system, Dr. Goodheart surmised, can then reflex and impact your muscular system, thus causing back spasms.
My father was in complete disbelief. But given the options to either change his diet or have exploratory surgery, he chose to change his diet. Dr. Goodheart treated him just a handful of times in conjunction with a complete change in his nutrition, and lo and behold, my father was cured in just a few short weeks, and my family's lives were forever changed. He dedicated his professional time to learning and expanding the teachings of Dr. Goodheart. Dr. Goodheart spoke of the "triad of health", or bringing one's body into balance on three different levels:
- structural, such as muscle and bones
- diet and nutrition
- emotions and stress
Armed with this new knowledge and approach, my father became quite successful in treating thousands of patients, including many of the world's most famous people.
In 1995, I decided to join my father in practice after having my own pivotal experience. It was my sophomore year in college, and I was unsure of what to do with my life. We were on vacation in Aruba, and the local pediatrician had asked my father if he would examine a boy suffering from terrible, debilitating headaches. I went along with my father to the hospital and watched as he found that the boy's headaches were coming from an imbalance in his jaw and cranial bones. My father gave him one treatment, and the boy's headache went away. The next day, the boy's family came to the beach to bring my father money, which my father refused only to return with an offer of food sweet cakes that couldn't be turned away!
I knew from that day on that I would join my father and learn as much as I could to benefit as many people as possible. Everything that we did in our office, and I continue to do, is to help people achieve the triad of health or balance their body, diet, and emotions. I had the great fortune to work with my dad for more than 15 years. We wrote a book together, The Truth About Back Pain, published in 2008 by Penguin after my father's death. The book's basic premise is that we (as health professionals) are only looking at one-third of the causes of and treatments for back pain and are essentially missing two-thirds of the information we need to cure it. The role that diet and stress can play in back pain has been completely overlooked and ignored.
Subsequently, I published additional books to help those with back pain navigate solutions and find relief. This month and am very happy to announce for the first time we can offer the books together with my invention, the Backbridge, on Amazon.
To learn more about my story and journey about how I continue to help those with back pain, click here to watch a short video.