Ask the Doc: Keeping yourself ‘in tune’ with chiropractic

Editor’s note: Dr. Philip Schalow’s new featured article, “Ask the Doc,” will appear monthly. Send questions for Dr. Schalow to and he will answer each one individually and choose a sampling for this article.

By Dr. Philip Schalow

The shift began one evening on stage while preparing for a symphony orchestra concert. Fifteen years of performing as a violinist had been satisfying on many levels, but the audience was out there, somewhere beyond the lights. I wanted to be more substantially involved with the audience. Then, I recalled the vow to myself as a teen-ager to get into music for a few years and then move on to my other love, the sciences.

It took another eight years to get to the point where I could identify the first step in transitioning to another career, all the while teaching violin, viola, piano, efficiency in movement with the Alexander technique, and performing classical and jazz music.

It was while preparing for the next step that I discovered chiropractic and how it served humanity as the “big umbrella” under which all of the sciences are served. Before that point, it had become clear as a performing and teaching musician that “things” work better when there is order in the structure and function of the body. The hands work without tension, the sound is full and focused, difficult passages in the music come off easily. You are the instrument that plays the instrument, and you must be “in tune” with yourself.

Then, I discovered chiropractic, and I realized that there was already a well-developed system that had many different “tools” required to keep people in tune.

After graduating Cum Laude from Palmer College of Chiropractic, I opened my specialty clinic in Rockford to take care of the thousands of people who are ready for a more sustained healing experience; I found my stage and my audience!

Now, instead of helping students get their instruments organized for easy playing, I help my patients get organized for healing and strengthening! When I see them in the community, they look taller, stronger and even younger than their counterparts who are out of balance.

My patients often ask what the difference is between what I do and what other health care practitioners do. The answer springs from the beautiful field of biology — how life works. Animals with spines require a perfect relation between the head and body. If the head isn’t on exactly straight, important control centers in the brain don’t work right and fail. That’s what is behind most health issues — the brain can’t do its job for the body!

The procedure we use, the NUCCA procedure (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association), very precisely corrects that relationship, setting up conditions favorable for long-term healing. NUCCA is a very demanding field that requires specialized X-ray equipment, a specialized adjusting style, and understanding of the mechanics of spinal balance.

Is everyone a candidate for NUCCA care? How long does it take to heal? Is it bad to go on a roller coaster if you have had a NUCCA adjustment? Are X-rays bad? These are some of the questions my patients ask.

Feel free to ask some of your own, and we can respond in this column. I am a committed question-asker myself and welcome your own thoughts. E-mail me at

Dr. Philip Schalow is a NUCCA practitioner in Rockford. He owns 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., 4519 Highcrest Road, Rockford. Call (815) 398-4500 for details or visit

From the Jan. 16-22, 2013, issue

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