Saturday, February 14, 2015
Journey Well with Chiropractic Care: Meet Dr. Ryan Means
Don't let pain or fear of pain slow you down ~Dr. Ryan
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. " ~ Thomas A. Edison
His full name is Dr. Ryan Joseph Means but he likes to be called Dr. Ryan. The moment you meet him, you will feel his passion for his work as a chiropractic physician and be inspired to experience health and wellness in your body.
We met for coffee at the Diesel Cafe in Davis Square for me to learn about the scope and practice of chiropractic care and to get to know Dr. Ryan. I first met him at the book launch for "Journey Well".
Dr. Ryan received his undergraduate degree as a sociology major. He planned to get a master's degree in public health as a sex health educator. After experiencing a back injury and having his best friend insist he seek chiropractic care, he knew that he had a new calling in life. To become a chiropractic physician, Dr. Ryan attended school for four years full-time year round, and completed a residency. He began his studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic and completed his degree at Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU). During his residency at California State University Fullerton, he worked closely with medical doctors, physical therapists and orthopedists. He became board certified after taking a challenging exam that spans 20 hours.
Q: I noticed on your website that it says you are a primary care physician. Are you an MD?
Dr. Ryan: No I am not an MD although chiropractic physicians complete a similar rigorous training as an MD. The first year is the same with core classes, but that last few differ a little bit. I received more anatomy and physiology where an MD does more diagnosing and pharmacology. For insurance purposes we are consider specialists although you do not need a referral to see me which is why I am categorized as a primary care physician. Many people ask me if I wanted to be an MD and didn't get into med school. I wanted to pursue a career as a chiropractic physician from my personal experience as a patient and from my uncle's experience with chiropractic care. He had seen many physicians but it wasn't until he saw a chiropractic physician that he was accurately diagnosed with ALS. He went for adjustments and was able to maintain functioning for as long as he possibly could.
Q: Speaking of insurance, do you or the patient submit the paperwork and what insurance do you accept.
Dr. Ryan: I accept many of the major carriers and am in the process of negotiating with Aetna and Cigna. I am able to accept Medicare which has wonderful chiropractic care benefits. I submit the paperwork and the patient pays the copayment at the time of visit. I accept cash, check and all major credit cards. I do offer a free 30 minute consultation.
Q: What happens during the 30 minute consultation?
Dr. Ryan: I ask lots and lots of questions and answer lots and lots of questions. I provide education about chiropractic care and my philosophy of care and explore what I can do to help the individual to achieve their health goals.
Q: And if we decide to work together, what happens next?
Dr. Ryan: The next visit is a 60 minute session where I take a complete history, do a full assessment and adjustment and discuss treatment goals and plan.
Q: What is your philosophy?
Dr. Ryan: I believe that the body has a natural desire to heal. The body wants to work and wants to work well. I work with your body to heal yourself. I am a facilitator to help your body find balance and wellness. Physicians in Western Medicine are symptom focused and work from the top down beginning with the symptom. I work from the bottom up exploring structure and function encouraging the body to adapt its internal experience to external stressors. I look at the whole person.
Q: What if I don't have insurance or I have to meet a deductible.
Dr. Ryan: I charge $45 cash. It is set reasonable, because everyone having access to healthcare is important to me. That includes full adjusting and basic soft tissue work. If the patient wants comprehensive soft tissue work I'll charge an extra $20 based on time.
Q: My back doesn't hurt, what does chiropractic care have to offer me?
Dr. Ryan: People typically think of back pain when they think of why they should see a chiropractor. However, I work with every joint in the body. The goal is to help everything work together and to break the cycle of pain while facilitating a better adaptation of the body. Most people also think that chiropractic care is all about the adjustment. For me, the adjustment is a tool I use to facilitate healing but I believe in treating the whole person.
Q: I saw on your website that you do advanced therapeutic taping. Can you tell me about it?
Dr. Ryan: The therapeutic tape I use lasts for 5 days. It's as though you are having me doing an adjustment 24/7 for 5 days. The tape is hypoallergenic and allows the joint to move and breathe as opposed to bracing a joint. I recommend taping prior to a race or recently I had a patient who had me tape her before she went skiing. I've seen wonderful benefits of taping knees in the older population as they go up and down stairs. The taping works with the mechanoreceptors and helps to retrain the brain. Taping also improves circulation to the area and releases the body's natural capacity to heal. Typically with taping I'll do one complimentary treatment so s/he can see what it is like. After that there is an additional fee that varies. From $10-20. If someone wants lots of tape, the most economical way is to have the patient purchase tape and bring it in, then it is only $10 dollars for expertise and time. I prefer Kinesiotape Tex.
Q: What are the benefits to exploring chiropractic care as a way to journey well?
Dr. Ryan: Chiropractic care is safe. It's non invasive. One of the misconceptions about chiropractic care is we use force and we don't. We use skilled touch to make adjustments. There are no side effects to chiropractic care. Many people also believe that once you begin to go for chiropractic care you have to on a regular basis in order to feel relief. I don't want my patients to rely on me. I believe in empowering my patients to learn how to optimize their sense of health and well being using the skills and knowledge I have to offer to facilitate their journeys.
Q: What do I wear for an appointment?
Dr. Ryan: Let me begin by saying what you shouldn't wear - yoga pants because they don't work well for chiropractic care. Jeans are great and if we are working on knees, I recommend shorts and a t shirt.
Be sure to visit Dr. Ryan's website and book your free consultation today.
I have my initial 60 minute appointment scheduled for March 2 and will be writing a follow up blog after my session which will include an orthotics assessment. I'm excited to journey well with chiropractic care to help me get back on the roads with Dr. Ryan -- safe, effective, non-invasive and no side effects with a professional passionate about supporting me and you on your journey to well being.
"Journey Well" and all of my inspirational books are available on Amazon.
"Journey Well" is a book about resilience, strength, courage and how we are able to journey well no matter what conditions life hands to us. I profile the people who are Boston Stronger and share how 4/15/13 was a wake up call to me to return to my healing path from contracting paralytic polio at age 5 and 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent.
50% of all book proceeds are donated to AccesSportAmerica where people of all ages and abilities achieve higher function and fitness through high challenge sports and training.