Canadian chiropractor celebrates 13 years in practise....jpg

Canadian chiropractor celebrates 13 years in practise…

The chiropractic industry has proved its critics wrong. It is not a fad. It is not a sham. It is now more popular than ever. The Resident’s Natasha Smith and Ruth Sharpe spoke to Dr. Edward M. Saltys, a Canadian chiropractor practising in Lagoa for the last 13 years, about the profession.

The Resident: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Dr. Saltys: I grew up around the Toronto area and attended the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, graduating in 1986. I have been in practise for 20 years, 13 of which have been in Lagoa. I am also a co-founding member of the Associação Portuguesa de Quiroprática – APQ (Portuguese Chiropractors Association), established in 1999, and at present hold the position of executive treasurer. I always knew I wanted to help people get well and I had a great thirst for ascertaining how things work. I searched for a way to steer away from the medicine side of being a doctor and explore the natural aspect of healing without using pharmaceuticals as the treatment.

T. R: What is the practice of chiropratic?

Dr. S: It is the promotion of family wellness and prevention care for everyone. Prevention means looking after yourself, having a lifestyle that will keep your resistance high to combat stress and illness. There are five basic measures to ensure a healthy life: sufficient sleep; correct nutrition; adequate exercise; practising good posture habits; and have chiropractic regularly and as often as necessary according to your lifestyle.

Chiropractors show you how to reduce your chances of experiencing pain through living and practising a healthier lifestyle. I have seen patients as young as 92 and it is not that uncommon to treat babies from two-weeks-old. This may seem strange, but childbirth is as traumatic for mothers as it is for the babies, as they can experience misalignments in their spine and muscles. So we also realign people’s spines and muscles.

T. R: What techniques do chiropractors use?

Dr. S: They range from the traditional ‘hands on’ approach to using technological implements in the treatment. I use both low and higher force techniques, depending on the patient. The traditional neck and low back adjustments consist of a high velocity and low amplitude thrust, producing a cracking sound enjoyed by the majority of people.

Spinal correction can also be made by using any of the five hand-held instruments which reproduce the thrust as described above but without the cracking sound. All are proven and effective ways of having your bones aligned. We perform postural analysis, which involves taking photos of your posture, analysing it and coaching you on developing a better stance.

We use a new biometric scanner, the Insight Subluxation Station™ (ISS), for the autonomic and motor nerve divisions of the nervous system, to get a baseline reading of how your body is functioning. Problem areas are highlighted by a test using a temperature gauge. It shows where tensions, and areas of elevated electrical activity, are. Temperature is marked on the computer image of your back, showing where the abnormalities are.

The ISS can also show electrical activity in muscles, which connect to your organs. If there is an abnormality, the chiropractor knows which organs are not functioning properly. It is accurate and effective in determining problems and thus so is the treatment. This technology has been around for 11 years in the US, but obviously not as state of the art!

T. R: How have the changes in legislation affected the profession?

Dr. S: In Portugal, the practice of chiropractic was made legal in 2003. With this legalisation, the government ordered a committee to be set up to determine how to regulate the industry. Dr. António Alves was recently selected to front the commission. His role is to gather information for the government, so guidelines can be drawn up on, among other things, education requirements and safety measures. There is definitely a need for chiropractors as well as adequate regulations. The industry is unequivocally expanding as people learn more about it and realise the benefits it has to offer. There are now 11 qualified chiropractors in the Algarve.

T.R: What would you say to people who are unsure about going to a chiropractor?

Dr. S: It is certainly worth going to one. If you are not sure, then talk to people you trust. Make sure, if possible, to find a chiropractor that comes highly recommended through a friend or doctor. Remember that they are doctors of the spine and nervous system, so it is vital that they are sufficiently educated at an accredited chiropractic college! Go to for a complete list of qualified chiropractors in Portugal.

T.R: What advice can you give to people whose occupations involve sitting at desks for hours?

Dr.S: Make sure you have a supportive chair or, even better, an orthopaedic one. Your knees should be at right angles to the floor. Also, every hour or so get up and stretch, rotate your shoulders and neck. You will definitely see a difference in yourself, as you will experience less fatigue and muscular pain.

• For an appointment with Dr. Saltys, either visit his clinic in Lagoa’s Largo do Município, 1, or call 282 341 004.