Over the last 30 years, Dr Edward Saltys has built up a reputation as one of the most trusted chiropractors in the Algarve.
Working from his office in Lagoa, the Canadian chiropractor helped bring the benefits of chiropractic care to the Algarve population at a time when it was far from common place.
The 64-year-old sat down with the Resident last week to discuss his career so far and what motivated him to want to become a chiropractor and eventually settle in the Algarve.
“I wanted to know how things work in the human body, and chiropractic education provided me with all the answers,” Dr Edward Saltys told the Resident.
“I learned how the body can heal itself – we have all the chemicals we need inside us to heal. As we say in the chiropractic field, the power that made the body can heal the body. So, I studied chiropractic due to my interest in knowing how things worked in the body, and then wanting to help people get better,” Dr Saltys said.
After graduating in 1986, Dr Saltys was working in Scarborough in the Toronto area and having “dreams of Europe”, with Portugal as the “focus” of his attention.
“I just had a feeling about Portugal,” he told us. “I travelled a bit around the world in 1987 and ended up in Ireland. A chiropractor I was working for there was going to travel to Portugal to build a vacation home in Monchique, and that rekindled my interest and my thoughts about Portugal.”
It was in 1992 that Dr Saltys decided to move to Portugal to work with this same chiropractor in Boliqueime, having one year later decided to move to Lagoa to open his own practice after purchasing it from one of his clients.
“I had this inner feeling about Portugal and I think I now know why: it’s because of the Portuguese people’s lifestyle, particularly in the Algarve. They do love natural care and the vast majority seek natural care,” said Dr Saltys, adding that 80% of his clients are, in fact, Portuguese.
While chiropractic care was a relatively new treatment in Portugal at the time (according to Dr Saltys, he was only the fourth full-time chiropractor in the country when he opened his practice), he said that people did have a general idea about what it was.
“They came to realise that what we did was similar to their Portuguese ‘endireitas’, which are similar to bonesetters in England. But while ‘endireitas’ worked based on knowledge handed down from generation to generation without any formal education, they learned that chiropractic is a profession with a full education background, accredited by a council of chiropractic education. So, they quickly caught on that chiropractors were the educated doctors for moving bones.”
Apart from his centre in Lagoa, Dr Saltys also runs another chiropractic practice in Estoi (Faro) and travels twice a month to Grândola to adjust his patients in the Alentejo who used to have to travel to the Algarve to seek care.
Three decades after the decision to move to the Algarve, Dr Saltys is certain he and his wife Julie – who has been at his side throughout this journey and has been practising as a sports therapist and masseuse since 2006 in Lagoa – made the right decision.
“We have a great lifestyle, lots of sun, great food, great wine, and this was the place for us to be. It was also the furthest location in Europe from high risks of pollution and industrialisation, and it was a good choice in that regard, and this is why we like it and still are here,” he said.
Who can benefit from chiropractic care?
As he explained, chiropractic care can help everyone, from newborns and babies to children, teenagers, adults and the elderly.
“Anyone who has a backbone can be helped,” he said, explaining that chiropractors work on the spine and the “connections from the brain and spinal cord to all the organs, muscles, skin, blood vessels and glands”.
“When one has perfect posture, then the full energy from the brain is able to flow at 100% to the body. When posture is altered due to various mishaps such as physical, emotional and chemical causes, or when one is overstressed, the body has to adapt, the brain has to compensate and make adaptations, which, in turn, leads to diseases in the body,” he explained.
What chiropractors do is remove interferences from the spine to “improve full nerve energy to the body, organs, and muscles, through checking the spine first and then correcting any interferences”.
The main issues that bring patients to Dr Saltys are pain and discomfort, although he stresses that people do not have to have symptoms to benefit from chiropractic care.
“You can have interference in your nervous system without feeling pain,” he said. “Even symptoms like insomnia, weakness or tiredness, which don’t involve pain, are symptoms of a physiological aberration in your body which needs correction and can be cared for naturally without drugs or medication.”
According to Dr Saltys, patients can experience three things after their first adjustment: an immediate relief of symptoms, which “probably happens around 80% of the time”; a worsening of symptoms due to an inflammatory response which is treated with cold therapy, when necessary, which happens in around 10% of cases; and a lack of any results or changes in around 10% of cases.
Open Days on June 2 and 3
To celebrate the milestone anniversary of his practice, Dr Edward Saltys will be holding two Open Day events on Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3, from 9am to 12.30pm.
“We will be meeting and greeting people, while I will be offering to do posture evaluations for everyone,” said Dr Saltys.
Parents are also being encouraged to bring their children, particularly those between the ages of 11 and 14, who Dr Saltys says are at a higher risk of developing scoliosis.
The Centro Quiroprático Saltys is located at Largo do Município, no.1, in Lagoa.