Therapeutic Methods

In this section of our web-site you will get a brief description of the natural, alternative methods I use in the Durham chiropractic clinic. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me directly and I will answer your questions over the phone or we can set up a time to meet in person.

Chiropractic First...Drugs Second...Surgery Last

In my office I have a wall hanging, from the early days of chiropractic, that says, Chiropractic First...Drugs Second...Surgery Last. Chiropractic started as a natural, alternative healing method to drugs and surgery in 1895. Since then much advancement in the science and art of chiropractic has taken place, and the old motto Chiropractic First... Drugs Second... Surgery Last still holds true. When possible it is usually better to use a natural, non-invasive therapy, such as chiropractic, before resorting to strong medications or surgery. Most over the counter or pharmaceutical medicines have a long list of possible side effects, ranging from mild stomach upset to more serious complications that can be life threatening. Chiropractic has a very long track record of being extremely safe, with very low risk or side effects. Surgery can be unpredictable in regards to the short term or long term benefits, and many times it is not considered a low risk procedure. So whenever possible, I recommend trying a natural, non-invasive approach such as chiropractic FIRST, before becoming dependent on strong medications with a long list of side effects or even more invasive surgery.

It is not uncommon, but extremely frequent that my patients tell me, "I wish I had come to see you many years ago". A frequent benefit of chiropractic care is, pain and discomfort caused by years of tight muscles, inflamed joints and nerves, is quickly relieved with a single chiropractic adjustment or a very short course of chiropractic treatments. Being in practice since 1982, there have been hundreds of patients that have told me this after one or two chiropractic treatments. Hearing, "That feels so much better doc", after someone's very first chiropractic adjustment, is music to my ears and is why I love chiropractic so much.


Balance IllustrationChiropractic is a science and art that utilizes the inherent recuperative powers of the body and the relationship between the musculoskeletal structures and the function of the body, particularly of the spinal column and the nervous system. Chiropractors identify structural and functional changes within the musculoskeletal system, affecting neurological, vascular and lymphatic function.

The goal of Chiropractic is to normalize function of the spine, joints, muscles and nerves and help prevent future problems through education, exercise and lifestyle modification. Chiropractic can be used to treat conditions of the muscular and skeletal system (e.g. spine and extremities). In addition, because of its effect on the nervous and other systems, it can also be used to enhance and maintain general health.

The definition of chiropractic, below was obtained from a prominent medical dictionary.

28th Edition
W.B. Saunders Company

Chiropractic (ki"ro-prak'tik) [chiro – Gr. prassein to do ]
a Science of applied neurophysiologic diagnosis based on the theory that health and disease are life processes related to the function of the nervous system: irritation of the nervous system by mechanical, chemical, or psychic factors is the cause of disease; restoration and maintenance of health depend on normal function of the nervous system. Diagnosis is the identification of these noxious irritants and treatment is their removal by the most conservative method.

The muscle diagrams on this page show how a weak muscle or a tight muscle will create an imbalance in the spine, extremities or posture resulting in abnormal function or mechanics of the musculoskeletal system. This imbalance of muscles along the spine or extremities can cause the vertebra or skeletal system to shift out of position, frequently resulting in inflammation, pain and degeneration of joints, disc and cartilage. Chiropractic finds these imbalances and applies joint manipulation, massage techniques and stretch and strength exercises to bring balance back into the spine and joints, so normal mechanics is restored and inflammation and pain go away.

Applied Kinesiology (AK)

Stability IllustrationDr. Edward H. Washington, Jr. graduated from Life Chiropractic of Marietta, Georgia and opened his practice, Broad Street Chiropractic, in Durham, NC in 1982. Since then, he has been helping his patients to better health with Chiropractic and Applied Kinesiology (AK). Applied Kinesiology was founded in 1964 by a chiropractic physician, Dr. George Goodheart of Michigan. Dr. Goodheart discovered there is a direct relationship between the major muscles in the body to specific organs and glands.

Dr. Washington first began studying AK when he was a student at Life Chiropractic and since then, he has taken post graduate studies with Dr. Goodheart and many other accomplished and respected AK educators. Dr. Washington has accumulated several hundred class room hours of post-graduate studies in AK and has researched and developed many of his own Applied Kinesiology diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Applied Kinesiology (AK) uses manual muscle testing as a diagnostic technique to determine what imbalances (structural, chemical, mental) a person has that could be affecting the quality of their health. AK evaluates all the major systems, organs and glands. Using AK, the applied kinesiologist evaluates the immune, circulatory, skeletal, nervous, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, reproductive, and urinary systems. AK is also used as a therapeutic technique. The skilled applied kinesiologist performs various procedures and corrections, which addresses structural, chemical and mental imbalances. The procedures and corrections would include chiropractic manipulation, acupressure, nutritional or dietary recommendations, stress reduction, soft tissue manipulation, as well as other procedures to help correct any imbalances found during the physical and AK examination.

AK combines diagnostic and therapeutic methods to help patients, with any type of illness, to have a better outcome. After a person has returned to better health or even if a person has no symptoms or concerns, AK procedures can be used to maintain good health by finding sub-clinical conditions early and correcting imbalances before symptoms develop.

Applied Kinesiology uses The Triad of Health - structural, chemical, and mental factors. The triad is represented by an equilateral triangle with structural health as the base, and the upright sides representing chemical and mental health. When a person experiences health problems or is functioning less than optimal, it is due to an imbalance of one or more of these three factors. The Triad of Health is interactive and all sides must be evaluated. An imbalance on one side of the triad can affect the other sides. In the following examples you will see how one side of the Triad of Health being out of balance will affect one or both of the other sides.

Excessive mental or emotional stress will affect the chemical side of the triad by increasing cortisol and adrenaline output by the adrenal glands. Chronically elevated cortisol or adrenaline will affect the structural side of the triad by causing an imbalance of specific muscles that correspond to the adrenal glands. Over time this muscle imbalance contributes to additional structural imbalances causing spinal and pelvic misalignment of joints with an increased potential for nerve irritation.

A different scenario is a chemical imbalance may cause mental or emotional imbalance. An example is a chronic infection from a bacteria, such as helicobacter pylori, causes or contributes to mental or emotional stress. Over time the bacterial overgrowth causes gastrointestinal imbalance including impaired digestion, toxicity and compromised nutrient absorption. This taxes the immune system’s ability to respond and the balance of neurotransmitters; making the person prone to depression or anxiety. Using AK, Dr. Washington can evaluate The Triad of Health balance and direct therapy toward the imbalanced side or sides. In the above example, therapy would be directed toward the chemical side by treating the patient for the bacteria. The mental side of The Triad of Health will improve after the bacteria has been eliminated and other systems are brought into better balance.

In the above examples, AK is used as a diagnostic tool that analyzes the human body primarily through the neurological responses of muscles. AK uses manual muscle testing as a feedback mechanism to determine how a person’s organs and glands are functioning. Dr. Washington uses the patient’s muscles and performs manual testing while observing the response of the muscles to various stimuli. The stimuli could be something that weakens a normal muscle, something that strengthens a weak or inhibited muscle or something that returns a tight, over-facilitated muscle to normal strength. If a stimuli weakens a normal muscle, typically that would be something the person would want to avoid. If a weak muscle gets stronger to a stimuli, typically that would be something the person would need more of.

Other muscle testing approaches include finding a muscle that tests too strong or over-facilitated and then determine why that muscle is not functioning properly. Another muscle testing approach is to take a normal muscle, and find a stimuli or substance that makes the muscle over react or become to strong or over-facilitated. This could indicate the substance being tested is being over produced by the organs or glands, the substance is elevated in relation to some other balancing substance, the liver is unable to efficiently metabolize or break down the substance being tested or the body has developed some type of resistance to the substance being tested; such as insulin resistance.

Another example would be someone taking hormone replacement or birth control pills. When testing the hormones estrogen, progesterone or testosterone, a normal muscle will test over-facilitated or too strong suggesting the hormone(s) is being provided beyond normal physiological requirements. AK techniques and procedures can help with the detoxification of the increased hormone levels and provide specific nutritional recommendations to minimize negative side effects. Also, the AK doctor may determine other causes contributing to sluggish hormone detoxification, such as a vitamin or mineral deficiency, carbohydrate intolerance, chronic infection, inflammation or some other form of toxicity.

Using AK diagnostic and therapeutic methods will return inhibited and over-facilitated muscle(s) to normal strength and appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes can be recommended. In most cases these inhibited muscles or over-facilitated muscles are a contributing factor to chronic back and hip, neck and shoulder, or extremity pain.

Using AK as an adjunct to chiropractic adjustments is recommended for patients with reoccurring or chronic pain, of any type, or any health condition(s) requiring either over the counter or pharmaceutical medications. Making lifestyle changes and bringing balance into the structural, chemical, and mental aspects addressed with AK, a patient can reduce the medications they have been dependent on for years and regain excellent health naturally. Dr. Washington will work with your medical provider(s) and help guide you back to excellent health using chiropractic and applied kinesiology. For many patients, these two great modalities, along with lifestyle modification, will help to insure you live to your greatest potential, free of pain and free from taking too many medications, with a long list of possible side effects.

Our fee schedule for performing Applied Kinesiology and insurance considerations can be found by going to the section of our web-site, Insurance.


Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into the body at specific points along a meridian. These points have been "mapped" by the Chinese practitioners for over 2,500 years. There are 365 regular points and several hundred "extra points". Needle stimulation can positively affect the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, which in turn regulate every organ, gland , tissue and cell of the body.

Acupuncture has flourished in China for more than 2,500 years and is used widely throughout Asia and in Europe. Acupuncture is relatively new to America but is growing quickly and is being used by oriental health care, medical and chiropractic providers.

My acupuncture instructor is Dr. Bonnie Walker of Boone, North Carolina. She is a chiropractor, licensed acupuncturist and instructor, dedicated to teaching the art and science of acupuncture. She describes how acupuncture works below.

"Acupuncture is a therapy which uses natural laws and energetics with the application of needles and pressure to specific "points" on the body. These points are grouped along specific pathways or channels that cross the body. As long as energy flows freely through these pathways, health is maintained. When the flow of energy is either absent, deficient, interrupted, excessive or blocked in an area, health is disrupted, resulting in illness or pain. By stimulating appropriate acupuncture points along these channels, the energy is released and regulated, and health is restored."

"Studies indicate that acupuncture influence the central and peripheral nervous system. Evidence shows it releases endorphins from the brain which make acupuncture particularly effective in pain control . Acupuncture works with the body, harmonizing and balancing energy. It improves circulation and allow the body to heal itself more quickly and more completely."