Total Life brings open philosophy
Dr. Frank Martusciello, clinic director at Total Life Chiropractic, has been practicing since 1983. In 1984, he brought his chiropractic clinic to Norridge. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
7830 W. Lawrence Ave., Norridge
Monday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., 3 - 7 p.m.
Tuesday, 3 - 7 p.m.
Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., 3 - 7 p.m.
Thursday, 3 - 7 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., 3 - 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Updated: August 20, 2012 10:50AM
NORRIDGE — Dr. Frank Martusciello watched one of his young patients round the bases and field balls without having an asthma attack at a baseball game.
Martusciello is not a pulmonologist or an allergist.
He’s a chiropractor.
Chiropractors, he’ll tell you, are more than just doctors who adjust your spine.
The clinic director of Total Life Chiropractic said traditional chiropractic is about total body wellness.
“The very first chiropractic adjustment was done in 1895 for hearing loss,” he said. “Chiropractic was used for heart disease, chiropractic was used for emotional and mental disorders. There were chiropractic hospitals dedicated to mental disorders and had great success.”
But, he added, chiropractic became known almost exclusively with back and neck pain, thanks to the insurance companies.
Total Life Chiropractic began when Martusciello opened a practice in Chicago in 1983. In 1984, he moved it to Norridge and later opened another in Willow Springs. The two became Total Life Chiropractic.
He also brought in Dr. Richard Hunn 11 years ago and Dr. Iwona Bialok-Wnek four years ago.
“We do wellness chiropractic. Just to bring that home, I have five kids who’ve never had a pill. My oldest is 19. Never had an aspirin, never had an antibiotic,” he said.
“Our philosophy isn’t to keep people away from medicine,” he said, adding if he broke an arm or needed surgery, he’d see doctors specializing in those areas. “It’s to enhance the function of the human body and make sure they have a healthy nervous system. We use the spine because the spine houses the central nervous system. That’s why our focus is dedicated to the spine. It’s all about the nervous system. So, if those spine bones go out of alignment, it interferes with the nerve flow from the brain to the body.”
Martusciello said he and his doctors operate on the premise the body is self-healing.
“The problem comes in when the nervous system is interfered with,” he said. “Now you’re not getting nerve flow to various organs and it’s no longer well-organized. It’s chaotic and it malfunctions and starts to misfire.”
There are many ways Total Life chiropractors can pinpoint a problem and develop a course of treatment.
In addition to x-rays and looking at spinal alignment, they utilize three other tools to measure the function of the nervous system, including surface electromyography, which measures the electrical activity of the muscles along the spine; infrared thermography, which can measure up to 1/100th of a degree the temperature on either side of the spine, revealing information about the nerves to the organs; and heart rate variability, which is helpful determining pathologies.
Not only do these technologies help pinpoint a problem, but they can help monitor the health of the patient, Martusciello said.
The chiropractors may also suggest corrective exercises patients can do on their own, provide nutrition counseling and suggest lifestyle changes.
Massage therapy, which can increase circulation, reduce swelling, relax muscles and help with range of motion, is also offered.
Neck and back pain are the most common ailments the doctors at Total Life treat. But, often patients then realize the far reaching benefits of chiropractic care when they notice other problems improving.
“As you balance the nervous system,” Martusciello said, “you start to see other body functions start to improve.”
Martusciello said the most rewarding times are when the chiropractors can help young patients overcome or manage a condition that might be lifelong, such as ADD, ADHD, ear infections and asthma.
“The neatest thing about chiropractic care is it’s not about back pain or neck pain,” he said. “It gives people their lives back.”