Dr. Tim Maggs
"The goal is to die young, but a long time from now."
Four or five years ago, I wrote an article titled, Building a Sports Doctor Network. This was written after years of too many e mails and phone calls from runners asking me who could do a structural exam on them in their hometown. In my article, I gave many reasons why we needed to begin thinking about building this network, such as why should runners have to wait until they're broken down before they get help from their doctor? And, why do so many runners have so many lists of doctor's names, with so many tests performed, and yet, no help? Why do runners look to their insurance company for directions? And on an on the questions went.
But, most importantly, at the end of this article, I clearly stated that I was only the messenger, so don't look to me to also begin the voluminous task of starting this network. Well, everybody else did a great job of sitting on their hands, and must have known I can't stand procrastination, so here I am, introducing The Structural Management® Network. This is a group of doctors who will be trained to perform The Structural Fingerprint® Exam, and then inform the runner of his/her imbalances, weaknesses and dysfunctionally working joints, all in an effort to restore an improved balance back to the runner's structure through specific corrective measures. All in an effort to prolong the life of the structure of the athlete. All in an effort to keep the runner running more.
The Network will take an estimated five years to develop, and hopefully we'll attract several thousand doctors who have an interest in sportsmedicine, fitness and conditioning and recognize the inefficiency and apathy of the existing pathology based system that the insurance industry supports and drives. The program will be introduced in 4 cities in the first 6 months of this year--------Omaha, Chicago, Orlando and Boston.
Some of you may remember my article on Dr. Sheehan and the quotes I took from his book, Dr. Sheehan on Running. "Conventional medicine is not adequately addressing runner's injuries today. They are addressing the symptoms while ignoring the cause. Structural balance is the ultimate goal, and once achieved, will provide the runner with the best chance for an enjoyable lifetime of running."
Sheehan would have been proud, as he tells the tale of his many different injuries, but he couldn't find the right person to help him, as all his specialist friends and colleagues wanted to just give him drugs and have him stop running. As he said, "I neeeded a super specialist, someone higher on the ladder. But, what I realized was, he didn't exist". Therein lies the words that have motivated me the most to build this network of Dr.'s. This super-specialist will now exist in many cities by the end of this year.
The human being is an architectural structure influenced by gravity the same way a building, bridge, car or any other structure is. Yet, you would be hard pressed to go into your family doctor's office and ask them to perform a structural exam on you and then be given an updated status report with a plan on how to improve. Especially if nothing was hurt or broken at the time. Or, better yet, try taking your middle school or high school athletic child in for a structural exam before they begin a season or a program in the weight room. Unless they have symptoms, there's not much any doctor will do for them.
Making this issue even more important is the fact that imbalances accelerate degeneration of the structure and increase the likelihood of injuries. Osteo-arthritis is the leading arthritis out there, and even Dr. Bob Arnot writes about it in his new book, Wear and Tear. He says the same thing I'm saying----structure is virtually being ignored out there today, yet it impacts all of our lives in many, many ways. If you've ever heard someone say,"It's hell getting old", well, I'm sure they were never informed how to preserve their structure. Movement and motion is the key, as in, they can't throw dirt on you as long as you're moving, so keep moving.
Remember, at this moment, your structure is a result of your age, heredity, prior injuries, habits, weight, height, diet, job, shoes, mattress, attitude, etc. But, doesn't it seem logical that someone should be able to extract this pertinent information in an effort to provide a "current status" report and a "plan" on how to improve it? With or without symptoms, this "snapshot" of your structure will provide a status report that will then lead to a program for improving balance, joint mobility and flexibility.
By June of this year, many more runners will have in their communities a doctor who will provide this help. And, by 2009, hopefully, it will be coast to coast.
And, George, although you may have been correct in 1975 when you wrote that book, the "super specialists" are now being trained. I only wish you could have been here to see one of them.