On chiropractic’s leading edge

Dr. Clint Steele remembers when the patient first came into his office. As soon as the two sat down to talk, the patient, a woman in her mid-to-late 40s, welled with tears. She told Dr. Steele she’d just been diagnosed with diabetes, and that—according to her doctor—a lifetime of medication was inevitable. Because the disease was genetic, the doctor had told her, there was nothing she could do.

“I said flat-out, ‘I’m sorry, but that’s simply incorrect,’” Dr. Steele recalls. “I asked her, ‘Do you want to become non-diabetic?’ She said, ‘Absolutely.’ So I said, ‘Let’s get to work!’”

Three months later, the patient returned. Once again, she became overwhelmed with emotion. Only this time, the tears flowed for a different reason: According to recent tests, she was no longer diabetic. That medication she’d been taking? Gone forever.

“Three months!” Dr. Steele exclaims. “Just by making some lifestyle changes. People need to hear more stories like that.”

Happier endings

Luckily, he’s got more than a few to tell. For more than 20 years, Dr. Steele has been turning his Maine-based practice, Leading Edge Chiropractic, into a veritable anthology of transformation.

There was the 17-year-old girl who, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression, was placed on nine different medications. Three months later, she was being prescribed just two. The 21-year-old with Crohn’s disease, who was told to expect a shorter lifespan? In less than a year, the symptoms had all but disappeared.

“It’s rewarding for me, absolutely, but it’s life-changing for them,” Dr. Steele says. “People are starting to realize the healing power of their own bodies. Once you show them that, they’re changed forever.”

While chiropractic is hardly a new phenomenon, Dr. Steele is one in a vanguard of practitioners aiming to steer the discipline to its roots, and away from the stereotype of a white-jacketed back-cracker.

For the family

As information from the brain travels down the spinal cord, any misalignment—also known as called subluxations—can cause those messages to get scrambled, or even lost completely. That miscommunication signals back to the brain that something may be off.

By removing interference along the “main highway” of the nervous system, Dr. Steele says he is able to bring all of the other systems into closer alignment.

“It’s about giving the body the paths it needs to heal itself,” he says. “Even if you don’t notice these interferences, chances are they’re having an impact on your overall health.”

We don’t just develop these issues over time, either. According to one study, up to 80 percent of newborns come into the world with some degree of nerve interference, due mostly to the trauma of surviving the birth canal. As a child’s activity level and diet grow more complex, early chiropractic intervention can prove a useful safeguard against future conditions—and in some cases,  serious ones.

Accordingly, Dr. Steele has turned Leading Edge into a family practice, addressing conditions from recurring headaches and ear infections to fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases. Since 2013, the two-location practice has helped give thousands of patients not just relief, but a new outlook on their own health.

With TRUCHIRO, launched in late 2017 with his wife, Tina, Dr. Steele hopes to bring that message to an even bigger stage. Combining dynamic resources with a database that allows users to search for TRUECHIROPRACTORS in their area, TRUCHIRO is designed to be a clearinghouse for chiropractic wellness.

“This is how we’re going to reach countless thousands of people, and potentially more,” Dr. Steele says. “It puts chiropractic right at people’s fingertips.”

It’s a level of thought-leadership that would’ve seemed inconceivable even 10 years ago. Go back a bit further, however, and it’s easy to see how the roots of Dr. Steele’s vision first took hold.

The right adjustments

During his freshman year at Fort Lewis College, Steele—a high-school All-American middle linebacker—asked his football coach the question that had been bothering him all season: With all the injuries on our unit, why am I not getting more playing time?

The coach’s answer: hit the weight room. When Steele insisted he had, the coach scoffed again. “Maybe you need to do something more,” he said.

At first, the vague directive seemed confusing to Steele. But when one of the team’s captains approached him a few days later, the message hit him like a flash.

“He asked me if I wanted steroids,” Steele recalls. “The whole idea was insane to me. I asked him, ‘Where did you even get those?’ He said, ‘There’s a doctor here in town that sells them.’ I knew I wanted nothing to do with that path. So I started doing some soul-searching.”

Disillusioned, but determined to pursue a career in holistic health, Steele enrolled at Logan University’s College of Chiropractic. After graduating in 1993, his goal was clear, if a bit quixotic: to change the world’s outlook on health.

As years passed, Dr. Steele realized he’d settled for the old chiropractic model. Stressed and burnt out, he walked away. Then, in 2012, a chance meeting with an old friend, who had started his own practice, provided Steele with the light-bulb moment.

“It took me two minutes at this friend’s practice for me to realize what made it so different,” Dr. Steele recalls. “The focus was on the nervous system. By taking care of that system, you could address any number of issues and conditions.”

Not long after that meeting, Dr. Steele launched Leading Edge’s flagship practice just outside of downtown Portland, Maine. In 2015, buoyed by the success of the office, Dr. Steele opened a second location in nearby Gorham, where he lives with his wife, Tina, and their six children.

Now, six years after deciding to give his passion a second chance, Dr. Steele is eager to bring TRUCHIRO’s message to the masses.

“We’re not just trying to change how people look at chiropractic; we’re trying to change how people look at health care, period,” Dr. Steele says. “To do that requires bringing practitioners like us closer together, and we’re already starting to see that happen.”


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vol. I 2024



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