Matt Samson is now the owner of Horizon Family Chiropractic in Minot, after spending the summer and fall under the guidance of Christa Hubbard and Matthew Thomas.
Samson, a Minot native, plans to continue the practices he learned in chiropractic neurology and functional neurology.
Samson entered chiropractic studies because he witnessed the benefits chiropractic had on his brother, Brady, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a young age.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Matt Samson, new owner of Horizon Family Chiropractic, spoke about chiropractic neurology.
Photos by Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Different views of an exam room at Horizon Family Chiropractic.
"My family was always searching for things that would help my brother feel better, and chiropractic care seemed to work for him," Samson said. "What chiropractic did for my brother inspired me from a young age."
Samson recalled his brother's walking, talking, and muscular strength improvements after visits with his chiropractors Steve Ward and Jerome Schuler. He went on to receive his bachelor degree and doctorate of chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa; and interned with Hubbard and Thomas.
"After job shadowing with them (Hubbard and Thomas) I walked out of here with more excitement than ever," he said. "I was able to see chiropractic neurology practices, and it made the most sense to me."
Chiropractic neurology is a chiropractic approach that uses brain-based activities and exercises, along with specific adjustments, to help coordinate activity between the brain and a patient's muscles and joints.
"A lot of the adjusting that we do is specific to stimulating different aspects of the brain in coordination with specific muscle groups, and brain-based control activities," he said.
He explained that chiropractic adjustments act as a stimulant to the nervous system, and the segmental and supra-segmental effects to the nervous system are brain-based.
The joint angulations and the fixed postures that chiropractors see daily -- such as shoulder impingement syndromes, hyperlordosis lower back and shin splints -- are all a consequence of how people's brains are setting muscle tone and controlling posture.
"In chiropractic neurology, we are targeting the brain to balance out the muscles," Samson said. "We do it with specific adjustments and tailored exercises to stimulate an area of the brain. In the exercises, we use certain eye, arm and leg movements to re-coordinate the brain."
Samson explained that chiropractic neurology has been helpful to patients with central nervous system disorders such as dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dystonia. Others who benefit are those with peripheral nervous system disorders, chronic pain disorders, or imbalance difficulties.
Before undergoing treatment, patients will go through a series of tests that help determine how their brain is coordinating with their body movements. For example, one such test would be walking while reciting every other letter of the alphabet.
"With chiropractic neurology, we are taking a step back and putting people through different tests to see where the breakdowns occur in the brain," Samson said. "As people are thinking and walking, it involves two different aspects of the brain."
The testing can also help patients understand where their weaknesses are, and can help them chart their progress as they continue with treatment.
After a treatment plan has been established, patients do their part by regularly following their home care and exercise plans.
"The good thing about chiropractic is that people have the full ability to get themselves well," Samson said. "With the home care and exercises tailored to each patient, it allows them to take their health into their own hands and to maintain well balanced health in the long term."