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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

A different approach to healing

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Matt Holstein uses an activator to align the spine of a patient.
SIKESTON - It is the doctor's bright red T-shirt, sandals and shorts that are the tipoff - this isn't your typical office.

And that is just what Matt Holstein, owner of Gentle Hands Chiropractic LLC, wants. Holstein, who is called "Dr. Matt" by his patients, has set out to create a unique practice since opening the doors on his 500-square foot office, located behind his home at 274 N. Ranney.

Typically, patients walk into the office and find their own files and wait for their turn on his table for an adjustment. "I try to have them in and out in three to five minutes," explained Holstein.

Payment is just as simple. Holstein doesn't set any fees, instead patients make a donation of what they can afford.

"I want to make sure nobody ever says they can't afford care," he said. "And there is no bookkeeping or insurance to deal with. My bookkeeping is done at the end of the day."

While Holstein admitted he might make more money working with insurance companies, he said he believes his way is better for patients.

"Insurance only gives a limited amount of care. When the insurance dwindles out, the problem isn't necessarily fixed although the pain is alleviated," said Holstein.

Since opening his practice April 1, Holstein, a 2004 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic, has treated area residents for a wide variety of ailments. These have included week-old babies with difficulty sleeping to workers with lower back pain to a senior citizen with irritable bowel syndrome.

His goal with each patient, he explained, is to ensure there is no interference in the spine that prevents the brain and the body from communicating. Treatment is non-invasive, Holstein's practice emphasizes working with the structure and function of the spine and the role it plays in the restoration and preservation of health.

His patients seem to appreciate his concern and efforts on their behalf. One woman, waiting in his office offered that the regular care has reduced the migraines suffered by her granddaughter. And, she continued, when a problem developed on the Fourth of July, Holstein opened his office to provide an adjustment for her daughter at 9 o'clock at night.

Holstein added his hours are also unique, making him as accessible as possible to his patients. "If I'm here, I'm working," he said.

The machines in his office are limited. One gauges the body's overall health by checking for heat along the spine.

"When there is an irritation in the nervous system, that irritation creates heat, this measures the heat," explained Holstein. He is able to read the measurements to determine the patient's chiropractic needs. Also he takes a photo of the back with the readings, so the patient sees as well.

Holstein uses a small hand-held instrument called an activator. The activator helps to realign the spine, removing any interference, he said.

In addition to being involved in the treatment of disease, Holstein offers a wellness approach to patient healthcare as well. Using the analogy of taking care of a car's regular maintenance, Holstein said the same is true of the body.

"Some people look at this like chiropractic aspirin - they get an adjustment when they have an ache or pain, but when there is a problem, pain is the last thing that shows up and the first to go away." Care needs to continue after the pain is gone, he said.

"I can get them to a level where there is no interference in the spine and will work with them to maintain that. I encourage lifetime care," said Holstein. He added because patients pay only what they feel they can afford, they realize he is not encouraging the care to make money but rather for their health.

"I want the body working the way God made it work," he said.