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Steamboat Magazine

A Perspective on Pain

04/04/2019 01:58PM ● By Alesha Damerville
By Alesha Damerville

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The fear of going to a chiropractor has been so deeply seeded into my psyche since I was little a girl. When my mother was in her early 30's, she began seeing a chiropractor regularly. During her last visit, her regular chiropractor was out. His substitute performed a 60-second adjustment on her, causing irreparable damage to her neck.

Discussions of malpractice lawsuits against improperly trained chiropractors were a common topic of conversation while I was growing up. It's no wonder so many people my age are apprehensive to visit the chiropractor. 

I quickly went from a skeptic to a believer.

My trainer, Charlie Chase, has a group of health and wellness professionals as part of his 
Genetic Synergy team. During our first week of training, he suggested I connect with Doug Kenyon, from Yampa Valley Chiropractic. 

At 34 years old, I had managed to avoid this scenario, but now I have a person who is trying to help me change my life suggesting I dive in, head first. 

Kenyon specializes in proprioceptive deep tendon reflex (P-DTR). P-DTR is a technique in which the chiropractor uses muscle testing in order to identify the source of pain via neural pathways. It's based off the understanding that sensory nerve endings or receptors have a huge connection and affect the function of the central nervous system.

I booked the appointment. P-DTR sounded like something out of a sci-fi movie, so my interest was sparked. 

It was important to me to be clear about my concerns from the beginning. Kenyon and I sat and talked about these issues and his practice for an hour. He has a vast wealth of knowledge, and a visible passion for helping others.

We discussed problem areas on my body, primarily my right shoulder. I can best describe this pain as someone taking a broomstick and repeatedly poking me directly in the shoulder blade for the past five years.

Kenyon uses P-DTR to identify the number of muscles throughout my body that weren't working properly. "We're looking for disfunction, so if you have muscles that are grossly weak, we will find them," he says.

"The better the sensory information in, the better motor power out. Disfunctional movement patterns send aberrant sensory signals to the sensory nervous system. The integration of that sensory information is off, resulting in bad movement, which supports more bad movement. When there is bad messaging in, bad messaging comes out. Improve the function, and you get better sensory information in, better results and better motor power out," Kenyon says.
He uses a variety of techniques to get things back on track. Pressure, light slaps and the pinching of the muscles to apply stimulation happened to be an easy enough fix for many of the muscles. 

However, I also have a number of hypertonic muscles through my shoulder, side and back, meaning I'm forever flexing or more properly they do not shut down. Kenyon also uses an activator on different parts of my back, neck and shoulders. It looks like a doorstop on a spring, and sounds kind of like you're being stapled, but it doesn't hurt. He did some manual adjusting as well, but made sure I was comfortable before making any moves.

Kenyon turned this intimidating experience into something I look forward to doing again. His fascination and dedication toward the functionality of the human body is what makes him an exceptional chiropractor. He taught me that I don't have to ignore the pain anymore. 

Kenyon is joining the health and wellness journey with the "For the Health of It" blog. For more information on his chiropractic work, visit

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