Hi, my name is Dr. Mark Gutekunst and this is my story.
At 12 years of age I would suffer with migraine headaches 6-7 days per week. The headaches were a gradual onset thing. These debilitating headaches were gradually increasing in intensity and frequency as I went through childhood and into adolescence. These headaches prevented me from doing the things that children should be doing at that age. I had difficulty concentrating on my school work, and I was a good student. I couldn't play with my friends nor do the activities that I wanted to do. Needless to say, I wasn't having any childhood fun at that time in my life.
My mother, an 'old school' registered nurse, took me to the pediatrician, the neurologist, the pain specialist and the headache specialist. Exams were given, x-rays were taken, and prescriptions were written. Nothing seemed to help and nobody had the answers. The doctors basically said that "it was on of those unexplained conditions." They wanted my mother to start giving her 12 year old son heave narcotic pain killers to help with the pain. Well, my mother, THANKFULLY, would not accept the recommendation of a 12 y/o body taking addictive narcotics.
Towards the tail end of the medical route, my mother's girlfriend recommended she take me to see her chiropractor, Dr. Ratner, in Huntington, New York. She finally set an appointment with the chiropractor after the recommendation of drugs and was hoping he may have the answer. After a lengthy consult, examination and special x-rays of my cervical spine (neck region), he came to the conclusion that my headaches were as a result of a long standing injury to my neck that caused a subluxation and resultant 'undetected nerve compression' at the base of my skull as well as in my mid neck area. The injury had led to a complete reversal of the normal curve of my neck, called a lordosis. The question may then be; how did all the other medical doctors miss these problems? It's not that they missed them, they ignored them. They did not think that they were relevant and important. Go figure….
Once the chiropractor determined the cause of the symptoms, he set on a course of treatment to correct the cause. He explained treating the cause and not masking the symptoms with medication is the proper direction. He was right. After the first week of adjustments, my headaches were cut in half in frequency and the intensity of the few that I had had diminished tremendously. Dr. Ratner corrected the cause of the neurologic impairment, the subluxation, as well as the reversed curve in my neck. Throughout my teens I continued to see him for wellness care as well as additional injuries to my back from football, my right knee from crashing on my snow skis, my right shoulder from racquetball. Also, I never missed school from an illness ever again. That was the first time someone explained how the Immune System is controlled by the Central Nervous System and that being sure there were no subluxations causing neurologic interference was allowing my immune system to function properly to protect my body from allowing bacteria and viruses from getting out of hand and making me sick. And my family was not germophobes at all.
My transition into chiropractic became a natural one since it made such an impression on my life and that of my family. You see, shortly after I started to see results with care, my entire family became patients and were able to experience the miracles of chiropractic.
Dr. Ratner was my mentor during my college years and graduate years while I acquired my Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. I firmly believe, without his treatment, inspiration and guidance, I would not be a chiropractor today helping people live happier healthier drug free lives.
Currently, I am happily married with 3 children. I enjoy traveling in the United States, scuba diving, bodybuilding and enjoying time with my family just staying around the house. I am also a self diagnosed movie bug. I also own a Fitness gym called Universal Fitness in Chesapeake as well. The fitness industry is fun as I enjoy watching the transformation of peoples lives through fitness and healthy nutrition. Once people realize that these fad (yo-yo) diets do not work and that proper nutrition and activity is a lifestyle is when permanent transformation becomes permanent and not temporary.
I am passionate about proper health care, sometimes to a fault. I speak my mind about it and do not beat-around-the-bush about whats right and wrong with healthcare or what needs to be done. I believe it takes all fields of healthcare working together to take care of the whole person. I also believe that drugs/medications are not the answer to a problem, only a mask of the symptoms manifested by an underlying problem. Does that mean I do not believe in medication? No, it does not. It has it's place but to say "yeah, my doctor gave me these pills and it will fix xyz is not healthcare but sickcare and a dis-service. I tell people all the time that being a doctor is like being a detective. We need to use the symptoms(complaints) as clues in conjunction with exam findings to determine the underlying cause of the problem. Then, we doctors can determine a plan ti fix the problem. If the problem is treated and corrected then the symptoms will subside on their own in most cases. Are there exceptions? Of course. How long has the problem been there? How long did we ignore the warning symptoms? How much damage was caused by the fact that we were ignoring the symptoms? Is the damage permanent? These, and more, are all factors in determining success.
Ultimately, the road to great health and a great life starts with you, the patient. The first decision you need to make is to pick up that phone and call this office.
Our Mission Statement
Chesapeake Wellness Center is a leading-edge team of healthcare professionals committed to providing drug-free, whole body care to everyone from the newborn to the aged. Unified in purpose and love we pledge to administer the highest standard of care by treating, educating, and helping the body and mind of all those in need in a warm and friendly environment.
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Prior to Chiropractic care, I was suffering from severe pains on the back of my neck, head, shoulders, arms, legs, and lower back. I had numbness and tingling in my fingers, burning on my shins, and back. Every day I felt as if I had the flu. I would wake up each morning very fatigued because of sleep disturbances and as the day progressed, the pains would increase with stress and anxiety. Due to the chronic pain, I was always fatigued and therefore, deprived of social activities and exercise. I was prescribed pain relievers, but I only received temporary relief. When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I was prescribed Zolof®, an anti-depressant which I stopped taking because of the side effects.
I started Chiropractic care after attending a workshop presented by a local Chiropractor. After a couple of months of Chiropractic treatment, my health improved tremendously. I no longer suffer from chronic pains and my energy level has increased. I am now able to get a good night's sleep and wake without body aches and stiffness. I am enjoying my social life, and most importantly, without any medication and side effects.
Chiropractic care did not give me temporary relief of my pains, but corrected the cause. I can certify that Chiropractic care has given me my life back!
Signed, Y. Richards