An Interview with Patrick C. Dougherty, D.C.
Recently I had some blood work done and found I was low in Vitamin D. I remembered several friends and clients had the same problem and so I contacted Dr. Pat to find out more.
Dr. Pat, I understand you are a Chiropractor here in Spokane. How long have you been practicing?
I have practiced chiropractic since March of 1994, first in Denver CO, and since November of 2004 in Spokane WA.
What else do you do in your practice?
Chiropractic College did not prepare me to pursue creative solutions to people’s health challenges. As a chiropractor I am required to take continuing education credits each year. It is these classes that have shaped how I work today. Rather than look at a person as merely muscles and bones, I initially evaluate them in a total of six areas: Musculaoskeletal, electromagnetics, nutrition excess and deficiency, toxicity, buried emotional stress, and allergy and sensitivity. I do this with a combination of muscle testing, questionnaires, and intuition.
After the evaluation I present the person with a list of the health challenges I observed, they choose what they are willing to work on, and I help them overcome their challenges through chiropractic adjustments to optimize the nervous system, nutritional supplementation, diet counseling, exercise and posture counseling, soft tissue release techniques, and other energy techniques.
I accomplish this by using my hands, mechanical adjusting instruments, cold laser therapy, and supplements.
Is it true that Vitamin D is a hormone?
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone. Hormones are chemical messengers. They have a shape that allows them to fit into the receptors of cells. This is much like a jigsaw puzzle. If the cell and the hormone fit together then the hormone can pass along its encoded message to the cell.
I understand you know a lot about Vitamin D. What is so important about Vitamin D?
A tremendous number of cells in the body have Vitamin D receptors. For this reason, researchers have found that Vitamin D has the ability to optimize function in 2000-3000 genes in the human body. That is 10% of all the genes in the body! The better you genes and cells work, the better you will function.
The vast majority of everything we know about Vitamin D has been uncovered in this century. Researchers have found Vitamin D deficiency in astounding numbers of named diseases and conditions. While this does not mean that Vitamin D is the sole cause of any of these conditions, it does indicate that unhealthy people almost always have low Vitamin D levels.
The bottom line is that your genes are the blueprint for your body. Vitamin D activates many of the “healthy” genes in the body. Ask yourself, “do I want to build my body and my health with the best blueprint available to me, or will I settle for a blueprint from a first grade architecture class?” If you want the best, then you will take Vitamin D.
How much Vitamin D should we take?
This is controversial subject. The main reason it is controversial is that the FDA appears to be impervious to science. It is only recently that the FDA raised the suggestion daily dose of Vitamin D from 400 IU/day. Scientists have known for years that this is a fairly meaningless dosage. Every year researchers at some of the best medical schools in the world are suggesting higher daily dosages of Vitamin D than ever before. I have seen 10, 000 IU/day recommended in several papers in the past year.
Personally I am wary of such a high dose, but only because I have not seen enough evidence. I have taken 3000- 5000 IU/day for the past 3 years. When I have my Vitamin D blood level tested I have never come close to peaking at a dangerous level.
I recommend anywhere from 1000-5000 IU/day dependent on the personal factors involved. I also recommend that people taking dose of 5000 IU/day and up get their blood level tested to insure they do not overdose on Vitamin D.
Can we just take the Vitamin D from the grocery store?
I recommend people get their supplements from a source they can trust to weed through all of the poorly made supplements and only provide the highest quality supplements. I have yet to see a grocery store that meets this criteria. Surveys have shown that a huge number of supplements are not well made, and at times they even have enough impurities to be harmful to a person.
Also, because Vitamin D is a steroid hormone it is fat soluble. Many people have difficulties with fat digestion. For this reason I use a liquid vitamin D in my office. I believe the liquid form is more readily absorbed by more people than Vitamin D in the pill form.
My work is about self-healing. In what way would taking Vitamin D help in self-healing?
Vitamin D, in my mind, is the king of the self-healing supplements. I firmly believe in the chiropractic principle that the power that made the body can heal the body. In other words we are meant to be healthy – until our pathologically stressful lifestyle interferes to a degree that the self-healing capacity of the nervous system to comprehend our stresses and adapt to them is overwhelmed.
Vitamin D, because it asserts a positive influence on so many genes in the body, and so many of our cells; increases the capacity of our body to resonate at a higher level. When our vibratory frequency is peaking, so is the ability of the nervous system to comprehend and adapt to stress. That adaptation is the key to expressing our innate healing ability.
What would you say are the top 3 other ways we can take good care of our health?
The key to good health is the ability of the nervous system to comprehend and adapt. Receptors on the spine are the conductors for that communication. For that reason, I recommend everyone get chiropractic adjustments. Adjustments facilitate vibratory frequency in the spine, which encourages nervous system communication. That communication is what allows a body to make good use of the three factors that follow.
1. It would be easy to say Food, Food, Food here. But I will give you 2 other ways, also. Food is the fuel for our body. It is proper to draw an analogy to a car. If the proper fuel is put in a new car it runs beautifully. When you put a lesser grade of fuel in the car it runs more poorly. Put diesel in a gasoline engine (or vice versa) and you have got big problems. Put kerosene in your car and I shudder to think what would happen.
Our bodies are no different. There is good fuel and bad fuel. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to read a label, then the food is probably not great fuel. Whole fresh foods, preferably organic and not shipped a great distance are going to supply your body more good fuel than processed foods. People who ignore this principle are robbing their energetic essence.
2. Exercise is so important. Many people think that because they are active during the day they do not need to have a regular exercise program. The focused intensity of an exercise program is much more valuable to must of us than a busy day. Exercise programs need to be tailored to the individual.
3. For number three I am going to cheat and say people need to honor the importance of positive self talk, good posture, a daily source of mind quieting activity, a daily dose of learning, daily expressions of gratitude, and finally having a clear and active purpose in life.
This has been really informative. Thank you so much!
Patrick C. Dougherty, D.C. received a Bachelor of Science degree in May of 1992 and a Doctor of Chiropractic in December of 1993 from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, OR; Certification in the Educational Program for Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Rehabilitation from the Department of Human Performance and Wellness of Mesa State College in Colorado in 1999; and certification in Surface Electromyography (Semg) from Turning Point Logistics Systems, Inc. He has practiced chiropractic since March of 1994, first in Denver CO, and since November of 2004 in Spokane WA.