February 28, 2020 San Ignacio, Belize, Central America
ISL Blog Guest Author: James A. Taylor DO
During a 5 day whirlwind tour of the charming town of San Ignacio, nestled near the border of Guatemala in Western Belize, Dr. Matt Booth DPT, PT, an American Physical Therapist, lead a cast of specialists to teach, train, and test 12 local physicians in the hot-new treatment for pain with stunning success.
There’s more here than meets the eye. Dr. Booth, with Country Coordinator for International Services Learning (ISL) Denise Neal Coyoc, assembled a fantastic, diverse group dubbed the “US Team” to plant the flag for this innovative, hands-on method to manage pain without medication. I mean NONE!
Spurred by a similar trip almost one year ago, Dr. Booth engaged the profound resources of a local San Ignacio firecracker Family Physician Yorleny Jimenez-Solano MD to marshal the local physicians for an intensive 2 day lecture-practicum never before seen on the enormous benefits of this up and coming treatment protocol. During these days, the local MD’s banded like steel with the “US Team” to interview, evaluate, and successfully treat 268 local patrons, ages six to ninety-seven!
Wait, there’s more. The hearty band of dedicated practitioners who accompanied Dr. Booth paid their own way from as far away as Alaska to the west, Florida to the south, and Massachusetts to the east to provide the needed thumbs to complement and complete Dr. Booth’s engaging presentation. Included in this very diverse group were 3 Osteopathic Physicians (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine-D.O.), 2 Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), 1 Physical Therapist (PT), and 1 Occupational Therapist (OT). Together they brought both a unique yet tightly cohesive wealth of talent, skills, and teaching never before assembled in such a diverse setting. Even the local physicians were stunned by their own exponentially growing proficiency as they plied their new, hands-on skills for their friends, neighbors, and especially families.
Suddenly this new and exciting treatment, medication free, was spreading like wildfire through this community of 21,151 (2016 data). What are they telling everyone about this as before unavailable treatment?
It was about pain relief. Most locals came to the clinic living with their pain for as long as 30 to 40 years. Think about that, to walk away pain free after so much suffering. Don’t kid yourself. These were not simple pains: a child with congenital foot deformity can now walk barefoot without painful corrective shoes, a muscular basketball player who could dunk the ball again after a devastating knee injury, and a 97 year-old woman who was able to walk again with minimal assistance after years of disability. These are just examples of the myriad and diverse problems, real problems for real people, helped and in many cases 100% resolved by this amazing protocol.
After the intensive 2 day lecture and hands on demonstration, 1 or 2 of the local physicians teamed up with a “US Team” member to select a patient, under the direction of Ms. Coyoc, and then proceed to craft and implement a plan to the surprise and frankly, the joy of the local Belizians. As their skills grew, their confidence grew, allowing some physicians to take these same new skills to their local hospital and clinics the very next day. Amazing! The results were the same. They will surely be the new local, and perhaps, national, proponents for this revolutionary modality called Fascial Distortion Model (FDM).
FDM is a means of hands-only treatment of many common conditions, especially associated with pain. First described by Dr. Stephen Typaldos, D. O. in 1991, this novel approach for treatment of painful conditions was guided by experience from treating 3 consecutive patients with the exact same back pain. Since then, the introduction of the Fascial Distortion Model was assisted by author and practitioner Todd A. Capistrant D.O., MHA and his book, Why Does It Hurt? (copyright 2014 Beaver’s Bond Press, Inc.).
Today, with a special nod to Dr. Booth, Ms. Coyoc, International Service Learning, and the “US Team” in Belize, FDM is taught and practiced in the United States and around the world.
Finally, and perhaps more importantly, the need for novel treatments to manage sources of pain begs to be rolled out to the entire United States starting at the medical college level. For those administrators whose concern is the cost of pain management, FDM, practiced professionally and competently, can save millions of dollars in health care costs associated with high and low-tech radiology, laboratory as well as medication. Even more excitingly, FDM has and will continue to provide an improved quality of life after even a brief office visit.
Fascial Distortion Model is a therapeutic modality almost every person who experiences it will benefit from, at the cost of 1 office visit. To our newfound friends in Belize, all 268 of them, there was no cost at all. A remarkable story isn’t it? It is true. I was there.
ISL Blog Guest Author: James A. Taylor DO
Board Certified Family Physician
Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Here is another account of this astonishing story from the point of view of Dr. Abigail Joseph, a San Ignacio doctor and attendee of the 2-day conference on FDM.