Why did you get into chiropractic?
When I was 20 years old, I was in a traumatic snowboarding accident that left me with a fully compressed thoracic vertebra and fractured cervical vertebra–the damage to my spine rendered me functionally paralyzed. I was fortunate to be snowboarding with my best friend and his uncle, who happened to be a chiropractor. After my visit to the ER, my friend’s uncle, Dr. Dan, offered me free chiropractic care while I was home for spring break. The ER prognosis was months before I would be able to walk at full capacity again. After my first treatment with Dr. Dan I was able to stand on my own; by the end of the week I was walking with little difficulty. I changed my major the day I got back to school.
Tell us about your practice. Where, and what do you specialize in?
I’m extremely fortunate to walk in the footsteps of giants- not just because he’s a large man, but because he encompasses everything that I believe to be the future of chiropractic. I started my chiropractic career under the guidance of Dr. Steve Capobianco; and with his relocation to Denver, I took over Symmetry Sports Therapy in Los Gatos, CA. Much like RockTape, Symmetry is a movement based sports rehab center; instead of treating the site of discomfort*, we rely on functional movement assessments and a test, treat, retest model to make sure we are treating the root cause versus just the symptoms. Everyone is an athlete in their own right, so our specialty is really just utilizing the techniques used on world class athletes–IASTM, RockTape, Chiropractic, laser therapy, etc–to treat the athletes of their own lives.
What was your first experience with RockTape?
I had used RockTape in many sporting events while treating athletes in Chiropractic college and had the privilege of mummifying myself in the FMT course several years back. My first true NEED for RockTape, myself, was when I had a FOOSH (fall on outstretched hand) injury during an intense kickball game and incurred a shoulder labrum tear. I decided to go nonsurgical, although the odds were against me, but needed to be able to still treat patients- RockTape gave me support in my weak, early phases of rehab and helped my strength and control in the rebuilding phases of rehab.
How do you use RockTape in your practice?
With my mild obsession for movement patterns, having a non-invasive technique that will continue to reprogram my patients’ movement patterns for days after our treatments is HUGE. Although I see traumatic injuries and have plenty of use for RockTape in reducing edema as well, the majority of injuries I see are idiopathic repetitive stress disorders. If the patient doesn’t know why it started, its usually going to be some biomechanical error in their daily or athletic lives. After I’ve treated the soft tissues and joints, I employ corrective exercises to start the reprogramming of those faulty patterns–RockTape locks those new patterns in and makes subtle, constant suggestions to the brain to continue reorganizing patterns for days to come.
What’s your favorite RockTape pattern/product/etc?
My favorite product is the H2O tape–I love RockTape because it’s the most aggressive and most effective tape out there, so bumping it up a notch adds even more edge. More is better, right? As for my favorite pattern–I’m a farmtown boy, it’s cow print or bust.
If you could change one behavior of your patients, what would it be?
Hurting themselves. Seems like a horrible business model, I know. There’s nothing more rewarding than being there to help my patients get back to doing what they love, or “getting back to their why” as I like to say. But, honestly, my favorite visits are the ones where my patients come in and tell me that they feel great and just thought they’d come in for a tuneup. This is when we can get really weird with movement assessments and tap into some deeper, more intrinsic stuff to create serious longevity and levels of performance they didn’t know they had.
Where do you think Chiropractic care is headed? What’s the future of it?
Movement. I spoke with Dr. Capobianco earlier this week about “getting patients off the table” and moving more during treatments. I truly believe that’s the key to getting them better and the future of our profession. It’s really easy for us to get in these autopilot modes because we see the same lower back injuries over and over, so we do soft tissue release, maybe an adjustment or non-force mobilization, tape them up and send them on the way. Not to say this doesn’t work, but does it really fix the problem? We should be having them doing Foundation Training in and out of the office, doing soft tissue work while taking them through provocative movements and even taping them while they perform corrective patterns.
You can usually find Dr. Fowler at one of two Symmetry Sports Therapy and Performance Care locations:
51 University Ave, Suite K
Los Gatos, CA, 95030
550 South 1st Street
San Jose, CA 95113