An interview with David Traster Licensed Chiropractor from the Neurologic Wellness Institute August 17, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Licensed chiropractor with a Master’s Degree in Sports Health Science. Owner and lead clinician of The Neurologic Wellness Institute. Has consulted in private clinics around the world relating to optimizing patient care outcomes in regard to neurological disorders. Associate professor for the Carrick Institute for graduate studies and lectures around the globe on translating clinical research into clinical practice with brain-based clinical applications. Has received a Diplomate in Chiropractic Neurology by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board as well as a Fellow in Brain Injury and Rehabilitation and Vestibular Rehabilitation by the American College of Functional Neurology. Certified chiropractic sports physician. Certified practitioner in Applied Kinesiology. Certified personal trainer with specialties in performance enhancement and corrective enhancement through NASM. Has been a co-author on 36 case study publications in the journal of Frontiers Neurology. Was awarded the 2018 Functional Neurology Instructor of the Year by the Carrick Institute. Has spoken at the Australasian Academy of Functional Neurology conference in both 2014 and 2015 and was the keynote speaker in 2016. Has been a keynote speaker at the 2015, 2017, and 2018 International Symposium on Clinical Neuroscience, as well as speaking at the 2014 International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation Conference. Has been a keynote speaker at the 2018 International College of Applied Kinesiology Australian convention in Melbourne, Australia, the 2018 International College of Applied Kinesiology International convention in Edinbourgh, Scotland, and the 2018 International College of Applied Kinesiology American convention in Chicago, IL. Speaker at the 2018 Wave convention hosted by Life West. Named the student of the year in 2013 by the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation.
Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness.
I was exposed to neurological rehabilitation through an internship with a famous neurologist. This internship created awareness of the impact and effectiveness of modifying symptoms and function of neurological conditions through specific rehabilitation exercises. Before this my understanding of health care was based on pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and diet modification. Understanding the concept of neuroplasticity and epigenetics allowed me to become more aware of the impact of physical exercise and manual therapy on the nervous system.
Can you tell me more about your advocacy?
We currently see patients from around the world with a variety of neurological conditions. We advocate for patient choice, patient education, and symptomatic and functional improvement through brain based neurological rehabilitation. We feel strongly that exercises aimed to improve neuroplasticity as well as neuromodulation techniques have a strong impact on human function and are currently underutilized.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
My passion for Parkinson’s awareness began when understanding the long process that Parkinson’s usually takes to develop before seeing a tremor or more severe symptoms. While we all are hoping for a cure, I think currently what we can do is be more educated on the early signs of Parkinson’s which occur years before many people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s and be more advocates for early detection and lifestyle modifications in hopes to delay or avoid progression of this terrible disease.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s awareness have when working with you?
Our goals for our patients typically involve symptom reduction and functional improvements. This may be decrease in tremor, increase in gait, and balance function, decrease in pain and rigidity, decrease in falls, increase in memory, just to name a few.
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s awareness?
We believe if we can identify early signs and symptoms before the continued progression, we may be able to help many people before the necessity for medication. We also believe we can help improve function and decrease symptoms with a non-drug approach which can complement the medication or possibly delay the need for the medication or delay the need for an increase in medication. We hope that the future involves different approaches to the treatment of Parkinson’s with treatments that involve less side effects.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
A future goal would be treatments for Parkinson’s which are more effective and involve less side effects.
What events do you participate in?
We currently participate in the Michael J Fox foundation events as well as local events for funding for future treatments.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
We assist care givers by allowing them to have more control over helping their patients or loved ones.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
Our website is www.neurologicwellnessinstitute.com
How can others also become advocates for awareness?
There is an increase in Parkinsons at a younger age and we need more awareness about early detection and lifestyle modification which may be able to help.
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
The future of treatment will first be early detection and prevention. We will also have better therapeutics for this disorder. As research advances on the brain, we will be able to provide more therapies beyond the traditional ones we use today.