Dr. Daniel Fenster's devotion to a noninvasive, drugless philosophy of wellness dates back to before he was even a doctor.
As a child, he suffered from horrible headaches. The prescribed medicine offered short-term, but not permanent, relief -- until he discovered chiropractic care.
As director of Manhattan-based Complete Wellness and a practicing chiropractor for 30 years, Fenster is committed to treating the "whole patient" and finding solutions where conventional approaches have failed.
From his 60th Street office, Fenster clues us into the holistic approach and the benefits of keeping your chin up.
What is Complete Wellness?
Complete Wellness is a health center where many different kinds of doctors and providers work together collaboratively to treat patients. Patients' problems are often complicated, so very often one kind of treatment is not sufficient to get back on the road to health. In fact, we find they usually need three different modes of treatment. So in this office we have acupuncture, biopuncture, chiropractic, medical massage, medical pain management, medical weight loss, nutrition, physical therapy and rehabilitation, wellness, yoga and more.
What's a big issue with our bodies?
As a society there are a few things we do too much of, like sitting in front of computers and driving. That forces people to hold their head forward, round their shoulders and get weak abdominal muscles. Those things cause terrible posture. It causes double chins, sagging breasts and big stomachs. It can also cause many health difficulties because the body functions best in good postures.
You told me to keep my chin up. Is that a metaphor for life or for health benefits?
Yes, both. Have you ever seen a football player running out into the field at the start of the Super Bowl -- head high, chest out, creating an image larger than reality? Now imagine the opposite -- that same football player shuffling out with shoulders rounded and head hanging low. It's almost comical to think about. There is definitely a relationship between our posture, function and ultimately our feelings.
What's the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill?
The AlterG is an amazing piece of equipment. An injured athlete can maintain their level of fitness, rehabilitate their injury and improve their gait. Another use is in obese patients. We can put a 300-pound person and get them moving, help increase their metabolism and produce a more effective weight-loss program.
Has the world of wellness changed?
When I first started practicing the notion of wellness did not really exist. We now see that wellness is a better goal than treatment. Most illness in this country is the result of poor lifestyle. If we can live a healthier life, prevent illness and achieve wellness, that's a life well-lived.
Any advice on being Dr. Fenster?
As a wellness doctor, I think it's important not to talk the talk but also walk the walk. So I pride myself on being fit, eating well, living the wellness lifestyle and being an example for my patients.