021219_heller chiropractic

Dr. Jen Heller, from left, Janis Schnellman and Jenny Sharpe, nurse practitioner, stand together at Heller Chiropractic and Wellness in Brunswick.

Janis Schnellman is an active senior go-getter who is eager to share the story of her discovery of Heller Healthcare. She’s inspiring, fun loving and full of energy, but throughout the years, her chronic pain from psoriatic arthritis, former surgeries, degenerative disc disease, bone spurs and rotator cuff issues had changed much of that.

Pain was dictating her life.

“I was in a dark place,” she said. “I had rotator cuff surgery years ago but it was only a partial repair, so I still had pain and very limited mobility.”

Schnellman was receiving ongoing cortisone injections for her shoulder condition, until she was recently advised by her doctor that there was nothing else that could be done except for another surgery. This news just deepened her frustration and concern with her quality life and her independence. Schnellman stated that her life had reached the point where some of her activities — even the most simple daily ones we all take for granted — were deeply restricted. For example, the act of turning her head while driving to check for traffic was difficult and painful; she couldn’t raise her arm to blow dry her hair; leaning her head back in the sink at a hair salon was nearly impossible due to her stiff, painful neck.

But just a few months back, Schnellman found hope and relief. After seeing an inspiring article about Heller Healthcare in The Brunswick News, she dared to wonder if their alternative Regenerative Joint program might be able to help her.

That story outlined the stem cell therapy a patient had previously received at Heller Healthcare and went on to tell how the treatment had greatly changed his life. While the patient sang the praises of Dr. Jen Heller and the rest of her staff, Schnellman remained skeptical as all she had heard from her previous doctors was a treatment plan of pain medications, surgery or to basically learn to live with the pain.

Schnellman stated that as she approached her appointment with Heller Healthcare, “I was extremely negative. I expected a real dog and pony show and someone trying to convince me to do this.” Schnellman met with Dr. Heller and Heller’s nurse practitioner Jenny Sharpe, who reviewed her conditions and advised that she was in fact a good candidate for stem cell therapy and their Regenerative Joint program. Schnellman stated “I still didn’t believe it, but I could ‘think’ there was hope.” She went in skeptical but was determined to do anything she could to reduce her pain and regain lost mobility and range of motion.

Dr. Heller wanted to help immediately, and together they decided on an aggressive treatment plan that included gentle chiropractic adjustments, medical massage, and stem cell therapy of the shoulders, neck, and damaged muscles. When combining all three of those therapies at the right time, the human body can transform and regenerate; even in cases of patients with severe arthritis.

Heller Healthcare uses Human Umbilical Cord Tissue (HUCT) stem cells, which are derived from the consented, donated umbilical cords from healthy mothers who birthed healthy babies. The amount of stem cells from a newborn’s umbilical cord are a million times greater and the cells are thousands of times more potent than stem cells taken from an aged body. This also makes it a less-invasive treatment with fewer steps since your own stem cells are not harvested from your body. Decreasing the amount of processes causes HUCT stem cell therapy injections to be vastly more affordable. It is a quick, painless, outpatient procedure performed in Heller Healthcare’s office. The stem cells are injected into the patient’s problem area(s) and within 20 hours those cells will have attached to the inflamed and degenerated tissue, doubled, and already started the process of regenerative medicine. (This is a much shorter doubling time than if adult stem cells were to be injected.)

This doubling process of every 20 hours continues for three months to change and regenerate the joints, arthritis, and tissue until new, healthy tissue has formed and replaced the old, degenerated tissue. After the stem cells have been injected, the amount of chiropractic and massage treatments needed to assist change and enhancement of the results varies by patient’s needs and goals to achieve optimal results.

In just a few short months Schnellman’s progress and changes are incredible. Her degree of mobility has greatly improved while her pain has significantly diminished and is most often non-existent; she is happily involved with “life” once more and feels that she has even gained a new family at Heller Healthcare.

“I was not expecting great results. I was not expecting quick results,” Schnellman said. “But it wasn’t long before I noticed a big difference ... in my range of motion and lack of pain. It was 10 days, max, when I started to notice a difference. It was amazing.”

Dr. Heller stated that her favorite moment was the day Schnellman walked into her office jubilant that she had just had her hair washed at a salon without pain for the first time in years. “It was the best moment for our office. Jenny (Sharpe) and I cried.”

To see a patient that we love get the results we knew she could get, even when she was so doubtful, is the answer to ‘why do we do this?’”

“This is a family here. They treat me like family!,” Schnellman said, beaming.

“She decided to trust us and our program, I’m so thankful for her. She really has become a part of our family here. There’s no way I’m going to let her go back to the painful life she was living ... she will kill me,” Heller said with a laugh.

The relationship has certainly gone beyond the standard 9-5. In fact, Schnellman and Sharpe are planning to travel together as guardians on the upcoming Honor Flight on May 4.

Schnellman added, “I lost my husband last year, but the year before he went on Honor Flight and I was his guardian. So, I wanted very much to be able to be a guardian for someone this year.”

She hadn’t felt physically capable of making that trip, “so I just kept the application on my desk. Since receiving my stem cell therapy I realized ‘I’m strong enough and I’m well enough to do this.’ I convinced (Sharpe) ...” to join me.

“It didn’t take much convincing,” Sharpe, who is an Air Force veteran herself, chimed in. “I was jumping up and down.”

“We’re looking forward to it,” Schnellman said with a smile.

Today, Schnellman has a renewed sense of hope and optimism about her potential future activities and quality of life. She is more mobile than she’s been in years and plans on continuing various treatments to keep the improvements coming.

“I’m so happy with the results, that I’m also going to do the stem cells on my feet for my arthritis,” she said.

“It’s a miracle. It’s a miracle. It brought me out of the darkness ... I was there,” she said.

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