by Sandra Yeyati
Michelangelo, the sculptor of David, said, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”
Through his wellness programs, Dr. Thomas Culleton, DC, DACNB, aims to achieve this same level of excellence. “The patients I see are stuck in a block of marble, but no one has been able to chisel them out. They’re in there somewhere, and they just need to get back to basics and sculpt their lifestyles so that they can become the best they can be,” says Culleton, a board certified chiropractic neurologist and clinic director of Dr. Culleton’s Wellness Center, in Cedar Park since 2008.
Many of the people that come to the center feel exhausted and hopeless. They have been to medical doctors and specialists, are taking medications for conditions like diabetes or hypothyroidism, yet they continue to feel unwell and experience symptoms despite having “normal” lab results. “What puts a smile on my face is identifying through testing all those areas that need to be addressed, and after we tackle those areas seeing their lab markers optimize, watching them lose weight, gain their energy back, have regular bowel movements and start to reduce the number of medications that they’re on,” Culleton says.
Culleton is also a teacher for the Carrick Institute and Apex Energetics. A couple of times a month, he presents three-day courses on mastering blood chemistry and how to support people with thyroid problems, diabetes, neurological issues, brain degeneration and other conditions. Among his students are medical doctors, chiropractors, osteopaths, naturopaths, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists and other practitioners. “They show up because they know that the current paradigm is not helping their patients. Just giving them a medication to dwarf their symptoms is not making them healthy or resolving the underlying issues,” Culleton says.
Culleton’s wellness program generally lasts three to six months, with regular follow-up visits to track each patient’s progress. The first step is testing, which includes blood work, stool analysis and tests that look at immune reactivity to food and other common triggers like plastic. Culleton also orders blood tests that identify the presence of auto-antibodies, which will determine if a person’s body is recognizing its own tissue as foreign and tagging it for probable destruction. Targets include the brain, heart, liver, pancreas and 20 other tissues.
Culleton then sits down with each patient to make sure that they thoroughly understand all of their test results and presents a customized plan that’s specific to each patient’s needs, which includes dietary management, supplementation, detoxification, an exercise program and mentoring. They do repeat testing throughout the three-to-sixmonth period.
If the body has been targeted for immune attack, Culleton wants to know what’s driving it. “We want to identify what the immune triggers are and remove them,” he explains. Quite often, one or more types of foods, including gluten, soy and dairy, are triggering the autoimmune response. Also common are environmental triggers, like bisphenol A from plastic cups or water bottles. Next, Culleton suggests nutritional supplements, including vitamins, minerals, herbs and botanicals, to address leaky gut symptoms, initiate liver detoxification, dampen inflammatory processes and support the immune functions of the body.
Culleton advises his patients to remain under the care of their medical doctor for the treatment of their conditions. “My scope of practice does not permit me to advise a patient to change their medication dosage or suggest that they discontinue it. However, after their three-to-six-month wellness programs, their blood work improves and they have proof that they need less and less of their medications. Many actually reverse their conditions, such as diabetes, because we focused on the cause, not the symptoms,” he says.
Culleton has been practicing and studying functional medicine for six years. Once he heard about it, he couldn’t stop. “It’s an unrelenting passion now. That’s why I continue to go to seminars on immunology, physiology, functional medicine and neurology, to stay abreast of what is going on and what we need to be focusing on. It’s very exciting because this method of intervention produces spectacular results,” he says.
“We have to start teaching patients how to become more responsible for their own health—how to eat clean real food, exercise like any other mammal on Earth is supposed to exercise, and reduce all of the unnecessary medications. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that we need a medication to be healthy, and that’s absolutely false. The future of health care is based on practitioners like myself. We are the cutting edge of what’s happening in healthcare, and that’s why this whole world of functional medicine, which is brand new—it’s only been around for 15 years as a branch of medicine—is catching fire,” he says.