I’m happy to report on the first Fascial Distortion Model (FDM) outreach in Central America. Seven practitioners from the US (2 DOs, NP, PA, PT, OT, and a Chiropractic student) volunteered and paid their own way on a medical service trip to Belize to teach FDM to six Belizean physicians.  The US group spanned the US, from Alaska, to Washington D.C.

The group was hosted at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town, Belize, one of 4 regional hospitals in this country of 400,000 people the size of Massachusetts. There were only MDs available to attend from Belize, with no physical therapists in the area, and only 2 PTs in the whole country.

The class was abbreviated due to time restrictions, and followed most of a Module 1 course with the addition of spinal folding techniques at the request of the Belizean doctors.  Local doctors had 1:1 hands-on instruction from experienced FDM practitioners. Following the 2 days of class time our group performed 2 days of clinic time in small villages. Word of free treatment for pain conditions was spread through the community health aides to residents of the villages, who came walking and biking to our clinic site. Each of the clinics was held in a community building with 2 rooms, 4 walls, a roof overhead, and not much else besides dust on the floors. Treatment tables were fashioned out of school tables and folding wooden tables. Chairs had to be checked that they had 4 legs, not 3. With a lot of sweeping, improving, and some sheets for the tables, we were ready to treat within 15 minutes of the team’s arrival. The practitioners new to FDM were paired with a seasoned FDM practitioner, and we proceeded to treat a variety of conditions. Our first was a probable distal radius fracture in an elderly woman. She was treated with FDM gently, and told she would need to go to the regional hospital for X-rays and further follow up. After treating her wrist and forming a makeshift splint, she asked if we could treat her back too! Those of us around her winced as she braced herself for treatment with her injured wrist as FDM was performed to her back. Apparently her wrist wasn’t hurting as much anymore.

Our team has everything from toe pain to headaches, chest pain to abdominal pain. In all, we treated over 100 people with FDM, and 95% reported significant relief.

What was interesting to see was the requests from patients at the beginning of their visit for pain medication. That is all they knew the doctors could do from previous outreach clinics into these villages. The Belizean doctors were beyond joy in being able to offer immediate relief to the vast majority of patients without using medications. They have invited us back to teach again with the target being all government physicians in the western region of the country. That trip is tentatively planned for March 20-28, 2020.  We’re excited for the opportunity to spread FDM to more physicians and patients that can desperately use it.  Additionally, their health system can track the medical orders for every patient and every doctor, so we could generate some interesting data on how FDM changes care and costs to a system.