Like many students in college, Dr. Cecilia Yu, owner of Synergy Balance, in Dallas, was unsure of her career path. As a student at the University of Illinois (UI) at Urbana-Champaign, Yu says she “majored in everything at one time,” but was leaning toward physical therapy when she was urged to explore chiropractic. Once she did,
“I realized that with interference, nerves cannot find their message to and from the brain, which leads to dysfunction of body organs,” she said. “Healing occurs within the body by the removal of this interference. It gave me an understanding of the body’s ability to self-heal. Nothing else made sense after that.”
It was then that she decided to make a difference in the lives of others and become a spinal care specialist. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from UI, she received a doctor of chiropractic degree from the Parker College of Chiropractic, in Dallas, in 2008. Her first position out of school was at a million-dollar practice in Chicago—a dream job for most. For Yu, it was anything but, and it served as a turning point in her life. She spent eight months at the practice before realizing it just wasn’t for her.
“The catalyst came after a patient we had been seeing steadily suddenly didn’t show for an appointment,” explains Yu. “When I asked what happened, I was told that the patient had thrown her back out and had to have emergency surgery due to a bulging disk. I realized then that I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
She left the firm with a newfound mission to discover a more gentle approach to spinal care. She found it with the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) procedure—a non-invasive, hands-on technique developed more than 40 years ago. NUCCA is a unique form of chiropractic spinal health care that uses a specific procedure focused on correcting a small misalignment of the upper neck known as the atlas subluxation complex.
According to Yu, this subtle correction ultimately restores optimal balance to the entire spinal column. Because the spinal column protects the central nervous system that controls and coordinates all body functions, good spinal balance is critical to good health.
The association reports that extensive research and clinical studies show improved body balance effectively reduces stress throughout the body and helps to relieve pain. Although the NUCCA correction is performed on the neck, it affects the balance of the entire body.
“The best part is that the NUCCA approach utilizes no twisting, cracking or popping,” notes Yu. “Most of the time, patients do not feel anything but a gentle pressure behind the ear.”
Yu began her NUCCA training in 2009, including an internship with Dr. Marshall Dickholtz, Jr. one of only 20 board-certified NUCCA doctors worldwide. She is one of just 230 registered NUCCA doctors in the country, with only two in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “The technique is a very precise one, so you have to be very meticulous,” she explains. “A quarter of a degree could be crucial in allowing the body to thrive.”
In 2011, she launched Synergy Balance to correct what others have missed and treat what others cannot with impeccable upper cervical care and the healing effects of the NUCCA procedure.
A first-time patient can expect to spend about two hours in the office, reviewing health history and determining if their atlas is out of alignment. Precision X-rays may be taken to accurately view the misalignment, if there is one. Special calculations and reading of the X-rays will definitively show how the misalignment can be corrected. NUCCA adjustments will be administered on the second visit—after the patient’s precise misalignment has been calculated. The adjustments are always made using only the doctor’s hands, nothing else—no instruments. Another set of X-rays will be taken after the adjustment to show the reduction of the misalignment.
Yu says that responses to the adjustment depend on the patient: a person may feel no significant change or a change in symptoms with immediate improvements. “I have seen miraculous changes in patients, including autistic children who have gone from barely functioning to getting themselves ready,” she notes. “I had one patient literally crawl in and then run out of the office after an adjustment.”
The number of times she sees a patient also depends on the individual and how well he or she holds an alignment. “For the first two weeks, I will usually see a person twice a week just to see how the body is changing,” explains Yu. “After that, the frequency of appointment depends on the body. Our long-term goal is to achieve spinal balance by holding the alignment, which means less visits.”
It’s a far cry from her first job in traditional chiropractic, where she might see a patient three times a week for six to eight weeks. She says that it was difficult for her to explain the necessary frequency to patients. “I didn’t want to have to say that to them—it was a hard sell,” she says. “NUCCA is so precise and so powerful that regular visits just aren’t necessary.”
In an effort to better serve her patients, Yu also obtained a degree in nursing, is board certified in acupuncture and holds a certification in applied kinesiology. She is dedicated to perfecting the art of NUCCA. Additionally, she knows the importance of neurology and the linking of muscles to the spinal column and the rest of the central nervous system. The combination of pure balance from NUCCA and energy work from acupuncture and applied kinesiology makes Synergy Balance a one-stop shop for many that are seeking minimally invasive care.
Synergy Balance is located at 12740 Hillcrest Rd., Ste. 138, in Dallas. For more information, call 972-387-4700 or visit MySynergyBalance.com.