Dr. Thomas Lo has never been mistaken for a witch doctor or a faith healer, but for the last 30 years, he has miraculously cured local residents and athletes of innumerable ailments that went undetected by doctors. Currently celebrating his third decade as owner of Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center, Lo reflected on his most memorable moments as a Crofton business owner and community member.
Known to many West Countians as the affable neighborhood chiropractor, Lo spent his childhood in Hong Kong, where alternative treatment options were commonplace. “My mom was always sick,” he recalled. “But she saw an herbal doctor that used his hands.”
Lo wanted to study medicine, but after working as a medical technologist doing lab work, he realized he did not want to become a traditional doctor. “I did not like what I saw in hospitals,” he admitted. “Hospitals are great for people with trauma, but not for minor problems.”
In 1984, Lo opened his first business in Crofton. Throughout the years, he upgraded to larger Crofton offices twice and added nutrition to his practice while helping people relieve joint pain, lose weight and eliminate allergic reactions. He still remembers his first patient, a 12-year-old girl that could not stop hiccupping, who was ushered into his building by an entourage of family members during an open house.
“The girl saw a pediatrician, a neurologist and took remedies, but nobody else could diagnose the problem,” Lo mentioned. “She was kicked out of class because teachers thought she was seeking attention, and all the kids thought her condition was funny.”
Then fresh out of medical school, Lo recalled his training and identified three nerve spots that control the diaphragm. In front of a vigilant crowd, he solved the mysterious hiccup syndrome. His office is filled with testimonials summarizing astonishing recoveries like that case, and more than 100 model ducks, which he collects.
Once, he treated a patient for whiplash caused by a car accident, and weeks after easing the woman’s discomfort, Lo received a letter in the mail. “She said, ‘Thank you. I was deaf in my left ear my entire life and you fixed it,’” he remembered. “I didn’t know she had that problem.”
That treatment and the majority of the other cases during Lo’s 30-year run were done using the activator method, a low-force technique that uses a spring-loaded instrument. “Many patients are scared by the cracking and twisting noises, so that’s why I use the activator method,” he said. “People think chiropractors only work on the back and neck, but we work on their arms, legs and everything else. Some individuals see me as if I am their primary care doctor.”
His other fond memories are serving as attending doctor for the World’s Greatest Athlete Decathlon Club at the 2004 Olympic trials and working with athletes, including 1985 Wimbledon men’s doubles champions in tennis, the Jensen brothers and several former Washington Capitals and Washington Bullets players. He admitted that he does not see as many athletes as he used to, but he does serve as a chiropractic specialist for dancers with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland.
Lo sees an even number of patients for chiropractic and nutrition, continuing to make believers out of skeptics who do not trust holistic medicine, which remedies ailments without the use of pills or shots. He joked that his wife may persuade him to move to Frederick eventually, but he loves Crofton and would not mind adding accomplishments to his current 30-year resume.
“I don’t plan to retire because I enjoy doing this,” he proclaimed. “Crofton is pretty, quiet and a nice place to raise a family. It’s close to the airport and I like to travel. I really like it here.”
Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center will hold a summer food drive from July 28-August 8. Guests that bring in 20 food items or a $25 donation for the Crofton Caring Council Food Bank will receive a free allergy screening ($75 value) or foot detox ($50 value).