Inventor, entrepreneur, author and cutting-edge physician — all appropriate descriptors for Gregory Soltanoff, DC, a third-generation chiropractor with two practices in Kingston, N.Y. The family vocation started with his grandfather and was handed down to his father, his aunt, several cousins and, now, to Soltanoff and his brother.
“It’s definitely a passion,” Soltanoff says. “I think we’ve each had our own specialty within the chiropractic scope of practice.”
In Soltanoff’s case, make that several specialties, or sub-specialties — most of which grew out of his creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Soltanoff graduated from Palmer University in 1998, and one year later opened the largest mobile neurodiagnostic company in New York. The company, which operated through a fleet of vehicles, provided physicians with in-office testing for their patients. Soltanoff would consult with physicians in their offices, and if a patient needed a neurodiagnostic test, such as an EMG or an NCV, he would conduct the test right in the physicians’ offices.
“We were able to offer the service to chiropractors who used to have to send their patients elsewhere,” Soltanoff recalls. “Eventually, we were covering the entire state. It just took off.”
The neurodiagnostic company was a springboard to open his first practice, Soltanoff Chiropractic, where he specializes in accident victims and patients suffering from trauma with a focus on pain management. There, Soltanoff provides chiropractic care with proven medical techniques that cure pain in the back, neck, and other parts of the body.
But one office was not enough.
Soltanoff’s second practice, Soltanoff Spinal Strengthening and Rehabilitation, is located nearby within the Midhudson Athletic Club and was always a personal goal.
“In my primary office I deal with functional joint problems,” he explains. “And I realized that no matter how much I was treating these people, that if I didn’t address either the underlying structural problem, whether it was a degenerative disk or a muscle weakness, I could never truly stabilize them.”
All the work he put into a patient was for naught if they weren’t taking care outside of the office. For instance, they could be sleeping on old mattresses with no support or lying in odd positions. Plus, many patients were sitting the wrong way for long periods of time in the car or at work.
That’s where the second practice comes in. Soltanoff set up three ergonomic stations. First, he pulled a seat out of an old Ford minivan and set it up with a steering wheel to show patients the difference between sitting and leaning to one side while driving versus sitting up straight, and how that affected their body.
The second ergonomic station featured a mattress and a memory foam pillow so patients could see the effect of poor sleeping positions.
Lastly, a desk set up showed patients how poor sitting habits and reaching for a computer mouse for six hours a day can put undo strain on their spines.
“I would show people how to sit up straight, get their posture neutral; but I knew there was something else I was looking for,” Soltanoff says. “A next step.”
Starting a movement
To further infuse proper ergonomics and activity into patients’ lives, Soltanoff — also the founder of Kinetic Concepts, LLC, which offers innovative consumer health products — developed The Movement, an advanced software program and instructional booklet to help patients combat the hazards of sedentary lifestyles.
“I started telling people, ‘I want you to set a reminder on your cell phone. Once an hour when it goes off I want you to get up and do some movement, do some twisting. I want you to do these exercises,’” Soltanoff says.
The problem, however, was that patients told him that they forgot to set their phone, or they forgot the exercise sheet.
“All of a sudden it came to me,” Soltanoff says. “I realized I had to build this piece of software and make it so we have the entire package in one. And that’s when The Movement was born.”
When the reminder goes off, patients are guided through a two-minute micro break that’s completely disruptive to their workflow. They actually do the entire protocol while seated. And if they’re in the middle of something when the reminder goes off, they can snooze or dismiss the exercise at that time.
A related book, currently in production and tentatively titled The Movement Handbook, is scheduled for release this year.
Soltanoff says the most rewarding thing he has done is the recently patented and launched software program The Movement. He believes it has the potential to change the lives of all who come in contact with technology — and today, that’s virtually everyone.
The program only asks people to get up once an hour and move around for just two minutes, but Soltanoff believes The Movement can change the health of not only the people he directly touches, but anyone who learns indirectly from the software.
“We can create a paradigm shift in the next generation’s behavior, which will help combat all the chronic diseases that are related to inactivity and obesity,” Soltanoff says. “We took the actual technology, which was the problem, and turned it into a solution. I’m most proud of that.”
Ed Rabinowitz recently wrote One More Dance, a book about one family's courageous battle against time and glioblastoma brain cancer. Read more about the book here.