The conservative commentator Glenn Beck has revealed that he has suffered from severe neurological problems for several years, and credits, in part, “medical cowboys” at a chiropractic brain rehabilitation center for helping “reboot” his brain.
Beck detailed his health problems during a filmed broadcast shown Monday night, saying that his troubles began while he worked for Fox News and they “quite honestly made me look crazy”. He described the first symptom as a “time collapse”, saying he lost the ability to connect memories and facts. “I then began to lose names and faces … entire conversations would go away.”
He teared up as he described almost two years of increasing uncertainty and fear in the face of a mysterious ailment, which doctors said could leave him unable to function “in five to 10 years”. Beck said that “vocal paralysis” and seizures began to affect his work, and that he was told by doctors that his lifestyle could not continue “because it was literally killing me”.
He said doctors were baffled by the range of symptoms, which included “strange eyesight problems” and sensations of limbs crushed or “set on fire or pushed broken glass into them”.
Beck visited numerous doctors and attempted diets and drug treatments and moved to Texas for the warmer weather. But doctors, he said, remained stymied: “We even looked into somebody poisoning me.”
Doctors at first told Beck that his lack of sleep and intense focus at work caused the sensations, and that these things “happened to presidents, even Winston Churchill wrote about it”. One told him to go spend time with his family, and another, about 18 months ago, tested him for a traumatic brain injury.
“I did so poorly on this test the doctors shared the results with my wife and didn’t focus on them with me … I knew I was functioning at about the bottom 10%. I knew when I couldn’t figure out simple math problems or remember a series of words I was in real trouble.”
In his darkest moments he said he saw the image Muhammad Ali’s life with Parkinson’s disease.
After asking: “Am I done? Can I put my sword down now?”, Beck reached a “pivot point” and found the Carrick Brain Centers, a rehabilitation center in Texas that deals largely with patients who have suffered brain trauma and degenerative conditions. Beck attributes the work of clinicians there, who employ electrical stimulation, mirrors and non-surgical, alternative therapies such as the “Off Vertical Axis Rotational Device”, which is a patented chair that spins to “stimulate the brain”.
The Carrick Brain Center, like Florida’s Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies and Brain Balance Centers, are linked to Ted Carrick, a specialist in “chiropractic neurology” whose clinics have treated athletes such as NHL star Sidney Crosby and former football player Darren Woodson. The chiropractic branch of alternative medicine has a long and controversial history that goes back to self-proclaimed magnetic healer Daniel Palmer, and Carrick’s center, which can charge as much as $5,000 for a week-long therapy course, has been criticized by some doctors as dealing in placebo treatments.
Beck calls the clinicians there “cowboys” because of their unorthodox methods, and also because the Texan co-founder actually wears cowboy boots. the center linked his inability to sleep with adrenal failure and “hyperextension of [his] adrenal glands”, which triggered an immune system response: “My body was trying to kill its most basic functions.” He says these “medical cowboys”, diet, sleep and hormone treatment with his recovery.
“My brain is back online in a big way. I have a clean bill of health.”