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Natural Awakenings Boston

Dr. Julie Burke: A Journey of Healing Through Chiropractic Care

Dr. Julie Burke of Newton Chiropractic and Wellness Newton Centre, became a chiropractor in 1988 because she herself was healed by the practice. About three years later she trained in Network Spinal Analysis (NSA), a kind of chiropractic care that addresses neural tension along the spine. Burke says that what she experienced while receiving NSA transformed her practice. Natural Awakenings wanted to know more about NSA and Burke’s own healing journey.

What was it about NSA that impressed you as a chiropractor?

With NSA I felt a sense of peace that was beyond what I’d experienced with traditional chiropractic. I actually felt like my ability to manage stress increased profoundly. I was more relaxed as a person, and that was a profound shift. I could also breathe better, and I was more flexible and calm.

Can you explain the mechanics of NSA?

It’s a series of gentle chiropractic adjustments using a very specific analysis. NSA allows us to read the body and understand tension not only in the bones and muscles but also along the spinal cord itself. Tension in any of these areas can be created by physical, emotional or chemical stressorsor injury. The analysis shows us what is pulling where and when, and it gives us immediate feedback as to when the body has resolved the tension in that area. So it helps us to be more thoughtful and thorough in our treatment.

What do you do if those stressors you named are causing the problem?

I’d look at lifestyle issues, like whether a person’s drinking too much coffee and not enough water, whether they eat fruits and vegetables, and whether they’re sitting bent over a desk all day and not exercising. Some folks may be doing all the right things but they’re taking a supplement that’s not absorbable or their stress level is too high. At that point, we really have to look at what lifestyle practices need to change and can change. If there’s a muscular component to the issue, we refer patients to massage treatment that’s coordinated with our care. The NSA then helps the nervous system to communicate better with the body for healing. We also have classes to teach people what we’re doing and why, so they’re more engaged in the process.

You advertise an antioxidant scan for new patients. What is that?

It’s a machine that you put your hand in front of and it uses light technology to measure how many carotenoids you have in your system, which is the biggest indicator of how protected you are with antioxidants and how well your body would fight cancer and other diseases. Someone whose numbers are low would then make dietary changes and we’d monitor the person again in 60 days and see if they were able to make changes. What’s great is that when patients know they’re going to follow up they start to do things like eat fruits and vegetables and lose weight, because when the body’s overweight it creates more oxidative stress.

Why did you choose this career?

I’ve been motivated to do healing work since I was a child. There was a lot of illness in my family and, when my mom fell ill, they used a combination of holistic and traditional medicine. So I had all this exposure to nutrition and macrobiotic eating and healthy habits because of my mom’s illness. Later I went to Boston College and planned to go to medical school. During that time, I was injured as a gymnast and I faced the choice between painkillers that would knock me out or chiropractic. I appreciated the logic behind working with the body’s own healing abilities. Today I want to help people understand how powerful their body is in healing itself, so that they don’t have to just accept that they are going to break down over time or be on pharmaceutical drugs later in life. It’s amazing how much the body can correct on its own with just a little adjustment.

Dr. Julie Burke practices at Newton Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, 345 Boylston St., Suite 300, in Newton Centre. For more information call 617-964-3332 or visit