Dr. Patrick Giammarise treats a multitude of internal-health problems
Modern medical care treats—and sometimes masks—symptoms, but people don’t get well without addressing the root problems: That is the view of Dr. Patrick Giammarise, a local health practitioner with a unique multidisciplinary practice.
“If you can’t get to the cause, you can’t get to the cure,” says Giammarise, who is known to his patients simply as “Dr. Patrick.” Giammarise’s medical practice—housed in a comfortable office on Forest Avenue behind the Raley’s supermarket in south Chico—offers progressive solutions to a multitude of ills. Giammarise offers full chiropractic services through Patrick Chiropractic, and he runs the Allergy & Digestive Relief Center, specializing in the treatment of a variety of internal maladies such as headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gluten intolerance, chronic- fatigue syndrome, arthritis, diabetes and, of course, allergies—all under one roof.
“We specialize in helping people find their ‘inner doctor’—teaching people ways to change their lifestyles so their bodies can heal themselves,” Giammarise said recently.
Giammarise has a friendly demeanor and a respectful way of listening when spoken to. His wife, Kristan Leatherman, is the office manager, when she’s not pursuing her own career as an author, speaker and family-life consultant. Leatherman has 25 years of counseling experience with children, parents and teachers. The couple’s affability makes the doctor’s office feel like a place you’d actually like to go.
Patti Wickes agrees. Wickes, who is 62 and has lived in Chico more than 20 years, is one of Giammarise’s patients. She first started seeing him nearly 10 years ago for digestive complications, and, after a few years of not seeing him returned three years ago for allergies.
Wickes remembers first meeting Giammarise at his booth at the Thursday Night Market in downtown Chico.
“I had heartburn all the time,” she recalled in a recent interview. “I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease]. I could hardly eat anything and was on meds. He was such a friendly man. He said, ‘Come see me, and I bet you’ll be back to eating the foods you like again.’”
“We figured out what foods she was not digesting,” Giammarise said, “and used herbs to heal her stomach lining. I also have a manual manipulation I can do for the hiatal hernia.”
Giammarise recommended which foods Wickes should eat more and which to eat less, in order to test what Wickes’ body could process and what it couldn’t. “She was eating more ‘real’ food that wasn’t processed,” said Giammarise.
Wickes said learning to eat for her own particular body was the key. “Lo and behold, I’m now taking no meds. It’s amazing,” she said. “Dr. Patrick’s methods are different. … He had me go on a ‘baric’ diet for two weeks to clean me out, eliminate sugars, and make sure I was getting enough water. No junk food, cake, sugars, all that stuff.
“But it is a commitment,” she added, speaking of the cleansing diet she was prescribed.
After several healthy years, Wickes’ seasonal allergies started getting the best of her. “In the spring, I couldn’t go out without my pockets stuffed with tissues. My purse always had hankies.”
Miserable, she returned to Giammarise, who used acupressure to “desensitize” her brain so it would no longer see the allergy trigger as an offending substance. Now, Wickes does not have to carry handfuls of tissues every spring, as her visits to Giammarise—and her healthful diet—help keep her allergies under control.
The bespectacled Giam-marise, who is 58 years old, graduated from Life Chiropractic College West in San Lorenzo, and trained as an internal-health specialist at Logan Chiropractic College in Chesterfield, Mo. In 2007, he completed a post-graduate chiropractic program that teaches how to help the body maintain its own internal chemistry and assist the ill body to regain control of it.
Giammarise said the “most unusual or unique” study he’s pursued is a number of seminars in what is known as Total Body Modification. “It’s a technique that employs applied kinesiology to test and re-establish the body’s own control mechanisms neurologically,” he explained.
Giammarise said his unique multidisciplinary practice attracts clients from around the Western United States. Some months, he said, out-of-state patients traveling to see him from as far as Texas and Idaho comprise 20 percent of his appointments. As a result, Giammarise’s website (www.digestionreliefcenter.com) warmly recommends entertaining activities for visitors to enjoy while in the area.
“We’ve had people fly in for a few days,” he said. “We’re sort of a regional center, since no one does what I do.”
Giammarise noted that chronic physical problems, such as IBS, can be crippling to people’s lifestyles, as well as the lifestyles of their families. “People are shut-ins because of it. They can’t go on a family cruise, or go see their grandkids,” observed Giammarise. “They have to plan their day two to three hours ahead to give their bowels time to take care of themselves every day. We can help them get that control back.”
In his crisp, button-up shirts, Giammarise also enjoys speaking to individuals and groups about health matters. “We’re always trying to educate patients,” he said. “Part of being a doctor is being an educator. We promote a whole lifestyle change, and that affects your family. Pills never heal, but your inner doctor does. … That’s why some people are on heartburn medicine for 20 years, or on cholesterol-lowering medicine for years.”
For her part, Wickes is glad she ran into Giammarise that fateful day at the farmers’ market.
“What I like about him is he’s always looking for ways to help people, things that are going to work to help people,” she said. “I can ask him about a current treatment and he’ll know about it. He keeps abreast of what’s out there.
“He has good bedside manner, and he’ll give you all the time you need. You feel good about coming here.”