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New clinic treats whole body, not just your aches and pains

Plagued for years by shoulder, lower back and knee pain, professional beach volleyball player Liz Pagano tried just about every remedy under the sun - acupuncture, magnet therapy, massage and chiropractic care, to name a few - to find relief.

While these treatments emptied her wallet, they unfortunately did little else. It wasn’t until Pagano visited the Symmetry clinic that she saw results, results significant enough to take her to the Pan-American Games as a representative of the United States.

“I went from not being able to lift my arm up to serve to not having any pain,” said Pagano, who lives in La Jolla. “I am 100 percent behind this program. I have seen an amazing difference because of Symmetry.”

Symmetry incorporates yoga-inspired isometric exercises and deep tissue massage to correct body misalignment, which company founder Patrick Mummy believes is to blame for most chronic pains.

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Traditional Western medicine, Mummy said, often treats the symptom rather than the source, and that’s why aches keep recurring.

“The problem is that most people who seek treatment get ‘fixed’ but then go home to the environment that caused the pains, and then they have them again,” he said. “Their problems need to be looked at from a more global point of view.”

At Symmetry, that global point of view involves examining the body as a whole, instead of focusing on one trouble spot, such as a sore back or troublesome knee. Mummy or Angie Dubis, the company’s full-time massage therapist and holistic health practitioner, measures the skeleton with a special device.

Next, he or she takes full-body photographs of the patient in front of a wall grid. After evaluating the results, which reveal any misalignment issues, Mummy or Dubis prescribes a personalized treatment plan.

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“We give our patient a set of customized corrective postures to go home and try for a week before they come back for re-evaluation,” said Mummy, adding that it is absolutely essential that patients do the work if they want to see results. “After three months or so, the body realigns itself. But, patients need to do these exercises for the rest of their lives.”

This program is a lot more demanding than say, popping painkillers, but the company said it works because Symmetry patients seem to like taking an active role in their healing.

“The beauty of Symmetry is that the clients are in control. They can do these exercises and heal themselves,” said Dubis, who has worked with Mummy for close to a year and a half. “It is truly the most effective therapy I have ever come across.”

It’s so effective that the word has already spread to the University of Washington Athletics Department, which invited Mummy to teach its entire staff about the Symmetry program. Since then, Mummy has focused his efforts on his latest ventures, a new Web-based program that customizes treatment plans for patients with the click of a mouse and professional seminars targeted at health-care providers.