At first glance, Dr. Bowars appears many years younger than he is–shows you what a clean lifestyle and good nutrition can provide! After speaking with Dr. Craig Bowars, we all agreed he’s not only an amazing practitioner but a great listener. His excellent communication style has propelled him to the top of his profession in the Bloomington area where he sees hundreds of patients.
Working out of an unassuming and peaceful location, his treatment rooms have large windows looking out at beautiful trees. Natural light bounces around while staff offers reassurance that this is a place of healing and rejuvenation. Dr. Bowars uses a range of tools to better understand the health of his patients, including applied kinesiology, Zyto, and functional lab testing.
How do you describe yourself as a practitioner?
“Many of my patients see me as their primary doctor. I’m a chiropractic physician trained in natural medicine and I practice both. You can come for your low back pain, but a lot of times we tie that into nutritional deficiencies.
I do a lot of muscle testing. I do some labs, but it’s not a starting point. I’m not against starting with it, I like to do it last and use it as my fine tooth comb to ensure we didn’t miss anything.
My patients start here first and we try natural medicine. Look, if it doesn’t work, we’re not afraid to refer them out, but we work really, really hard at trying to fix their issue. I truly enjoy telling people what I’ve learned and I’m not afraid to share with them.“
How did you get into chiropractic and nutrition?
“Growing up in Peoria, my mother took us to a chiropractic physician named Dr. Vernon. He practiced natural medicine, chiropractic, and muscle testing and he had his own health food store. This style of health care is pretty much all I’ve ever known.
I became a massage therapist at age 18 or 19. I felt I was helping a lot of people and it was really unique, but I knew I could do more. I was just missing something that physician I saw as a kid offered. With this realization, I made the decision to go to Chiropractic School and became certified in Applied Kinesiology.”
Dr. Bowars working on a patient in Bloomington, IL.
Where do you start with your patients during initial visits?
“Digestion seems to be a core issue and it’s a big focus in our clinic. I find myself consistently starting consultations by explaining, “We’ve got to make sure your digestion is solid and strong. It flows into so many other things.” Even if we’re giving them the best Standard Process nutrients in the world, if they’re not absorbing the nutrients into their bloodstream, they’re going to suffer on so many different levels.
Early on in my practice, I learned the importance of digestion. We’ve done a lot of gut work on people and their hormones are better, their energy is better, their migraines start going away. This is what I mean by digestion flows into so many other things. It’s such a core foundation. I think once people started feeling the difference, word gets out and we see even more digestive cases. It’s not that difficult to fix, it really isn’t. I’ve had very, very good success with just fixing the digestive system and very naturally.”
Dr. Bowars and Jeff talking nutrition.
What are some of your favorite products when dealing with leaky gut?
“I’ll tell you, early on one of my favorite products and still is Lact-Enz, it’s an oldie but a goody. It’s a really strong product with a few enzymes and a couple species of probiotics. It took a lot of capsules, but people felt a difference in digestion pretty quickly.
Several years ago, Standard Process came out with Enzycore. I think that’s been one of the greatest products they’ve come out with more recently because of plant-based digestive enzymes, plus the added glutamine. As we know, the research keeps growing on glutamine. We don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket, but glutamine is found heavily concentrated in the gut lining. If glutamine levels are low, and it’s an epidemic, most people have some degree of leaky gut. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t. Once the glutamines start filling in those little gaps inside the leaky small intestine, the difference has been just outstanding.”
You can’t help but feel relaxed with Dr. Bowars.
“Another product that I depend on has been the Gut Flora Complex. What a fantastic design–Kerry Bone and his team, putting oregano and the other essential oils and herbs in there to kill pathogens. You can put all the glutamine in there and stop the leaky gut. In other words, these bugs are in the intestine, they’re leaking into the bloodstream, of course, food is leaking. You can clear up leaky gut, you can strengthen the gut, clean up some of those holes but some of those pathogens remain.
I haven’t found a better product to just go in and kill off some of those pathogens, without serious toxic reactions.“
Do you give credit to the Gut Flora Complex for obtaining the “Magical No-Wiper” 😉
“Oh, absolutely. I tell my patients flat out, “Here’s what’s going to happen. Your bowel movements are going to be much cleaner.” And they look at you like, “seriously?”, because they’re not used to that. They come back and it’s very typical response, “You were right. I was just wipe-less.” Everyone’s happy about that. Gut Flora Complex is really unique. It’s a great product especially with the oregano.”
Dr. Bowars practicing muscle strength testing.
How do you see your future as an integrative doctor?
“Down the road, I definitely see another practitioner joining the practice. And maybe that’s the chiropractic physician that is basically doing a lot of chiropractic so I can really focus on natural medicine and continue to do some chiropractic care. I want to see this natural medicine practice continual growth. I want to be able to handle the growth because people are just lining up to come in. It’s hard to get in here and we’re very fortunate for that. It takes two to three months, but for the people that do, we hope it’s worth their wait.”
His staff is incredibly knowledgeable and busy!
What does your average protocol look like?
“When patients first come, they start with four to five products. I tell them, “Each visit we’re going to peel layers of your onion and we’re going to add a product or two. So, I’m going to recommend several products. Once we establish some balance in your life, the number of products and dosages will go down, and you’ll be on some maintenance doses.” It’s kind of a ramped up system and then we go back down as they stabilize.
If that patient is willing to eat right and incorporate functional foods into their diet, they’re not going to need as many supplements. Now, even great food still doesn’t have the nutritional value it did 50 years ago, but we can’t give up on food. There’s some really good food left in this country.”
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Prairieland Wellness Center
1415 Croxton Avenue
Bloomington, IL 61701