Jennifer Kain Kilgore, a fellow Backer, blogger, and attorney recently shared with our community an introduction to her health care journey in a featured two-part Q&A series. On our quest to find out what life is like after two spinal fusion surgeries, we found out that her father, Dr. Jay Kain, is the creator of a holistic remedy for chronic pain called “Bio-Integrative Therapy” (BIT). After Kilgore briefly explained how it came to be and what it exactly is, we knew we needed more.
Q: First things first, what mainstream treatment options have you tried besides your father's holistic care?
A: After my first accident, I tried every treatment known to man shy of surgery. When the pain didn't get better, my doctor suggested a spinal fusion (and then again after the second wreck).
Today, I do strength training in the form of light exercise or a neighborhood walk in addition to yoga. I'll wear my TENS unit (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) as needed, which is a back pain treatment that uses low-voltage electric current to relieve pain in a small battery-operated device. And, I always wear the Quell on my leg. The Quell is a wearable intensive nerve stimulation device designed to help manage chronic pain. It’s 100 percent drug-free. It helps me significantly and if I don’t wear it, I absolutely notice.
Traditional injections have worked sometimes and sometimes they don’t. It’s kind of a crap shoot depending on the area. Sometimes it’s my head, mid-back or low back— so it’s all depending on the area, the procedure, what I’m doing, what time of year it is, what the weather is like — so many factors (clearly). We never know what’s going to work or how long it’s going to stick.
I also take a veritable cocktail of medications. I use Tramadol daily, which is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Nucynta is the highest, most powerful drug they’ll prescribe me these days. It's a synthetic opioid that I use as my rescue med. I also take nerve meds and anti-depressants for off-label pain control.
Q: Besides your spinal surgeries, have you had any other procedures done?
A: Yes. I've had nerve ablation, which has helped a lot.
Q: Ouch! That sound's like it hurts. Does it?
A. Yes, it hurt. I mean, they are literally burning away nerves by using sound waves. It's a minimally invasive procedure where the doctor heats up the damaged nerves and burns them away. They do use a local anesthetic for the pain, but they can only use so much.
Q: For a minimally invasive procedure, how long is the typical recovery?
A: For most, it's only a day or two, if that. For me, it was a few days longer because I always heal slower than others.
Q: Can you briefly introduce your dad and the inception of his treatment?
A: Yes, of course. My dad, Jay Kain, earned his Ph.D. in neuromusculoskeletal function from Union Institute and received his master's in biomechanics, physical therapy and physical education from Springfield College.
In addition, he co-founded the Connecticut School of Integrative Manual Therapy where he was dean for the developmental years of the program. There's more but I'll stop there. I think you get the picture.
Today, he's the owner of Jay Kain Holistic HealthCare in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. My dad and a colleague of his, Cindy Powers, began working on this more than nine years ago. And it’s been a part of his work for decades. Nobody else has anything like it.
The way I talk about it to people is that I am 30 years old. I’ve known him my whole life, and I still can’t really explain what he does except that he puts his hands on a patient and they get better. No matter what the problem, no matter how stubborn or how resistant to a treatment they’ve been, he can get them to respond.
Photo Caption: Headshot of Dr. Jay Kain provided by Jennifer Kain Kilgore
Q: Digging a little deeper, can you get a little bit more intimate in how BIT came to be?
A: It came to be as a result of ongoing clinical research into connective tissue concepts and the need to improve Myofascial Release outcomes.
Basically, he started out working in a traditional manner where he treated symptoms as an athletic trainer. If somebody came in with a sprained ankle, he'd follow the RICE theory that trainers still use today: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. When the patient was functional, he'd send them back to his or her sport.
Then he started physical therapy, which led him to integrative manual therapy. From there he began creating his own treatment. His approach has always been to find a better way to help the body balance itself. He'd always say, “The body is the best doctor there is. If you can help it facilitate its own healing, then you’re golden.”
It works by using manual palpation to stimulate energy pathways in the body and has worked really well for me.
Q: Please share an example of how someone could benefit from his approach?
A: Let me preface with this: His approach combines motion capture technology with proprietary work and Bio-Integrative Therapy. I am hellishly proud of him. The therapy (speaking from experience here) is very gentle, hands-on manual therapy that works to promote structural harmony within the body. The motion capture work quantifies the immediate results the therapy provides.
So let's say, you have a terrible golf swing and you have a bad back. You go to physical therapy and get treatment. While with my father, the motion capture immediately shows results in increased range of motion from BIT. Within days, your golf swing improves and the pain lessens. I always say, how’s that for fast healing?
Q: That's pretty amazing. If you could compare his treatment to a mainstream option, how would you describe it?
A: I think that's something my dad personally should answer.
(As those words left Kilgore's mouth, we heard her fingers dialing and then a voice on the other end. Thanks for calling Jay Kain Holistic HealthCare —Jay Speaking. After some brief introductions, Kain assisted his awesome daughter in answering this loaded question.)
"It’s a form of manual palpation, so you can compare it to soft tissue mobilization. I kept finding that even if my hands were on one area, like the low back, I could improve other areas of the body, like the leg – almost like I was hooking up energetic circuits in the body.
It combines both Eastern and Western philosophies of treatment, specifically joining physical interventions with energy manipulation as seen with acupuncture, vibrational medicine, shiatsu and Reiki techniques.
The therapy revolves around manipulating connective tissue, or fascia, which is one of the four major building blocks in the body (along with muscle, blood, and bone), and the better that fascia works, the better the body works. That’s the theory behind it as best as I can describe in laymen turns. Does that help?"
(Oh yes. He nailed it. After we both thanked him, he hung up and continued with our chat.)
Q: Any parting words or advice you feel compelled to share with our community?
A: Everybody has something wrong with them. I don’t care who you are or how many marathons you’ve run or how loud you are about it, literally everybody on this planet no matter how young or old has something inside that is actively working against them.
That young boy bicycling to school has Type 1 diabetes. The teacher shepherding students into the classroom has arthritis. The school bus driver has sciatica that runs down her right leg. The mailman has a limp because his hip gave out after 20 years of walking his route. The old woman shuffling down the sidewalk has cataracts, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin cancer from the days of tanning with baby oil.
If something isn’t wrong with us when we’re born, something will go wrong. As soon as we are born we start to die, and little chips of us are broken away year after year by means of illnesses, sprains, accidents, and cancers.
For me, I feel as if I’m the only one who suffers in the way that I suffer. I try to not feel alone because I understand that everyone has something.
When I'm feeling down, I go online where I’m a part of a billion virtual support groups. I know that no one has what I have, but I don’t have what someone else has and together we can learn from each other’s experiences.
My dad always called it a swift kick in the behind. Every time we talk on the phone, he would always call and say that. What he's really trying to say is that there’s a bigger picture and everybody’s got something. We need to step outside of ourselves and see that bigger picture.
Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out, Bio-Integrative Therapy: Modern Medicine Has a Health Problem. Over and out.