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DR. STEPHANIE CANESTRARO: TURNING PERSONAL STRUGGLES INTO HEALING

From Personal Crisis to Pioneering Functional Medicine in Chiropractic Care

HANNAH HALILI        JULY 06, 2024

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When Dr. Stephanie Canestraro's promising chiropractic career was nearly derailed by a mysterious health crisis, her relentless quest for answers not only saved her own life but also led her to revolutionize the way she helps others facing similar struggles.

Dr. Stephanie began her academic journey at the University of Western Ontario, earning an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. She then graduated with Honors from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Additionally, she completed courses in Contemporary Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University and Biomedical Dry Needling. Despite her impressive background, Dr. Stephanie’s early career was disrupted by serious health problems.

She sat down with Anthony Lolli and TereZa Hakobyan-Lolli for the Biohack Yourself Documentary to share her story. Shortly after starting her chiropractic practice, Dr. Stephanie began to experience severe health issues. 

“I explain it as if I was hijacked. Severe anxiety came over me, like panic. Like you wanna jump out of your skin. Then the days following turned into muscle fasciculations and then the feeling of bugs crawling all over me, my hair's falling out in chunks and then I had Bell's palsy. My face was paralyzed for a few days. I was in and out of the ER, not knowing what's going on.”

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She was tentatively diagnosed with multiple sclerosis but didn’t receive any effective treatment. It wasn’t until later that she discovered she had Lyme disease, which had affected her brain.

This health crisis led Dr. Stephanie to explore functional medicine, which looks at the root causes of health issues rather than just treating symptoms. Inspired by Dr. Terry Wahls, who managed her own multiple sclerosis with diet and lifestyle changes, Dr. Stephanie began making changes to her own life. She adjusted her diet, did parasite cleanses, and gradually started to feel better. She also discovered she had celiac disease, which further influenced her approach to health.

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Dr. Stephanie’s experiences changed how she practiced medicine. She became certified in functional medicine and joined the prestigious Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner (IFMCP) group. She combines chiropractic care with functional medicine, using techniques like acupuncture, joint manipulation, and custom orthotics. She also uses comprehensive testing, supplements, diets, and lifestyle changes to help her patients.

Dr. Stephanie works with elite athletes, including players from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks, and New York Islanders. She helps them optimize their performance and treat specific health issues. Her focus areas include concussions, neurological diseases, and digestive problems.

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In addition to treating patients, Dr. Stephanie teaches other healthcare practitioners. She has been an assistant instructor for courses in dry needling, Fascial Abrasion Technique (FAT), and performance taping. Currently, she is training new graduates to help manage her growing number of patients, ensuring her innovative methods reach more people.

“We've had kids that were having severe seizures I was like, we're doing this. And that girl has had three weeks of no seizures, no drop attacks and she's 13 and able to live her childhood,

Lyme makes, it may not kill you, but it makes you want to kill yourself. I'm using this terrible thing that happened to me. And because my story could help that little girl, that's powerful.”

@biohackyourselfmedia

Dr. Stephanie discusses how her clinic works in Biohack Yourself.

Revolutionizing holistic wellness

TRUE WELLNESS

Pioneering toxin-free skincare

ONESKIN

Extend your pets lifespan

CENTROPIX

Hormonal health for women's vitality

DR. MINDY PELZ

Health through gut wellness

DR. STEVE GUNDRY

Longevity through brain health

DR. DANIEL AMEN

LATEST STORIES

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