As parents of a newly diagnosed adolescent with moderate scoliosis, we (Marc & Kathy) were appalled in early 2001 at the lack of viable treatment options offered for our daughter’s rapidly progressive scoliosis. Guided by Marc’s instincts and knowledge as a DC, we embarked on a journey we could have never foreseen. As a family, we were adamantly opposed to spinal fusion surgery and all agreed there had to be a better way. Undeterred, Marc set his sights on finding it. The early days of our scoliosis journey involved extensive time, travel, and many dead-ends. In 2001, the internet was not what it is today. There was nothing about the Schroth Method online that came up in any search on scoliosis. On the plus side, unlike now, there were also few entities making claims about conservative scoliosis care with inconsistently achievable results.
We learned of the existence of the Asklepios Katharina Schroth Clinic in Germany near the end of 2001. At the time, it seemed to be a well-guarded secret here in the U.S.. After months of searching – the old-fashioned way – including dozens of phone calls to MD’s, DCs, scientific researchers, and anyone we thought may have insights – no one ever even alluded to the Schroth method. Then, one day Marc reached out to a former professor, Dr. John Triano, – currently the Dean of Graduate Education and Research Programs at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. His advice was simply, “Go to Germany and learn the exercises.”
His words offered the first glimmer of hope after months of searching. Marc immediately got in touch with Dr. Hans-Rudolf Weiss, the medical director at the clinic bearing his grandmother’s name, and arranged a trip to Germany. The visit occurred in April 2002 – the first of many. Our sole purpose, at first, was to learn if this method could potentially help our daughter. That very first day at the clinic, Marc was excited and encouraged by what he learned. After thirteen months of searching, the Schroth method finally offered us some hope, although now we know we missed a big window of opportunity and it’s one of the reason’s we encourage parents to take a proactive stance against scoliosis.
What we realized in the course of our journey is that other families dealing with adolescent scoliosis as well as adults with scoliosis, needed to know about what we had discovered in Germany – and that there are far better ways to manage scoliosis than ‘wait and see’ and surgery.
In 2007, when Dr. Weiss travelled to Boston for the SOSORT meeting he spent an evening at the Moramarco home. During that visit he invited Marc to become the first U.S. practitioner to become Schroth method certified in Germany.
Through the years, Dr. Weiss has become a valued mentor and colleague. His vast scope of knowledge about scoliosis, tireless commitment to help patients – conservatively, and a fearless drive to ‘push the envelope’ with the goal of constantly improving and modernizing the Schroth method as well as bracing technology and design is inspiring.
Shared values have allowed Dr. Moramarco to be on the ground floor during the development of the newest evolution of the Schroth Method – Schroth Best Practice®. They are the concepts we have used from the start of our program and Dr. Moramarco is now the only Schroth Best Practice® advanced instructor in the US.
Our journey has come full circle since Dr. Weiss and Christa Lehnert-Schroth, PT asked Dr. Marc to collaborate on their newest book about the Schroth Method – published in April 2015, entitled Schroth Therapy: Advancements in Conservative Scoliosis Treatment.