Biography of Dr. Richard Wirtanen M.A., D.C., C.B.S.S. (Certified Brain Stem Specialist), & M.O.U.C. (Manipulation Under Anesthesia), Lieutenant Colonel, USAF Retired
My father, like many people I have met as patients, was a war refugee. He moved from Finland, during the Finnish-Russian war in 1939, to Canada where he met my mother.
I was born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada in 1952, and lived there until I was eight years old. My family moved to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan until I graduated from high school. In 1970, I moved to Virginia and have made this state my homestead. For the next 20 years, I never lived anywhere for more than 3 years until I returned to Virginia in 1999.
In 1975, I graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (yes I am a Hokie) with a degree in History, and accepted a commission in the Air Force as an officer. I was in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. Since 1975, I have lived in 29 locations, all over the United States, and spent 8 years in Europe while in the military.
While on assignment to England in 1980, I enrolled in the University of Southern California overseas Masters program. This special program allowed me to attend Cambridge, the London School of Economics and the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies, which culminated in receiving a Masters degree in International Relations in 1982.
After this assignment, I worked at the Pentagon, lived under Mt. Etna in Sicily, Stuttgart, Germany and in 1992 I was selected as one of the top 100 computer experts in the U.S. Government in 1992.
My last Air Force assignment was at Hill A.F.B. in Utah where I worked establishing the Defense Megacenter Ogden, Utah. However, a sequence of events led me to another direction in my life.... "Chiropractic".
On March 4th, 1992 I was involved in my second major accident within a year. I was recovering from a bad skiing accident in Austria, on March 4th, 1991, when someone who was going 60 mph hit me from behind. I was sitting in traffic light watching the whole thing happen, not being able to do a thing until I was hit. My Volvo station wagon was totaled. However, like most of us, I minimized what had happened and refused treatment by the ambulance service. This is why I know so much about what happens when you get in a car accident. I was totaled just like my car, and was unaware of the extent of my injuries. I had multiple incidents of traumatic brain injury and did not even realize it until..... the next day.
The next day, I could not lift my head off of my pillow. I stayed in bed for over a week and was unable to perform even the simplest task. It was like a deja vu of the previous Austria but worse. I could not walk, go to the bathroom, think, or function at all. I eventually made it to the emergency room about 10 days after the accident. The doctor there gave me some pain killers and more pain pills, and more drugs, and more drugs. I basically became a medical drug addict. I was doped up so much, I could barely drive to work after 30 days of heavy duty drugs. By 90 days, I was a complete wreck.
After 90 days of drugs and over 40 visits to the M.D.'s for pain, I was not getting better. I saw the light. I realized that the establishment medical system had totally failed me. I decided to see a chiropractor and pay for it out of my own pocket, no matter what the cost. I was ready to do anything to get rid of the pain without drugs or surgery.
After two months of intensive chiropractic treatment, I was in better health than I was before my accident.
One day, after my adjustment, I was lying on the adjusting table after a wonderful session, and made a decision. In order for me to get really healthy, I needed to know how to heal myself. I needed to know all about how to learn to heal naturally, and I decided that the best way to do so was to become a chiropractor.
I retired as soon as possible, as a Lieutenant Colonel, went to school at the age of 46 and now I help people who are going through the same establishment neglect, illnesses and pain I suffered from. I graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in 1999, and added to my wall, a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. I also became a Certified Brain Stem Specialist... why not do it all when the universe gives you a chance, especially if you had traumatic brain injuries?
I started practice full time in April 2000. Most importantly, "I live outside the box", so this is why I employ natural means to help people heal holistically, physically, mentally, and spiritually. My goal, since I started chiropractic, was to learn how to get well myself without drugs or surgery, and I use the same techniques to help my patient's restore their health. I focus on the cause of your symptoms, not your symptoms.
Each session is tailored to your needs or intent. I invite you to my office to see what holistic healing is all about. My patients are not just numbers, but people that share a common bond with me... that is they want to change and heal naturally.
Join us in our new "green" office in Reston, where our team of hand picked, specially trained, licensed therapists will help you get back the health you deserve.
Dr. Richard A. Wirtanen, B.S., M.A., D.C., C.B.S.S. (Certified Brain Stem Specialist), & M.O.U.C. (Manipulation Under Anesthesia), Lieutenant Colonel, USAF Ret.
1. Bachelor of Arts in History - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2. Masters in International Relations - Cambridge, England
3. Bachelor of Science in Human Biology - Logan College of Chiropractic
4. Doctor of Chiropractic - Logan College of Chiropractic
United States Air Force - 20 years. Retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Dr. Rick's other passions:
Using essential oils as an alternative to drugs.
Expert on Fungal Dis-eases
Classical Chiropractic Adjustments
Computer and IT Systems Analyst | Maintain the RHC computer system to include 8 computers, a server, and Electronic records systems integration
Maintaing our own web site
Energy Conservation | uses wood to heat home 100%, and built a "Green" office in Reston, VA
Holistic approach to health | Mind | Body | Spirit
What I love | Creating something or solving a problem like: Designing and building an office; creating alternative cooling and heating systems; web sites; treating the patient's problem, not fixing a symptom; and most inportantly, to follow what my mission is in life. I know what mine is, do you?