Dr. Steve Harris – Treating the Whole Patient
Chiropractor Steve Harris has been in practice for 40 years, but it didn’t take him nearly that long to discover what would become the key to his success. While his patients come to him seeking relief from physical ailments, he finds himself treating much more than the body. As he puts it, he tries to be a “true doctor,” because he seeks to understand the underlying causes of pain or discomfort and work toward total healing with his patients.
Much of Dr. Harris’ success with his patients stems from a genuine passion for helping others, coupled with a Christian approach to healing. Dr. Harris chose this career after witnessing a chiropractor who helped his father when no other doctor could. After his father’s transformation, he sent the entire family – including Harris – and more than 100 friends and acquaintances to the chiropractor who had helped him. Harris was able to experience firsthand the benefits of the treatment and knew at age 14 that he wanted to help people in the same way. He started his career at age 23 and over the years has seen how powerful the profession is in helping with a variety of problems of the spine and joints including discs, sports injuries, neck and back injuries from auto accidents, and chronic headaches.
“I currently treat a 2-year-old who had been in an auto accident,” Harris said. “I use a gentle adjusting instrument that sends impulses up and down the spine and stimulates the nerves to help with alignment and pain.” The 2-year-old lies peacefully on the table and enjoys the treatment, and Dr. Harris is thrilled that he is able to get her neck and back into proper alignment. “Chiropractic is extremely safe, so much so that insurers require much lower malpractice insurance premiums of us than they do doctors in other fields. It’s because they know how safe our procedures are.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Harris’s passion for chiropractic has grown as technology has advanced and instruments such as this one have become available. While he still performs physical spine manipulations on patients who need or request it, much of what he does incorporates the use of technological breakthroughs in healthcare. One such breakthrough is the spinal disc decompression machine used to treat the growing number of people who suffer from spinal disc degeneration.
Dr. Harris estimates that 90% of his patients have some level of disc degeneration, which leads to pain, numbness, and further wear on the body.
“Unbelievably, this is one of the few areas that just can’t be helped by exercise,” Dr. Harris explained. “I’ve treated athletes in their absolute prime who suffered from this ongoing, progressive problem despite their level of fitness. With this treatment, however, we are able to stop the progression, back it up some, re-nourish and re-moisturize the discs, and give up to 17% of the disc space back to the patient.”
Dr. Harris also uses a state-of-the-art laser machine that penetrates discs, speeds healing, reduces inflammation, and heals damage. Laser is used in Dr. Harris’ office to treat pain, with the added benefit of healing spinal tissue damage and upgrading scar tissue.
“I was able to completely erase a patient’s knee pain using laser, but the surprise benefit is that the laser also severely reduced a protruding, purple scar on that knee. My patient was happy she was finally out of pain, but she was equally happy to lose that outward reminder of her pain!”
And this is where Dr. Harris reflects on his practice, particularly as a Christian. He notes that while people come to him with a variety of physical ailments, many are manifestations of something deeper in their lives, including stress, depression, problems at home or at work. When Dr. Harris detects that there might be something emotional behind the pain, he asks permission to share Scripture with his patients. Never has he been refused. His patients come from all religious backgrounds, but, as he said, “Everyone is looking for relief.”
To illustrate this, Harris shared a story about a patient named Bill, who came in with back pain. He weighed 400 lbs., had a stomach ulcer, high blood pressure, and congested lungs. He smoked a carton of cigarettes every two days, drank a bottle of whiskey and 15 cups of coffee a day, and vomited 30 minutes after every meal. Dr. Harris said to him, “Bill, you have a problem with every major system in your body, and any one of those problems can cripple or kill you. If you want help, I will give it to you, but you have to listen and do everything I say.” At 53 years old, with a prognosis of two years to live, Bill agreed. His dream was to build the largest house in Texas and he wanted to live long enough to see that dream realized. So Dr. Harris instructed him to stop drinking that day, stop smoking the next week, reduce coffee to 2 cups the next, diet, follow a nutritional program, exercise, and come in regularly for treatments. Bill dropped almost half his weight, his overall health improved, and he built his 34,000 square foot dream house on Galveston bay in Seabrook. When Dr. Harris attended the Open House, he gifted Bill with a Bible and a letter guiding him through the Scriptures. Five weeks later, Bill was murdered. His foreman found him and the Bible, which he then passed on to Bill’s son, Ron Carlson. At the time, Ron was contemplating suicide. His sister Deborah Thornton had been murdered by the notorious Karla Faye Tucker, leaving him with no family. Desperate for answers, he turned to the Bible and 2 years later on Bill’s birthday, Ron called Dr. Harris to thank him for his dad’s Bible and to let him know he had become a Christian. He went on to meet the murderer of his sister and to extend forgiveness and compassion. Later, his extraordinary willingness to forgive made him a media sensation, and he was invited to appear on Primetime, Larry King, and Good Morning America. “He professed his faith stronger and more effectively than I have seen or heard since,” Harris said proudly. “That one Bible led to a transformation that was shared with countless people.”
Dr. Harris shares this story to illustrate one of his favorite Bible verses from Isaiah 55:11:
So is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Dr. Harris believes that one kind act – one Scripture, one piece of advice, one phone call, one treatment – can change not just one life, but thousands. Given that he’s treated over 11,000 patients in his career, it’s obvious that his influence spreads far beyond his patients.
If you would like to experience the services that Dr. Harris offers, please contact his office at (281) 980-1050 to set up an appointment.