What Makes Me Unique and Effective?

I dig deeper; discovering underlying metabolic, neurologic and structural causes to your health challenge rather than only treating your symptoms!  Since a sentence isn’t really enough to explain my uniqueness, let's explore further...

At my office in Shelby Township, Michigan, I offer care for the most chronic patients from all over southeastern Michigan, up and down the thumb, and even across the state, Ohio and Canada. My patients have been to some of the most famous clinics in the world including Mayo Clinic, University of Michigan, Cleveland Clinic, and Detroit Medical Center prior to consulting with us.  My methods have gotten results when other doctors just threw their hands in the air and gave up.   So what makes me UNIQUE? How do I get results when others fail?


I provide care to patients neurologically and metabolically and structurally using Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy which is a SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE BASED and self-styled combination of alternative and western medicines.  I understand that the body is not compartmentalized.  There are no separations of systems.  It is from this paradigm that I build a solid foundation to work from. Using the concepts of functional medicine and integrative medicine, I conduct advanced laboratory testing as needed, and thoroughly examine your brain, nervous system and musculoskeletal system.  I look at your hormone system, digestive system, immune system, and your overall metabolic system to get a functional diagnosis. A functional diagnosis tells us exactly what we need to do to fix the problem. In short, I PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS to determine the underlying  cause(s) of your chronic health challenge.

I Could Use Some Help With My Health

My approach, Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy, which includes Functional Medicine, is patient-centered medical healing at its best. Instead of looking at and treating health problems as isolated diseases, it treats individuals who may have bodily symptoms, imbalances and dysfunctions.  Move from the confusion of the "one size fits all treatment" to an approach that centers on caring for you as an individual.

As the following graphic of an iceberg shows, a named disease such as diabetes, cancer, or fibromyalgia might be visible above the surface, but according to Functional Medicine, the cause(s) and contributing factors lie in the altered physiology below the surface. Almost always, the causative factors of the disease and its symptoms are underlying dysfunction and/or imbalances of bodily systems.

If health care treats just the tip of the iceberg, it rarely leads to long-term relief and vibrancy. Identifying and treating the underlying root cause or causes, as Functional Medicine does, has a much better chance to successfully resolve a patient's health challenge.

Using scientific principles, advanced diagnostic testing and care programs which do not include drugs or surgery, Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy aims to restore balance in the body's primary physiological processes. The goal: to optimize the patient's lifelong health.  Dr. Karl Johnson, DC is receiving additional Functional Medicine training through Functional Medicine University.  You can learn more by visiting here. In additional careful blending of Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET), Blood Type Diet concepts as well as Nutrition Reponse Testing, with monitoring of acupunture meridian balance using the Acugraph Digital Meridian Imaging, allow a mult-faceted approach to complex health challenges. I have the tools to help people heal from their chronic condition nightmare along with the yearning and creative mind to solve challenges.

Functional Medicine HMCP

When I look at your lab testing I will use functional laboratory ranges; a narrower range that reflects optimal physiologic function. When patients tell me that they have already had labs done and everything is “normal”, I cringe. Rarely do doctors take a close look at labs. We look at everything together, labs, history, and exam because we often deal with the most difficult cases, the cases other doctors failed to help.

Func BC Analysis

The difference between the conventional healthcare model and Functional Medicine Practitioners is the two main types of ranges:  a pathological range and a functional range.  Conventional medicine only uses the pathological range and it’s used to diagnose disease and prescribe the recommended pharmaceutical intervention.  The functional range is used to assess risk for disease BEFORE the disease develops.  Functional ranges are developed through the research of well-respected organizations.  When patterns of functional imbalances are recognized, they can easily be addressed through diet, nutrition, lifestyle and other noninvasive therapies.

 In Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy, I use specific laboratory tests from highly specialized labs that are leaders in their category and questionnaires tailored to individual needs.  Typical ones are listed below (of course testing is customized to each individual):

Comprehensive thyroid panels (10 specific lab tests)

A complete metabolic panel (CMP)

The CMP allows us to check your blood glucose levels since glucose and oxygen are needed by the brain to function properly.

Inflammation:  As part of the CMP we obtain tests for inflammation in your system by testing homocysteine levels, C-Reactive Protein (C-RP) and other markers such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), low triglycerides, very low total cholesterol, fibrinogen, etc.

Just about every chronic condition patient that I have treated suffers from some form of chronic inflammatory process.

A complete lipid panel: This test shows reveals your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as HDL (“good cholesterol”) and LDL (“bad cholesterol”). When levels of these lipids are too high or too low I am alerted to various body function imbalances that need to be addressed.

A CBC (complete blood chemistry with auto differential):  Red blood cells help me understand your oxygen carrying capacity.  In addition the Immune system function is represented in the white blood cells with this panel of markers.

Advanced Adrenal Assessment:  We test adrenal gland function with a test called D.U.T.C.H. Avanced Adrenal Assessment.  A complete overview of adrenal hormones includes DHEA, cortisol and cortisol metabolites. To fully understand how your brain communicates with your adrenal and the adrenal activity cortisol should be tested throughout the day to assess the diurnal pattern. Only this test includes all of these parameters merging the diurnal free cortisol pattern seen typically in saliva with the cortisol metabolism picture and DHEAS along with melatonin levels. This is truly a remarkable test!

Your adrenal glands are your “stress” organs, meaning that they react to stress.  If you have been or are currently under stress (and who isn’t if you have a chronic health challenge?), this test is a must!  If you have stage 7 adrenal gland exhaustion this will cause blood sugar spikes and valleys that make nerve cells unstable and could be the reason you have fibromyalgia, migraines or other chronic conditions! 

Often elevated nighttime cortisol levels will lead to insomnia.  When your body’s cortisol levels are abnormal, you will suffer from insomnia and hormonal imbalances.  Cortisol levels can be corrected via specific nutritional and lifestyle-change protocols thereby bringing balance back to itself…and you feeling alive and alert again.

Immune Panels:  Your pain condition could be caused by an autoimmune disorder.  An autoimmune disorder occurs when your immune system attacks a particular area of the body (nervous system, joints, connective tissue, thyroid, brain, etc.) as if it is a foreign invader.  This is not good.  Specific imbalances that occur when the immune system is in the "attack mode" can be measured which provides information that guides Dr. Johnson in his recommendations for nutritional supplementations and dietary changes to help bring balance back to the immune system.  A specialized lab enables us to test for specific antibodies to determine if you suffer from an autoimmune condition and specify what tissues are in the cross-hairs of your immune system.  Very valuable knowledge indeed!

Neurotransmitters: We test for imbalances in chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.  Neurotransmitters are vital for proper brain and nerve function.  Decreased neurotransmitters can cause increased pain.  Neurotransmitter imbalance can lead to the many emotional symptoms the chronic pain patient experiences.  Neurotransmitters don't cross the blood-brain barrier; that is to say they stay in a separated blood partition in the brain.  As a result we use questionnaires to help us understand your neurotransmitter balance.

Hormone Panels:  We can check hormone panels to determine if the patient suffers from low testosterone in males or low estrogen/progesterone levels in females.  Conversely males can have estrogen levels that are too high and women can have testosterone levels that are too high. Symptoms related to hormone levels that are altered from what is normal may include depression, fatigue, mental fogginess, mood swings, hot flashes, sweating attacks, weight gain, and decreased physical stamina and many thyroid symptoms as well due the cross talk between the thyroid and the endocrine (hormone) system

Sensitivity Testing:  Many patients with fibromyalgia, thyroid challenges, diabetes, balance disorders, ADD/ADHD and other chronic conditions have food sensitivities – or worse an immune reaction to gluten (a peptide found in wheat, rye and barley and their derivatives) caused by an inherited gene.  You can also react to many different epitopes, also known as antigenic determinants, as the part of an antigen like wheat.  Part of this testing utilizes a cheek gene swab DNA test to determine if you have the genes that make you sensitive to gluten.  We can also test you for foods that “look like” gluten to your immune system that can cause the same or similar damage that gluten sensitivity causes.  Having these sensitivities causes the gut to be inflamed which in turn causes brain inflammation.  It is important to note that gut inflammation is characterized by bloating, not pain.  The predominant symptom for brain inflammation is brain fog – just what many fibromyalgia and chronic pain and chronic condition sufferers experience regularly!  If you have any of the following symptoms, you could be suffering from the effects of having sensitivity to gluten or other proteins:

  • Chronic pain or fatigue
  • Frequent indigestion
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches
  • Bloated after eating
  • Frequent loose bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Mouth ulcers or sores
  • Skin rashes, eczema or psoriasis
  • Vertigo
  • Ringing in the ears (tinitus)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Many other symptoms can be included in this list...

Gastrointestinal Functional Analysis:  Proper gastrointestinal (GI) function is critical to adequate nutritional status and can impact all aspects of body function.  Specialized stool testing addresses key components of proper GI health including measurement of beneficial microbial flora, opportunistic bacteria, yeast and parasitic infection.  The presence of abnormal disease causing bacteria (including H. Pylori), or imbalance of the over 400 normal bacterial strains in the gut can cause gut inflammation.  Having yeast overgrowth, parasites, fungi or other undesirable vermin in your digestive tract can cause many of the health challenges thyroid, fibromyalgia and other chronic health sufferers experience, such as joint pain, or brain fog.  These unwanted invaders can also lead to an autoimmune attack in your body.  This DNA test is super sensitive and often is a very important piece of the diagnostic puzzle that will finally help with the resolution of your health challenge!  In addition markers of inflammation, immune function, and digestion and absorption are measured with this comprehensive test.

Increased Intestinal Permeability or “Leaky Gut” Testing:  Your intestines are supposed to allow the good healthy food particles and nutrients into your body and act as a shield to substances that are not wanted or needed or are damaging to the body.  When your digestive tract has been damaged from inflammation over time it can become more like a sieve, or damaged so badly that hardly any nourishment can come into the body as in advanced celiac disease.  This test is easy to do and allows Dr. Johnson to know whether you have Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS).  LGS will also cause damage to your health due to allergy reactions and immune reactions to the unwanted particles that make it into your blood stream.  Even your brain and nervous system health will be affected with Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Watch the video below for an overview of how the gut affects the brain.  LGS adds insult to injury and needs to be addressed if you are to recover your health.  The only way to see if you have LGS is to test for it.  We are thorough, so we perform this test, for your health’s sake!


The foundation of all of our treatment programs, no matter what the chronic health condition, lies in this truth:

Every Cell In Your Body, Especially Your Brain and Nervous System, Needs Two Things To Survive:

  • Fuel – in the form of oxygen and glucose
  • Activation – nerve cells need proper stimulation, or else they degenerate and die.

It is very important for you to know how important fuel is, especially balanced blood sugar and oxygen, when you suffer from a chronic illness.

BALANCED BLOOD SUGAR:  Glucose comes from the foods you eat.  Your brain must have enough glucose – but does not like blood sugar swings.  Over-eating of sugar and high carbohydrate foods is epidemic.  This leads to massive blood sugar swings with hypoglycemia (excessively low) as one extreme and diabetes as the other.  Your brain cannot work properly with blood sugar swings…but I can help you get your blood sugar better controlled with diet and specific supplementation.

Enhanced Air:  After about age 20, YOU LOSE YOUR ABILITY TO USE OXYGEN by 1% per year!  So, for example, at age 47 you’ve lost 27% of your capacity.  Because our ability to use oxygen goes down with age, we check oxygen levels on all of our patients.  Oxygen is like gasoline in the gas tank of your car.  As you get older, having enough oxygen becomes crucial.  If you don’t have any gas in the car, you are not going anywhere.  O2 stimulates your nervous system to enhance healing and repair thus decreasing pain, promoting more restful sleep and bringing many other health benefits.  One focus of our recovery program is to increase your oxygen using enhanced air so your brain and nervous system can do its job. Without oxygen available for your brain and nervous system, most likely, no treatment will workEnergize Your Brain Book

For more information Dr. Johnson recommends you read the book; "Energize Your Brain, Change Your Life: An Introduction To Exercise With Oxygen Therapy", by Dr. Jeff Donatello.  Dr. Johnson is a contributor to this book. 

As powerful as oxygen is for healing your body, it’s not enough to do the job.  Fuel is not enough by itself.  Your brain must be stimulated to stay healthy, work correctly and create healing and balance.  Here are just a few of the powerful brain activations we use in our highly successful Recovery Programs to give sufferers just like you the relief you desperately want:

 Brain-Based Therapy (BBT):  A revolutionary breakthrough treatment program pioneered by the country’s leading chiropractic neurologist, Dr. Fredrick Carrick. The treatments are all neurologically based and clinically proven to help with chronic pain, balance disorders and other neurologic conditions.  The main thing you have to understand is that we stimulate the brain by using the receptors on the outside of the body that are wired and connected to the various areas of your brain.  So if we find weakened areas in your right parietal lobe then we are going to use receptors that are wired to the parietal lobe.  It is complex.  Everything we do is non-invasive, non-drug, and promotes proper function in the brain.  The brain has an amazing ability to adapt, change, and rewire if we give the proper fuel and activation.  This ability for the brain to rewire itself is termed neuroplasticity.  Johnson Brain-Based Therapy is designed to promote positive neuroplasticity in your brain.

Perhaps Dr. Robert Melillo, DC states the concept best in his book; Disconnected Kids:

“Conventional medical wisdom long held that the human brain cannot change – that it is hardwired at birth just like a computer.  Scientists started to collect evidence in the early 1970’s that eventually proved this is not the case.  They found that the brain is actually malleable and has the ability to change both physically and chemically in response to certain types of activity.  They found that it can change its shape, size, number of branches, number of connections, as well as the strength of it connections.

The potential of this ability is so far reaching, it has become a science of its own called neuroplasticity – neuro meaning neurons and plastic meaning changeable”*.

*Melillo R. Disconnected Kids: the groundbreaking brain balance program for children with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurological disorders, Penguin Group Inc., New York, NY USA 2010, pages 21-22.

Auditory Stimulation:  Listening to sound in one ear with a specially designed earphone (that combines both the right and left channel into a single ear bud) will mainly stimulate the opposite side of the brain and increase neurological activity.  Different sounds (frequencies, tone, pitches) affect the right and left sides of the brain differently.  I use professionally composed music that specifically activates one side of the brain.  I use right brain music if your right side is weak, or left brain music if your left side is weak.

Olfactory Stimulation:  Your sense of smell is special.  Your sight, sound, taste, and touch all travel through a sensory "middleman" area of your brain called the thalamus. SMELL GOES DIRECTLY TO THE BRAIN – there’s no middleman.  Smells are powerful brain stimulations.   I’m sure you’ve experienced this…..the smell of homemade cookies baking in the oven brings fond memories of your childhood flooding back….makes your mouth water.  Or on the other hand, just a whiff of spoiled milk makes your stomach turn.  Smells you like stimulate the left side of the brain.  Smells you don’t like stimulate the right side of the brain.

Warm Calorics:  A small amount of warm water in the ear will stimulate the semicircular canals in your inner ear.  Nerves inside the semicircular canals send massive signals through the vestibular nerve in a chain reaction to several important brain areas: the cerebellum, the cortex, then down to the lower brainstem (pontomedullary region).  Remember, it is you lower brainstem and cortex that slow down the over firing upper brainstem (mesencephalon).  Caloric stimulation is also fantastic for treating underlying causes of dizziness. 

Now, these are just a few of the treatments that I may use to help your brain increase its firing.  There are literally over one hundred ways we have to specifically activate and stimulate the brain.  The key to the success of Johnson Brain-Based Therapy is to be extremely specific in diagnosing the weak brain areas and applying activations or stimulations to those specific weakened areas. Other treatments we use involve eye movements, gross motor activities, light therapy, cognitive activities, puzzles, etc.  The list is HUGE, and specific to each individual’s needs. Here are a few more:

Eyelights Therapy™:  Eyelights were designed to provide optimal stimulation to the brain using the optic nerve.  Glasses designed with flashing lights built to fit behind the lens, they can be programmed to blink on the non-dominant eye in order to strengthen the weaker side of the brain.  Since one of the most direct avenues to the brain is via the eye, a child can learn more effectively if they are seeing correctly.  And an athlete will perform better because the eye is able to gather all of the information necessary to perform.

“By stimulating the weaker hemisphere of the brain you allow it to become stronger, thus improving overall performance.  One method of stimulating the brain is to use light pulses.  When using Eyelights you can control the intensity, frequency, and pattern of light pulses, which will result in being able to “wake up” the weaker side of the brain.”

Unilateral Adjusting:  Understanding how and why to specifically adjust areas of the spine or extremities is very important to creating the best possible outcomes. I have been trained in neurologically based adjustments. The right brain controls the left side of the body, and the left brain controls the right side. If there is a decrease of firing or impulses in one side of the brain, I only want to stimulate the joints on the opposite side. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Don’t worry; I will only use very light instrument activation, so you will not get worse. Have you ever had a massage, a chiropractic manipulation, or physical therapy, and felt worse afterward? It is because the treatment was too much for your nervous system. It over-stimulated you, and you crashed. As I describe it, it exceeded metabolic capacity (EMC).

Triton DTS® – Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression:  This great treatment device is a computer guided system that gently lengthens and decompresses the spine to provide lasting relief from chronic neck and back pain due to disc problems.  Dr. Johnson also uses non-surgical decompression therapy from a functional neurology perspective utilizing the Triton DTS® for a slow stretch to the spinal muscles for effective stimulation of the cerebellum and other brain areas.  We were one of the first chiropractic offices to bring this type of care to Shelby Township.  Years of experience have given us a clinical edge allowing you to get the fastest relief possible.

Neurofeedback: Neurofeedback (also called Neuro Therapy or EEG Biofeedback) is a non-invasive process where brain waves are monitored in real time by a computer, which can then use that information to help the patient/client learn to regulate their own brainwave activity. The process of adjusting brainwave activity is known as operant conditioning, which is a method where rewards for positive behavior increase learning capabilities.

Neurofeedback does not target any particular disorder. Its purpose is to change timing and activation patterns in the brain. This improves brain regulation, which can impact a variety of symptoms. Different symptoms will require triggering different areas of the brain. The software is designed to target specific areas of the brain according to a patient’s symptoms.

Neurofeedback resized 600ReBuilder™:  A proven electrical stimulator that sends a comfortable electronic pulse/signal to your feet and legs, which can get your nerves functioning again. You can think of it like a heart pacemaker that restores and improves heart function: the ReBuilderTM is theorized to restore, stabilize, and help stimulate rebuilding the nerves in your extremities.

Interactive Metronome®:  A computerized brain-based rehabilitation assessment and training program.   Helps patients with ADD/HD, learning disorders, MS, Parkinson’s Disease, and stroke rehab (and other health challenges).  Dr. Johnson is a Certified Interactive Metronome Physician.  Visit www.interactivemetronome.com for more information.

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Trigenics®: A unique method of care that helps reprogram the brain on how to control muscles that have become weak or too tight which often results in chronic pain and dysfunction. Dr. Johnson is a registered Trigenics® Practitioner and his office is considered a Trigenics® Center of Excellence by the Trigenics®Institute. Using the procedure provides relief from chronic neck, back, shoulder and hip pain by restoring muscle strength and increasing range of motion, often bringing much needed relief in as little as 5 minutes.  Visit www.TrigenicsMichigan.com/ for more information.

Whole Body Advanced Vibration Exercise (WAVE)®Provides near 100% muscle recruitment and strong neurological and circulatory stimulation to help relieve chronic neck and back pain, peripheral and diabetic neuropathy, shoulder, arm, wrist, hip, leg and foot pain and add strength to muscles throughout the body as well as help reverse osteoporosis throughout the body in short 15 minute sessions.  See our WAVE page for more information.

Cold LASER Therapy (Low Level Laser Therapy or LLLT):  Using LASER in healing is a relatively new occurrence. LLLT therapy is an FDA-cleared treatment that has been shown to decrease pain and inflammation, speed healing, and more. By directing specific frequencies of LASER and near infrared light to the body, this painless treatment can accelerate the healing process and increase circulation. LLLT has been clinically shown to help with carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, RSDS, fibromyalgia, and other painful conditions. I received specialized training for the cold laser from Dr. Jeff Spencer, who was the team doctor for eight consecutive Team U.S.A. Tour De France wins.

Karl with Jeff resized 600Dr. Jeff Spencer, DC with Dr. Karl Johnson, DC

In addition to Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy, Dr. Johnson also employs services and procedures to "crack the code" on the several aspects of the underlying causes of chronic pain and chronic health challenges such as:

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)PEMF: Pulsed Electromagnetic Field. PEMF is widely used in Eastern Europe and other parts of Europe, where it has been a standard therapy.  While this is a new technology in North America it is really an innovative, emerging technology, with an already extensive research base behind it. For more information about this revolutionary technology, check out the website: PEMFinfo.com.

PEMF is a safe, drug-free, non-invasive therapy for pain and dysfunction. PEMF optimizes the self-healing and self-regulating functions of the body.*

Axion Microcurrent Electrical Stimulation: The AXION micro5 represents the absolute state of the art in microcurrent devices, capable of virtually any type of treatment protocols.The AXION micro5 was cleared in 1991 (K911814) in the following category.  Device:  Stimulator, Nerve, Transcutaneous, For Pain Relief  Regulation Description: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator for pain relief. Regulation Medical Specialty: Neurology. Microcurrent therapy is based on the evidence that micro amperage currents closely approximate the naturally occurring bioelectric currents in the body and therefore effectively augment the body’s tissue healing and repair. Prior to, and subsequent to the device’s classification, much research has been done to investigate expanded uses for clinical microcurrent. The following research citations are designed as an exchange of information among healthcare professionals and to highlight areas where VenturaDesigns anticipates conducting research in an attempt to gain expanded clearances for its device. For a detailed review of some of the benefits of microcurrent electrical stimulation, please click here.

Nutritional Counseling:  Part of the bigger picture to restoring your health is how you eat. Dr. Johnson has specialized training to provide you with sound direction when it comes to eating well and supplementation.

Glutathione Therapy:  Known as the mother of all antioxidants, glutathione is found in almost every cell in the body.   Glutathione can help decrease pain and inflammation, give you more energy and rid your body of numerous toxins.  Glutathione is not well absorbed when taken in pill form, so my protocols use other forms of supplementation.

Individualized Home Exercising Planning: The patients that get the best results are those who take an active role in their recovery.  We empower you with individualized exercise programs tailored to your specific needs.  These plans often contain several “phases” that change as you become stronger and healthier.  Lets make you the best you can be!  Of special note; Dr. Johnson is a Certified Back Power Plus™ trained physician.

Computerized Blind Spot Mapping:  This is a computer based test that measure how well each side of the brain is functioning. This short non-invasive test is a great tool to track patient progress and enhance our understanding of how your brain is functioning.

RealEyes™ by Micromedical:  Video recording of eye movements is extremely helpful in treating patients with balance disorders, dizziness, and vertigo.  Visit www.micromedical.com for more information.

Computerized Outcomes Assessment Testing:  Give you objective proof of how well your treatment has improved your function with research-based reliable questionnaires.  Outcome Assessments are a must when documenting your response to care for research and other purposes.

reclaim-your-life-book.pngMy guess is that you have not had a doctor who is as thorough in his or her evaluation. You need a doctor who actually looks at all the underlying mechanisms creating dysfunction, a doctor who is NOT going to shove prescription medications-just treating your symptoms, which would be akin to putting black tape over the lit up oil light on your car's dash board. I write about my process in my highly acclaimed book, "Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide to Revealing Your Body's Life Changing Secrets for Renewed Health"

As of May, 2015, the
United States ranked thirty first (31) out of of 53 countries for both male
and female life expectancy combined.

To schedule an appointment with us call our office at 586-731-8840

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