One spine at a time: Tahoe chiropractor has published inspirational book |

One spine at a time: Tahoe chiropractor has published inspirational book

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Dr. Stewart Bittman has been a South Shore resident for more than two decades.

Dr. Stew Bittman is a chiropractor who practices in Meyers under “the box” system, where people donate what they can. A South Shore local since 1979, he is also a speaker and published author. His new book is called “Between Heaven and a Hard Place.”

Q: When did you come to Tahoe?

A: I moved here in 1979. And I’ve been practicing chiropractic since 1986.

Q: You’ve also done chiropractic in other countries?

A: Over the years, we’ve participated in six chiropractic missions. Four times to Panama, once to Puerto Rico and most recently to the Dominican Republic. My other claim to fame is that we practice with “the box” on the desk.

Q: What inspired you to do it that way?

A: The concept has been around for a long time. It came about from my first two experiences in Panama. We were forced to operate that way when I was there.

I learned that when I give my gift away to people without strings attached, not only does it work better for them, but I receive more out of it than I could even have imagined.

Q: What is your book called?

A: “Between Heaven and a Hard Place.” It’s really the story of the journey from my head to my heart and the craziness of my time along the way. I call it a travelogue of my journey.

Q: When was it published?

A: It came out in September of last year, and I’ve been writing it for years because some of it came out of my journals over the years. When it came down to putting it in book format, it only took a year.

Q: What is it about?

A: There’s a lot of wisdom and insight, but there’s also a lot of silliness and self talk, talking to my mind or my ego. There’s a Groucho Marx quote at the beginning of each chapter. Most of the self-help books that you see are telling you what to do. This is to share my triumphs and well as my pity parties. And because of that people can relate because it’s honest and human.

Q: Which authors would you compare it to?

A: To me it reminds me of George Carlin, or Groucho Marx. To others, maybe Deepak Chopra or Wayne Dyer.

Q: What is the theory behind chiropractic?

A: The true principle about chiropractic is that we don’t need to know what’s wrong with people, because the best doctor is the one within the person. Our job is to remove the obstacles to healing.

In Panama, I saw a little girl get out of her wheelchair and walk. I’ve seen a little girl hear after being deaf. It changes people.

We’re just allowing the incredible force within them to express itself. We’re just a tool to remove the blocks.

Q: Does it have any other effects?

A: It could change people not just physically and mentally, but socially, economically and spiritually. People make different choices because they are being led to their hearts instead of their heads. Our heads tell us all the stuff we shouldn’t do, our hearts know our dreams and highest purpose.

Q: Do people get emotional?

A: Yes, people cry, many laugh. A sense of peace comes over them. Babies laugh almost one hundred percent of the time. And a lot of times they go home and sleep through the night for the first time. But not all babies need to be adjusted.

In the early part of the process, things do come up. We call that retracing, we’re just pealing off the layers that people have accumulated in their lives. It’s like pealing an onion, and I look forward to reaching the sweet part.

Q: How did you end up going to Panama in the first place?

A: My mentor had been to Haiti. I had a couple opportunities to go on missions, because there are missions all over the place. And then I was at a seminar and somebody announced they were going and it just clicked. And that was two weeks before we went.

The first time we went, 147 chiropractors adjusted 385,000 people in five days. In Panama, we had 5,000 people waiting in line. Sometimes I didn’t even have to touch them.

Q: What’s your goal here in South Lake Tahoe?

A: It’s the same as it was in Panama. It’s to serve God by turning on the power of life one spine at a time.

Dr. Stew’s book is available at his office, Mountain Spirit Bookstore, Wines on the Lake, the Tahoe Country store, both locations of Body Essentials, and soon at Neighbors Bookstore. A new edition will be available next month.

– To suggest someone for this column, contact Amanda Fehd at

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