Vicky Arcadi Vicky Arcadi first became interested in pregnancy in about 1982, when she was in chiropractic school. When a teacher of hers opened a new office, Vicky started working there to help pay for school. The teacher happened to be pregnant.

One day Vicky worked the office’s booth at a large “Baby Fair” event. All day, pregnant women and new moms kept coming by the booth, talking about their back aches, digestive problems and other complaints. “Aren’t you seen by a chiropractor?” Vicky wondered. “Oh no,” was the universal response, “chiropractors won’t see me. They say if I get an adjustment it could cause a spontaneous abortion. They told me to come back after I had the baby.”

“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” recalls Vicky: “chiropractors can do pap smears, prostate exams, we’re primary health care providers—like old family physicians. As a chiropractor, I could adjust them, relieve their pain and help the baby at the same time. I could improve both outcomes at once. Yet, in those days, pregnant women were rarely seen by chiropractors.”

Off and Running

Vicky threw herself into the study of pregnancy, eventually becoming known at her school as “the pregnancy expert.” She gave lectures on pregnancy for some of the teachers at the college and saw pregnant women in the clinic where she interned.

Fresh out of school, Vicky started working with a midwife, Tonya Brooks. One day, Tonya rushed out of the delivery room: a baby she’d just delivered was having trouble.

“I asked, ‘What’s up?’ Tonya didn’t really know. ‘He’s just really touchy—something’s wrong.’ I had never actually treated a brand new baby, but I went in and noticed his lips were blue. I told myself, ‘Okay, Vicky, just do what you’ve learned: take care of this baby.’”

She started working on the baby—adjusted him, checked his back, turned him over, adjusted his cranium, turned him back.

“Suddenly, he wasn’t touchy any more. He wasn’t squirming, and he was all pink. I gave him back to the mother and left the room, saying, ‘Okay, I’m done.’ Tonya rushed back in; she came out about a half hour later and said to me, ‘What did you do to that baby?!’ I said, ‘Oh my God—why, what happened?’”

It turned out, Vicky had closed the baby’s heart valve—it had been wide open at birth.

“That was it: from then on, I was on call. Whenever there was any trouble with a new baby, didn’t matter if it was three in the morning, the phone would ring, and Tonya’s voice would say, ‘Hi, Vicky—I’m sure you didn’t want to sleep! I need you over here.’”

With two separate practices, Vicky was off and running. And running. And running.

“As much as I loved what I was doing, I was also running myself ragged,” she recalls. Still, she would probably have continued on the same path—if nature hadn’t stepped in.

In 1994, an earthquake struck.

“It was devastating. Right away, I knew I’d lost my office.”

The quake was at five a.m.; Vicky was at the office by eight or nine—and found nothing but rubble. Luckily, their voice mail was still working. They moved to their office manager’s home a half mile away, set up a table in the middle of the living room, and started seeing patients again.

However, in the course of the move, Vicky hurt herself badly. She ended up flat on her back for the next month.

“As I lay there, I found myself thinking, What would I do if I had a terminal illness? I still had to pay my office manager to answer the phone, I still had living expenses. I was using up my savings, fast. I was thinking, How can I get a residual income? Real estate…? Maybe I could buy houses and rent them out?”

She recovered and they set up a new office; Vicky was able to get back on her feet. Still, the question stuck: she knew she needed to do something else. But what?

Enter Networking

Two years later, Vicky’s friend and chiropractic assistant—and soon-to-be business partner—Jackie learned about a new company with exceptional nutritional products. She asked Vicky to check it out.

“I said, ‘This is network marketing! I don’t want anything to do with it! Most of these companies have nothing but junk in their products—I’m dealing with pregnant women and babies, Jackie!’”

Jackie pursued the scientific education and Vicky, responding in an effort to find anything safe and non-toxic, gave the product to two patients—toddlers who were suffering with a terrible lung flu that just wouldn’t go away. The parents called within two days: the kids were better! Vicky started carefully researching the products. Six weeks later, she was convinced.

“Lying there on my back after the quake, I never dreamed I would become involved in network marketing!” she laughs. But she did—and once they’d made the decision, the two of them went at it “like gangbusters.”

Jackie had a little prior experience, and cautioned Vicky to pace herself.

“She said, ‘Vicky, don’t burn yourself out. Consistent, disciplined part-time effort—that’s the way to start.’ She was right. I had two practices on call and Jackie had three kids. We had to work together as a team. I devoted at least an hour a day to the business, sending out one package and making sure I did at least two calls every single day. We did trainings together. Today, we’re number 16 in the company—and we’ve consistently been in the top 20 since we started.”

Within a year and a half, their networking business was generating enough income that they both could retire from practice to devote themselves to the work they loved—Jackie to her work with cancer patients, and Vicky to her work with the kids.

“I sold my old practice to one of my teachers. I have an office that serves as my headquarters; when anyone needs care, this is where they call. But I’m no longer in clinical practice—it almost killed me.”

The Tay-Sachs Baby

Soon after they started in the business, Vicky got a call from Tonya.

“She said, ‘Remember that little Japanese baby we delivered almost four years ago? They’re here: the baby has Tay-Sachs Disease. The mother had a dream that we would be able to help. Will you see the baby?’”

Vicky had never seen Tay-Sachs Disease, but she knew what it was. A chromosomal defect usually found in eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish communities, Tay-Sachs is an essentially untreatable, terminal condition. Children with Tay-Sachs are unable to absorb nutrition from their food, and don’t live past the age of four. In communities where the disorder is more common, pregnant women are routinely screened for it; if they find the gene in the fetus, they usually abort the baby.

Vicky knew that Tay-Sachs meant a slow, horrible death. Still, she wasn’t prepared for what she saw.

“At four years, the boy weighed just 16 pounds. He had a swollen head; blind, deaf, stiff from neurological damage, couldn’t bend his legs, he was seizing, he had a tube in his nose going to his stomach. The mother had managed to keep weight on this child for two years by taking him off all formulas and giving him Japanese food through the tube. But I could see he was starving to death.”

The only thing Vicky could think to do for the child was to give him the product. The mother, who was on welfare, came in three times a week to receive the supplements—free of charge.

“We sent out faxes to people in our company and got contributions. We actually put the boy in a position in the company so he could get a regular shipment and even generate a small check for his family.”

Within ten months, the baby had doubled his weight. He also got his eyesight and hearing back, lost his stiffness, and began verbalizing and moving his arms and legs. Everyone involved was stunned.

“The mother urged me to write a study, because she was going to the national Tay-Sachs conference. I spoke to doctors associated with our company, and they encouraged me to go ahead and do it.”

Nutraceutical Association); today, Vicky serves on the journal’s editorial peer review board. She also presented the paper to a packed audience at a multidisciplinary conference at Baylor Medical School in Texas.

“Soon the company got a call from the American Council on Human Genetics; they wanted a duplicate study with more kids. I’m doing that now: we’re managing about 14 kids with Tay-Sachs throughout the country—throughout the world, actually, with e-mail.”

Doctor of Last Resort

Word got out. Already known as the last-resort doctor for so many kids, Vicky soon found that people were sending her patients from all over. She worked with them, gave them all the products, and got results.

In part as a result of Vicky’s work, the president of her network marketing company created a non-profit outreach program to provide help for kids around the world. The foundation, which is privately funded, purchases products to send to kids in need, and in the process helps gather data for further research.

Since then, Vicky has published two more studies with the Fisher Institute of Medical Research, one on Prader-Willi Syndrome (another genetic defect), the other on Cerebral Palsy.

“I work with all different kinds of kids, especially genetically damaged kids. We worked with one girl with Prader-Willi [a condition where the child literally eats him- or herself to death]—after a few months, she pushed food away. That’s unheard of!

“The most important thing about the studies is that they give the parents hope. We haven’t been able to keep the Tay-Sachs babies alive much past their life expectancy; but we’ve had a huge impact on their quality of life. Instead of giving them morphine and sending them home to die, we can provide a far better quality of life for those kids.

“For some of these parents, it has allowed them to go on, continue with their lives and have more children—and they look back at the child they lost as an angel, as someone who taught them something. That first little Japanese boy was responsible for all this. He was willing to become a team member and work with us.”

“Pediatric Chiropractor and Network Marketing Specialist”

Today, Vicky gets five or ten calls a day from people all over the country (as well as e-mails from all over the world) about kids with genetic conditions. “Right now, we have about 44 different genetically afflicted conditions that are showing improvement,” she reports.

After her first few years in practice, Vicky also set up a series of seminars for doctors on pregnancy and chiropractic care.

“A few months ago I spoke to about 100 students, new chiropractors who were still in school. I was telling them my story, about how there were no chiropractors who would see a pregnant woman—and they looked at me like I was from Mars. ‘They wouldn’t treat pregnant women?! You’re kidding!’ That’s how far we’ve come.”

In fact, there is now a diplomate program for the field, starting at Iowa’s Palmer College (the nation’s first chiropractic college). Vicky went through the program herself in the early 90s. Today there are nearly 100 diplomates nationwide.

As Vicky puts it, “If I died tomorrow, I’d go knowing I’d made a significant contribution to the profession.”

Although she still gets calls about neonatals in trouble, Vicky’s work has largely shifted into a different sphere.

“With genetically damaged babies, you usually don’t see the damage until they’re about three months old, when they start to mysteriously go down. Now that’s when I mostly get calls from people. I see all sorts of special cases now, especially genetic cases.“

And, she points out, she sees them all for free.

“Network marketing was the answer to my prayers. I never liked taking people’s money. I learned early on that I had to become a businesswoman as well as a healer, but that’s the hard part for doctors, because we’re lousy businesspeople. For us, network marketing is the future.

“We always say that network marketing allows you to live your dreams—but what’s your dream? Is it just to have a new car, a new house, a good vacation?

“I’m the doctor I always wanted to be. This is my life’s work. Yesterday someone asked me, ‘Doesn’t someone fund your studies? Don’t you get grants for this?’ No, I don’t. I support all the work through my network marketing business.

“When I was a kid and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say, ‘I want to be a doctor.’ Now, when I fill out a form that asks for my occupation, I write, ‘pediatric chiropractor and network marketing specialist.’

“Because without network marketing, I couldn’t be doing any of this.”