Michael Dusa: Chiropractic Physician and Competitive Bodybuilder

Dr. Michael Dusa, chiropractic physician and long time competitive bodybuilder, is also the president of Dusa Enterprises, LLC, as well as the founder and promoter of the annual Michael Dusa Collegiate Scholarship Bodybuilding Championships.

With a successful twenty+ year competitive bodybuilding career under his belt, Dr. Dusa now owns and operates a highly successful chiropractic and nutritional counseling center in Hamden, Connecticut. Along with teaching nutrition and fitness classes at his nearby alma mater, Quinnipiac College, Dr. Dusa saw the need to offer a vehicle through which young individuals could participate and, at the same time, get in top physical shape, educate themselves about the body and proper nutrition, as well as compete to potentially win financial scholarships to be put towards their education.

Teaming with professional bodybuilding legend, Robby Robinson, as well as other entertainment luminaries such as Gregory Hines and Russ Testo, Dr. Dusa now runs one of the most successful bodybuilding competitions today. With the competition growing each year in quality and competitors, Dr. Dusa this year expects to field as many as 150 competitors, each of whom will vie for not only incredible awards, but also mainstream media attention.

Dr. Dusa’s short term and long term goals go hand -in-hand: ” Motivation of our world’s youth is the key to everything. If our younger generation believes in itself, exudes self-confidence, and has a positive eye on and hope for the future, then, I believe, the future of our world will become much more secure. This process begins with each individual youth building self-reliance and tenacity, and I feel that one of the best ways to procure these attributes is by taking care of one’s mind and body. Education and bodybuilding happen to be the vehicles that I espouse to all young people in order to attain these goals.

Dr. Michael Dusa, Youth Advocate, closes with this final thought,” I believe that we must rebuild this world, even if it takes one mind and one body at a time. I do not think that I can rest until every young person realizes that each and every one of them holds their own personal solutions inside of them to surmount any dilemma they may face. Rest, education, nutrition, athletics, honor, and abstinence from drugs, alcohol and lethargy are the tools they must use to reach success”.

DR. DUSA COMPLETES HIS COMEBACK

Dr. Michael J. Dusa, after winning the 1995 Natural Mr. Connecticut Body Building Title on Sunday, May 7, 1995 in Woodbridge, Connecticut, made his comeback complete from a devastating accident which occurred in 1990, by successfully competing in the 1995 Natural United States Body Building Championships at the Westport Country Playhouse on June 3, 1995.

Dr. Dusa graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois on April 21, 1990. One week later, he was victorious at the Mr. Collegiate Illinois Bodybuilding Championships. However, before Dr. Dusa could realize a lifelong dream and compete in the Collegiate National Bodybuilding Championships, tragedy struck. On May 15, 1990, as Dr. Dusa was driving home from a chiropractic seminar held in Orlando, Florida, a drunk- driver in Maryland lost control of his vehicle in the opposite lane on the highway on which Dr. Dusa was traveling. The drunk driver crossed the dividing barrier, and he struck Dr. Dusa’s vehicle head-on with incredible force. Dr. Dusa sustained multiple injuries, including a closed head injury, as well as severe damage to his shoulder, nervous system, right knee and upper and lower leg.

Dr. Dusa’s swollen and excruciatingly painful leg would later be diagnosed as the rare and poorly understood Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS). After being seen by as many as 50 different doctors, Dr. Dusa ultimately found himself at the esteemed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he faced amputation of his right leg above the knee. With the encouragement of his mother, Angelina, and the support of his father, Joseph, Dr. Dusa refused to give the surgeons the okay to take his leg, and he left Mayo for his home in Connecticut. He began to systematically wean himself off the morphine he’d been injecting into his spine via a catheter for pain and began a long and slow process of restoring his body to its former health and vitality. He rationalized that the drugs and surgeries were helpful to a certain extent, but, eventually, his body rejected these ‘invasions’ of synthetics and surgeries and reacted to them as though they were further injuries. Dr. Dusa had always lived a healthy lifestyle, devoid of drinking, drugs and smoking, and full of exercise. Therefore, he thought, if he could just return his body to all the goodness it was use to, he would regain his health.

Dr. Dusa did fight with anger and unrest over his misfortune. However, he did always know that obstacles help bring out the best in people as individuals, and, deep down, he knew he would come back from his difficulties. Dr. Dusa had always found it ironic that the abuse of alcohol by another was the cause of the accident that changed his life forever, as he had always avoided drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. Dr. Dusa is committed to living drug-free as well as to natural bodybuilding.

Dr. Dusa read any literature he could find on his painful condition. RSDS is a multi-symptom, multi-system syndrome that usually affects one or more extremities. It is a disabling disease, often arising from minor to major injury to a joint or limb, with simultaneous involvement of nerve, skin, muscle, blood vessels and bone. The pain associated with RSDS is so extreme and unrelenting, that it is said to be worse than that caused by cancer. While the RSDS was restricted to his right knee and leg, Dr. Dusa suffered from the effects of the pain, swelling, diminished motor function, tremors, degenerative skin changes, edema, and osteoporosis in the bones of his leg for two and one half years. His world- renowned, Mayo Clinic physicians said that his case of RSDS was among the worst they had ever seen on a world-wide basis.

At home, Dr. Dusa created his own treatment plan. He used a combination of conventional medicine, along with some experimental treatments he devised such as immersing his leg in hot soaks, immediately followed by plunging it into ice water. The induced expansion and rapid contraction created an increased circulation into his leg, bringing it much- needed oxygen and nutrients. He also improved his nutrition. Where he previously and for many years ate the same nutritious meals like clockwork, day in and day out ( hence the doctor’s oft-stated premise, ‘the body thrives on regularity’ ), while disabled, Dr. Dusa’s eating habits became erratic and lacking in quality. He immediately stored only healthy foods in his home. With concerted, careful and consistent exercise, he gradually brought back his former muscularity. Although Dr. Dusa knew that muscles have ‘memory’, there was a time that he thought his had amnesia!-results were slow and painful!

After months of determination and frequently unbearable pain, Dr. Dusa managed to transform his once bed-ridden, 240 pounds-soft body into his former one of 180 pounds of health , energy and muscularity. By totally returning his mind, body and lifestyle to the world of nutrition, exercise and education, his symptoms and RSDS burned themselves out and totally dissipated! On the comeback trail, simply entering and standing onstage at the 1994 Mr. Colonial States Competition was a major achievement. Winning the whole championships was the ultimate personal triumph! Dr. Dusa made his comeback complete by competing in the 1995 Natural United States Body Building Championships in Westport, Connecticut, ultimately winning the ‘ Overall Crowd Favorite Award’ in front of over 1,000 fans. On Sunday, May 7, 1995, Dr. Dusa added the title of Natural Mr. Connecticut to his list of achievements.

Dr. Dusa currently owns and operates the successful Dusa Chiropractic and Nutritional Center in Hamden, Connecticut. He also runs the annual Michael Dusa Collegiate Scholarship Bodybuilding Championships, which benefits worthy college students who are eligible to win financial scholarships to further their education. In running his chiropractic business, Dr. Dusa has vowed never to treat a leg, neck or back singularly, as he has learned first hand what it is like to be a patient who was not always treated as a whole person. He strives to treat the whole person as a unique individual with physical, psychological and spiritual needs. ” Some doctors treated me as if I were a leg with RSDS,” Dr. Dusa recalls, ” They forgot or failed to consider that I was a person in need of help for the rest of me”.

Dr. Dusa cares about people and wants to help others learn from his experiences. He is the founder and president of Muscle Builders Against Muscular Dystrophy, an American Red Cross Volunteer, and an alcohol, drug abuse and nutritional counselor. Dr. Dusa is professional advisor and mentor to students in the Quinnipiac School for Pre-Chiropractic Education, as well as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac College in Hamden , Connecticut, from which he graduated in 1987 with a B.S. in Respiratory Therapy. Dr. Dusa is particularly passionate in giving his many motivational speeches to middle school, high school as well as to college students. He speaks candidly of goal setting, motivation as well as how to achieve one’s dreams without submitting to peer pressure or compromising one’s integrity. Dr. Dusa’s appearance as keynote speaker at his alma mater, Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Connecticut, for their bi-annual career awareness day was applauded by both students and faculty alike. One student called his speech ‘awesome’ while another related that it made him think of life in a new perspective.

For Dr. Michael J. Dusa, physician, teacher, lecturer, bodybuilder and youth advocate, the quest for excellence is ongoing.