Dr. Walsdorf’s own journey in this four-element direction began as a child. He was frequently in the woods, around a nearby pond, or on month-long camping trips with his family. He always felt drawn to the mysterious, wondrous world of Nature. He thought everyone was and continues to believe that most children are drawn to Nature and only that Nature’s power is not emphasized and reinforced enough by our culture today.
He was always into “the natural”. He smiles when he remembers his mom having to deal with his obsession over wearing only natural fibers; he just couldn’t handle the feeling of polyester in his clothing. He continues to believe that our natural sensibilities begin with everyday items like our clothes.
Some of the adventures of his youthful days include going cross country with his high school best friend and backpacking through Mexico and Guatemala for 6 months – no cell phones back then; you were on your own
When patients look at Dr. Walsdorf’s diplomas and ask him how he went from the New York State College of Environment Science & Forestry to Chiropractic, he tells them that, in retrospect, he realizes he was following the tradition of doctors from past eras. Doctors were, up until recently, natural scientists first. Their training as a doctor was built upon understanding the natural world. This is not the case much anymore.
During his undergraduate days, Dr. W took yoga classes, becoming president of the Syracuse University Kundalini Yoga Club. He took a variety of astrology, Kabbalism, acupressure, herbal, and macrobiotic cooking classes (brown rice was all the rage 😉
His Environmental Science college years were especially important for him because he met others who were also drawn deeper to Nature, forming close friendships that would continue more than 30 years later. Each fall, over these years they would go camping together in the Adirondack Mountains of NY.
Dr. Walsdorf went to National College of Chiropractic in Illinois – often considered the most rigorous in terms of science education of all Chiropractic colleges. Whether it was anatomy, physiology, pathology, nutrition, or spinal biomechanics, Dr. W. did what he could to learn it all.
He took extra courses in acupuncture – always looking for new ways to understand the human body’s mysteries as well as useful healing techniques. From this, the seeds of his 4 Element Holistic Healing System were planted as he learned more about the Chinese concept of chi, and its set of natural elements. In addition to developing his hands-on adjusting skills, he took an interest in Applied Kinesiology, Cranial Therapies, and Nutrition.
In 1983 he graduated, and soon after began his healing center in Syracuse, NY – University Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center. He continues practicing there today.
Since the earliest days of his practice, Dr. W has not been your average Chiropractor. While patients often initially come in to resolve their pains, they soon realize that he is the doctor to go to for their other health issues as well. Over the years he has developed a variety of healing skills in his natural healing tool chest.
Dr. Walsdorf has always kept up with leading-edge nutrition. He uses Nutrition Response Testing (NRT) to find patients’ weak links organ-wise, as well as to determine the nutritional supports that may benefit them. His herbal skills have also been honed over these decades.
Dr. Walsdorf is perhaps most proud of the 4 Element Yoga that he developed to strengthen people’s health through body movement. Not only does it build on his earlier yoga experiences, but also on the knowledge and experience gained by working in the Feldenkrais, Alexander, and Bioenergetics “somatic” realms.
The power of 4 Element Yoga, he says, comes from appreciating the way the 3 dimensions of space relate to those same four principles of Nature. His 4 Element Yoga allows you to draw these life-positive principles into desired parts of your body. If you are looking to see the human body in terms of sacred architecture, you will find 4 Element Yoga exceedingly useful.
On a practical level, the 4 Element Yoga he developed has been useful for patients with a wide variety of health issues – whether it be their heart, thyroid, or stomach, their rotator cuff, knee pain, arthritis, or neuropathy. Dr. Walsdorf has even developed 4 Element Yoga maneuvers for the skull to help his patients with migraine, concussions, sinus, and ear issues.
What has allowed Dr. Walsdorf to be able to accomplish all these things so well is not just his 30 years of experience but the way he’s found that these same four natural principles manifest on all levels of ourselves: musculoskeletal, organ, and nutrition-wise, as well as psychological and spiritual.
The power that is moving through Dr. Walsdorf is not just for helping people heal, but is also to make the world better. He likes to say that Fire – the highest of the four elements – relates to the spiritual idealism within each of us. Opposite to Fire is Earth, which relates to the physical world where practical things must occur to make things better.
As Dr. Walsdorf puts it, the civic realm is where “the rubber meets the road” – where the Fire of our spiritual ideals is meant to engage the physical here and now Earth places (the cities, towns, villages) where we live. Within this civic realm, we are meant to make our own small part of the universe a more beautiful, productive, balanced expression of these same four elemental principles.
Along these lines, Dr. Walsdorf has been involved in a variety of local civic organizations. He co-founded the Syracuse Holistic Wellness Council to help upstate New York to become more holistically vibrant and naturally oriented.
More recently Dr. Walsdorf helped create Natural America.org. His vision with Natural America is to help restore America’s natural sensibilities through a rekindling of the four-element wisdom of the Ancients. His online company, 4 Element Lifestyle, was not only created to connect people to natural products and four element ways of thinking and living – it is also a source of funding Natural America.
Dr. Walsdorf has recently published Fire, Air, Water and Earth: Apply an Ancient Wisdom to Your Life. People enjoy the way it helps them understand Nature and gives practical advice on how to heal in more natural ways – as well as ways to live a more inspired, fun, and interesting life.
He is a sought-after speaker. Organizations have enjoyed hearing Dr. Walsdorf speak on the various aspects of a four-element way of thinking, living, and healing. Audiences find his talks inspirational, informative, and very unique in their way of helping them perceive Nature and their own life in deeper, even spiritual ways. His talk, Nature as a Spiritual Force in our Lives has been deemed by many to be the perfect way to see the full breadth of the four-element perspective. See DrWalsdorf.com/speaker_and_author for more info.
Much of what keeps Dr. Walsdorf robust is his 20-minute walk to and from his office. He is also a passionate gardener, doing so at both his office and home. He loves his pear and apple trees, his special rosehip-producing rosa rugosa, and even his kiwi vines – yes they even grow in upstate NY! You will often find him engaging neighbors, especially young people, in the university neighborhood where he lives and works.
Along with his writing and gardening activities, Dr. W’s recreation includes hiking, cross country skiing, and doing 4 Element Yoga. While his own art is his gardening, the various art openings he goes to with his wife, Marna Bell, a fine arts photographer, adds another arts-related dimension to his life. Together they have a son, Josh, who gives them both much joy.