He's known simply as "The Wizard." In his eighteen years as a Major League Baseball player (with fourteen years at the St. Louis Cardinals), Ozzie Smith took the position of shortstop to new heights, becoming a defensive block who set records and racked up awards such as thirteen Golden Gloves, a World Series Win, fifteen All-Star appearances, and induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. He also proved to be a potent force offensively, earning the Silver Slugger Award.
He regularly performed backflips as he took the field on opening days, All-Star games, and post-season games. His physical agility wowed baseball fans regardless of which team they rooted for.
After retirement in 1996, Ozzie had no intentions of slowing down. He remained active in the St. Louis community and in his personal life. By the time he reached age 60, however, he noticed physical movement wasn't as easy as it had been before.
"I've always worked real hard at trying to make sure I kept myself in real good shape," says Ozzie. "A friend of mine introduced me to these guys one day in up St. Louis. They said, 'We can probably help you get back to turning backflips if you come down!'"
The guys Ozzie met were from IMAC Regeneration Center in Paducah. The doctors and staff of IMAC were pioneering new ways to regenerate and heal damaged tissue without medication and surgery. Ozzie felt positive about the possibilities and made his way to Paducah.
"His shoulder cartilage was worn down," says Dr. Matt Wallis, IMAC founder. "He'd wake up with his shoulder hurting, and it was affecting simple daily activities. He just wanted to get back to playing golf. Now, he's going to spring training and throwing the baseball again. He didn't expect he'd be able to do that!"
The team of doctors and therapists at IMAC are getting used to such results. "We decided to build a protocol that would achieve the highest possible corrective treatment for multiple conditions," adds Dr. Wallis. "We assembled an amazing team of chiropractors, physical therapists, and medical doctors to practice regenerative medicine. That's a new term here in the U.S. It's a complete approach."
At the forefront of the IMAC protocol is the use of one's own body to help itself heal and repair. Cells are taken from healthy areas to parts of the body where things aren't working correctly.
IMAC has generated the interest of patients across the country and regularly get visits from baseball players, NBA players, and NFL stars. "After integrating different specialties and incorporating tissue regeneration with training, we've seen some amazing results," says Dr. Wallis.
From back and joint issues to neurologic conditions to chronic lung problems, IMAC's results attract attention from around the country. They've even seen big strides in treating patients with Parkinson's Disease.
Ozzie was so impressed with his improvement that he and the IMAC team thought it would be a good idea to bring IMAC to St. Louis. "It's all about helping people without having surgery," says Ozzie. "These are great guys to work with. What they are doing is good and is helping a lot of people."
At the official grand opening of IMAC's new facility on James Sanders Blvd., Ozzie was on hand to announce plans for the Ozzie Smith IMAC Regeneration Center in St. Louis. "Since I retired, one of the most asked question I get is can you still do the flip? I don't do it intentionally," laughs Ozzie. "But through these guys here, I'm starting to feel like I can do it again! I'm looking forward to getting the facility up and running in St. Louis so I can spend more time there."
"Ozzie and his accomplishments are legendary," says Jeff Ervin, IMAC CEO. "And he's an even better person off the field. We can't find any better ambassador to enter St. Louis than Ozzie Smith!"
And even though IMAC treats many accomplished athletes, Dr. Wallis wants people to know that such treatments are available to everyone. "The main reason we do this is for people in our community," he says. "It's time for a change. People deserve to get better, whether that's Ozzie Smith or the grandmother down the road. We are looking at expanding into places like Austin and Houston in Texas and hopefully Nashville. It excites me that it starts here with our own community and that we can all be a part of that."