Our Story

 

In the early 90's Dr. Clayton Skaggs established a private practice in St. Louis, Missouri. While he was helping patients and working as a post-doctoral instructor to chiropractic physicians, dentists and physical therapists, he knew he needed to expand what he was doing for patients and that exercise and nutrition were missing links. A major turning point in his career came when he attended a workshop in Peoria, Illinois where Dr. Vladimir Janda, a neurologist from Prague, Czech Republic, was lecturing on rehabilitation. Dr. Skaggs often cites Dr. Janda as "blending art and science to the procedures and applications of traditional orthopedics and rehabilitation."

After that meeting, Dr. Skaggs traveled to Prague annually for over a decade to study with Dr. Janda, Dr. Karel Lewit, and physical therapists at Charles University. Dr. Lewit would become his most influential mentor and our clinics' namesake. Drs. Janda and Lewit, both neurologists, are now recognized as leading pioneers in rehabilitation and sports medicine. As Dr. Skaggs often relates, because the physicians and therapists in Prague did not have the means for high tech medicine or diagnostics, they mastered the art and science of observing, listening, and feeling the needs of the patient.

The practice then moved to Clayton, Missouri where exercise and nutrition were expanded. Over the next 10 years Dr. Skaggs was on eight university-based post-doctoral faculties, including Clinical Research Professor at Logan University and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Jim George joined the practice located in Clayton (then known as Clayton Physical Medicine) first as a student, then intern, then associate. He is now the Clinic Director and partner at the location in Kirkwood, Missouri.

During this academic period, Drs. Skaggs and George led a National Institutes of Health (NIH) randomized trial that resulted in publication of one of the largest studies on low back pain in pregnant women. Additionally, they were authors in eight different books and over 20 published papers on sports medicine and rehabilitation.

While only a 1500 square foot facility, the sports and performance care grew and attracted professional and elite athletes from around the world. The concept of a larger institute began to take shape. Following the purpose of creating an institute known throughout the world as a place to go when injured or wanting to improve performance, the Central Institute for Human Performance (CIHP) was formed in the historic J. Milton Turner school building in Kirkwood, Missouri in 2003. 

Over the next 10 years, the model and concept of CIHP and the Karel Lewit Clinic expanded. We continued to work with athletes and individuals performing in all walks of life. What emerged was a new purpose. A purpose that came from our clients. They would repeatedly tell us, "This place changed my life." As the institute in St. Louis grew a new idea of expanding the CIHP model beyond St. Louis emerged. So, in 2016 CIHP opened a facility in Jupiter, Florida. 

Today, CIHP continues to evolve and expand its reach. As part of our certification and alliance with Prof. Stuart McGill, individuals with back pain come from across the country to seek our care. Prof. McGill is an influential colleague, mentor, and friend of Dr. Skaggs' and now of CIHP. Dr. McGill and Dr. Skaggs have taught post-doctoral programs and conducted clinical research together for nearly 20 years. Dr. McGill has most recently contributed to the development of our Movement and Behavior Imprint (MBI).  

Through our non-resident program, we are training and consulting individuals from California to New York to Texas. Our team now consists of over 40 providers including medical and chiropractic physicians, physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, strength coaches, dietitians and client advocates. To date, Dr. Skaggs and the teams at CIHP have worked with World Series Champions, Stanley Cup Champions, Elite military, PGA Champions, NFL, NHL and MLB All Stars and thousands of professional and elite athletes.  We continue with what Dr. Skaggs started: creating a place where people can choose their health, resilience and performance. We recognize knowledge is our most valuable asset and we must have the courage to continue to ask questions of our work, to teach, and as Karel Lewit shared with Dr. Skaggs, "to feel the needs of our patients and clients."

 
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