Dr. David Steenblock A Lifelong Journey Into Regenerative MedicineOct 07, 2020 09:09AM ● By Don Kindred
Dr. David Steenblock in his private 5,000 square foot medical library.
story and photos by Don Kindred
While his resumé will claim more than 45 years of medical studies, research and practice, David Steenblock’s education started long before that. Growing up on an Iowa farm can lend itself to life experiences that most wouldn’t find in a modern city. By the time he was four-years-old, young David had pretty much figured out the tractor. He knew where the gas went; he even understood that when he started it up, little sparks would ignite the gas and push the pistons down, turn the crankshaft, and make the wheels go. So when the family’s mare died and the veterinarian came to figure out why, David surprised his parents by insisting on watching the procedure. He wanted to see how a horse worked. This natural curiosity was encouraged as he grew up.
Living on a farm, being able to discover problems and find innovative solutions, was a valuable asset. But, he knew early on that farm life wasn’t for him; his future would be in some field like science, research or medicine.
When he was about 13, he overheard a chance conversation about a family friend who had moved to California ‘to be a doctor.’ “The image was instilled,” he remembers, “that sounded like a great idea.”
His future was cast. The path to get there however, was not.
David was accepted into medical school at Iowa State in 1964 where he earned his Bachelor of Science, before earning his Master of Science in biochemistry. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) from the College of Osteopathy in Des Moines, Iowa. He took time along the way to study cardiology in Philadelphia, hematology at the University of Washington, neurology at Ohio State and oncology at the Mayo Clinic. He went to Miami to attend the first PhD program on Aging. In 1973 he began his residency in pathology at Case Western Reserve Clinic in Cleveland, finishing at the University of Oregon in 1977.
While in Washington he began a model medical practice for a rural logging community on the Olympic peninsula. “Basically it was a general practice with an emergency room and a small hospital. “I was the only doctor in town,” he reminisces of his time in Forks, WA,”a lot chainsaw accidents up there,” he notes, “I did a lot of plastic surgery.”
On to California:
By 1979, he had finally found his way to Southern California. He had also determined that he wanted to practice holistic medicine, (better known now as integrative medicine). He opened the first holistic medical clinic west of the Mississippi, up the road in El Toro. There he began innovative treatments of chronic diseases, including working out methods for reversing blood vessel blockage in stroke victims and heart disease.
In 1989 he began working with Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a way of flooding his patients with pure oxygen to speed up their healing processes. One patient had come in to see if Dr. Steenblock could help to reverse his brain damage from a recent stroke, as conventional treatments hadn’t offered any help. Dr. Steenblock prescribed a course of HBOT treatments that produced surprising results in a relatively short time. Within five years his success in treating stroke victims earned him the nickname “The Stroke Doctor.”
The difficulty lay in the two-month course of daily HBOT treatments, which was hard for most patients to do. So he began working with the once-controversial stem-cell treatments that he’d first studied in 1969. Stem cells are the unique cells from which all other cells are derived. Simply stated, stem cells have the ability to replicate and differentiate into multiple tissues to promote healing in damaged tissue.
He soon realized you could get the same results in a shorter period of time by combining the two treatments. HBOT uses stem cells and growth factors to make new blood vessels to the stroke/brain area,” says Dr. Steenblock, “they go directly to the damaged areas, proliferate and cause new blood vessels to grow.” This brought treatment time down to about three weeks. Now the therapy is extremely beneficial for a long list of afflictions.
Today, stem cells are at the very core the Personalized Regenerative Medicine, the clinic located off Avenida La Pata in San Clemente. “What we have here is a number treatments that are designed to help enhance the activity, functionality, growth and the effectiveness of stem cells. That sounds like a lot, but we have a lot of equipment here; things like external counter pulsation, a device which helps push the blood to your heart, your brain and other organs to improve the circulation. The older we get, the small capillaries are diminished and are not oxygenating as good. The use of Hyperbaric Oxygen helps to improve the oxygen flow and release stem cells from the bone marrow. We also have lasers that help to stimulate the stem cells to become more active and proliferate more rapidly. We have a whole variety of tools to help enhance the effectiveness of the stem cells.
“Everything I’ve done and learned to this point has brought me here,” he says of what has become his life’s work.”
“Here” … is actually a large campus. It consists of the offices, a medical clinic, a treatment center, a research lab and a huge medical library with an uncountable number of books and research papers. Research, it turns out, is Dr. Steenblock’s one lifelong hobby. Specifically: medical research into aging and regenerative medicine. “I didn’t start out to create a library or anything,” he says of the vast collection. “It just kept growing.” At one point, he kept his library in a house in the hills of Mission Viejo, but eventually had to move it when the weight of the books actually began cracking the foundation! Today his library is in a 5,000 sq ft warehouse, an impressive home to volumes of information that have never made it to the internet.
Dr. Steenblock has also been working in the field of Nutriceuticals. In his private research lab he has created a product known as Stemgevity. He had discovered during the course of his work that certain herbs along with herbal and plant-derived compounds, as well as minerals and other natural substances, can stimulate the body to increase the number, activity and release of stem cells into the bloodstream, which fits nicely into his overall purpose for the clinic.
So, this Iowa farm boy made it California, and has found himself on the cutting edge of new technologies and treatments designed to help with chronic illnesses and assist in staving off the ravages of the human aging process.
(949) 367-8870 • stemcellmd.org • 187 Ave La Pata, San Clemente, CA 92673
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