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Bad Golf Swing? You May Need a Past-Life Checkup

Malibu's psychic chiropractor digs into patients' histories to make present-day adjustments.


The Santa Monica woman, who would rather not be named, could not be more excited about the work of Dr. Ed Wagner. She had heard glowing reports about this rather unusual health-care triple hyphenate (chiropractor-nutritionist-psychic) and decided to treat herself to a session, as a combination birthday present/hoot.

And that is how she came to learn that her husband was her brother and her son was her parent 400 years ago. Wagner also warned her that if she and her husband didn't solve their karmic problems right now, they would come back together in another life.

"Oh, hell, I don't want to come back with him again" is what she thought to herself. So she decided to play along. "And now I'm in total awe," she gushes on the phone, because while sessions with a regular marriage counselor just angered her grouchy husband, seeing Wagner, she says, "is saving our marriage!" Plus, she adds giddily, "the treatments totally fixed his golf swing, which made him so happy that now our marriage has become alive!"

Odd diagnoses and unusual solutions are all a part of a day's work for Wagner of Malibu, very much of Malibu. A licensed chiropractor since 1975, and a onetime business partner of Jack LaLanne's, Wagner sees himself as sort of a present-day West Coast version of the legendary psychic healer Edgar Cayce. His celebrity-studded list of clients includes Arianna Huffington and Diana Ross.

"I think my ability to diagnose is based on my intent . . . which is to set every single person free so they can fulfill themselves on all levels" is how Wagner explains it. "I think that intent allows me to see what other doctors don't see."

Often, he says, to make a diagnosis, he'll "just touch the patient, and wait. And I'll usually get a vision. From there, I can start the process."

"I never believed in past lives," he says, soft-spoken and dignified in a white shirt and tweed pants, "but when I had patients that literally I'd done everything, and I know more than almost any doctor because I have a photographic memory . . . I had done every conceivable test and treatment. And the patient would still be stuck. So I just allowed myself one time to let my intuition and psychic ability perceive another dimension. That dimension was past lives."

Michael Nash, a spokesman for a chiropractic college, acknowledges that it is common for chiropractors to make use of different kinds of treatments, depending on the individual's approach. The idea that a psychic element might be useful does not sound out of the realm of the possible to him. "I have yet to hear of any chiropractic college that has incorporated a psychic element into its curriculum," says Nash, director of communications for the Southern California University of Health Sciences, which includes the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.

"I never believed in any of this kind of [junk] before," says Lois Gibson, a Wagner devotee and the straight-talking wife of actor Henry Gibson. Dressed in a muumuu, she was standing in Wagner's crowded waiting room in a large glass office complex on Pacific Coast Highway. It is decorated with--among other things--several huge amethyst crystals and a large rock engraved with the word "healer."

"I mean, aromatherapy? Please!" Gibson continues in a pronounced New York accent as she launches into the story of how her husband had a health crisis, suddenly losing all his energy and 25 pounds in a week. No traditional doctor had any idea what was wrong. Wagner diagnosed creosote poisoning from work Gibson had done on the moorings of their house. Once he put the actor on a high-fat diet, within a week he was fine and the Gibsons joined the ranks of the converted.

This is not an inexpensive proposition, since Wagner charges $150 for an initial 20-minute visit and $65 for 10-minute follow-up visits. "But he works really fast," says Kimberly Maxwell, his office manager. "He doesn't like to spend more time than that with anyone because more time just gives them a chance to put up defense mechanisms," she explains.

Wagner, a tall, lean, white-haired man in his 50s, has a seemingly endless supply of odd stories meant to serve as examples of the unusual corner he is occupying on the health-care block. Take, for instance, the strange case of the "successful TV writer" who came to him with, among other symptoms, very bad writer's block--something not usually listed among the pathologies in the "Merck Manual of Medical Information."

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