L.A.'s Fitness Fixer

© PhotoAlto / Alamy

When working out leads to injuries, Dr. Dennis Colonello of Peak Wellness in Beverly Hills knows exactly how to set things right.

Every true fitness freak knows rest does a body good. A weekly day off from working out is the perfect time to schedule a fire-cupping treatment (for energy flow) with someone like Dr. Smita Gupta in Santa Monica or an acupuncture session (for stress relief) with Mirela Lisicar Rohan in Beverly Hills (310-276-0027). The less holistically minded might use a rest day to visit Christine Nell or KarriAnn Erdmann at Ava MD in Beverly Hills for fat melting via a Zeltiq machine (up to 22.5 percent of fat pinched by the contraption during an hour-long appointment reportedly “melts” at a rate of one to two French fries a day for three months).

I’m at the Peak Wellness offices telling the affable Dr. Dennis Colonello, a chiropractor of sorts, about the debilitating, excruciating pain in my left knee, when he interrupts me with four words that change my life: “I can fix you.”

He takes me to a full-length mirror and points out how my hips are out of alignment, explaining that I had probably sprained my ankle at some point, which shifted the bones in my foot. To compensate, I started walking on the outer edge of my foot, which set off a chain reaction that caused knee and hip issues, and most likely other joint problems. Fixing my foot would fix my body. I’m skeptical, but Shaquille O’Neal’s shoe is on display in Colonello’s office, and I decide that counts for something.

I lie down on a table. Dr. Colonello starts manipulating my foot with his hands. It feels like reflexology. It doesn’t hurt. Then he shakes my legs. My body sways. “Do you have problems with your right shoulder?” he asks. Yes, I say, on-and-off pain. He works my shoulder. “Your jaw cracks, doesn’t it?” It has, in fact, for a decade. He manipulates my jaw. “Hold on, I’m going to crack your rib back into place.” He rolls me onto my side. I hear a loud pop. After about 45 minutes he says, “Okay, stand up.”

I do, and I think I’m having an out-of-body experience. The excruciating pain in my knee is gone. My jaw doesn’t crack. Neither does my shoulder. My foot feels like an entirely different appendage. Tension in my neck and lower back no longer exists. I’m so overwhelmed that…was I getting teary-eyed? “Don’t worry,” Dr. Colonello says. “Lots of people cry their first time.”

The revelatory moment passes. This is, after all, the L.A. health and wellness scene, where everyone has something to sell besides his or her fitness prowess—and where cult followings reign supreme. Both align in front of my eyes as Dr. Colonello, whose passion is inventing, shows me his Sit4Evr®, a handy contraption that loops around your back and hooks onto your knees to alleviate back pain when sitting.

Along with a philanthropic element (partial proceeds benefit a Cambodian orphanage), the apparatus also has faithful fans. “L.A. Clippers players won’t fly without it,” Dr. Colonello says. Nor will Emily Blunt. “I highly recommend it,” the actress writes on the gizmo’s website. “Sit4Evr® truly makes a huge difference.” At 144 S. Beverly Dr., Ste. 602, Beverly Hills; 310-247-9997; 195 Field Point Rd., Greenwich, CT; 203-625-9608; peakwellness.com.