Dr. Wade Brackenbury




A Life Dedicated to Healing in Asia Dr. Wade Brackenbury

There are few medical professionals with as rich and profound experiences in Asia as Dr. Wade Brackenbury. With the founding of the first chiropractic treatment center in Vietnam – the American Chiropractic Clinic – Dr. Wade made a commitment to help Vietnamese people recover from intractable pain while assisting those recovering from chronic illness to achieve permanent remission. Even so, Dr. Wade’s love for Vietnam and the cultures and traditions of this region date back far beyond his work here, reflecting a life dedicated not only to healing, but also to the languages, culture and people of Asia.

Dr. Wade’s dual destiny with culture and medicine was sealed in a single moment – the sporting accident that almost saw him permanently paralysed from the waist down. During a college football match, the young Wade was struck on the hip and flipped around, his pedicles were broken as his vertebrae were shifted forward into the nerves of his lower back. He collapsed immediately and lay in shock, unable to feel anything at all from his waist down, and was taken straight to hospital to receive urgent treatment.

While he was fortunate that the accident wasn’t worse, the young Wade had suffered a serious back injury for which he would spend two years in rehabilitation. It was a painfully slow recovery, giving him time to read countless books about medicine and back conditions, acquiring his own basic knowledge in the field.

It was at this time that Wade met the doctor who would change his path forever. Doctor Schultz had studied medicine and chiropractic in the US before traveling to Korea and China to study both acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Dr. Schultz’s treatments made the most profound and immediate difference on his condition – and as he finally overcame his condition, he resolved to follow the same path as Doctor Schultz, devoting his life to a broad medical education and a future career in Asia.

Adventures Abroad

As a young man, Wade traveled around the world. After college, he went mountain climbing in New Zealand, traveled across Australia, and lived with the tribal people of Papua New Guinea. Immersed in their primitive culture, he learnt how the structures of language impact the way people live and work. These insights encouraged him to learn many foreign languages.

He soon traveled to Korea and studied with the same master of acupuncture who had taught Dr. Schultz. While focused on the ancient technique of pain relief via the insertion of needles, Wade swiftly became fluent in Korean.

Dr. Wade went on to complete a degree in chiropractic medicine, allowing him to practice chiropractic and acupuncture in the US. During those years, he would regularly return to Asia. He became fascinated by Tibet, and collaborated with a French photojournalist doing human rights there. His exciting experiences in China would become the basis of his first book, Yak Butter & Black Tea.

By the time his book was being prepared for release, Dr. Wade had already opened his first chiropractic clinic in Utah. The clinic was successful, but was ultimately unsatisfying—he left at the first opportunity to complete a medical assignment in Africa. This experience was enough to convince Dr. Wade that did not want to live in America.

When his book was released, it was a great success. He sold the Utah clinic and took a year out to tour the US and promote his book, before buying a one-way ticket to Asia, leaving the US behind permanently in search of a new home.

Setting Up in Asia

Dr. Wade traveled through Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and finally Malaysia, which seemed ideal for the establishment of a new clinic. He soon opened the Damansara Chiropractic Center with his local fiancée, which became one of the most successful chiropractic clinics in Southeast Asia. As the reputation of the clinic grew, the business was soon pursued by local investors and eventually sold, giving Dr. Wade and his new bride the freedom to seek out further adventures.

The young couple spent a year traveling while Dr. Wade wrote two more books, Daughters of Asia and The Last Paradise on Earth: The Vanishing Peoples & Wilderness of Northern Burma. Shortly after the birth of their first child, he began to seek out a more permanent base for an Asian chiropractic center. He took up stints in Thailand as well as Hongkong before finally coming to Vietnam.


When Dr. Wade landed in Vietnam, he fell in love with the country immediately. By the end of the first day, he’d already made up his mind to stay.

With no prior chiropractic clinic ever having opened in Vietnam, it was clear that the business registration would be a challenge – but after thirteen months in 2006, the doors of the first American Chiropractic Clinic opened in Ho Chi Minh City, where it has grown and thrived ever since.

With the opening of the ACC, Dr. Wade embarked on his commitment towards relieving the suffering of Vietnamese patients from chronic pain – but his promise went deeper than even that. He also wanted to help Vietnam develop better healthcare and lifestyle habits so as to avoid the emergence of chronic pain in the first place.

In fact, the advent of chiropractic treatment in Vietnam meant that Dr. Wade and his team were altering the way that people deal with chronic pain and illness. Following this, the practice became heavily involved with the exercise, sports and dietary movement – a direction that led towards Dr. Wade inspiring his business partner to bring the first Ironman event to Vietnam, for which the ACC is an annual sponsor.

At 58 years old, Dr. Wade Brackenbury is in exemplary health and stands as an inspiration to the teams that staff his various locations in Saigon, Danang and Hanoi – as well as to the 100,000 patients who have benefited from treatments at the clinic. With the ACC’s recent merger with FV Medical Group, Dr. Wade and the ACC remain poised to bring health and wellbeing to Vietnamese and expatriate patients in the many years to come.

  • Dr. Wade graduated emergency medicine in Idaho and finished his premedical course in Missouri.
  • Dr. Wade studied Chiropractic in California, and Acupuncture in Korea and China.
  • He was selected by the International Chiropractic Association as one of six student interns to travel to Romania where he worked with terminally ill and severely handicapped orphans in 1995.
  • Dr. Wade was awarded the Chiropractic excellence award upon finishing his clinical rotations into Mexico.
  • Dr. Wade graduated Magna cum Laude, in the top of his class from Life Collage of Chiropractic.
  • Dr. Wade has practiced in the US, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand.
  • He founded and co-founded a number of Chiropractic clinics in Malaysia.
  • He founded and operated Damansara Chiropractic Center – one of the largest and most successful Chiropractic clinics in South East Asia in 1999
  • Dr. Wade has more than 25 years working experiences in Chiropractic treatment.
  • Dr. Brackenbury is fluent in English and Korean, and Conversant in Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

Dr. Brackenbury is an avid mountaineer and rock climber. He has organized or been a team member of numerous climbing and photography expeditions throughout the world. Dr. Brackenbury is an award-winning photographer, and enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction books. His first book Yak Butter and Black Tea was published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 1997, and received favorable reviews from a number of prestigious publications, including the New York Times. He has written for a number of magazines and Newspapers, and presently writes for Culture Magazine, Hong Kong.

Dr. Brackenbury was a contributing photographer for the coffee table book Daughters of Asia, and his latest book, The last Paradise on Earth, which is a photographic odyssey of the Irrawaddy River in Burma, was recently published by Flame of the Forest in Singapore.

Dr. Brackenbury enjoys public speaking and especially giving slide show presentations with pictures he has taken around the world. He has lectured to audiences in book stores, universities, Rotary clubs and other private groups throughout the North America and Asia.

A typical successful treatment case at ACC

1. Post-stroke rehabilitation of Mr. Luong Quoc Thanh

 2. “Nu cuoi ngay moi” HTV show – Sharing information of spine & musculoskeletal problems.