AS PUBLISHED IN: Castle Rehab Services
Stuntman Thorp shares
technology that saved his life
By Diana Lomont
When accomplished stuntman John Thorp tells you how amazing it is that he's walking again, you listen. Especially when he shows you his right leg. His knee is permanently displaced, protruding three to four inches from where it should be. That explains Thorp, is the result of broken tibia and fibula leg bones below the knee and a broken femur bone above it. In other words, you couldn't have a more messed-up knee.
Thorp has been a lifelong stunt junkie, with several of his past projects involving Hawaii. He began his TV career doing daredevil feats on Hawaii Five-O. Over the years, he's been seen flying high, falling and crashing in Hawaiian Heat, Magnum P.I., Jake and the Fatman, as well as, Charlie's Angeles, Vegas, The Fall Guy, and The Six Million Dollar Man. Currently he is working as a stuntman on Raven, the upcoming TV series based in Hawaii.
So ask Thorp for an explanation about his poor knee and you expect a great stunt story, right? If you can finally get it out of him, he'll confess that his broken leg bones did not come in that particular line of duty. Rather, they were acquired doing other valiant deeds, like standing up for someone being bullied, even when the bully was much bigger than him. Thorp doesn't do things like that anymore. He's just glad to be walking.
In 1986, after one such encounter in California that left his right leg in shambles, Thorp's doctors told him he'd never walk again without a cane. But the stuntman refused to give up and live the rest of his life on painkillers. One day, Lee Majors told him to check out a new form of electrical treatment being used on professional athletes. After persistent inquires and a follow-up call from Majors to the clinic, Thorp finally began receiving the therapeutic treatment from the Electro-Acuscope and Myopulse devices normally reserved for professional athletes. After five days of treatment, Thorp was off all of his medications. Feeling that his injuries were finally beginning to heal, he continued treatments for five months until he ran out of money.
Broke, but driven to find the source that could continue curing him, Thorp tracked down the manufacturer of the Electro-Acuscope and Myopulse in Burbank, Calif. There, he learned of a school that was training individuals to operate the computerized devices. So he went to the institute of Biomolecular Research & Education and explained to the director that he wanted to learn more about the Acuscope and Myopulse but didn't have much money. The director agreed to admit Thorp as a student if he promised to pay back the school by working at the Equestrian Center, Santa Anita, and Hollywood Park Race Tracks. The school had some important clients who could really use the Acuscope/Myopulse therapy down at the track - no, not jockeys; the horses came first.
Thorp, who had grown up with horses, felt comfortable with the assignment, especially after learning the equine's acupuncture points. It didn't take long before for the jockeys, impressed with the results their horses were getting, began asking Thorp for help on their tight necks and shoulders. He helped as many as he could on his own time until the school transferred him to Shriner's Hospital in Los Angeles. There he witnessed some small miracles-smiles from children finally gaining some relief from their discomforts.
After fulfilling his obligations to the school, Thorp embarked on his own to work with a chiropractor in a health spa in Big Bear, Calif. Mineral hot springs, time and seclusion in nature provided Thorp the recuperation elements he needed to achieve complete recovery from the leg injuries that had interrupted his career.
In 1987, Thorp returned to Hawaii to reintroduce the Electro-Acuscope/Myopulse system in medical settings here. He studied acupuncture at the Institute of Oriental Medicine in Honolulu to develop the most effective treatment utilizing Acuscope/Myopulse therapy with the body's acupuncture and pressure points. When used properly, Thorp calls the treatment a combination of Western technology and Eastern philosophy.
It's a technology he believes in, and you can't blame him. The man whom doctors said would never walk again without a cane competes in triathlons, goes surfing, hang glides and still gets hit by cars on camera. "I have to thank God for seeing me through all of this", he says. "Now I feel fortunate to be able to share this wonderful healing technology with others."