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Anthony Field is one of the founding members of “The Wiggles,” whose popular children’s television show has spawned CDs, DVDs and even live concerts. Entertaining and teaching children is Field’s passion, but the rigors of the job were taking a toll on his health. That’s why Field – and the entire Wiggles group – turned to chiropractic care as a way to improve their health and keep doing what they love to do.
Eight years ago, Anthony Field, also known as the “Blue Wiggle” of the most popular and successful children’s performing act out of Australia, “The Wiggles,” was smiling in front of the cameras and the crowds, but grimacing in pain backstage.
“I was more of a wobble,” Field said. “I would go backstage during a show because my back was hurting so much, my knees also hurt and I had a bad neck. It was always the same; I would miss a couple of songs and then go back on.”
Back in those days, Field, now 48, was also overweight and taking daily Valium and anti-inflammatory drugs for pain to get through the day. He said he was depressed and lost.
“I was eating poorly and I was slouching and not strengthening my core, and my back gave way and I got into a terrible cycle of pain. I didn’t know any better until chiropractors came into my life,” said Field.
Fortunately, Field has never had to return to this low point in his life, thanks to a friend’s tip about trying chiropractic.
“When I first starting seeing chiropractors, it was mainly to get me out of pain. I thought, I am just going to go and get myself out of pain … that’s what I thought it was all about,” Field said. “Later on, I realized they [chiropractors] can help rebuild you into the $6 million man. That’s what I feel like now.”
Rebuilding His Body From the Ground Up
When Field began experiencing chiropractic care, he said he quickly learned an important lesson that would change the rest of his life: In order to get his health back, he had to allow his body to heal itself. He had no other choice; his job in the Wiggles depended on it.
One of the first chiropractors to lead Field to the path of overall wellness was Dr. James Stoxen DC of Team Doctors in Chicago, who has worked as a chiropractor to the Wiggles since 2004. Dr. Stoxen said that when he first met Field, he appeared on the outside as if he was very happy and healthy, when in reality, Field was at a point of physical meltdown.
“Anthony is the leader and spark for the direction of the Wiggles. So at that time, his limitations were the limitations of what level of performance was presented on their television shows and in their live performances,” said Dr. Stoxen.
A typical Wiggles concert features the Wiggles dancing and singing along with as many as 3,000 children.
Stoxen said he took the time to do a thorough examination of Field and was able to help him find the cause of his pain. Over time, the two worked to begin the healing process, which included preparing a training program to rebuild Field’s body.
Field’s journey to transformation included not only regular weekly chiropractic adjustments, but also simple anti-gravity exercises such as using his own body weight for strength training and using his foot muscles more often by walking barefoot. Ever since then, Field has followed the protocol diligently, gaining overall strength in all areas of his life.
“When you look back on their previous live performances, they were doing a bit of live dancing. After chiropractic care and the prescribed exercise program I gave them, their shows advanced,” Dr. Stoxen said.
Indeed, as Field got more fit and healthy, he hired more high-level gymnastic athletes and tumbling experts to work with the crew. The Wiggles went from the light dancing that was painful for Field in 2004 to advanced acrobatics, circus tricks and gymnastics.
“All of the chiropractors I have met have really helped me, and if you listen to them they have a real way of helping you unlock the secrets of helping your body heal itself by not relying on drugs to do it. It took me a couple of years to learn where they were coming from,” Field said.
These days, Dr. Stoxen said he is glad to see that Field is now in “the best shape of his life” and able to do more acrobatics during his performances with The Wiggles and be a true reflection of the benefits of chiropractic care.
“Not only does his health transcend to his personal life, but it also transcends into the kids watching the show [who] are inspired by his health and fitness; that is a positive message,” said Dr. Stoxen. “It’s truly inspiring to see the impact these entertainers have on children and parents around the world.”
Sharing His Passion for Chiropractic With Others
As Field began his path to wellness, the results he was seeing prompted him to make chiropractic a family affair. Field’s wife, who had suffered from a foot problem and was once slated for surgery, avoided it after receiving chiropractic treatment recommended by her husband.
“When my children were born, I took my wife and my babies straight to the chiropractor. They had their heads and necks aligned – that’s how much we totally trust chiropractic,” Field said. “It’s been a good thing for our children and us.”
Field’s satisfaction with chiropractic also moved him to share it with the rest of The Wiggles cast: Sam Moran (Yellow Wiggle), Murray Cook (Red Wiggle) and Jeff Fatt (Purple Wiggle). He even introduced it to other cast members who portray “Dorothy the Dinosaur” and “Wags the Dog,” which requires them to wear costumes all day that weigh heavy on their necks and backs.
Field said that when the cast did a tour of North America for six weeks, at least three times a week they would call on chiropractors to come and help them with adjustments on spines, ankles and anything else that was out of alignment. On tour, the chiropractors advised the cast what shoes were best to perform in and provided other tips for injury prevention. The cast now has chiropractors they call upon all over the world in places like Chicago, Sydney, California, China, England and New Zealand.
“It was such a quick fix for us, it’s helped our whole cast heavily,” Field said.
The Show Must Go On
Field said that these days, because he has reached an optimum level of health through chiropractic, he only receives chiropractic care for maintenance. “I see the chiropractor less than I used to because I am so much healthier and stronger. I go about once a month, I used to go three to four times a week when I first started getting treatments.”
Field also enjoys bicycling on tour two hours a day and doing gymnastics, using all of the principles taught to him by chiropractors. It has been a long journey, but nevertheless one worth taking for Field.
“In the last eight years I have undergone a real transformation. I have gone from not being able to pick up my little babies because my back was hurting so much, to being pain free and totally drug free – no pain tablets and stuff like that. Just leading a very healthy life,” Field said.
Field’s health is one more reason to celebrate this year, a year in which he is also celebrating 20 years in show business with the Wiggles cast. The group’s latest endeavors include recently recording a song about the weather with “Good Morning America’s” Al Roker and former N’Sync member Joey Fatone. They are also gearing up for an Australian and North American tour next year.
“It’s such a worthwhile job. It’s not even a job really,” Field said. “We are very thankful for what we are doing.
We love it.”
Next year, Field is also slated to release an autobiography that will delve into the details of his path to wellness: How I Got My Wiggle Back. The book, he said, is his tribute to chiropractic for saving his life from a downward spiral.
“I feel like I can tell my story to teach people who have gone down the conventional [health care] path and I can say, ‘Here is another way of getting there,'” said Field. “It’s not a path you hear [about] as much, day to day; I think people should know it’s always best to go the natural way.”
Field said he credits chiropractic every day with helping him look forward to a sunny future with The Wiggles and in life:
“The reason I am evangelistic about it (chiropractic) is because I feel so grateful and so thankful that chiropractors have taught me another way to live more healthful,” Field said.
A Wiggle In Time
Although many people have heard, read about or seen The Wiggles, many aren’t aware of their back story, which started with a simple, honorable idea: to create music for children.
Way back in 1991, Anthony Field, Murray Cook and now-retired cast member Greg Page met while studying early childhood education at Sydney’s Macquarie University. The three
began writing children’s songs as one of their music projects at the school.
They enlisted the assistance of Jeff Fatt, who played with Anthony in the popular 1980s band, “The Cockroaches,” and The Wiggles were born. When they’d finishid writing and recording, The Wiggles took the finished tape to ABC Music, which released a self-titled album in 1991. That album was well-received, to say the least, earning gold and platinum status. The rest as they say, is history.
At every show, The Wiggles enchant children with music and dance. The group’s well-crafted songs offer interesting lyrics, humor, and characters that are intelligently constructed, entertaining and educating their audience all at once.
And these days, when they’re not entertaining children around the globe, The Wiggles are engaged in another, equally worthy pursuit: using their influence for philanthropic ventures. For example, in 2008, The Wiggles were named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors. In their ambassador role, they will be focusing on numeracy and literacy, as well as sanitation.
And that’s the backstory on The Wiggles – a small group with some really big ideas! To learn even more about The Wiggles, visit their Web site: www.thewiggles.com.au
The Wiggles By The Numbers
- 3is the number of times The Wiggles have toured and sold out shows in the U.S., the U.K. and New Zealand.
- 4 members make up The Wiggles: Anthony Field, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt and Sam Moran. Field, Murray and Fatt founded the group with Greg Page and Phillip Wilcher in 1991.
- 8 is the number of years the group has been awarded with highest selling children’s video sales at the AVSDA awards.
- 20 years ago the group came together while studying early childhood education at Sydney’s Macquarie University. They began writing children’s songs as one of their music projects.
- 23million Wiggles DVDs and 7 million CDs have been sold worldwide.
- $45 million is what the group earned in 2009, prompting Business Review Weekly to name them the top-earning Australian entertainers