Manheim chiropractor develops home spinal care device

By on November 15, 2017


Dr. Ben Tanner, the creator of the Rx4, shows how using the device decompresses the spine.

Dr. Ben Tanner has had an interesting spring and summer. The Manheim chiropractor, whose practice is Come Alive Chiropractic, attended open casting calls for TV’s Shark Tank. The product he was hoping to promote is the Rx4, a home spinal care device he developed.

“It’s my life’s work. I’ve been a chiropractor for 40 years and used the knowledge gained during that time to develop the Rx4,” he explained, “It’s like a back massage, a yoga back bend, and a chiropractic self-adjustment in one.”

He attended two casting calls for ABC’s Shark Tank, a reality show that promotes entrepreneurship &tstr; one in April in New York City, and the other in late June in Philadelphia. Both casting calls were interesting experiences.

“Dr. Tanner is innovative and a great addition to the Manheim business community,” said Kelly Lauver, Manheim Chamber director, “He is a terrific community volunteer and provides a great service with his innovative techniques to chiropractic care.”

Part of a tech event. The New York casting call was held in one of the piers along the Hudson River. “I had to be there at 5:30 a.m. The pier is a pretty large building, and Shark Tank’s booth was toward the back. The Rx4 is not something that nearly folds up. I’m used to moving it and I usually use a hand cart, but didn’t that day. It was pretty interesting dodging all the people to get back to the booth. I waited there with about 300 other people,” Tanner recalled.

He added that one of the people judging the pitches was intrigued with the device, and even tried it out and enjoyed the experience.

Tanner said that the event in Philadelphia was a different experience from the one in New York. Hosted by Comcast Business at Xfinity Live, there were amenities such as free Wi-Fi, charging stations for wireless devices, guest speakers, refreshments and a lounge where attendees could network with other entrepreneurs. The first 500 entrepreneurs to arrive at the casting call were guaranteed to be seen. Luckily he was one of those 500 to pitch the show’s casting team. Tanner said he and other participants were taken to give their pitches four at a time. Unfortunately he was not selected to be part of the reality show. However he’s not daunted by that fact.

Dr. Ben Tanner demonstrates the use of the Rx4 home spinal care device he developed. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

Tanner practices what he preaches. He said that he works on his own spine through yoga and Tai Chi; seeking to develop what he calls “the core” — the brain, central nervous system, and spine. About 25 years ago he had an issue with a disc in his back. The path to healing and alleviating pain from that injury lead to the creation of the Rx4. Its design eases bulging discs away from nerves and spinal cord.

“We spend a lot of time hunched over computers and cell phones as we work, read or text. It used to be called ‘text neck’, but now it’s called ‘tech neck.’ So we’re often in a forward slump. What we don’t do is bend backwards,” he explained. “That relieves the tension and stress.”

According to Tanner, using the Rx4, with its arch-like structure, for five to 10 minutes daily allows total relaxation and decompression of the spine, which has over 100 joints.

“As you roll over the (foam rollers of) the Rx4, it decompresses each individual disc. Pulling the disc open allows hydration; proper hydration slows or decreases degenerative disc disease damage,” he said. “It’s much gentler than an inversion table; a lot of people can’t use an inversion table due to medical conditions such as hypertension, heart disease or glaucoma.”

Tanner said the Rx4 has three main components that can be adjusted to provide the best fit for each individual. It can be used to relieve tension in the neck, hips and hamstrings as well as the spine. There’s a video and still photos to demonstrate its use.

“One of the main benefits of the Rx4 is that it’s about your spine, your issues,” Tanner stressed. “You are in control.”

Developing the device was an eight-year process. Tanner said that he worked with an engineer to create the early prototype. That prototype went through several refinements. Tanner worked with a mentor from SCORE who provided business advice as well as a connection to a manufacturer in Honey Brook. He has attempted to get a patent on the device from the US Patent Office, but his request was denied.

Demonstrations of the device are available by appointment at Come Alive Chiropractic, 16 S. Main St., Manheim. Call 717-665-1888 to make an appointment. The Cost to purchase the Rx4 is $1,500. For more information visit

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at

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