And chiropractic medicine has changed my life.
I was oblivious to chiropractic care until two significant events occurred. These events catapulted me into my career because they have proven that chiropractic care has kept myself and the people that I love doing what we love.
As an 18 year-old on leave from the Navy, I had my first personal experience with chiropractic care because of a car accident that left me with a serious neck injury. My diagnosis was severeenoughthat without proper treatment, my ability to fulfill my duty and maintain my usefulness to the Navy would very likely have been compromised.
Immediately after the accident, my parents reintroduced me to Dr. Skelton, the chiropractor who had been working with my little sister since she was very young to correct her severe scoliosis. I realized that I had completely forgotten that she had the condition, because I had never seen her limited by it in any way.
After receiving excellent care from Dr. Skelton and recuperating quickly from the injury, I talked with my parents about my sister’s experience with chiropractic and with Dr. Skelton. They explained that, through the years, he had kept my sister Becky’s condition under control so that she never noticed any difference in what she was able to do compared to her peers. They also explained that Dr. Skelton had become someone they trusted and felt close to and that he had never turned them away because of inability to pay his published fee. My father always worked a couple of jobs so that my mother could be home to take care of her four children and her aging parents. There were times when money was very tight, but it didn’t mean that Becky couldn’t get the care that she needed to function at her best.
It was at this moment that the Chiropractor in me was born. I realized that I wanted to be someone whom parents could count on to keep them working and playing and to care for their children. I wanted to be someone who could help other people live their lives better by being at the peak of their health and physical function.
As soon as my adventure in the Navy came to an end (but not before I was able to fulfill four years of service, two tours in the Persian Gulf and the remarkable chance to travel around the world), I was prepared to begin the education that I would need to fulfill my dream of becoming a Chiropractor. I moved with my wife, Sarah, to California to complete my undergraduate work and study at Life West Chiropractic School and as soon as we were finished, we moved to the beautiful Skagit Valley, where I have now been practicing for the past 13 years.
Being a Chiropractor and having the opportunity to work each and every day with everyone from children to the young-at-heart, athletes to physically disabled, desk jockeys to laborers, and everyone in between, is so much more than a job to me. The mere fact that I personally get to help these patients get the most from their bodies and their lives brings be joy. It only validates that being a Chiropractor is everything I had hoped for when I first decided that this was what I wanted for my life, and more.
As a Chiropractor, I am able to balance life and work in a way that most aren't afforded in their careers. My wife and I have three children that are loving growing up in Skagit Valley. My other enjoyment is found in nature. An avid mountain biker and hiker, you'll find me caked in mud, wearing a smile on my face when I get the opportunity to escape to the trails.
My wife Sarah has been a huge influence in showing me the gratification of making connections in my community. In fact, I make it a point to keep my wife in good chiropractic health because she is one of the most inspiring, busy women I know. Not only does she have the ever-important job of Mom to our kids, she also works in education with the Latino community, and has her own fitness regimen.
Of course, our children also benefit from regular maintenance care and the occasional injury rehabilitation. (What can I say? They’re full of energy!)
So here we are, to present day and the beginning of my solo practice. I am grateful for my established patient panel and have enjoyed building a rapport with each and every individual that comes through my door. To my current patients and to those who will establish with me down the road: Thank you. For your friendship, your support, and your patronage that has allowed me to continue serving Skagit Valley.
In Good Health,
Dr. Jamie Southard