New Year’s resolutions often center on personal health and fitness. While the YMCA and Snap Fitness are logical places for Lowell residents to meet these goals, Lowell Family Chiropractic reminds people they can help too.
“We’re not just [about] back pain and neck pain,” says Dr. Maria Chichester. “We’re teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle.”
As part of that mission, Lowell Family Chiropractic is kicking off a series of free monthly educational programs for residents of Lowell and the surrounding communities. The first one – on Fitness, Food and Oils – will be a joint effort held at the Snap Fitness location at 2163 W. Main St. on Tuesday, January 17th from 6:30-8pm. In addition to Chichester, the event will feature Devon McQueen, a personal trainer at Snap Fitness, and Dawn Hamilton, a wellness coach.
The free workshop is one example of the many ways in which Chichester and her business have been giving back to the Lowell community for nearly a decade.
Business is a Family Affair
Chichester owns Lowell Family Chiropractic with her husband, Dr. Jim Chichester. The two met in a pre-chiropractic club while studying at Grand Valley State University. They then both finished their education at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
Although Jim has family in the Grand Rapids area, neither he nor his wife have roots specifically in Lowell. However, they had the opportunity to purchase Lowell Family Chiropractic and have since become enthusiastic and integral parts of the community.
“We liked how much Lowell gives back to the community, and we wanted to be a part of that,” Chichester says. While their family has grown to include three young children, their commitment to staying involved has never wavered. From collaborating with other businesses to supporting local non-profits, the Chichesters have consistently worked to create a more vibrant community for all.
Supporting Lowell Sports, Schools and Families
A line of plaques inside the front the door of Lowell Family Chiropractic is testament to the couple’s willingness to lend a hand to worthy causes. Each one displays a different Little League team sponsored by the business over the years.
However, it isn’t just Little League that benefits. When asked what initiatives Lowell Family Chiropractic supports, Chichester rattles off a long list: the school yearbook, high school play, Harvest Hustle, Girls’ Night Out, wrestling and more. “Pretty much all the sports we’ve given too,” she says.
The couple has worked to be a part of promoting Lowell as a destination for others as well. Jim joined Rotary as soon as the couple moved to Lowell and currently sits on the Chamber board. The couple hopes to continue to be a part of future initiatives that will help make Lowell be, as the Chamber slogan says, the next place to be.
Misconceptions about Chiropractic Care
While chiropractors are often associated with correcting back and neck pain, Chichester notes her profession can do much more to help a person’s overall health. “We’re making sure there is no interference in your nervous system,” she says, noting the spine houses the “control panel” for the body.
“Pain isn’t always an indicator of health,” she adds. “It’s the last thing to show up and the first thing to disappear.” So rather than waiting until you’re in agony, Chichester recommends regular check-ins to ensure your back is in proper alignment and that issues with your spine aren’t causing other, seemingly unrelated, problems.
For instance, Chichester often works with children. “We see everything in kids from colic, reflux, ear infections, sleep disturbances and attention deficiencies.” Although these problems may be the result of a number of factors, many parents report an improvement in their children’s health after receiving chiropractic care.
Another misconception about chiropractors is that they are not as well educated as other medical professionals. “People always want to run to their doctor for everything, but we have more educational hours,” Chichester says.
According to the Cleveland Chiropractic College, the curriculum at chiropractic colleges mirrors what is offered at medical schools. On average, chiropractic colleges require 4,826 total contact hours by graduation, compared to 4,667 hours at medical school. Basic science and clinical science instruction hours are also comparable.
Many Services Under One Roof
Lowell Family Chiropractic may be best known for its back and neck care, but it is also working to be a one-stop shop for good health. The office has two massage therapists and recently teamed up with Dawn Hamilton, a wellness coach with the business Encompassing You. Chichester also has Young Living Essential Oils available for visitors interested in learning about their therapeutic qualities and aromatherapy.
Free consultations are available to new patients, and Chichester encourages parents to start young when it comes to their children’s care. “It is much easier to start a healthy lifestyle as a child than to try to solve health issues as an adult,” she says.
With three children of their own, Maria now spends most days at home while her husband mans the business. However, she still has hours on Tuesday for her patients.