By Martha McDuff | Did you know that Michael Phelps, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana all go to a chiropractor regularly? In fact, over 50% of NFL teams have chiropractors on staff. Chiropractic care enhances functionality in everyday life and athletic performance, and the NFL knows it.
Beaufort has many wonderful chiropractors including Dr. Valerie Dowis of Seaside Family Chiropractic, whom I recently had the pleasure to interview. Valerie grew up in Barnwell, SC and spent her summers on St. Helena Island and she absolutely loves Beaufort’s small community and beaches. Growing up, she was active in soccer and very flexible. At the age of 13, she developed scoliosis and ended up having to wear a back brace for 6 months. Because the brace didn’t help, she had surgery to fuse her vertebrae from T3-L5.
She no longer felt comfortable in her own body. She lost her flexibility and had to take a long break from soccer. She experienced pain in her lower back and hips. Even after a year of physical therapy, the pain persisted. Chiropractic care was recommended to her and just after two sessions her hip pain was gone and her belief in chiropractic care bloomed.
She became a patient and advocate for life.
After graduating from Lander University, Valerie applied to Physician’s Assistant school but didn’t get in. Her second choice was chiropractic school at Sherman in Spartanburg, SC. She applied at the deadline and was accepted within two days. She had never thought of this as a career but during school at Sherman she fell in love with the profession.
Looking back, Dr. Valerie knows the doors of PA school closed for a reason and she is thankful. Inspired by her own experience with chiropractic care as a child, she now focuses on kids and families. She often wonders if her parents had her under the care of a chiropractor since birth would she have developed scoliosis in the first place. This is what motivates her. Currently, she is in the process of becoming ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) certified. She is also certified in the Webster Technique, a technique used on pregnant women that focuses on the pelvis and sacrum.
When asked what is her favorite part of being a chiropractor she smiles and without hesitation says, “I love connecting with each patient, especially children. Seeing someone benefit from chiropractic care and experiencing that moment when they realize the amazing potential they have inside of them is why I show up every day.”
She told me of one child she works with. He is two years old and has two cochlear implants. He also suffered from ADHD to the point where Dr. Valerie had to chase him around her office during his appointments. She found he had a misalignment in his sacrum. After adjusting this misalignment, she could see him switch into the parasympathetic nervous system and instantly relax.
As you can see, Chiropractic care is not only great for athletes but has tremendous benefits for children. Children with ADHD particularly benefit, but also children with autism, ear infections, asthma, and torticollis (a condition where a child’s head is tilted to one side while the chin is tilted in the opposite direction, producing a “twisted” appearance). Correcting misalignments in the spinal column can positively affect these conditions.
“We all have to understand that nutrition, exercise and chiropractic are interconnected, with chiropractic being the foundation of improving and maintaining our health. Chiropractic helps the body restore and maintain every function of the body and without proper function there are limitations to what exercise and nutrition can accomplish,” she said.
Because of this, and her commitment to the Beaufort community, (she recently sponsored he Gingerbread 5K in Port Royal) Valerie is now working on hosting a series of workshops put on by local experts on various health topics. She also plans to start a local pathways group which is connected to a magazine put out by ICPA. The vision for this group is for Seaside Family Chiropractic to be the host location and help guide conversation between mothers of all ages on topics pertaining to women’s health and motherhood.
Seaside Family Chiropractic offers care to all ages, and also specializes in pediatric chiropractic care.
To find more information on Dr. Valerie Dowis and her practice, find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/seasidefamilychiropractic/ or head to her website at seasidefamilychiropractic.com. Even better, go visit her at her office which is located in Newcastle Square in Uptown next to Herban Marketplace and see how chiropractic care can enhance your life.