Holistic ideologies are part of Christina Thomas’s heritage. When she met her husband and was introduced to chiropractic care, there was an instant connection. She now serves maternity, pediatrics, athletes and animal patients during the week while staying committed to herself and her family on the weekends.
What are the names and ages of your kids?
I have a 4 year old girl, Makayla, and 3 year old boy, Ian. My daughter was born while I was in chiropractic college, still taking a 24 credit-hour course load, and my son was born while I was completing the animal chiropractic post-graduate program.
How long have you been in business?
We’ve been in this office space for 2 years now, since May 2012. I’ve been treating patients and animals part-time since graduation from Chiropractic College in April 2011 and animal chiropractic certification in February 2012.
What inspired you to become a chiropractor?
My grandma owned Winslow Health and Diet Foods on Glenstone Avenue for most of my life until the closing of the shop, so I’ve always had holistic ideologies within my upbringing. My husband, Joe, comes from a family of chiropractors, which initially got me interested in the profession. Once learning what chiropractic care was about, I instantly fell in love with how chiropractors are helping people live healthy lives. It wasn’t until after I got into school that I learned about animal chiropractic and maternity chiropractic, which also was love at first sight!
You have such a diverse patient demographic. Who all do you treat and how do you tailor your services to the different ages and species?
With my “human” practice, I treat maternity, pediatrics, and athletes primarily. We offer rehabilitative therapies such as cold laser therapy, Graston Therapy, Kinesiotaping, E-stim, neuromuscular re-education (big word I know!), as well as I’m Webster Certified for maternity care.
It has been a bit of trial and error over this past year trying to figure out how much time is needed for animals vs. human patients and then getting both businesses running well. I’ve decided for the time being to limit the time for animal chiropractic. I currently treat small animals Thursday early afternoons every week and horses the last Monday of the month, unless I’m needed and then I usually find a way to make more time.
I don’t have a single mold for all my patients. You can’t if you’re going to treat infants to pregnancy to ultra-runners (50k+). Pregnant patients do get to lay on their stomach because the table abdominal piece actually drops away. Newborns are treated laying tummy to tummy with mom with a very low force until they are holding their head up. At each age, we change the way we adjust a child as they are growing. My athletes spend a lot of time in the therapy room with Graston, cold laser therapy and kinesiotaping after we finish with the adjustments. Regularly we are also adjusting their extremities, hands, feet, legs, etc. Chiropractic really is so much more than just low back pain!!
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of this is getting to be a part of each of our patient’s journey. We, and by we I mean all of our staff, get to know our patients personally. We get to know their family, their concerns and we get to celebrate in their accomplishments. The greatest honor is getting to adjust a few day old baby who I got the privilege to take care of mom during the pregnancy, or a patient coming in to celebrate their medal at their first marathon, or a couple going on a pilgrimage of a lifetime across Spain and coming back with a stories and pictures and the heartfelt thank you for helping make that journey happen.
How do you find time to stay active in your personal life?
Scheduling it into the day. We live on 35 acres with my 3 horses, so life in the country is never-ending chores. Bringing staff into our office family was crucial to getting back to my personal active life. There are times I’ve scheduled to go run and I feel like I need to stay working on paperwork but they shuffle me out the door, reminding me that I have time during xxx block of time tomorrow! The office is now closed on Wednesday afternoons and that is me time. I’m not Doctor, I’m not Mom… I’m Christina. I schedule my appointments (hair, my adjustments, etc.), I do laundry, I ride my horses, I run or go for a bike ride. I try very hard to not work during that time. I usually will schedule a few hours at the end of the day on another day to sneak out early to get a run or a ride in because I’m training, too. Joe and I are planning on doing the MS150 this year, and I have quite a few trail runs planned and scheduled. It’s important to me to live the values that I ask my patients to as well. Being active is directly correlated to good health so let’s be proactive with great chiropractic care and regular activity!
The weekends are strictly kid time. Obviously the races are on weekends but I space them out so that I’m not gone often and I don’t work on the weekends. When I leave the office on Friday, my focus is on my family, no exceptions. My kids are my top priority, and I feel that by being a mom and business owner, I will lead by example for them that they can do anything with the right support and determination. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to do this during a tough time to be a new business.
What can patients look forward to in the upcoming year?
I have begun the path to becoming a certified doula to provide more support to our pregnant patients all the way through delivery. Like I said earlier, the relationships we develop are more than just pain management or wellness care.
We are also looking for an associate doctor to become a part of our practice so we can offer more appointment hours and services than we currently do. Obviously we have a very patient centered approach though so we’re taking our time to find that right fit to our practice!
What advice do you have for other moms starting a business?
Set up your support system early and make sure everyone knows their role, then schedule your work vs. family time and stick to the schedule! Family is #1 right? You’re doing this for yourself and your family, right? Don’t neglect the family component when getting overwhelmed with the start of a business. Make time for yourself, take your afternoon off every week or every other week to catch up on you time. We’ve heard it when our first baby was born to take time for ourselves so that we are our best for our children, now we need to take time for ourselves so that we are the best for our children AND our business. It may mean your business doesn’t grow as fast as it could if you could devote 100% to the business but hey, we’re not JUST business owners, we’re Momtrepreneuers!
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3250 E Battlefield St., Suite P Springfield, 65804