Erica Smothers was still in middle school when she learned the importance of chiropractic care.
Smothers was introduced to the world of chiropractic adjustments after a sports-related injury. Even after she recovered, she continued to be treated because she noticed that it helped her overall health, as well.
“My mom and I both noticed that I was sick less often and I didn’t miss school,” she said. “I just generally felt better.”
Smothers said it opened her eyes to how chiropractic care can help people stay healthy.
“That’s probably one of the biggest reasons I went into chiropractic care,” she said.
Smothers, owner of Awaken Family Chiropractic, 2205 Blairsferry Crossing, Suite B, graduated from Kennedy High School in 2006, where she was active in volleyball, softball, and basketball. She attended Coe College after graduation and earned her Bachelor’s degree before attending and graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic in the Quad Cities.
“I interned for a chiropractor in Des Moines who specialized in pediatric chiropractic care and I knew that’s what I wanted to do, too.
Smothers not only adjusts children, including infants, but pregnant women, as well.
“Babies go through a traumatic event when they’re born,” she said. “Most people don’t realize what it does to their neck and spine, but it can affect their health and can contribute to challenges down the road, such as ear infections and colic.”
She added that C-section deliveries seem to amplify these challenges, many of which can be helped with chiropractic adjustments.
Smothers uses neuro-spinal scans on new patients instead of conventional X-rays. The scans provide her with information regarding the function of the patient’s nervous system and spinal muscles. This allows her to develop individualized care plans for each patient.
“However, If a patients’ condition require that X-rays be taken, I can send them to a facility that will do that.”
Smothers said she has known for a long time that she wanted to bring her practice to Hiawatha.
“This is where I grew up,” she said. “I’m happy with the area and I love Hiawatha.”
Smothers said she would like to become more involved in the community and has held a few health-related workshops since she opened her office in September.
She said she would like to make the workshops a monthly occurrence, but she is also available to talk to organizations and businesses in the community; not just about chiropractic care, but on a variety of health-related subjects.
“And of course, it would be free of charge,” she added.
Smothers said that though she is the only one in her office right now, she would like to eventually hire a massage therapist.
“I have several mentors who have shown me the ropes,” she said. “They have helped me get started, answering my questions and telling me what to expect with opening my own practice. They have been such a big help. I owe them a lot.”
Smothers said she got the idea for the name of her business while visiting a mentor, and pediatric chiropractor, who practices in Illinois. He had a patient who had been on medication for attention and hyperactivity for most of his life and when he started chiropractic care, he was able to go off his medications.
“He said it was like being ‘Awake’ for the first time in his life. It was just very powerful.”
Smothers said that while she does care for adults and older patients as well, the biggest thing that sets her apart from many other chiropractors in the area is her commitment to caring for children and women going through pregnancy.”
“Working with children is very rewarding. It’s nice to see children when they are well and being able to help prevent illness is a wonderful feeling. I have seen a lot of good results from my patients.”
Smothers said she couldn’t stress enough how important chiropractic care is to a person’s overall health.
“It’s really about keeping the spine aligned and free of nerve disturbance. It’s about making sure the nervous system is working as well as it should, since it controls everything else in your body,” she said. “It’s also about preventing illness and promoting overall health and wellness.”
“I think people are starting to look for other alternatives to traditional medicine,” she said. “There is absolutely a time and place for medications and other medical interventions, but if you can avoid it, why wouldn’t you?”
For more information about Awaken Family Chiropractic, go to www.awakenfamilychiro.com.
For more articles go to www.mariontoday.org/times/hiawatha.