Carlson Chiropractic is celebrating 50 years of service this year. The center has been a staple for Port Townsend residents’ health needs since Jim and Janel Carlson started the business in …
Carlson Chiropractic is celebrating 50 years of service this year. The center has been a staple for Port Townsend residents’ health needs since Jim and Janel Carlson started the business in 1971.
Melissa Carlson-Michaels, Jim and Janel Carlson’s oldest daughter, has continued the family business since 2003.
The Carlson family has a deep history in the chiropractic industry, beginning with Carlson-Michaels’ great-grandfather, her parents, three uncles, and a cousin.
Carlson-Michaels was introduced to the industry at a young age.
“I was raised by chiropractors. I worked in the office for the first time as a teenager,” Carlson-Michaels said. “As children we were raised in a way that was very holistic.”
Carlson-Michaels graduated from Central Washington University and worked as an educator, teaching grades seven through 12 about health, nutrition, home economics, and child development.
Carlson-Michaels decided to go back to school pursuing a new career as a chiropractor at the Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She graduated as a doctor in chiropractic in 2002.
Carlson-Michaels returned to Carlson Chiropractic in 2003 to serve the Port Townsend community and continue in her family’s footsteps as a chiropractor.
“If I’m gonna be here I might as well be the doctor,” she recalled.
Carlson-Michaels is passionate about personal health and is dedicated to promoting well-being for her patients — whether through physical health, nutrient intake, personal mindsets, and much more.
When asked about the most important aspect of personal health, Carlson-Michaels listed the three most important factors to her.
“Eat well, move well, and think well,” she said.
“I don’t think there’s one thing that’s most important.”
Carlson-Michaels favors many aspects of chiropractic medicine that she feels the traditional health industry lacks.
She suspects that the traditional health industry is “not very much about health and wellness [as] most medicine is about disease management,” she said. “Why wait until you’re sick if you can be healthy all the time?”
With the coronavirus pandemic, Carlson-Michaels encountered new challenges in helping her patients maintain mental and physical well-being. Many of them found it difficult to sustain a physical exercise schedule due to facility closures.
“Their options to help themselves were diminished greatly,” she said.
Mental health, often coupled with loneliness, is another aspect that COVID has greatly impacted, especially with the older population. For some of her clients, Carlson-Michaels is one of very few people that her patients can interact with for days or even weeks at a time.
“Some of the elderly live alone, I’m the only physical touch they have for months,” she said.
Although the pandemic has affected her business and clientele in many ways, she remains committed to providing the best for her patients’ health and well-being. With a half century of service to Port Townsend residents, it’s clear the Carlson family is dedicated to improving the nutrition, physical health, and mental health of their patients.
“We want to help people to whatever level they want to be healthy,” she said.
“Mostly, we want people to want to feel good.”
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