Dr. Jesse Smith's Journey to Becoming a Chiropractor
If you ask Dr. Jesse Smith what the focus of Spine Chiropractic is, he will say: “Small movements over time create big changes.”
Research shows that early and appropriate mobilization after an injury increases blood flow to the injured area and muscle regeneration.
Adjustment alone doesn’t always heal you from an injury. Your body heals as it strengthens. And those things happen when you make small changes in how you move.
As Jesse puts it: “Everything is movement and movement is everything.”
But in order to move well, you have to know how.
Jesse Decides to Become a Doctor
Jesse grew up not knowing how to help himself (much less you or anyone else) feel better physically.
He had chronic migraines and generalized pain that doctors couldn’t cure. He says of himself that he was overweight, self-recriminating about failures, and crippled by social anxiety.
So in one sense, the story of Jesse becoming a chiropractor is the story of Jesse discovering how to feel better.
Growing up, Jesse’s hobbies revolved around building computers and gaming. Then in the 11th grade at Providence Christian School in Orland, California, he took an anatomy class from Dr. Eugene Cleek (a trauma surgeon at Enloe Hospital).
Dr. Cleek challenged his class with high expectations which caused Jesse to want to learn more about human biology. By the end of the class, Jesse had become a turbo-nerd for the human body and wanted to be a doctor.
Jesse Learns How to Move
After high school, Jesse went to Butte College, where another life-altering event happened. He learned how to dance.
Dance not only prescribes rules and structure for physical interaction but for social interaction as well. By watching both, Jesse imitated his way into understanding how to move well and move others well as dance partners.
For the next couple of years, Jesse devoted almost every waking minute to dancing.
He literally danced his way into pneumonia. (Ask him about it some time.)
That single-minded focus (though unhealthy in other ways) taught him how to move and showed him how good it feels to move well.
Jesse also learned how passion can be a double-edged sword. It can drive you to do beautiful things if you manage that passion wisely.
Jesse Decides to Become a Chiropractor
Jesse took two years of undergraduate courses at Butte College before transferring to Master’s University in Santa Clarita. At the time, Master’s advertised a 100% acceptance rate into med school which was where Jesse wanted to go.
Jesse graduated Master’s and completed the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). But along the way, he decided that med school was not for him.
As he puts it, “Modern medicine was not going to help me solve the problems that I wanted to solve.”
Jesse still wanted to be involved in the healthcare industry, but now he had no idea how or where?
One day he was driving out to Orland when felt a crick in his neck and thought, maybe I should see a chiropractor.
Then he thought, maybe I should be a chiropractor.
As he considered the idea with his wife Jenny, several positives came to mind:
- chiropractic care is drugless and surgery-less
- chiropractors use their hands to help people
- chiropractors are the ultimate “portal of entry”
A portal of entry means that Jesse can direct you to the next step in treatment if you need it. In other words, chiropractors know what to do.
Dr. Jesse on Being a Chiropractor
Dr. Jesse Smith graduated from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC) at Southern California University of Health Sciences in April, 2011.
He and Jenny moved back to Chico, and opened Spine Chiropractic in July of 2011 because they wanted to be closer to their family, their home church, and that part of California that is more rural than urban.
Dr. Jesse often relates chiropractic to the transformation he experienced with dance. Dance showed him what he could do with movement, but chiropractic showed him what movement is.
“Adjusting is a microcosm, of the journey from pain to healing,” he says of his role as a chiropractor. “I am here so that you can do something beautiful with your body. I want people to express their humanity in an unimpeded way.”
This expression is as varied as you are. Whether lifting a dance partner or lifting your kids, it’s all about movement.