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Chiropractice Care with Dr. Derek Parkes. Part 1

March 31, 2010

7084 South 2300 East.  Cottonwood Heights, Utah

801. 733.8300

Dr. Derek Parkes was born and raised in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada.  He shares the same hometown as Joe Thornton (plays in the NHL).  Derek graduated with a Philosophy degree from the University of Western Ontario, which he attended on a football scholarship.  Afterward, he played professionally in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts.  About 4 years later, Derek attended Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, Missouri.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Doctorate in Chiropractic.  Derek resides in Salt Lake City with his wife.  He has a successful Chiropractic practice in Cottonwood Heights.  Derek enjoys skiing, golfing, running,  playing football and hockey.  He recently joined the football coaching staff at Cottonwood High School as a defensive line coach for this upcoming season.

(VM) What inspired/influenced you to become a chiropractor?

(DP) My first experience with a chiropractor definitely planted a seed.  I was in between my freshman and sophomore years in high school.  I was going through a typical teenage growth spurt when a case of scoliosis started developing.  It wasn’t a severe enough case where I required the surgery to put support rods in my back, but I still needed to be treated.  I went to a chiropractor in my hometown to see what he could do.  Within a short period of time I was feeling much better and, more importantly, my scoliosis not only stabilized itself but actually improved.  I became a pretty big fan of chiropractic at that point, and thought to myself that would be a pretty cool profession to have.  After high school I went to college on a football scholarship and continued to seek chiropractic care.  I was majoring in philosophy and wanted nothing to do with any type of science class and pretty much snuffed out any thoughts of ever becoming a chiropractor.  After graduating I settled into a full time job which, I soon discovered, was unfulfilling. I was looking for a career that would inspire me.  Chiropractic was still at the top of my list. I ended up finding a school that not only offered the doctorate program but also one where I could get all of the undergraduate science classes as well.  I chose Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, Missouri.  The rest is pretty much history.

(VM) Does your athletic background and training have any influence on how you approach  chiropractic care?  If so, how?

(DP) As an athlete I was always looking for ways to improve performance.  Whether I was spending more time in the weight room, on a track doing running drills, or even studying some extra film; anything that I could do to make myself the best I could be, I was willing to do.  That approach spills over into how I approach patient care.  I want to maximize each and every patient’s performance as well. Whether it’s treating symptomatic pain, wellness checkups, giving nutritional advice, or even advising patients on spinal health and what they can do for themselves at home or at work; improving quality of life is my primary goal.  Having a healthy impact on people’s lives is the main reason why I decided to pursue this career.

(VM) How has your education changed your lifestyle and / or the way you view life and the human body?

(DP) My education has allowed me to make better informed decisions when it comes to health care.  Having an understanding of how the body works, and what its needs are for optimum health, allows me to make the best choices for my own well-being.  I have an appreciation for proper diet and nutrition, exercise, and overall wellness.  The human body truly is amazing!  I want to ensure that my quality of life is as high as possible.  And if there are things that I can do to ensure that my body is functioning as well as it can, then I owe it to myself to do them. This is the same message I deliver to my patients.  Do the little things that allow your body to function like it should.  You only get back what you put into something.  If you put the time into wellness, your body will respond with improved overall health.

(VM) Do you have any advice for the average reader to help keep them aligned, balanced, and healthy?

(DP) Keep it simple.  Nutrition is the energy source for all of the body’s needs. Ideally, the body runs best on foods that have nutrients in them.  Usually, the less processing involved in producing that food, the more nutrients are going to be found inside, and the more potential fuel available for your body to use.  Eat vegetables, fruit, lean protein (like fish, chicken and turkey), little starch, and avoid processed sugar.

Exercise is also a key component when it comes to health and wellness. It plays an important role in restoring both physical and mental vitality that helps maintain a well balanced lifestyle.  One of the most important things to do when considering exercise is committing to it.  Allow yourself the necessary time each week to pursue your fitness goals.  Whether it’s going for a walk after dinner 3-4 times a week or training for a marathon, it doesn’t matter.  Make the time for yourself to exercise and get the most out of it.  One other consideration to take into account when choosing an exercise regimen is to find something you enjoy doing.  This will help with the commitment aspect of exercising.  If you actually enjoy the activity, it feels less and less like work, and you may actually look forward to the experience.

As far as spinal health specifically, the most important thing you can do for your spinal health is find a great chiropractor that you are comfortable with. This can be a lot trickier then it seems.  Here are some things to avoid:

If any health care professional ever asks you to pay a lot of money up front for services they haven’t yet provided, walk away.  I think that captures the essence of where that particular doctor’s attention is being placed; on your money and how they plan on spending it.   Any legitimate chiropractor will be happy to accept payment for their services after they have been delivered to their patient. Unfortunately, some chiropractors put their own business interests ahead of the patient’s health care needs.

Be aware of lengthy treatment plans that someone may try and convince you to “sign up” for.  This would be referred to as the “shotgun” approach to health care.  In other words, if you get treated enough times, eventually they may be able to help you.  Any doctor who doesn’t want to specifically create a treatment plan for you doesn’t deserve your business and should be avoided.  Any doctor worth their salt will be happy to spend time with their patients by looking after their individual needs.

Be aware of mechanical devices used for adjusting.  They deliver what is known as a “sham” adjustment that does not work.  If the doctor is unwilling to use their hands to perform the adjustment, not only are they willing to short change their patient on the adjustment, but they are just plain lazy.  If the doctor is unable to manually adjust a patient, that means they lack a certain skill level.  And does anyone really want to have any type of healthcare service where the patient is not receiving the best care possible?  The ability of a chiropractic physician to adjust a patient with their hands is considered an art form that doctors spend countless hours practicing while they’re in chiropractic college.  A good chiropractor will always use their hands to adjust a patient.

One Comment leave one →
  1. andy dreyer permalink
    July 5, 2010 10:13 PM

    Mr. Parks does consuming alcohol before an adjustment help?

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