Month: July 2005

What it's like to be a chiropractor in Los Angeles

By Los Angeles Chiropractor, Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Chiropractic is practiced throughout the United States and every city, town and community offers a unique chiropractors story. Being a chiropractor in Los Angeles is no exception, and many stories could be told about being a DC in LA. With Los Angeles being a major metropolitan area, we sometimes experience a different sense of community than someone practicing in a small-town community setting. This article focuses primarily on the Los Angeles beach communities of Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa Vista and Santa Monica and the local practice of chiropractor, Michael Dorausch.

Even though a greater amount of celebrities come to our office (and other LA offices) than the typical chiropractic office in America, there’s a lot more to practicing chiropractic in Los Angeles than just taking care of movie stars. Actors make up only a small portion of those working in the film industry. For many of us, it’s the writers, producers, set builders, property master’s, stunt people, editors, assistants, and a tremendous number of other hard working people in the industry that continue to support chiropractic.

Overall, it’s not all celebrities and Hollywood as some people may think. I’ve heard of chiropractors claiming to be DCs to the stars but how many top film people are there anyway? I believe there are more chiropractors in Los Angeles than there are major film personalities so most offices will typically see only a few celebrity type clients. Trust me, you get over the thrill pretty early, especially if they want to come in only when the office is closed. However, by the nature of the area, I’d figure LA chiropractors are seeing more than the rest of the nation when it comes to Hollywood screen types. Only other place I can figure would be in New York City, or even maybe in Las Vegas.

ADIO Chiropractic Gold Card(Photo: ADIO Chiropractic – Gold Card)
Here in LA, the same goes for athletes. While there are some professional sports teams in the Los Angeles area (Dodgers, Avengers, Kings, Lakers, Clippers and Sparks) we don’t have many Los Angeles team athletes that are coming to our office on any regular basis. Again, just as in the film industry, there are a lot more people involved in sports than just the pro athletes. A few years ago I was reminded of this when we began seeing more spouses, girlfriends and children of professional athletes coming to the office. The reality is they are the ones at home. Most pro athletes are often on the road, and have team chiropractors as well as other health care professionals, that come to them or travel with the organization.

Dogtown Athletes
Living in the Santa Monica and Venice Beach areas, the great majority of athletes (we’ll call them that) coming to our office are locals. Skateboarding and surfing are super popular in the area. Venice is a skateboarding Mecca. It’s not uncommon to see a guy or girl in their 40’s or 50’s cruising around on a skateboard when you’re in Venice. (The dog you see to the right will power any skateboard, just watch out for squirrels.) The same goes for surfing. It’s not just kids that are getting into the water. In fact, many of the surfers coming to see us are in their 30’s and 40’s and are coming in from either Venice, Dockweiler, or El Porto Beach before heading to work.Beach dog Jasmine

Other local athletes include those on rowing teams in Marina del Rey, they get up before 5am and row in the Marina channel. I keep telling the coaches I’ll come and visit but even in the summer, it’s chilly at 5am and I require my chirosleep. Biking/cycling up and down the coast from Manhattan Beach to the canyon in Pacific Palisades is popular (sometimes too popular). The bike path runs for miles along the coast and a branch of the path is only a few blocks from our office. Biking is naturally one of those sports or activities that many people in our practice community participate in since it’s so convenient.

Being that running is my favorite activity, we’ve naturally attracted quite a few runners into the office. Running on the beach here is great. The tides go real low so you get some wide and fairly flat sand to run on. A round trip run on the sand between Marina del Rey and Santa Monica is about 6 miles if you go from pier to pier. It’s great body, mind, spirit exercise.

Volleyball is also a real popular sport in this area. Our office has sponsored several Ocean Park Volleyball (OPV) tournaments and we continue to do so since it’s great fun, great for our community relationships, and the OPV donates funds to the Heal the Bay foundation.

Second most visited place in Southern California
After Disneyland, the Venice Beach, Santa Monica areas are reportedly the most visited by travelers each year. Our chiropractic office is about 6 miles from the Los Angeles airport (LAX) but even still we get quite a few travelers coming into the office. It amazes me how many tourists come into our office every week looking for directions, usually to the beach.

Venice BeachFor our regular folks, it is not uncommon to have someone come in on their way to the airport when leaving on a trip (great time for an adjustment). They also come in on the way back. I smile inside whenever people come in saying… “this is my first stop” when they are on their way home from the airport. I think there should be chiropractic airport attendants so that everyone could get adjusted. It would certainly make for some less stressful travel. I just travel with other chiropractors so I’m usually taken care of.

The Techies are Coming
One industry that we are definitely seeing more and more of are those in the tech industry. Without getting into which companies are using our services I’ll just point out that Electronic Arts (EA), Google, Yahoo, and Activision, all major internet or gaming companies, have opened offices within 5 miles from us in the past few years. The word in the tech world is that more are coming. The Santa Monica area is on its way to becoming a new high-tech digital Hollywood and it won’t be long before we have as many internet companies in the West Los Angeles area as there are in Northern California and Seattle areas. I’m sure lots of other chiropractic offices around West LA are noticing the same growth.

The tech industry has been a great fit for our office. You have young, intelligent, hard-working professionals that spend lots of time at computers. They know they should be exercising more frequently and they come to us already knowing that they will benefit from regular chiropractic care. It really impresses me when a young tech professional comes to our office and already has an understanding as to the benefits of regular chiropractic care. As I always tell them… work hard, play hard, get adjusted!

With tech professionals comes lots and lots of kids. The glass on our front office window does say ADIO Family Chiropractic and people in our community are ensuring that the inside of the office reflects that message. We’ve had kids coming in from the beginning, but during the past year or so I’ve seen an increase in families that come together to get adjusted. Most of those new families are working in tech industries. I don’t know the correlation, that’s just what we are seeing. I don’t have stats as to whether there are more or less kids in the area compared to others. I would actually think there are less kids living by the beaches but again, I have no data.

Chiropractic itself is no different in Los Angeles than it is anywhere else. The chiropractors may be different, but chiropractic itself is not. It’s still a hands-on, getting people well, keeping people well, kind of service mentality that continues to work.

There are a lot of chiropractors here and that could definitely be a factor for someone thinking of opening an office in the West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Playa Vista or surrounding beach areas. Within 4 miles from my office, I know of 5 chiropractic offices that had closed or relocated in 2003-2004. There was an office on Lincoln Boulevard in Marina del Rey that appeared like they had massage, yoga, acupuncture, psychotherapy, hypnosis, nutritional counseling, as well as chiropractic services. They were at their location for about a year and I just noticed the other day that their office was closed. There was a chiropractor in Marina del Rey that practiced on his houseboat for years and was quite well known in the area. I don’t know the details, but he’s gone and has moved forward. There was a chiropractor that opened up down the street from me on Washington Boulevard. I believe the office opened in August and was closed by February of this year. And just two weeks ago, I got news from one of my patients that told me a local gym called Angel City Fitness was closed down. There was a chiropractor practicing there.

On the upside, I know of at least two offices that have opened on the Westside Los Angeles area since the time that ADIO chiropractic (my office) was opened. They are both doing fantastic so I’m not saying that someone can’t open up in the Los Angeles area and do well. In fact, I believe what we’re seeing in this area is a shift in practice types and styles. Chiropractic offices that run on high overheads and offer kitchen sink services with very little focus on chiropractic are having a difficult time financially with keeping their doors open. The ones I see doing really well are low on overhead (typically under 1500 sq. f), service minded, and have energetic doctors along with fired up staff.

Our office is a traditional chiropractic office. People come to our office primarily for chiropractic adjustments, simple as that. There’s a fantastic health-food (V.P. Discount) store only a few doors away from us and we send all of our people there for their nutritional needs. There is also a massive number of fitness facilities in our area. There is a Curves right next door, and we have a number of people coming in from Gold’s Gym, Spectrum Club, LA Fitness, the Marina Athletic Club, Camp Technique, and others. Rather than try to teach fitness in our office, we prefer to refer out to trainers and other professionals in those fields.

It’s funny because a lot of people may think that if we were to provide a number of added services such as yoga, massage, workouts, private fitness, body fat analysis, nutrition, and any number of things, our office would make more money. While that may be true, it’s not the focus of our office and it’s not the focus of good chiropractic. In our office, all of our time is dedicated to the adjustment and seeing that our people receive the best chiropractic adjustment possible. There are many, and I mean many, very qualified professionals in the Los Angeles area that can take care of every other need that comes to mind.

Thanks to the people I’ve met in the area, I get to refer to swim coaches, rowing coaches, volleyball coaches, yoga instructors, acupuncturists, private fitness trainers, and others. An amazing thing happens as a result. When it comes to getting adjusted, they refer back. It’s true, you cannot out give the giver.

Life is a Beach
I love living at the beach. The weather here on the coast is fantastic. It’s great to be able to leave the office at lunch, go for a run, have time to get back home, shower, eat, and get back to the office to serve more people. One of the things that I’ve discovered about practicing in Los Angeles is that it’s a much tighter community than people might think. Although millions of people are living here, it always amazes me how many people interact daily in our office that know each other from somewhere else in the city. I think sense of community is all a state of mind, in our case a Los Angeles “chiropractic” state of mind.

Chiropractic in Los Angeles Summed Up
Positives: People, Weather, Lifestyle
Negatives: 405 FWY, 10 FWY, Lincoln Blvd., Cost of Living, Finding Parking Places
(everyone should own a skateboard, it would reduce traffic congestion)

If you are a chiropractor visiting the Los Angeles area (you’ll find plenty of free parking on the 405 freeway) you are welcome to get in touch and pay a visit to our office. The number is… 310 301.4448

ADIO Chiropractic – 12740 Culver Blvd. Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90066
(we are only about 6 miles from LAX and about 2.5 miles inland from Venice and Playa del Rey beaches)