Dr. Matthew Zimmerman has 15 years worth of stories as proof of his devotion to healing entire families. "We had a child referred by a local hospital—4 months old, always leaned his head to the side," the doctor says, his voice sure. "The top bone of his spine (his atlas) shifted during birth, so we gently put it back into place. Right there in front of the mother, the baby raised his head for the first time. We were all bawling." That child is 2 now, his neck fully straight. But the work is never finished.
With the motto of "health by choice, not by chance," Dr. Zimmerman tries to create an environment that will make it pleasant for clients to work toward well-being. While waiting for an adjustment, orthotics, or rehabilitative therapy, patrons can test wellness knowledge with looping TV trivia, and kids can nosh on healthy treats such as raisins, nuts, and fiber-packed fitness magazines.
"We love to stick the kids' artwork right there on the wall," says the doctor, who is also a certified chiropractic extremities practitioner. "I do extremity adjustments for weekend warriors, athletes, soccer moms, runners—anyone," he says. Dr. Zimmerman can even look at gait analyses from local running stores or analyze a client's best giraffe impression to suss out the source of tension. Low murmurs drift along with exorcized tension from treatment rooms, where massage therapists work. "Our therapist is great,” the doctor says. “Someone will come in clearly in stress, and I'll say, 'Make that boy fall asleep,’ and she'll put him down like a big bear."