WATERTOWN — Brian J. Baker, D.C., has opened his own practice, Chiropractic and Health Associates, 1044 Main St., Unit 16, in the town where he grew up and within walking distance of his current home.
Dr. Baker told Voices, “Being just down the street, I can offer more hours and I can be here in no time to see emergency patients after hours.”
A practicing chiropractor for more than 10 years, he said he is happy to run his own office because he can practice medicine on his own terms.
“The office is equipped with the newest equipment and I’m using the latest techniques to provide a holistic approach to chiropractic care. That means I’m not just looking at my patients’ symptoms but how their lifestyles affect what’s going on with them.”
Able to advise his patients on nutrition and exercise, Dr. Baker said he can relate to much of what he sees in his office and likes to offer his personal experience.
“I think of my six year old when I treat kids or my wife when I treat pregnant women. I myself can relate to athletes with sports injuries because I played football in college.”
He looks forward to his golden years but treats senior patients now.
“Kids are fun to treat and they heal quickly. Expectant mothers experience many problems associated with carrying extra weight, like sciatica and I enjoy making them feel more comfortable. Also, I talk to them about what they should be eating and how to exercise.”
Chiropractic and Health Associates welcomes those who have almost any sports issues, from simple knee injuries to repetitive motion problems commonly experienced by runners.
“Someone who runs seven to 10 miles can experience bio mechanical issues that respond well to orthotics or treatment.”
Dr. Baker uses many techniques, including manual therapy, muscle work, stretching, and exercising in addition to chiropractic manipulation. “There is a real diversification in techniques and I might be using tools or blocks, or the activator, or just my hands.”
Some of the tricks of his trade include instrument assisted soft tissue techniques.
Often lecturing on nutrition or lifestyle, the doctor makes recommendations that promote a more balance life, bringing together mind, body, and medicine.
“These are key components, especially for patients experiencing chronic problems. I treat both acute and chronic issues.”
He admitted, “I can tell anyone this is what they should eat but this kind of advice is about being realistic.
“I go by an 80/20 rule. If you do 80 percent of what you should do and cheat 20 percent of the time, you will do well.
“Some chronic patients are so focused and try to do things at 100 percent that it drives them crazy.
“Humans need reward and without that, we don’t stick with anything.”
He added, “I don’t use the word diet because this work is about making a lifestyle change. The word diet implies doing something for a little while, making some progress, and stopping.
“That means going back to the same place. A lifestyle change is something you do for the rest of your life and that’s how you control your life.”
Since the grand opening on November 30, clients have been happy with Dr. Baker’s new location.
“They like that this office feels warm and comfortable,” he said.
“I expect the decorations here will evolve as an extension of me. The photos on the walls are mine and not something you’d typically see in a doctor’s office.”
The move has given him an opportunity to compare his style and approach to when he started over a decade ago.
“It’s amazing how a person and a practice can change in the course of just 10 years. I strongly believe that it’s important to stay up to date and allow a practice to grow as you do.
“Research changes and you have to change with it, use the new techniques.
“I had an idea of what I wanted to do when I first began practicing medicine but there is only so much they can teach you in school.
“A real clinical experience and the ability to deal with patients every day is important.”
Remembering his opening day, he explained, “My wife asked if I was nervous and I told her, no, I was looking forward to seeing my patients. I love treating them and most of my appointments aren’t quick because I spend time with them.
“I want to focus on different aspects of their lives and look at several things instead of just a back or knee that hurts.”
Chiropractic and Health Associates is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday or by appointment on Tuesday and Saturday.
Appointments are available by calling 860-631-0555 or visiting www.chiropracticandhealth.com and more information is available on Facebook.