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Don’t be an April Fool: How to find a great Chiropractor.

By Dr. Jon Thomas, DC, PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.
It’s fun to be foolish on April Fools’ Day. However, one thing people should never be foolish about is their health. Generally, people now know that smoking, drinking excessively, and being overweight can be very detrimental to their health. Avoiding bad habits is very important, but that’s not all there is to maintaining good health. For most people, one of the keys to staying healthy is having a good doctor as a health partner. When you look into chiropractic treatment, there are several important factors to consider.
Education and Qualifications
Life University
When it comes to dealing with your health and your body, it’s important to find a practitioner who has been properly educated and trained. When an auto mechanic makes a mistake due to a misdiagnosis, you might experience some inconvenience in your life because of it. For example, you might be late for work or you might have to ask someone for a ride. When a doctor makes a mistake, you could end up in pain, sick, or worse. You should be curious about your chiropractor’s education and training. It doesn’t hurt to ask where he or she went to school and what additional training he or she has had.  
For example, I received my Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, GA. Marietta may sound like a small town, but it’s actually very close to Atlanta. Life University’s College of Chiropractic is accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. It is one of the finest educational institutions of its kind in the world. The faculty includes some of the most experienced and highly regarded professionals teaching chiropractic today.  
At Life University, I spent over 4,757 documented hours studying subjects such as biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, embryology, human anatomy, physiology, X-ray, diagnosis, chiropractic adjusting techniques, orthopedic testing, physiotherapy, and patient care in the Life University Outpatient Clinic.  I also received advanced training in functional neurology, pediatric care, Webster technique, 21st Century intracellular detoxification, clinical lab testing, bio-nutrition, nervous system balancing and spinal correction.
I have been trained in all of the following chiropractic techniques and have used each of them with patients throughout my career: Full Spine Diversified Technique, Gonstead, Thompson Technique, Activator, Cox, Toggle Upper Cervical Technique, Extremity Adjusting Technique, Soft Tissue Adhesion release, PNFT, FAKTOR, Sacral Occipital Technique, and numerous others.
Board Certification
Legitimate doctors are “board certified.” Most patients know that “board certified” sounds good, but many don’t actually know what that means. Board certification is a method to make sure that the people who practice medicine as doctors actually are doctors and that they are professional in their practices.
For example, I am a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. My certification is from The Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine. The Florida Board was legislatively established by the state to ensure that every chiropractic physician practicing in Florida meets minimum requirements for safe practice. The State of Florida wants to make sure that, “No person other than a licensed chiropractic physician may render chiropractic services, chiropractic adjustments, or chiropractic manipulations.”
“Chiropractic is a philosophy of health, a science of the nervous system
and spine, and an art of helping people regain their health naturally.
It recognizes that all organic systems in the universe are conscious,
self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing.”

Life University
There are many approaches to medicine. Some of the differences are based on the medical philosophies which guide the doctor. Life University has a very good philosophy and I believe in it very strongly. I believe that there’s much more to health and wellness than the absence of pain or sickness. Taking more and more prescriptions to address health issues is not the way to wellness.
Health and wellness involve how well your nervous system is functioning, what goes into your body, and what goes onto your skin. It involves making good choices, reading labels and ingredients, and walking or just moving to the best of your ability. It is making a plan with real and measurable outcomes.
Following that philosophy, I use a system called the SHIFT paradigm, which consists of the following elements: Skeletal Structure, Headspace, Intake of Nutrients, Functional Fitness, Toxic Burden. (You can find more detailed information about the SHIFT Paradigm on the Vibrant Life website.)
Selecting a Chiropractor
One of the best ways to find a good chiropractor is to get referrals from family and friends. If someone you know refers to a chiropractor as a “miracle worker” there’s a good chance that you will have a good experience as well. Of course, it doesn’t work that way one hundred percent of the time.  
Another way to check out a chiropractor is to look at his or her website. It should be informative with details about the doctor’s education and certification. It might also provide information about the various techniques used by the doctor. It might even have patient testimonials.  
After reviewing the website, you can make a list of questions and then call the office to ask them. Naturally, the person on the other end of the phone should be as helpful as possible. At some point you will be asked to set up an initial appointment.
Health issues sometimes require prompt attention. Access to care is very important. If it takes weeks or months to get an appointment, you might want to find a practitioner who is easier to book an appointment with.
Also, it’s very important to feel comfortable with the chiropractor and his or her office. Location can make a big difference. Driving through heavy traffic or sitting too long in the waiting room can be a deal-breaker for some people.
Here are some of the other items you’ll want to consider:

  • Is the chiropractor friendly and courteous?
  •  Are you comfortable talking with the chiropractor?
  • Does the chiropractic doctor listen closely to you as you explain your symptoms and treatment preferences?
  • Does the chiropractor fully answer the questions you ask and are the answers in plain English?

Chiropractic Care at Vibrant Life Health Center
When selecting a chiropractor, it’s a good idea to find one who has been trained in more than two or three techniques. When a chiropractor only has a few methods in his or her toolbox, those are the methods he or she will use on each and every patient. A chiropractor who has mastered ten or more methods, as I have, has many more ways to address the unique and specific needs of each patient.
When you contact Vibrant Life, my assistants and I will listen very attentively to you and we will answer your questions to the best of our abilities. Then I will present you with a plan of action to address your specific needs. Vibrant Life Health Center offers a comprehensive list of services that include:
  • Specific chiropractic services focused on nervous system function and proper biomechanics throughout the body.
  • Acute care addressing disc injuries, sciatica, back pain, neck pain, and extremity dysfunction.
  • Sports injuries and performance enhancement for professional, amateur, and school age athletics.
  • NutriMost accessing, balancing, and clearing hormonal and neurotransmitter disruptions that block fat burning and result in challenging health issues.
  • Massage, including Swedish, Neuromuscular, Sports, Bamboo, Chair, Myofascial, Deep Tissue, Cellulite reduction, and Hydro/Aroma massages.
  • Functional Medicine using Biofeedback technology and essential oils for customized health plans to address numerous health challenges. 

In this article, I have discussed how to find a great chiropractor. I’ve noted the importance of education, training, board certification, and medical philosophy.
If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section below. If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please share it with your friends, colleagues, and on social media.
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At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weightlifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.


  1. These are really good tips on how to find a good chiropractor. I especially like the idea of finding one who knows lots of different techniques.

  2. What a refreshing article, some great insight on healthcare and Chiropractic care.