This week, I am going to interview one of my favorite chiropractors... Dr. Sue Williams. Some of you may think I like her so much because she is my wife, and you couldn't be wrong! But, besides being a great wife and amazing mom to our two sons, Josh and Caleb, she is one of the most talented chiropractors I know. You might be interested to know, however, that she is not the chiropractor that I usually see for care, but I will let her tell that story a little bit later.
Doug Williams (DW): Hi, Dr. Sue! Can you tell us a little about your background?
Dr. Sue: I grew up in a small town in northern Illinois called Round Lake. I came from a close family. My sister is an accountant and still lives in the Chicagoland area with her family. My dad lives in Arizona. I played volleyball in high school and spent a semester in a government internship working with the department of public health. That is where my interest in nutrition came about. I always wanted to go west, so when I graduated from high school, I attended Colorado State University for a program in Sports Science and Nutrition.
DW: How did you get interested in chiropractic medicine?
Dr. Sue: Well, there was this boy (laughs) that I met at CSU. He was going to chiropractic college the next year. Long story short, he said, "You know you can do sports science and nutrition in chiropractic" and the rest is history!
DW: I know you have raised two wonderful sons - Josh, who lives in Denver, and Caleb, who lives in Atlanta. How did being a chiropractor impact your parenting?
Dr. Sue: Well, I gave a lot of attitude adjustments (laughs). Seriously though, one of the foundations of chiropractic medicine is that the body has an "innate" wisdom and mostly just needs no interference to be healthy. We tried to follow that as the boys were growing up, starting with home births. Also, through the years, we worked hard to feed them healthy and natural foods (although, McDonald's was not totally unheard of), give them a lot of exercise and get them adjusted frequently. We tried to get them to take nutritional supplements and, for the most part, they complied, except for fish oil paste. We thought Caleb was taking his (lemon-flavored), until we found 20-30 unopened packets under his bed!
DW: What do you like most about being a chiropractor?
Dr. Sue: I like having a positive effect on people's health and lives. I feel better when they feel better!
DW: What types of things do you see patients for?
Dr. Sue: Pregnancy and baby care, back and pelvic pain, neck pain and headaches, shoulder problems, feet, elbows and wrists, typical chiropractic package.
DW: Well, a lot of that sounds like typical chiropractic medicine, but not so much the pregnancy and baby care. Tell us a little about that.
Dr. Sue: Well, growing a baby for 9 months inside you causes a lot of change in posture! It shifts the spinal and pelvic bones, and this can put pressure on nerves and muscles, and become uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Also, it just makes sense that the more the mother's pelvis and hips are aligned and mobile, the smoother the delivery will be.
DW: How about the babies?
Dr. Sue: No matter how smooth the delivery goes, birthing is still pretty impactful on the new little one's spine and system. Checking newborn spines is always a good idea to get them off to a good start in life. Other things for babies would be: colic, ear infections and post-tongue tie release.
DW: Is it hard to work on a baby?
Dr. Sue: No! They are some of the easiest patients I have! They relax with the massager - you use a really light setting on the adjustment instrument, so it is not traumatic for them at all.
DW: Being married to you for 31 years and having worked in the same practice with you for over 20, I have noticed that, beyond physical relief, a lot of your patients seem to come out of your room looking, well, less stressed! Can you talk about that for a minute?
Dr. Sue: I've been told I am a good listener! We also share a lot of laughs in my room. I think the muscle work I do also helps to reduce tension and stress. Health goes beyond the physical aspect and needs to impact the emotional, mental and spiritual being, as well, in order to be complete.
DW: Okay, I promised the readers the story of why you are not Dr. Doug's main chiropractor. Why aren't you?
Dr. Sue: Twenty years ago, Dr. Doug blew up his back lifting a very heavy spinal screening device. He wasn't really good at listening to his wife's recommendations as his doctor, so I made him go see someone else! He whined his way to see Dr. Mattern in West Lafayette! It has been better for everybody!
DW: Dr. Sue - thank you so much for your time, both for this interview and for the last 20-plus years of being in practice together! Chiropractic medicine and Lafayette is better and healthier because you are, and I am really blessed as well! Any parting words you would like to say to our readers?
Dr. Sue: I love my patients, I love what I do and I hope to be able to serve the community for many years to come!
Doug Williams, D.C. Care Chiropractic Lafayette, Indiana