LAURIUM - One could say Dr. Leah Polzien has the best of both worlds.
Not only did she open her chiropractic practice in the Copper Country, a place she's been fond of her entire life, but she gets to meet and help people on a daily basis.
"I've always liked it here," she said. "I'm really enjoying meeting new people every day and learning about their lives."
Photo courtesy Leah Polzien
Dr. Leah Polzien is shown in one of her treatment rooms at her new chiropractic practice Back to Basics in Laurium. Back to Basics is hosting an open house Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Dr. Polzien, originally from Sault Ste. Marie, earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Michigan Technological University before receiving her doctorate in chiropractic from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minn.
She opened Back to Basics Chiropractic in May of this year at 80 First St. in Laurium.
Her practice is co-located with Bodies in Balance Massage Therapy, owned by Mike Hendrickson.
On Thursday, Sept. 22, Dr. Polzien is inviting the community to her new practice for an open house from 4 to 7 p.m.
Local massage therapists Mike Hendrickson, Kathryn Eskola and Jean Rilei will be providing complimentary massages during the event. Outside, Zumba with Royale Walter and introductory yoga lead by Trudi Haataja will be held at 6 and 6:30 p.m., respectively. Food and refreshments will be available as well as a drawing for free massage.
"Take a tour, see the clinic, ask questions and meet everybody," Dr. Polzien said. "Just make sure you bring a mat or towel if you're trying yoga and dress in layers because who knows what the weather will be like. We will have a tent set up outside for yoga and Zumba in case the weather doesn't cooperate."
Dr. Polzien is currently accepting new patients and, as a perk, is offering complimentary new patient exams. As far as adjusting, Dr. Polzien utilizes the drop piece technique and manual adjustments. Patients lie on a specialized table with sections that drop down when quick pressure is applied.
"You don't have to use a lot of force in your adjustment and it makes it a little gentler," she said.
Chiropractic was built on the idea that the nervous system controls everything in your body, Dr. Polzien said, and we're influencing the nervous system by adjusting the spine.
"Your spinal cord, a major component of your nervous system, is housed in the spine," she said. "What sets me apart from other chiropractors is that I do a lot of soft tissue work, particularly Active Release Technique or ART."
ART is a soft tissue technique which breaks up areas of scar tissue and helps muscles, nerves and tendons move more freely.
"I use it because it can give patients a lot of relief from common musculoskeletal complaints when I feel an adjustment alone isn't enough," she said. "It's a bit like a massage but with more patient involvement."
Dr. Polzien prefers patients change into a gown during their appointments in order for her to get a clearer idea of what may be causing the discomfort.
"That way I can see their skin, the tissues and more easily feel what's going on," she said.
Dr. Polzien said because she utilizes the Active Release Technique prior to the actual adjustment, a typical patient visit lasts about 30 minutes.
"It limits the amount of patients I can see in a day, but it does give me the opportunity to get to know my patients," she said. "I really like that."
Another technique Dr. Polzien specializes in is the Kinesio Taping Method.
This rehabilitative taping technique is designed to facilitate the body's natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body's range of motion.
"It's used a lot with athletes," she said. "What it does is lifts the skin promoting lymphatic drainage and decreasing inflammation while extending the benefits of manual therapy like an adjustment or ART."
Aside from their regular visit, Dr. Polzien recommends patients follow homecare instructions to prevent further injury or discomfort.
"What you do at home - stress relief, diet, exercise, stretching and strengthening - is really important," she said. "Patients that do those things at home feel better faster and it's good for prevention, too."
Dr. Polzien and her husband Nate, a Calumet High School and Michigan Tech graduate, currently reside in Laurium where they are remodeling their home.
"We're both really happy to be back here, out of the city and closer to all the people and places we love," she said.
For more information, call Back to Basics Chiropractic at 337-1200 or visit them on Facebook by searching "Back to Basics (906)337-1200."
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Back to Basics Chiropractic of Laurium. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.