I have now conducted my 700th interview for LocalsGuide and would like to take a moment to talk about my process and share how it relates to my time spent with Dr. Luke Schmelzle.
During the course of conducting an interview, I’ve had to diligently train myself NOT to listen to the individual’s story. The story is the narrative that people want you to hear about them and it is what they will tell you during an interview. It is wonderful, but it also can be a distraction from getting to see and know their deeper character. So, instead of listening to the story, I am paying close attention to two things:
First, I am listening to the pattern of choices individuals exhibit in their life. Choices made not only tell, but most importantly show, who someone is over a period of time. Do they move forward when opportunity exists, or do they stand still? Are they creative and resilient? Are they a relationship-oriented person or a loner?
As I listen to the choice process of an individual, an internal map begins to form within my mind and I begin to gain a better understanding of what type of character this person is and how they operate in the world.
From this position I seek questions that I can ask to help illuminate, reveal, and demonstrate who this person is to the reader. I can ask the interviewee a question that will demonstrate relationship capacity. I might ask a question that shows commitment to excellence, mastery, service, lovability etc. I am always looking to support the best in someone and ask questions that provide this opportunity. LocalsGuide interviews then become an opportunity to reveal authentic aspects and character. This helps you, the reader, to know and to better see this person. Once you begin to know someone, it builds relationship and connection and this is a large part of why LocalsGuide is one-of-a-kind.
You might be asking yourself what in the world does this editor introduction have to do with Dr. Luke Schmelzle? Over the years I have interviewed many chiropractors. Each one has been a fully unique individual. However, I decided to share my process with you so that you pay extra attention. This is not just another health practitioner interview!
In today’s interview, I spoke with Dr. Luke Schmelzle. He is a Network chiropractor who recently moved to Ashland. Before he was a chiropractor, he was a high school principle for twenty-five years. Now if this is all you knew, you might turn your head… but something caught my attention with Dr.Luke. Something I have not seen in any other interview I have conducted.
Dr. Luke’s approach to healing is very unique. It’s unlike anything I have seen before and it makes sense. As we talked, I gained greater insight into the work he is doing. And this is what I want to share with you today.
Dr. Luke thanks so much for speaking with us today, and welcome. I want to thank you for allowing me to make such a grandiose introduction. I know it will create a lot of expectation to live up to, but I know you can do it.
Congratulations to you, Shields, on reaching this milestone! The LocalsGuide is certainly an informative publication that readers in Ashland have come to depend upon. You’ve had quite the vision to expand this model internationally.
To begin with, I’d love for you to introduce yourself to the readers in your own words and share a little bit about your background and life.
I’m blessed to be from a farming family in the Midwest. I learned early on the importance of respecting the land and animals, working hard, and the value of family roots. I’ve had many diverse jobs over my lifetime, with interactions with people from all walks of life. Most of my adult career was in education. I am currently in the healing arts as a Network chiropractor. I am married with three adult children who also live in the valley.
As a principal you played the role of father figure to more than 1000 children, teachers, and parents. How did this responsibility suit you? How did you learn to see every person and circumstance individually?
As the oldest child in a large family, responsibility was placed upon me early in life. I became a school administrator at age 26. I have a great depth of connection with people. I came to see my role of school principal as a “father” of the school. For instance, with regard to student discipline, I wanted to be in relationship first with the student. Discipline is not about punishment; it is about the change in the life of the person that matters. While the rules of society are important, developing the individual to prosper in society is a higher aim. This requires time, caring, and developing the potential in others. I learned to handle many issues, but I was always keeping an eye to the larger mission and a true sense of the bigger picture. I can explain things in simple terms that are easy to understand. I use lots of concrete objects and stories to teach about health and healing.
I think this is particularly interesting because I cannot imagine this is easy to do.
Treating each person as a unique individual, looking beyond past roles, history, and reputations, takes openness. Furthermore, I believe that I have an important gift of seeing a better future when I look into someone’s eyes. It has become an integral part of who I am. For example, instead of saying “patient” I use the term “practice member” because I walk alongside the person during care.
You took your son to chiropractic college and then ended up deciding yourself that this was what you wanted to do. What was it that you saw that inspired this opportunity within yourself?
I was interested in chiropractic at a young age but chose another path instead. Years later when touring colleges with my son, chiropractic really called out to me. There are healers in my family and this tapped a natural leaning in me to do this work. I believe that while I was successful in educational administration, chiropractic was the next natural step in my personal evolution. While such a radical change in the middle of my life was not easy, it certainly pushed me to grow and expand my sense of self.
You then studied Network Chiropractic. Can you please talk about the foundation of this practice?
I love chiropractic. It is rooted upon the premise that healing begins from the inside-out, leaning on the innate wisdom of the body. Network Spinal is a newer technique in the field, and it’s also highly researched.
Network care is a blending of western, scientific chiropractic with the distinct integration of the eastern traditions of breath and energy channels. During the development of a human embryo, the same layer that forms the skin is the same layer that forms the nervous system. This unified development creates a very close connection between light touches of the skin with direct influence upon the nervous system. We see this same principle utilized in acupuncture. By utilizing light touch in specific places, it generates a new breath wave that assists the brain to scan and release stored tension held in the spine, muscles, spinal cord, and connective tissues of the body.
What aspects of this practice did you most identify with and why?
As a medical student in my forties, I asked myself how I could use the least amount of force to create the maximum amount of change in a person’s physiology. The more I studied Network Care, the more convinced I became of the transformative effects to the body, mind, and soul. I see the impact in my own life. I see it daily in the lives of the practice members that I work with. The care is so gentle, but so effective.
Dr. Luke, I’m really intrigued about your model of healing and how it relates directly to the title of your business “Tail of The Sun.” Please tell us about this.
When I personally started Network Care, many changes occurred. My spine changed; the x-rays were completely different. Stored tension in my body was released. Old traumas, wounds, and memories held in my body were liberated. My field of consciousness greatly expanded. I had a very life-changing, mystical experience involving the sun. I wanted a name for my practice that was unique but also meaningful. The sun gives us our energy for living and so I decided to incorporate it into my business name.
You used an analogy of a car windshield with rear view mirror. Please say more.
We often take much of our health for granted. So much of the body is on auto-pilot. We typically do not stop and take notice until pain reaches us. Once we identify and label a health condition or disease, we strive to go back in time to a point in which we had “good health.” That is so difficult to do. Attempting to recreate the past is just not entirely feasible.
When we drive a car, we primarily have our focus upon the road immediately in front of us, and we look out the windshield, only glancing in the rearview mirror to ensure no danger is gaining on us. This is how it should be with our health as well. We should be striving to deal with everyday issues and stress so that we are moving forward and focused out the windshield, being present in the moment. But sadly, many people spend more time looking in the rearview mirror of their life – fretting over lost love, lost opportunities, or even some tragic event that occurred by happenstance, regretting choices made or not made, – with the desire to go back and fix them somehow. This backward focus holds the person back in their present life. We even begin to attach the diagnosis label to ourselves – my bad knee, my MS, my Parkinsons, etc.
I’ve really never heard this model of healing presented before. I wonder if when we want to heal, we are oftentimes married to memories of our past selves or ideals. Yet I really hear you talking about accepting the past, becoming present, and moving into the future.
Dwelling on the past takes energy to deal with the emotions and the fallout that we feel never was resolved. It requires energy for a misaligned vertebra to stay out of alignment. This happens as a defense mechanism. I identify the defense pattern that a practice member presents with. I will see misalignments. However, instead of adding a force to overcome a vertebra that is in defense, I instead access available energy to initiate change. I’m interested in what is working well in the body and accessing the nervous system from a position of ease and availability. I cue the brain to scan and release tension that is no longer needed. A new breath wave is created to achieve this. The nervous system becomes more efficient when this new patterning takes hold. The old dysfunction begins to fade away, allowing the person to let go and now focus on the present and even the future without the old dragging them down. This model of following what works is much more impactful, in my opinion, than chasing what does not work.
You’ve designed your office in a way that very much mimics this model of healing. Please tell us about it.
The building was constructed in the shape of an octagon. A 35-foot ceiling lends to amazing acoustics for the music played during sessions and creates a comfortable space to breathe deeply and focus on yourself.
Some people draw energy from the past. The future gives them stress. For others, it is the opposite. In my office, each person walks into spaces that are designed to tap into energy-richness. Also, there are so many windows that let in the sun’s natural light that I typically do not need turn lights on.
Please talk about the role of a patient’s narrative in leading to healing.
I’ve met many well-informed people in Ashland. Basic functions of neuroanatomy and sympathetic stress are commonly known. I believe that our nervous systems need assistance in our current society. We are bombarded with an increasing number of stimuli. Exercise, meditation, and a healthy diet are essential to mitigate the effects of stress, and these skills are highly prized in Ashland. But over time, we begin to accumulate stress in our bodies. It is generally accepted that most diseases have stress-related causes. What is to be done?
Consider if you inherited your grandmother’s old house. Imagine that you receive the gift of a new kitchen appliance. When you plug in the new mixer, the circuit is tripped. What now? The best long-term solution is to upgrade the wiring in the kitchen. Similarly, new strategies for the nervous system to process and move stress energy are available through Network Care.
How do you apply these insights into serving your patients?
The shape, position, tone of your spine is in direct relationship with the shape and position and tone of your life. I look at the whole person. The malady is important, but it is just the starting place. Instead of finding what is wrong in the body. I find where there is available energy and resources to make the available change. I augment what is going right. This allows the body to begin a new healing pattern within the nervous system, like upgrading the wiring for new kitchen appliances, if you will.
What do you see as your core gifts and skills?
I make time for people. I listen intently, observe patterns, and I meet them where they are. My job is to find out what defense pattern someone’s nervous system is in, and help break that apart. I do that with clinical expertise, I palpate with my hands and my heart, and I follow my intuition closely. I am concerned about the whole person and not just their symptoms. I place my intention on clinical excellence and upon the future goals that we create together.
There is a saying that goes, “the cure is in the disease.” Please talk about this.
We all have heard stories of someone diagnosed with a terminal disease that somehow beats the odds. Their stories are inspiring. Some will even state that they received a blessing in their life from the struggle brought on by the disease. I believe that opportunities for growth and learning can be found in what ails us. When we run from the disease, we also run from the cure. We can find fuel for healing inside of ourselves.
Can you give us an overview of the services you provide and who they are best suited for?
The sessions, or Entrainments, are extremely gentle and are perfect for new babies who have just experienced the stress of birth, all the way to 99-year-olds who want more. More freedom of movement, more energy, more restful sleep, etc.… There are three levels of care. These levels progress from introducing new strategies for the nervous system to transformational care. Care affects a person’s whole being, not just the physical symptoms. It’s about changing patterns and liberating energy for life changes.
Dr. Luke, can you share some recent success stories with us?
I assisted a person with long-standing PTSD to clear space for the healing process to begin. Once her body could find a place to anchor the initial memory loop, the processing started. The change was quite dramatic. This past month I had practice members report decreased symptoms of nerve pain in arms and legs, reduced neck pain and back pain, better sleep, relationship changes, business shifts, spiritual shifts, and better breathing, to name a few.
Where is your practice located?
I’m at 567 Fair Oaks Ave. in Ashland. It’s on the north side of town, just past the Nature Center on North Mountain Avenue. It’s got great parking and easy access.
What is the best way to reach out and connect?
Give me a call or text at 541-816-1911.
Tell us about your introductory special that you are offer.
I offer a two-hour detailed analysis and treatment session for only $20. I use digital equipment to determine stress patterns and energy efficiencies.
Wow. That’s hard to say ‘no’ to.
Yes, you have nothing to lose. Give it a try – you may be surprised.
Dr Luke, what are some things you enjoy doing in your free time now that you are here in Ashland?
Hiking and mountain biking with my wife and three kids, organic gardening, and exploring the natural wonders of our area.
Tail of the Sun Network Care
567 Fair Oaks Ave Ashland, OR 97520