Drs. Mark Campbell Force and Hannah Force Conry practice in the Rogue Valley with Dr. Force practicing in Ashland and Dr. Conry in Medford. Dr. Force has now practiced chiropractic applied kinesiology for 38 years and is a diplomate of and instructor for the International College of Applied Kinesiology. Dr. Conry grew up in a chiropractic household, helped run Dr. Force’s practice in Scottsdale for 10 years, and has been in practice in Southern Oregon for 3 years. She is certified in applied kinesiology and Webster Technique and is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher, a doula, a senior apprentice midwife, and a Reiki Master.
In today’s interview, I speak with Dr. Force and Dr. Conry to learn about their practice.
Hi Dr. Conry and Dr. Force, welcome and thank you for doing this interview with me today.
Dr. Force: It’s fun to meet with you again, Shields, and have the chance to share our work.
Dr. Conry: It’s a pleasure to get to chat with you about this work that we are so passionate about. I so enjoy being on this journey, practicing in the same area as my father, and having him as my mentor.
Dr. Force, to begin I would like to congratulate you on the success here in Ashland. As a patient myself, I deeply appreciate all the care and mastery that has gone into the work you do in supporting and educating your patients.
Dr. Force: Thanks, Shields. I love the work and am still very passionate about the science, art, and craft of healthcare; it’s such an incredibly beautiful and powerful thing to be in the presence of people healing and see their lives expanding. It’s a gift. Educating patients and advocating their practice of self-care is essential. People in Ashland and the Rogue Valley have been so welcoming to my work and generally understand how important their role is in the process.
Dr. Force, over the past 5 years you have worked hard to grow your practice. You are now joined by your daughter Dr. Hannah Conry. Please say more.
Dr. Force: It’s hard to convey how deeply gratifying it is for me to see my daughter, Hannah, take on this work. She grew up in it being adjusted moments after being born! She worked for many years in the office doing exams, re-exams, patient education, and observing. After realizing she wanted to do the healing work, too, she soared to graduating magna cum laude from chiropractic college.
Dr. Conry has a natural talent for this work; she has the mind, the heart, and the hands for it. She has the passion and her mastery for developing a precise diagnosis and treatment through chiropractic applied kinesiology is far beyond her years in practice and at a level that few functional medicine/healthcare doctors ever develop.
Dr. Conry, wow… Can you please share any thoughts or comments around what your father has just shared?
Dr. Conry: Dr. Force is not only my father, but also my mentor. We all have the desire to make those figures in our life proud and it makes me tear up a little every time he talks about how well I embody this work that he has dedicated his career to. I have observed his deep, sustained desire to help people live their healthiest, best lives and the way that he has literally changed people’s lives my whole life. It took a little while for me to follow in his footsteps, but how could I not?
Dr. Force, you have an extensive background as both a practitioner, educator, author, and more. Will you please tell us more about your accomplishments?
Dr. Force: I’ve done a lot of study; I love to understand how the body works and how we heal. Have taught applied kinesiology, chiropractic, lab interpretation, craniosacral work, clinical nutrition, diagnosis from a functional medicine/healthcare perspective. Have published papers in peer-reviewed journals and a book that teaches the functional medicine/healthcare approach formatted for self-care, Choosing Health. Have developed nutritional formulas, run clinical outcome studies, published research – this work has led to use patents, one of which I hold for a formula that resolves chemical intolerance, TolerAid.
Over the years, I’ve taught and mentored chiropractic and naturopathic students, which has included shadowing, “rounds,” and preceptorships. This mentoring has included Dr. Conry and also Dr. Tenaya Force, who now practices chiropractic applied kinesiology in Lima, Peru.
Dr. Conry, can you please tell us more about your own background and training and where that brings you and your father today with your practices?
Dr. Conry: Well, I did my undergrad at ASU in finance and got accepted to law school. My father ended up needing some help and asked if I would fill in for the summer before I left for school. I ended up staying for 10 years! He likes to say it was all part of his master plan.
While working there I did my Reiki Master training, 500-hour yoga teacher training, had my first child and became a doula, had my second child and started working alongside a home birth midwife in AZ for 3.5 years on track to become a home birth midwife myself. I have been to over 80 births! I realized I didn’t want to cut off care with my clients at 6 weeks postpartum. I wanted to develop long-standing relationships with the families I worked with, and recognized the next step was chiropractic school.
My young family moved to Portland to support my study for a doctorate in chiropractic at Western States. There I ran the applied kinesiology club on campus, was the student rep for two professional-only nutritional companies, earned my applied kinesiology and Webster Technique certifications and graduated with honors.
My parents have done a lot of traveling in the western US and moved from Arizona to Ashland in 2015. Family is really important to me and I want my kids to grow up near their grandparents, so moving to the Rogue Valley was natural. Dr. Force and I shared the same office in Ashland for a couple of years until my practice expanded to where I needed more space and hours available.
Six months ago I opened my own office in Medford near downtown, which works well since I live in Central Point. This is actually a beautiful progression for us as we are spreading out this unique skill set that we have to serve more people.
Dr. Force, applied kinesiology is a big part of your practice. Will you please talk about the differences and distinction between someone who is certified in applied kinesiology versus not?
Dr. Force: Practicing applied kinesiology requires competency in conventional medicine diagnostics (physical, orthopedic, and neurological exam; interpretation of lab tests and imaging) and treatment methods from chiropractic, osteopathy, naturopathy, and traditional Chinese medicine.
It is, unfortunately, common that many doctors and lay people learn a muscle test, sometimes a few, and are taught some made up method that has no basis in neurology. Crazy claims are commonly made about what their muscle testing means with zero basis.
Muscle testing is not applied kinesiology. Observation of muscle tone by a licensed physician trained in the requisite neurology AND contextualized with health history examination, and interpretation of lab testing and imaging is applied kinesiology. Muscle testing used in this way is just as reliable an observation of the nervous system as using a reflex hammer to test a knee jerk reflex.
What are the biggest challenges of your profession and how do you stay focused on doing the best for your clients?
Dr. Conry: Burnout is a risk any healthcare professional can run into. I need to be at my best to truly show up for my patients. It is imperative that we practice what we preach and be present with each patient without being attached to the outcome.
Dr. Force: For patients to understand that treatment of symptoms does not heal; restoration of system function heals. That it takes healthcare and self-care and time. That we each have our unique innate nature and the work promotes its expression.
Dr. Conry, will you please share a recent success story with us?
Dr. Conry: I’d love to. It is so hard to pick just one as we really do see miracles everyday. About 6 months ago I started working with a couple that had been trying to conceive for 6 years. They were ready to start IVF at the end of this year and had been working with a fertility specialist for a year. They did not start seeing me for this issue, but for musculoskeletal pain, her for hip and low back and him mid-back.
Complete health histories showed their struggle for a family.
Through an applied kinesiology examination, I found that she needed craniosacral work and help regulating her adrenals. The key for her was pelvic alignment, central nervous system regulation, and adrenal balance.
The husband needed a more comprehensive lab workup, which I ordered. We, of course, adjusted and there were key nutritional deficiencies found in his lab findings. He needed zinc, thyroid support, and methylation support. Now they are 4 months pregnant and over the moon about it!
For you both, what is the ultimate goal of your practice?
Dr. Conry: More and more happy, healthy, well-adjusted families! My practice is really about that ripple effect that happens as people make positive change. It isn’t about me, it is about empowering those I work with to be their best and their own health expert with me as a catalyst for this process.
Dr. Force: To practice with compassion and precision and teach effectively.
What are some of the most important questions you like to ask your clients?
Dr. Force: What will being well allow you to do that you yearn to be able to do/accomplish? Are you willing to pay the price in discipline and self-care to achieve it?
Dr. Conry: Exactly! It goes beyond getting out of pain. I ask “how will being healthier/out of pain/more balanced affect your life?” Seeing people light up with excitement at the prospect of this makes my day.
As your practices continue to grow, what are some of your goals and dreams moving forward?
Dr. Force: I had remarkable teachers and mentors and my work now is to develop educational programs for doctors and lay people to share my knowledge base effectively. My practice has a waiting list to become a patient at this point and I’m grateful to know that we can refer to Dr. Conry for care.
Dr. Conry: Learning more and more from Dr. Force and helping as many people as I can to thrive.
Over the course of the past few years how has both of your relationships with Ashland, Medford, and the Rogue Valley continued to deepen?
Dr. Conry: I live in Central Point, practice in Medford, and spend a lot of time in Ashland. I also have kids and love getting out in nature and exploring as much as we can.
It is so wonderful to live somewhere with such amazing local food and arts, access to rivers, mountains and the ocean in easy reach. I enjoy diving into all that this valley has to offer. So often when I am out and about, I see people I know and I’ve only lived here for 3 years!
Dr. Force: Living and practicing in Ashland is wonderful; I love the small town and friendly atmosphere. People here tend to make for more educated and involved patients. I am so grateful to be working with Irene running the front office and Vanessa running the back office! The office is beautiful and the views from the treatment rooms across the valley to Grizzly Peak are inspiring.
Are there any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with our readers today?
Dr. Conry: Applied kinesiology is something that is really hard to understand through reading about it. Experience of this phenomenal technique and how it can profoundly individualize care is the only way to really get an understanding of how it works. If you’ve tried everything else and are still seeking answers for your health concerns, give AK a try!
Dr. Force: Unhealed injuries – physical, chemical, mental/emotional – keep us from being our best selves. Solving these allows us to do the things we want to do and be who we innately want to be.
What are the next steps for anyone wanting to learn more and or come to work with you?
Dr. Conry: Reach out to us! We are always happy to answer your questions about applied kinesiology and our work and how it may be able to help you. We believe everyone can benefit from this care.
Hannah Force Conry, DC
Thriving Family Chiropractic
1100 E Main St Suite 103, Medford
Mark Campbell Force, DC
The Elements of Health
525 A Street, Suite 3, Ashland