Located at 233 4th Street, Southern Oregon Active Health is the clinic of Dr. Casey Frieder, DC. Dr. Frieder has been providing quality health care in the Rogue Valley for the past 4 years. He believes that good health is a blessing and a responsibility that can be nurtured through wise choices and smart actions. Southern Oregon Active Health provides chiropractic health care, massage therapy and other natural treatments to support you in body, mind and spirit. We met with Dr. Frieder to catch up on the growth and development of his practice here in Ashland, Oregon.
Dr Frieder, thanks so much for speaking with us today and congratulations on all the growth of your local practice.
Thanks Shields. It’s been a busy and exciting year so far. I’m really enjoying meeting a lot of new people in my clinic and cultivating a stable and positive atmosphere.
Please tell us about your newer and expanded location.
I moved my practice to a beautiful building on 4th St. at the beginning of 2015 and became Southern Oregon Active Health. Prior to that, I was located on 2nd St, at Hands On Wellness, and my practice was called Frieder Chiropractic. I now have multiple treatment rooms, which has allowed me to spread my wings a bit. I really enjoy being on 4th Street, surrounded by yoga studios and other health-promoting businesses. It feels like our own little “wellness corridor” here in town.
Tell me more about your focus in the practice.
I commonly treat a wide variety of conditions. As a chiropractic physician, my specialty is evaluating and treating problems that manifest in the neuro-musculo-skeletal systems. The primary reason people come to see me is because they’re in pain. Whether it’s a pain in the neck, sinus discomfort, achy feet or a belly ache, I enjoy investigating the underlying causes, which are not always found in the area of complaint. I see a lot of sports and work-related injuries but also more chronic pain cases where the causes are not as obvious. Keeping my doors open to a wide variety of problems is part of what makes my job interesting. Unless the problem is emergent or life-threatening, I’m usually willing to take the time and see if I can facilitate healing.
My focus is more present in the way that I treat problems, which is from as many different angles as possible. In most cases, health or sickness is a direct result of what we put in our bodies, how we do or don’t move them, and how we manage stress. Mental, emotional, and physical aspects must all be addressed. Within the clinic, I employ adjustments, soft tissue work, corrective exercise and just the right amount of voodoo to alleviate pain and get people moving again. We address ergonomic issues as well as psycho-social hurdles in finding ways for patients to move and eat better. While good health is innate to most bodies, it must be nurtured on a daily basis and there are no shortcuts or magic bullets since it’s a “moving” target!
You also offer several specialty services, including skin care. Please tell us more.
I’m happy to offer a non-surgical skin lesion removal treatment, developed by Dr. Adiel Tel Oren, MD, DC. It is a gentle and very effective procedure, using a topically-applied substance that constricts the blood supply to skin lesions, such as moles and skin tags, causing them to shrivel up and fall off. It has been used on over 75,000 patients worldwide for the past 25 years and the results continue to amaze me.
Most people don’t realize that the skin is the largest organ in the body, and it provides valuable information about overall health status and systemic inflammation. Removing lesions from the skin surface improves health by decreasing mechanical and neurologic irritation, reducing the risk of developing skin cancer, and improving esthetics and self-confidence.
I underwent advanced training last year to learn this procedure and obtain a Minor Surgery Certificate from the Oregon Board of Chiropractic. I offer this procedure one day a month during special “skin clinics.” I think the best part of the whole deal is that the net proceeds benefit a non-profit organization in Nepal called the Everest Learning Academy–a humanitarian NGO providing quality education, nurturing, and protection for disadvantaged and orphaned children, thereby preventing child trafficking. Check it out at www.nepali-children.org.
Please talk about the Nasal Specific treatment and the effectiveness and value it brings for your clients.
Sure. The Nasal Specific procedure is a way to induce movement and release of tension and pressure within the head and sinuses. It involves inflating a small balloon within the nasal passages, thereby mobilizing local structures and stimulating the nervous system. It is a simple and quick procedure, and while it’s a little uncomfortable, most people experience immediate relief of pressure and sinus drainage and report that it “wasn’t that bad.” I’ve had great results using it to treat sinusitis, earaches, headaches and vertigo. I’ve heard reports of other doctors who’ve had success using it to treat other disorders, including ADHD, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and some neurologic problems, but my experience thus far is limited to the conditions I mentioned.
Well, I think it’s self-evident that every patient and presentation is unique. There is no such thing as “one size fits all” in the clinical world. Everybody has a unique genetic blueprint and life experience that combine to create health or lack thereof. It’s nature and nurture, and with the exception of congenital diseases, how we are nurtured is far more important than the genes we are born with. This is why it is possible to radically improve your health with the right attitude and actions.
Because I am a results-oriented person, my methods are dynamic, but the principle is simple. I try to address as many facets of a patient’s health as possible and to regularly re-assess and fine-tune progress. If the treatment is not working or has stalled out, we try something different. If we don’t see improvement in a reasonable time, then I scratch my head and refer out to another practitioner.
As much as I’d like to help everybody, it’s impossible to always succeed and sometimes my methods fail. I don’t usually enjoy the experience of failure, but I’m learning (albeit reluctantly) that there’s always a lesson in it.
And frankly, I get a little angry when patients tell me about practitioners they’ve seen who used the same treatment protocols again and again, even though they were not improving. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Casey, are there any areas of your work that you are exceptionally accomplished in that you can tell us more about?
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m exceptionally accomplished at anything. I think that is ultimately for others to determine. I can tell you about some elements of practice that I feel pretty confident about. The first is diagnostic skills. This is an area that was really emphasized in my schooling, for which I’m increasingly grateful. My primary focus with each new patient is to figure out what’s wrong, explain the situation, and make treatment recommendations. An accurate diagnosis and assessment of a patient’s goals are essential in determining if they’ve come to the right place. For example, if someone comes to see me with a severe infection or fractured bone, my job is to accurately diagnose the problem then refer to another physician who can provide appropriate treatment. The essential role and responsibility of a physician is to evaluate and recognize a wide variety of conditions and make appropriate treatment recommendations and referrals. This is what sets us apart from therapists and other practitioners and is why we have to go to school for so long!
I feel quite comfortable (and really enjoy) meeting new people, listening to their stories, understanding their unique circumstances, and then figuring out the most important things they can do improve their health. I’m good at problem solving and my work demands that I be very creative.
You really require your patients to take responsibility for their health. Please say more.
We can only control and be responsible for our own actions. I can’t make another person healthy, or give them wellness. What I can do is share a map towards better health and invite people to follow it. I like to work with people who have an adventurous spirit, like I do, and are willing to go on a potentially difficult journey while carrying their own weight. Naturally, I’m not the right guide for everyone and I like to know as soon as possible who is a good fit, so that no one’s time is wasted. It seems like most of the people who walk in my door resonate with my approach.
Your clients really appreciate your honesty and candidness.
I hope so! I like it when people are honest and direct with me, so I simply try and do the same. I find that keeping an open mind and willingness to explore new ideas is much more useful than having a bunch of answers. There is so much wisdom in not-knowing and strength in vulnerability.
You say that health is innate. Please say more.
Life is inherently self-regulating. In the absence of human interference, the creatures on this planet live healthy lives, guided by their natural wisdom. We have the ability to do the same, but because our culture is estranged from the laws of nature–such as balance and moderation–and has introduced so many unnatural habits and substances, we now find ourselves as the only species that is plagued by chronic disease, which is almost always a result of excess–too many calories, too many toxins, too much stress, too much sitting. Therefore, restoring health in the modern human environment is usually a process of peeling off layers of bad habits and activities, releasing toxins and stress, and eating less junk. With the exception of vegetables and exercise, most of us would benefit from less, not more.
Since people usually come to me in pain, they often don’t come to see me when they’re pain-free and their problems are resolved. I didn’t realize this when I first started practice, but over time I’ve ran into so many patients around town who happily report that they have remained pain-free and are still doing their exercises. Of course, this isn’t always the case. There are undoubtedly people who don’t come back because they didn’t resonate with my approach or get the results they wanted… or maybe they didn’t like my jokes? I certainly can’t please everyone.
Will you please share some recent success stories with us?
I’d rather let me patients do the talking:
“Casey, I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience being treated at your office for the last few years. Aside from the many pain-relieving adjustments you have performed, I remember first and foremost how you fixed my jaw. My neck became so out alignment that at one point my jaw was kept painfully closed, which made it difficult to talk and eat. After a few visits you were able to release all the tension and pain I was feeling, restoring me back to normal. Mostly, I like your laid back attentive nature, worldly experience, and alternative knowledge that I think allows you to connect with your patients and provide a whole body solution. I also like how your focus is on fixing the problems and getting your patients happy and healthy again as opposed to an endless stream of adjustments and visits. I would wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone I know.” ~ Kyle Corrigan
“Casey was very helpful to me in treating what was becoming a chronic case of lower back pain. What I enjoy most about working with Casey is his preventative focus; he was able to advise me about a number of different strategies to not only minimize pain but to strengthen my back and improve my posture.” ~ Doug Smith
“Casey’s competence and compassion makes him a valuable part of my own health care, and I feel confident about referring my patients to him for chiropractic care because I know he will treat them with that same quality of service that he shows me.” ~ Joshua Graner MS LAc
“I have had great results with Dr. Frieder as my chiropractor. An athlete himself, he understands the needs of the highly active client. His holistic approach and gentle therapeutics invariably lead to results. I first saw him for a chronic low back issue. Within just a few treatments, I was pain free. Now, I see him on a regular basis as a preventative measure and to keep me performing at my best. I highly recommend Southern Oregon Active Health.” ~ Angel McDonald
“Casey’s thorough exams, assessment, and diagnosis, along with his ‘magic hands,’ have brought me much relief and confidence that I can recover and not have to live with chronic pain. He’s very knowledgeable and personable.” ~ Jack Opgenorth
“I have only great things to say about my sessions with Dr Casey. I recognize in every session how thorough and skilled he is in his expertise. I am impressed each time we meet how eager he is to find the root of my challenges and make a significant difference, both in session and with recommended work I can do at home. He is a dedicated health practitioner who is valuable to our community. My body has made significant progress in a brief time with him, and I trust it will continue to do so. Thank you very much for your care and skill, Dr. Casey.” ~ Alaya Mudita Ketani
“I had been to several chiropractors in the area before I was referred to Casey by a friend. I had been told by another popular DC that I would continue to have pain until I had surgery. I was ready to schedule the knife. That was until Casey took a look at my x-rays and to my relief, thought we could take a different approach. In a few visits, and with some simple lifestyle changes he suggested, he had me pain free and fully mobile again. I’m still amazed by his intuitive and gentle approach and will forever be appreciative of his saving me from an invasive and unnecessary surgery. 10/10.” ~ Jason Hutchins
What is your favorite part of your job?
I’m able to interact with people in a really intimate and organic way. I think it’s because people have to let their guard down in order to accept help and initiate healing, which sets the stage for authentic and meaningful interactions. My clinic is always full of laughter and sometimes the conversations are the most powerful therapy–for patients and myself. I learn so much from my patients, on all subjects, and learning is one of the joys in my life. I think I could write a great book someday about the interactions I have in the clinic.
Oh boy. This could take a while as the main reason I moved here is because there are so many awesome thing to do! First and foremost, I love playing in the local band Rutendo. That’s us in the photo ;-). We are a 9-piece Zimbabwean-style marimba group. Our music is big and so joyful! I didn’t play music growing up and I never dreamed that I would be in a band, so it’s a real treat and a great challenge. My listening skills and rhythm have improved so much since we began almost 3 years ago and my bandmates are like family. We are playing lots of gigs this year from the Green Show to the Britt Festival, so keep your ears open for us.
I’m sure many of the LG readers know me from the soccer fields, which has been a lifelong obsession, and we have such a great soccer community here in the Rogue Valley. I also love to rock climb, mountain bike, ski, fish, hike and camp. I’m around town a lot, playing with my daughters and just taking part. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through my kids and their school, which was an unexpected perk of parenting. For me and so many others, Ashland is about enjoying this magical place and our nurturing community. I’m grateful to live only 8 blocks from my clinic!
Lifestyle / work balance is an important focus that you not only talk about with your patients, but one that you take very seriously yourself. Please say more.
As I mentioned earlier, good health is all about balance. That’s what I preach and practice because that’s what works. If I’m not happy and well-nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually, then how could I ever help another? When we slow down and shift our attention away from the rat race of materialism, priorities start to change in a healthy way and we may realize that we don’t need as many “things” as we thought to be happy. I’d rather take my kids to the park now then work overtime to afford to take them to Disneyland someday. Less is more.
Dr. Frieder, please talk about how your own insights and experiences continue to grow and evolve in your practice.
It feels like my intuition and clinical experience are evolving in a synergistic way, allowing me to be more accurate in diagnosis and effective in treatment. As a new practitioner, I used to feel this tremendous and sometimes burdensome responsibility to somehow make everyone feel better, even though my skills and experience were so limited. Thankfully, that stage has passed and now I realize all I have to do is show up each day and give it my best shot. I guess this gets back to accepting failure as an essential part of the journey. I’m increasingly relaxed and happy in my work as I recognize my own challenges reflected in the lives of my patients. I learn just as much from them as they do from me.
In-house massage therapy is a new service at your clinic. Tell us more.
Chiropractic care and massage therapy are a perfect combination, as many people already know. Several of my patients have been waiting a while for this and I’m now pleased to provide it. Having experienced massage therapists working by my side will allow us to be more comprehensive and effective in the treatments we provide, by coordinating our focus and sharing insights. Our massage therapy room is really spacious and peaceful. I go in there sometimes and just relax. I want to mention that I’ve had the pleasure to develop strong working relationships with so many wonderful LMTs in this community over the past 4 years, and I will continue to support the work they do.
Dr. Frieder, do you have any last thoughts or comments that you would like to share with our readers?
Thanks to you Shields for creating such a great publication that informs and connects our community. To all my patients and friends in the community, thank you so much for your tremendous support! To those readers who don’t know me, feel free to contact me if you like what I’ve shared. I’m accepting new patients and I’m always open to answering questions or simply having a chat. May we all be blessed with the wisdom to heal ourselves and may we join together to heal our planet!
Southern Oregon Active Health, LLC
233 4th St, Ashland