Something exciting is happening in Ashland. Dr. Hannah Conry has joined her father, Dr. Mark Force, in practice at a newly opened functional healthcare clinic, The Elements of Health, located on A Street in the Railroad District.
Dr. Conry grew up with chiropractic applied kinesiology care from immediately after her birth and later by assisting her father for over 10 years in his clinic in Scottsdale Arizona. She was responsible for much of the exams and re-exams, keeping data for clinical outcome and case studies, and teaching patients self-care. Dr. Conry saw directly great results from their care and was inspired to become a chiropractic physician herself.
Now father and daughter are practicing together at The Elements of Health. There is a unique and special synergy that is coming to life in their new practice. I spoke with them both today to learn more.
Welcome Dr. Hannah and Dr. Force, thanks for being here today to talk with us.
Dr. Force: Thanks for giving us a chance to share. Dr. Conry and I are really excited about working together again and about offering the type of tightly integrated healthcare we provided as a team in Scottsdale, Arizona, here in Ashland.
Dr. Conry: It is such a joy to be speaking with you today. We are thrilled to be working together again in our beautiful new space.
Dr. Conry: Of course. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a chiropractic household. This is the style of care I have experienced since the womb. I was adjusted as soon as I was born (which was in a cabin at the base of Mt. Hood while my father was in chiropractic school with a chiropractic midwife in attendance).
I grew up in a household where my sisters and I ate organic fresh food, spent our days playing outside in the desert experiencing fresh air and sunshine and being active, and weekends were for outdoor adventure (hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, rock climbing). We were all healthy and our father provided all of our primary care needs. When we did get sick, we recovered very quickly. I never took a single course of antibiotics growing up and I attribute this to the chiropractic, natural, holistic lifestyle.
A specific example I want to share is that when I was 12 years old our dentist suggested that I get braces for a single, slightly crooked tooth and my jaw had been sore and bugging me. Through the use of Applied Kinesiology my father determined that my bite was fully functional and my jaw was sore due to muscle imbalance. The solution was for me to eat 8 large, raw carrots a day for 10 days. I didn’t like it, but it worked! If I had gone with braces my bite would have been messed up for life! (Not that braces aren’t necessary at times, but please have your bite assessed first!) I was also a dancer growing up (ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and Irish Step dance) which entailed many injuries and my father was always there with a solution for my healing, strengthening, and muscle balancing.
This legacy has carried forward to me raising my boys (they are 9 and 11) who were both adjusted soon after birth. I am so grateful for the way I was raised and for my kids getting to experience the same.
Dr. Force, previously to moving to Ashland you ran a very busy practice in Scottsdale. Please tell us about it.
Dr. Force: We had a very efficient clinic in Scottsdale with Diane as our front office manager who had run front offices for cardiologists and hospitals, my daughter was responsible for exams and re-exams, in-house labs, and patient education, and me doing exams and treating patients. We ran clinical outcomes and case studies out of the clinic. We also served as a teaching clinic where doctors and student doctors would observe and we would sometimes have a grand rounds type format. Many of those observing were students from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.
We had a very solid referral network of physicians, therapists, and trainers with which we could coordinate care.
Dr. Conry and I have the dream of recreating this system and taking it further. We are excited to be working with Irene Chalakee who runs the front office – she’s wonderful!
For the past two years you have then been very focused here in Ashland running your own practice and also participating with a monthly column in the LocalsGuide.
Dr. Force: Ashland is such a beautiful community. It’s been fun to be in practice again and be able to teach self-care through the Locals Guide articles. Everyone, including local doctors, has been so welcoming!
Building the practice from a single room office has been hectic even with Irene Chalakee’s invaluable help along the way. I’m grateful to be making the next step and be able to serve in a bigger way working with Dr. Conry and Irene out of our new office. And, the views of Grizzly Peak across the valley from the treatment rooms are amazing!
Dr. Conry, please talk about your background and the hope you have for your new clinic here in Ashland.
Dr. Conry: Originally I wanted to be an international business lawyer. In preparation for this career path, I attended Arizona State University and received my bachelor’s in finance. For some reason when I had finished this initial step what I had set out to do no longer resonated with me.
At this same time, my father had just lost an employee and needed some help. I was offered the job as a stopgap while I figured out what I wanted to do. I fell in love with teaching and helping people and became so inspired by what my father was helping people to achieve with their health and their lives that I was hooked. What was meant to be a summer job turned into a 10-year stay!
During my time at The Elements of Health in Scottsdale, I continued to seek out my true calling. I did yoga teacher training both my 200hr basic and additional 300hr advanced (which I used to teach therapeutic yoga privates to clients from the clinic), Nia training in white and blue belt, I-IV Touch for Health, and Reiki.
Then I had my kids with two wonderful Arizona midwives in attendance. I decided that this was the thing I had been seeking! I took my doula training and began working as a doula and training as a homebirth midwife with one of the midwives that attended my births. This was such fulfilling work. After 2.5 years of this work I realized that it was time to take a big leap and head to chiropractic school.
I loved what I was doing, but there is a scope limit with midwifery that I wasn’t happy about. Midwives have to stop care for mom and baby at 6 weeks postpartum and I wanted to develop long-term relationships with my clients. I wanted to provide whole family, long-term healthcare and self-care education. After seeing the daily life-changing things happening in my father’s clinic, I knew it was time to follow in his footsteps. I moved my family to Portland, OR for my 4-year doctor of chiropractic training.
Dr. Force and I are so happy to be working together again. We have created a lovely office that is family-friendly. We have toys available for the littles and resources available for parents from preconception on. My hope is that this is a space where families feel welcome and are able to relax. The ultimate compliment is that deep sigh of feeling at peace when someone walks through our door.
Please talk about specific considerations that you both made to create the ultimate practice space.
Dr. Conry: The new office is modeled after the office that we had in Scottsdale, AZ. We have a very inviting waiting room with comfortable benches, pathways and eco-parent magazine to enjoy, an extensive lending library, toys for kids, soothing music, fresh flowers, and essential oils in the air. Irene Chalakee is our amazing office manager and she is up front to greet and assist everyone that walks through our door.
There are two treatment rooms that are identical which allow for a relaxed and efficient experience in the office. There is time for you to get settled in the room and prepare for the doctor. We also have an exam room in the back for running tests such as heart rate variability and acupuncture graphs.
We have specifically designed the office to be low chemical (low VOC paint, natural cleaning supplies, etc.) and low EMF (ethernet wired office).
We have ample parking and amazing views of Grizzly Peak from the treatment rooms.
Dr. Force: Healthcare isn’t complete without self-care, so teaching people how to take care of themselves is essential. From this position follows, teaching, LocalsGuide articles, a weekly email of links to recent healthcare and self-care related articles, and writing a workbook for how to practice effective self-care, Choosing Health.
Healing is an inside job. Doctors don’t heal; they serve as a catalyst for people to heal. Too much and too many types of treatment can actually slow down or even prevent healing. Just the right kind and amount of treatment combined with targeted self-care makes for the most effective healing. Healing must always address and bring balance to the three sides of the triad of health – physical, chemical, and mental.
Every patient is, however wounded they may be, a beautiful lotus with each petal representing a facet of their unique nature. Ideally, treatment leads them back to their original nature, full expression, and natural innate tendency to contribute.
Outcomes from healthcare should be meaningful, measurable, and lasting. Ultimately, being a physician is about “washing the feet” of a patient in service. A friend and fellow physician says, “You’re always safe in service.”
Dr. Conry can you give us an overview of the services that will be provided at The Elements of Health?
Dr. Conry: We are chiropractic physicians that provide care that is custom-tailored to the unique individuality of each person walking through our door. Utilizing Applied Kinesiology in combination with medical gold standards (physical, lab, studies, etc.) we are able to assess the direction to begin with an individual. Sometimes this involves getting them the right referral! (There are so many amazing practitioners in Ashland). We offer diversified chiropractic adjusting, cranial osteopathy, clinical nutrition, meridian therapy, neuro-emotional technique, Webster technique, and self-care recommendations.
Dr. Force you have always been high tech and high touch. Please explain.
Dr. Force: I love diagnostic tools and there are some wonderful tools these days! We use heart rate variability to measure the autonomic nervous system, computerized electronic acupuncture point measurement, digital stethoscope. and pupillometry (pupillary reflexes) to measure central nervous system functions. Lab testing is, also, incredibly useful and I love the art of lab interpretation.
With all of this wonderful technology, the essential and artful aspects of doctoring – consultation, observation, examination, and hands-on treatment, however, can be lost. All of my mentors (West, Eidenier, Walther, Goodheart) have been masters of these skills and I am intent on being an example of their teaching.
Natural healthcare does produce measurable outcomes. We see immediate changes in oxygen saturation, blood pressure, range of motion, pain patterns, and neurological exams all the time! Yet, it’s common for natural healthcare physicians to not test and retest these things.
Dr. Force what has the feedback been with the articles and education you share monthly in the LocalsGuide?
Dr. Force: I’ve been surprised by the amount of positive feedback from the articles. And, often it comes from people, who are not patients, who I meet while out and about.
I also want to mention you have great weekly e-Newsletter and continually share a huge amount of interesting articles online.
Dr. Force: Thanks for mentioning it! Yes, we have a weekly email – The Elements of Health Letter – that comes out every Friday. The health letter includes a quote for the week, scheduled lectures, links for recent significant health related articles, a section for fun and inspiring links, and links to health-related resources.
And, it’s free! Send an email if you’d like to get the health letter.
Dr. Conry will you please share more of your practice philosophy?
Dr. Conry: Healthy, happy, well-adjusted families thrive! This is the basis for all that I do. I want to empower you to own your health and know what to do to keep yourself and your family well.
Congratulations to you both on moving forward with the opening of your new and expanded clinic location.
Dr. Force: Thank for providing a chance for me to share and welcome my daughter, Dr. Conry, to the Rogue Valley!
Dr. Conry: Thanks so much! I am really happy to be here in amazing Ashland and working with my father once again.
The Elements of Health
525 A Street, Suite 3