Published July 17, 2012
Volume 20, Number 6

HealthSpring Chiropractic Helps Patients Take Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle 

Dr. Kelley Peterson’s work includes treatment to enhance
flexibility and mobility.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Just a few months after opening HealthSpring Chiropractic, at 5673 W. Las Positas Blvd., last December, Dr. Kelley Peterson gave her clients ample proof that she practices what she preaches when she launched California's charter "Walk with a Doc" group. The program does exactly what its name implies: a local physician accompanies a group of walkers to discuss health and fitness issues as they exercise.

Over the years she has spent with patients, Peterson saw again and again that exercise was the missing link to a healthy lifestyle. Many wanted to start an exercise routine, but they did not know how to take the proverbial first step. With her goal of helping patients lead active, pain-free lives, Peterson reasoned she was in the perfect position to provide guidance, but it had to take the right form.

“I can tell people that they needed to be more active, but it is more effective if I actually do the activity with them,” she relates.

Researching a variety of options, Peterson came across Walk with a Doc, which was started by a Columbus, Ohio, cardiologist in April 2005. “I just loved everything about it,” she comments. Unsurprisingly, the program has since expanded across the country. The appeal of walking is almost universal: it has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity. Because it is low impact, it is easier on the joints than running. It is safe for people with orthopedic ailments, heart conditions, and the overweight, with a physician’s approval, of course. Plus, it requires no special gear and there are no special rules. 

Peterson has led one walk a month since the program’s debut on March 31. She has already seen positive results, both in a group that grows larger each time out and the effects on those who stay with the program. “People are setting up buddy systems and meeting for daily walks, tackling harder trails, losing weight. This is exactly what I hoped for, and it’s a big inspiration to keep going forward.”

Peterson was on her way to medical school when she took a summer job in a chiropractic office. She had been looking for a more natural, holistic approach to healing and keeping people healthy, and within two months she knew she had found it. Seeing patients become pain-free and resume normal activities was impressive. "It all made so much sense. I wasn't sold on the medical model of prescription drugs and treating symptoms, and was drawn to the holistic side of chiropractic where we treat the whole person. As well as regular adjustments, my practice involves teaching people how to be healthy, make good choices about exercise, nutrition and lifestyle."

Her own chiropractic techniques are based on a full-body approach. “I check the entire spine and extremities--foot, ankle, wrist—and incorporate a lot of muscle work. It’s not just moving vertebrae but making sure the whole body is balanced to restore normal movement.” With a patient base that ranges from newborn babies to a 92-year-old, Peterson’s care is very individualized. “I help people heal themselves, using nutrition, exercise, adjustment—they all go hand in hand.” The office’s massage therapist complements her work.

The Walk with a Doc group meets at 10 a.m on the second Saturday of the month (exception: August 25)  at the Pleasanton Sports and Recreation Park. For more information, visit www.healthspringchiro.com.


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