More Than Cracking Backs

As you watch the Anderson family interact, you can probably relate.

The air is filled with laughter, jokes, shared memories, and the occasional difference in opinion.

MSUM alumni Dr. Brandan Anderson ’96 (biology), Dr. JaDean Anderson ’03 (biology), and Dr. Alisha (Pagel) Anderson ’06 (biology) practice together at Anderson Family Chiropractic in Fargo.

Brandan opened the chiropractic office in 2001 following his graduation from Palmer College of Chiropractic. JaDean followed in his older brother’s footsteps, attending MSUM and Palmer College of Chiropractic, doing his preceptorship under Brandan, and joining the practice in 2007. Similarly, Alisha attended the same schools, completed her preceptorship under her husband JaDean, and joined the family practice in 2009.

The family is quick to clarify chiropractors are more than professional back crackers. The Andersons utilize the Gonstead System, targeting specific areas of the spine that are subluxated.

“Chiropractic in general is making sure your nervous system is functioning at its optimal level by removing interference coming from spinal misalignments,” Alisha said. “When the joint is subluxated, or not moving like it’s supposed to, it swells up, similar to if you were to roll your ankle. That swelling irritates the nerve coming out right there and can cause a whole host of symptoms.”

From headaches to digestion issues, ear infections, bed-wetting, and colicky babies, chiropractic care can rid a person of a great deal more than back or neck pain.

“I call those side effects to chiropractic,” JaDean said. “In a lot of cases you didn’t know (these symptoms) were there and it might be part of their issue, but that’s not why a patient is actively seeking care.”

Each of the doctors remembers their first encounter with chiropractic care, explaining how their asthma, headaches, and lethargy quickly vanished.

“When you have such a powerful experience your mindset is more toward, if my body can take care of itself all I’ve got to do is give it an opportunity to heal itself; fix the cause of the problem rather than just covering it up with something else,” Brandan said.

Since subluxations are often the cause of pain and other symptoms, the chiropractors believe early detection is key – preventing a problem instead of reacting to it.

And Brandan, JaDean, and Alisha adhere to their family values, treating patients just as they would their own family and each other.

“It’s easy to put your head on your pillow at night and fall asleep saying I hopefully made society better off from the work that I did,” Brandan said.

When babies stop crying, migraines disappear, and people feel generally healthier, it can make a world of difference.

“It affects an entire family, not just one individual person,” Alisha said.


This story was first published in Moorhead Magazine, Fall 2016.

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