In the year since Joanne Gailius and Michelle Mayer joined forces on the top floor of Family Practice medical clinic, they have moved steadily toward their vision of creating a multi-disciplinary wellness team of professionals.
Gailius, a physiotherapist, and Mayer, a chiropractor, have worked to offer a full suite of services to their patients, adding a measure of convenience to a holistic approach to health and well-being.
While each practitioner operates a separate business (the office carries the business names of the founders — Core Chiropractic Creston and Joanne Gailius Physiotherapy), they work under a single umbrella that is co-ordinated by office manager Autumn Yesh, who brings with her years of experience at the tourist information centre. (“We’re nominating her for sainthood,” Gailius laughed.)
“Michelle and I talk a lot about excellence,” Gailius said. “Each of the disciplines in this group is like a tool in a carpentry belt. Our focus is on having highly ethical, highly skilled co-practitioners.”
Gailius, with many years of experience as a physiotherapist, has now completed four years of training that allow her to focus on pelvic physiotherapy — incontinence in both sexes, chronic pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction and pelvic organ prolapses — pre- and post-natal patients included.
“It is so brilliant to see people get better so quickly,” she said.
Mayer, who provides ongoing chiropractic care for all ages, specializes in prescription orthotics, as well. And this spring she will begin certification in upper cervical, or neck, work through the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA).
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “Currently people are going to Calgary, Lethbridge or Kelowna for this treatment. Soon we can offer it locally.”
“Norm (Eisler) just walked into our office about six months ago,” Gailius smiles. “He has been a great addition to our team.”
Eisler, a registered massage therapist, provides deep tissue massage, craniosacral therapy, muscle energy technique and therapeutic exercise. He brings 10 years of experience to the job, which enables him to tailor therapy to each individual need.
“I wanted to make a move to the Kootenays,” he said. “It’s a really good fit for our family here.”
Eisler added that his philosophy is to “empower people to take care of their own health.”
Michelle Ares brings her knowledge in exercise and training to the group. She is a personal trainer who specializes in exercise therapy. Her colleagues refer clients who need to gain strength and functional movement and she adds a cardiovascular component to exercise for those who need it.
“If people are weak in certain areas, perhaps coming back from an injury, I can help,” she said.
Ares sees clients in their homes, or meets up with them at a gym or in the office.
“I really enjoy complex challenges,” she admits.
Yet another team member, Sangeun Riehl, is currently in her final year of the acupuncture program at the Academy of Oriental Sciences in Nelson.
A Creston resident since 2007, Riehl plans to begin her full acupuncture practice in 2014, following graduation and licensing exams. She is very well educated, already holding a double major in political science and social studies education from Chonbuk National University in her native Korea. She looks forward to taking on a full patient load here in the Creston Valley, where her husband, Chris, grew up.
Gailius speaks warmly about the variety of medical services and specialties available locally, and of the co-operation among practitioners. Until Core Chiropractic has an additional physiotherapist and with an increased emphasis on pelvic work, she often finds herself referring patients to Creston PhysioWorks and More.
“This is a happy place,” Gailius said.
“There really is no pecking order,” Mayer added.
For more information about the services offered at Core Chiropractic, call 250-428-8424 or 250-402-2044. The team’s Facebook page, Core Chiropractic Creston and Joanne Gailius Physiotherapy, regularly posts information of interest to patients.