A Q&A with Dr. Levi
If you are a patient of Dr. Levi’s, you already know he’s an excellent doctor and an all-around pretty great guy. Want to learn a little bit more about him? Read on for our interview.
Q: How did you decide you wanted to become a chiropractor?
A: Ever since I was a young boy, I had a passion for helping others. I am the youngest of five and was always taught to be considerate, thoughtful, loving and compassionate towards others. In a large family, you always need to help out in some way! I always admired and looked up to mentors such as my uncles who were physicians as well as a cousin who practiced pediatrics.
While in college, as an undergraduate, a classmate of mine told me all about the chiropractic profession. It sounded like a great match for me. While working at a restaurant to make ends meet, I met a compassionate and caring chiropractor, Dr. David Lipman, who took me under his wing. He taught me about how the body heals itself through “innate intelligence,” the body’s own ability to repair and improve, and how chiropractic care can enhance that.
Q: How did you get your start?
A: I began my chiropractic education in January of 1988 at the Southern California University of Health Sciences, formerly known as the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. After completing the program at SCU, I attained a Doctor of Chiropractic degree (DC) in April of 1991. After successfully taking the licensing examination in California, I began working as a chiropractor in a multi-disciplinary clinic treating musculoskeletal conditions.
After some time, I decided to open my own practice in Los Angeles. A few years later, my family moved to Maryland where I started fresh on a new practice. And here I am today!
Q: Is being a chiropractor what you thought it would be when you started out?
A: When I first started out in LA, there were many chiropractors as there are four main schools of chiropractic in California. But most people I met had never been to one! So initially I spent a lot of my time familiarizing people with what chiropractic medicine was – basically another method of treating musculoskeletal conditions without drugs or surgery.
Today chiropractic care is very well known. Social media has helped immensely! People used to be worried that chiropractic treatments weren’t safe, but now people come to me asking for things they’ve seen online. Obviously they may not always know what is best for them, however I guide them and we tailor a treatment plan unique and safe for them. That’s why it’s important to only go to a chiropractor who is reputable and trustworthy.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a chiropractor?
A: I just really like working with people. I get great satisfaction in seeing someone smile when I help them. It’s very rewarding to improve the quality of someone’s life or take away their pain.
And as time goes by, I have become more experienced and have seen more cases. Therefore I can make better decisions with my diagnoses and treatments. That has been very rewarding as well.
Q: Do you have many long-term patients you’ve cared for for years?
A: Not really. I mostly treat conditions. I lose my patients, but that’s a good thing because it means they are feeling better. I like to show my patients how to take care of themselves so they aren’t dependent on their in-office treatments. I don’t only do adjustments. I also do physical therapy, stretching and balance work which can all be done at home with the right education.
Q: What is the most challenging part of being a chiropractor?
A: If you asked me when I first started, it would have been how to set up an office and how to promote my practice. And then of course how will I treat each patient? Every one is so different. Of course you are taught what you need to know in school, but once you are actually practicing, it’s a different story.
Now most of those initial challenges are gone due to my experience! Every once in a while I’ll get a tricky case where a patient doesn’t respond as quickly as I’d like, but I never give up.
Even the COVID-19 shutdown wasn’t as much of a problem as you would imagine. We never shut down completely and were able to still help our patients, just on a more limited schedule.
Q: What is a common misconception about what you do?
A: That someone can have one appointment with a chiropractor and – wham! – the pain is gone. This is just not the case, especially when people come to me with severe back pain. Most back cases are nerve impingements, and when a nerve becomes irritated there is a cascade of problems. A patient may have muscle guarding, muscle spasms, joint locking and more. There are many areas and muscles that are affected. Most of the time, multiple treatments are necessary.
Q: What is your biggest tip for people to feel better?
A: The minute you have pain – ICE IT! Ice keeps inflammation at bay. Inflammation causes your pain receptors to call out for more help, so blood rushes to the area and you are inflamed even more. This can then trigger muscles spasms and other problems. Ice can really help with pain and bruising as well.
My biggest tip for preventing pain is to always stretch before activities and maintain good body posture habits.
Q: What do you think is the biggest change in chiropractic care since you first started?
A: That’s an easy one – technology. There are so many new treatments and tools – things like pulleys and rubber bands we use to aid in our manipulations. And webinars and other online learning make it so much easier and quicker to spread the knowledge and incorporate into a practice.
Q: What advice would you give someone looking to be a chiropractor?
A: Make sure you like people! You need to always put the patient first. Do what is in their best interest, not necessarily the best interest of your practice.
Thanks, Dr. Levi!