|Meet a Chiropractor - Tim Swift of San Clemente
By Daria Belov
California is a popular state for practicing chiropractic (it's the only state featuring four chiropractic schools) and you're likely to find at least one chiropractor practicing in every coastal community found throughout the state. The city of San Clemente exists roughly halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, and it's the surfing and adjusting location of choice for Dr. Tim Swift of Swift Health Chiropractic.
I recently had an opportunity to interview Dr. Swift about his introduction to the field of chiropractic, and his choice to practice and live in the popular surfing community, along California's southern coast.
Tim Swift, DC
Swift Health Chiropractic
3551 Camino Mira Costa #A, San Clemente, CA 92672
PC: Thanks for being with us Dr. Swift. I'm finding many of the California chiropractors that we've been interviewing chose to attend a chiropractic college in the state. How did you go about selecting a chiropractic school and where did you attend?
TS: After doing some research I felt Cleveland Chiropractic College Los Angeles was the best fit. Instinctively, I knew that the public was interested in getting a great adjustment, and Cleveland graduates had a reputation for stronger technique than the graduates at the other Southern California school.
PC: I've heard that from other chiropractors as well. I understand Cleveland teaches a number of different chiropractic techniques, did you mix up what you learned or focus on one adjusting approach in particular?
TS: I am a Diplomate level Gonstead doctor. I am able to make the greatest amount of change in the health of the greatest amount of people with this technique. It also allows me to work on a huge range of people from infants to seniors. I personally love the feeling of a Gonstead adjustment and I would not deliver less to the patients that I care about. I am not a jack of all techniques; I am a master of one.
PC: Taking care of family seems to be a common theme amongst those I've been speaking to. Is that part of your focus and do you provide other services?
TS: I love to take care of families. The nature of Chiropractic allows it to help all people with a broad range of health conditions. I have massage available, but chiropractic is definitely the focus at my office.
PC: From talking to chiropractors in the United States and Canada I've been hearing there are different ways to pay for care. Do you work with attorneys or any particular insurance companies or is care primarily cash based?
TS: I accept people at my office. Whatever your circumstance we will try to find a way to make it work. I am not on any networks, but my prices are very fair.
PC: We know it's all Pacific Ocean to the west of you, how do folks get there and what else is in your community?
TS: We are freeway close (Interstate 5) and are also within a mile of Trader Joes, Jamba Juce, and Wahoo's. All of the healthy choices close by help me get a great lunch to power up.
PC: Did you grow up along the Trestles of San Clemente or is it a new home for you?
TS: I was born in Malibu, California, and enjoyed the beach life until I was 13 years old. My mom, being an avid skier, moved the family to Salt Lake City, Utah. There, I attended junior and high school. Upon graduating high school I moved back to California. After traveling for a few years I settled down in Thousand Oaks, California while I finished my Doctorate in Chiropractic at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, graduating at the top of my class. I started practicing in San Clemente the beginning of 2001 taking over the practice of Dr. Roy Trotter.
PC: Sounds like you got to surf and ski. Do you remember your first chiropractic adjustment, was it while in school?
TS: I received my first adjustment when I was just 8 years old in New York State on vacation. Although I had no symptoms the doctor was able to locate subluxations where my nervous system was not functioning and adjust the best he could in one visit. As I grew older I went on and off to the chiropractor, mostly off.
PC: You started early but weren't regular with care until later years, what changed that?
TS: As time went by I started noticing pain in my back around the same areas this old chiropractor found the initial subluxations. Eventually my back became so bad that I was unable to do many of the things that I enjoyed. I finally went to a chiropractor that told me the truth, that I had not been taking care of my spine and as a result it had undergone some early decay. I decided to follow through with chiropractic care and periodic check ups. I am happy to say all of my previous health issues changed for the better.
PC: That's similar to what I've heard from others who maybe didn't get chiropractic patient education along with their first visits. Do you seek out Gonstead care for yourself as well?
TS: Ever since I started taking better care of my spine and nervous system I have had virtually no symptoms and enjoy vibrant health. As time has gone by I have been adjusted by many chiropractors, and I definitely have an opinion as to which ones I like the best. I have found that the way I feel while under the care of a Gonstead doctor is the best.
PC: Is that one of the reasons you focus on such a technique?
TS: Due to this experience I have specialized in the Gonstead technique and am delighted to bring it to South Orange County. Gonstead is a natural choice for me. It is a methodology based on research and results. I have handled many chronic and difficult cases, getting results where other treatments fail because of my training.
PC: Did you move to the area when taking over Dr. Roy Trotter's office? Liking it?
TS: Since 2001 I have lived in the Beach Cities area with my wife Stephanie, son Mason and the newest addition to our family, Marlee. We love the area and are looking forward to helping the whole community for years to come.
PC: If a patient asked about becoming a chiropractor, are there any particular chiropractic schools you would recommend they attend?
TS: Any of them will do as long as you understand that Chiropractic College will only get you a license, the rest you have to look for outside of school. Ultimately you are responsible for your education not the school that you attend. The most in line with my way of thinking about health are: Life, Life West, Parker, Cleveland, and Sherman.
PC: What's your community like? Does it have a city feel like Los Angeles or is it more chilled out?
TS: San Clemente has a small town feel and is definitely a beach community. It is famous for the Surfers and Skateboarders that it has generated. My town is a family community and very close. The temperature is always very moderate and the beaches are great. I wanted to move close to the ocean so that I can surf more and that is a big reason why my wife and I chose San Clemente.
PC: Chiropractic and surfing seem to be a perfect combination, are the any other activities you get involved with in the community?
TS: I do health lunch and learns for local businesses and am involved in most of the big events in town. My family also gets out to local events, and everywhere I go I seem to see a patient.
PC: Beside the surfers, skateboarders, and yourself, what is your community's claim to fame?
TS: Richard Nixon lived here in a place known as the "Western White House".
PC: What's your coastal community chiropractic office like?
TS: We have an amazing office with family friendly areas. I work between two adjusting rooms and we get families in the room all at the same time. We have plenty of parking and our office has testimonials hanging all over it. We pride ourselves on the friendliness of our team. It is easy to find a smile at Swift Health Chiropractic. Our children area has some toys, books and pictures of the kids that get checked here.
PC: A local Orange County news team walks in your office front door and the reporter asks "what is it that you do here?"
TS: We give people's body the tools that it needs to heal and stay healthy!
PC: Thanks for being a part of our Planet Chiropractic interview series Dr. Swift. Glad to see you're having such a great time as a San Clemente chiropractor and caring for your family and community.
Do you know an exceptional chiropractor Planet Chiropractic should be interviewing? Tell them to visit and add their office contact information to the comments on this Chiropractors blog post. Our writing staff can then contact them.