Virginia Shapiro, DC –
Integrative Chiropractic Care
ADDRESS: 915 NW 36th Street, Corvallis, OR, 97330
OFFICE HOURS: Mon-Weds-Thurs 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Friday 8:30 am to 1:00 pm Closed Tuesday
PHONE NUMBER: 541-738-2711
OWNER: Virginia Shapiro
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 27 years, 4 years in Corvallis
WHAT THEY OFFER: Integrative natural health care using the best of science-based Functional Medicine, clinical nutrition, Applied Kinesiology, and non-forceful chiropractic care.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Find natural solutions to resolving the causes of chronic and acute pain, improving digestion, mood, and energy, and normalizing many other physiological imbalances.
In her 27 years of practice, Dr. Shapiro has earned a reputation for excellence as a master neurological and nutritional diagnostician, and a highly knowledgeable and skilled doctor who is deeply committed to the health and well being of her patients and her community. She has proven to be a valuable resource to members of the Corvallis community who are seeking solutions to their health challenges and a valuable model to the whole community by incorporating sustainability practices into her business and her family’s life.
How did you get started? I was very much interested in two career paths during my undergraduate years. One was to become a medical doctor and the other was to become an ecologist. After I graduated from college, I was faced with a serious health crisis, which ultimately introduced me to the world of ecologically based medicine and led me to find a way to combine the two seemingly divergent paths into one.
I have been in practice for more than 27 years. I came to Corvallis in 2008 seeking to downsize from a much larger practice in Minnesota. My family and I wanted to live in a community where there was support for sustainable agriculture (one of our passions), the opportunity to garden year round, a great bicycle commuting town, access to wild places, and a great food co-op. Corvallis more than filled those needs!
What are your specialties? I take a very thoughtful and holistic approach to the services I provide. I have combined my knowledge of science-based nutritional medicine with the practice of Functional Medicine and human physiology as it interacts with our changing environment. I take a detailed personal and family health history of my patients, combined with lab testing and a hands-on assessment that uses information from the nervous system to identify what’s out of balance. My intent is to identify and address underlying causes, which may be obvious or—more frequently— quite hidden. Common examples are old scar tissue, nutritional insufficiencies, intestinal microbial imbalance, toxic burden, and/or dysfunctional gait patterns. I ask, Is there something that needs to be removed or added that will help this person improve their digestion, mood, and energy, reduce their pain, and have a body that works better?
What do you do better than anyone else? I am very impressed with the dedication and skill of many conventional and natural health care providers in Corvallis. I think some of the things that set me apart are: the length of time (more than 30 years) I have studied Functional Medicine in great depth; the breadth and depth of my clinical experience in treating patients of all ages with a wide variety of ailments; my ability to deeply and carefully listen to a patient’s story; my ability to draw on information from a wide variety of disciplines within clinical, biological, and environmental sciences with a “zoom in/zoom out” perspective to make sense of a patient’s health history and physical exam and lab findings; and my loving and steadfast commitment to the partnership between doctor and patient in which I am honored to participate every day.
How do local independents impact our community? I believe that the health and longevity of a community is dependent on local businesses. In my 27 years of practice I have always supported local farms and businesses, and I’m honored to be able to be a part of the Corvallis Independent Business Alliance. I encourage my patients to take simple steps that strengthen the growth of the local interconnected web of agriculture and businesses in our area.
How many people work at Integrative Chiropractic Care? My wise, caring, and multi-talented husband, Dan, manages the business side of the practice. We had a large staff back in Minnesota, but it’s just the two of us here—by choice.
What inspires you about your work? Helping individuals and families recover their joy, energy, and purpose in life. Helping people to be able to return to what they love to do. Helping people find solutions to vexing health challenges that have gotten in their way for several weeks to many years.
What has your business done to model sustainability and to contribute to the community? We have transformed our home/office into a model for sustainability. After purchasing our home, we replaced all of the windows and doors for greater efficiency; upgraded the insulation and heating system, including a heat pump; installed photovoltaic panels that supply 85% of our annual electrical needs; and planted extensive food gardens and drought-tolerant ornamentals. We have a bike rack for our patients and one for ourselves.
We’re always trying to improve our practices, since human health cannot be separated from community health and the health of the biosphere. One of our goals is to help patients find drug-free solutions and a way off the corporate food chain in order to find more healthful, sustainable food for themselves and their families. Dan and I have developed an extensive, personalized education program to help patients understand that their lifestyle choices have consequences and affect not only their health but also the health and well being of their community.
What challenges have you faced as an independent local business owner and how did you meet those challenges? Running one’s own health care practice is a continuous personal growth opportunity! However, there are two specific challenges that I can identify. The biggest challenge that I faced early on in my career, and continue to encounter, is truly embracing the fact that there is a business attached to my health care practice, and really honoring that the health of that business is in the best interest of everyone I serve, as well as my family. I think this is true for many small business owners who are very service-oriented. Often we are so focused on being of service that we forget to attend to the health of the business itself. Dan and our other staff over the years have been profoundly helpful in this realm. The other major challenge has been managing overhead, particularly the growing burden of health insurance and saving for retirement. One of the reasons we sold our large practice in Minnesota was because the health care climate is geared toward large corporations and organizations, and we had an increasingly difficult time compensating our excellent staff appropriately, without raising fees to a point where they were unaffordable. The ever rising cost of health insurance was a large part of this. Creating the smaller practice has helped, but Dan and I are always looking for ways to streamline procedures and lower our overhead. This can be a challenge, especially due to our commitment to quality service to our patients. Many health care practices improve their bottom line by shortening the face-to-face time with the patient. We have never compromised our service for our bottom line. Identifying underlying causes of health challenges and compassionately serving our patients takes time!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a local, independent business in Corvallis? Have complete clarity about your vision, mission, and purpose. Reach out to the extraordinarily welcoming local business and practitioner network in Corvallis. It’s easy to build a practice or business here by getting to know people and businesses in the community, and keeping your focus on service and excellence in what you offer.
(Interview and article by Cindee Lolik – November 4, 2012)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).