Patients began coming to Kurt Bailey with their supplements not long after he opened his chiropractic practice.
They all asked him something they didn’t feel they could broach with their physicians. Which ones should they take to feel better?
It was not uncommon for patients to be using more than 20 vitamins a day, so many that some would be canceling out benefits of others.
Their questions inspired Bailey to offer more services at Lewiston Family Chiropractic and Integrative Health and businesses he owns with his wife, Karen Bailey.
“I treat a lot of individuals who have been everywhere else,” he said.
As a chiropractor, naturopathic physician, nurse and nurse practitioner, Bailey works as a liaison between traditional and holistic medicine. He offers unconventional treatments for ailments such as joint pain, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, collaborating with patients’ primary care physicians.
“We want to get health care smart and utilize dollars appropriately,” Bailey said. “That’s the goal with all we’re doing. I’m not taking over (patients’) primary care. I’m just adding care to help enhance their overall well-being.”
Business Profile talked with Bailey about treatments he offers, what prompted him to go back for more training and how he got into the medical field.
Business Profile: You do injection therapy for chronic pain. What is it ,and what conditions does it help?
Kurt Bailey: I inject oxone, a colorless gas made of up of three oxygen atoms, into the joint space for regeneration and healing. It reduces inflammation, which in turn reduces pain. It facilitates cellular regeneration and healing.
BP: You offer intravenous nutritional therapy. What can you share about that?
KB: It’s for people who have low energy, are being treated for cancer, undergoing surgery or having a baby. They can treat colds or flu. They can also help people who don’t want to take a lot of over-the-counter medications or who want to improve their overall health. There’s a lot we can do with vitamins and minerals. I can formulate it for each individual based on their bloodwork and symptoms. By delivering the supplements intravenously, they go directly into the bloodstream where the absorption rate is 70 percent to 80 percent. That compares with 30 percent to 40 percent when supplements are ingested and are processed in the stomach.
BP: You prescribe low-dose Naltrexone. What is that for?
KB: Low-dose Naltrexone is a prescription that is becoming very popular across the United States in the treatment of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, low thyroid and adrenal issues. It basically enhances the cellular structure to reduce the chemicals that cause fatigue or the thyroid to malfunction. It is a prescription. It has to be compounded. We have lots of patients on it doing quite well. It requires an examination and a lab work-up.
It’s been used for about 30 years to treat alcoholics and addicts at very high doses to help them overcome from their addictions. In extremely low doses, it has none of those properties.
BP: What you do now reflects an interest you first had as a child. Could you talk about how you got into medicine?
KB: I remember telling my parents as early as third and fourth grade I wanted to be a doctor. When I got to college, my roommate didn’t have a car. He was seeing a chiropractor, so I would take him to his appointments. After taking him several times, I began to realize I really liked what he was doing. I liked the one-on-one interaction chiropractors have with their patients. I liked his ability to work with people using a hands-on, physical approach to help them get better.
He was an older gentleman. He had a great demeanor, and he made chiropractic fun. I then started to shadow him on different weeks just to get a better feel of what chiropractic was. I decided chiropractic was the direction I wanted to go.
BP: You and your wife Karen met while you were in chiropractic school. She has been a part of your practice since it opened. Karen, would you talk about your relationship?
Karen Bailey: We met in his first year of chiropractic school at the University of Western States in the Portland area. I was working for AIA insurance here in Lewiston, and they had a satellite office in Portland. So I moved to Portland with AIA, and we met at church.
I had always wanted to work with my husband to know the business. I had been to a chiropractor before and was familiar with chiropractic. So when we met, it was a good fit.
We married in 1994. When we opened practice in 1996, it was just the two of us. He did all the adjusting, and I did everything else. I made all the phone calls, did all the billing and insurance — basically what I still do today, only now we have staff that runs the front desk, and more providers. When our daughter was born, we hired our first employee. That was in 1999.
BP: In the early days of your practice, you began your collaboration with the traditional medical community out of financial necessity. How did that happen?
Kurt Bailey: Most chiropractic treatment begins with an X-ray to be sure there aren’t broken bones or other issues that need to be handled by a physician. We couldn’t afford a machine, because it would have cost $30,000 to $50,000, so we established relationships with St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston and Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston to do them for us.
BP: You built a large chiropractic practice treating back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, knee pain, numbness and tingling as well as patients who had been in auto or work accidents or who were pregnant. Your credential as a naturopathic physician allowed you to help patients more with their supplements. What prompted you to complete training to be a nurse and nurse practitioner?
KB: A program became available in the United States for chiropractors to become nurse practitioners to fulfill the medical shortage in small towns where there were already established chiropractors who would stay. I applied and got accepted.
I had always been holistic and medically based. There was no need to separate it. Going back to school to become a nurse practitioner allowed that and gave me the opportunity to write prescriptions.
BP: With all your education, you could take a job with almost any medical clinic or hospital. What makes you want to spend the next phase of your career focused on your own practice?
KB: I like working for myself. I also like building the clinic we’re putting together. Some of the things I want to do are outside of the traditional medical model. A lot of these clinics are uncomfortable as of yet in our area doing those things. I’m enjoying it. It’s exciting.
Williams may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2261.