by K.J. Lincoln
If you were given the opportunity to come and live and work in Alaska, would you take it? Garrett Hussion did.
Dr. Garrett Hussion works as a chiropractor at the Arctic Chiropractic clinic in Bethel. He hails all the way from Rochester, New York and this is his first time in Alaska. He arrived last November.
“I had never lived outside of New York so I was ready for a change and an adventure so when I caught wind of this opportunity I jumped on it,” he said from his office last Thursday. “So right to Bethel – I’ve never lived anywhere else.”
The small town feel, the relief from the absence of heavy traffic, the beauty of the tundra, the snow, the ravens – it’s been nice, he said, and there are less distractions.
“It is a good place to come and focus on treating patients and becoming a good therapist,” Dr. Hussion said. He has been enjoying working with his patients and getting to know them. “That is the great thing about chiropractic and why I think patients tend to like their chiropractors. People come in and, generally speaking, if chiropractic is the right type of therapy for them they leave feeling better.”
Bethel’s Arctic Chiropractic and Arctic Therapy and Rehab is in it’s 11th year of operation with Dr. Chris Twiford who has managed the clinic since 2006. Dr. Hussion joins Dr. Twiford and his team of professionals which include receptionist Shawna Noratak, billing specialist Brooke Arnett, physical therapist Sheri Shoenberg, and massage therapist Christina Garcia.
Dr. Hussion is happy to be working with such a great staff.
Physical Therapist Sheri Shoeneberg brings 28 years of experience to Arctic Therapy and Rehab. She has worked in different settings with various patient populations, said Dr. Hussion.
“So she knows what she is doing,” he added. “She is a good therapist and very friendly. We are really happy to have her here. The two of us will be working closely together co-treating patients and managing care between both of our buildings.”
Christina Garcia specializes in massage therapy.
“She is doing really great,” said Dr. Hussion. The clinic will be bringing on a second therapist in March to help make sure that they can handle the volume of people who need massages.
And who can benefit from a massage? Everybody.
“We are trying to get therapy for our patients whatever way that works best for them. We have the opportunity here and the resources to try and offer you some different therapy and see if that helps. Or all three at once. We have different permutations of how we can treat patients to optimize their outcomes,” he said.
The team at Arctic Chiropractic is ready to help you if you have headaches, joint sprains, muscle strains, back pain, neck pain, or pain in your hands or your wrists, and more.
“If you’re experiencing any tingling or numbness in your upper or lower extremities – sometimes that can be from a musculoskeletal complaint. If it is, chiropractic and physical therapy will probably be beneficial. If it is not then we will direct the patient to someone who can help them,” Dr. Hussion said. “If you twisted your ankle or your knee or lifted a heavy box and your back started to hurt – that’s typically a lot of the types of things that we deal with. Maybe you’re working a lot sitting at a desk, your posture is affected by that and you’re getting some stiffness or some soreness in your neck, mid-back, low back. We can try and help you correct that.”
Diet and nutrition is another area of expertise that Dr. Hussion can provide help with. As a chiropractor, he has training in that field.
“So if you’re trying to lose weight we can help you out with that and just talk about general practices to maintain a healthy diet,” he said. “That is definitely also a piece of chiropractic that a lot of people don’t realize.”
“Dr. Twiford has been running this office for about 11 years now. He’s built this place up to a really good spot where we see a lot of patients. We have a lot of good routine patients and new patients and a lot of different types of people come into the office from different walks of life,” said Dr. Hussion. “He is expanding. Arctic Chiropractic is opening up another clinic on Kodiak Island so Dr. Twiford is going out there to get the wheels turning on that, get things started. He’ll be back and forth still managing this office as well. He’s taken me on as a full time chiropractor here to manage the day-to-day activity and all the patient treatment. So if you are coming in as a patient to Arctic Chiropractic here in Bethel for chiropractic you’ll be working with myself more often than not.”
Dr. Hussion, when he is not working, enjoys singing and playing the guitar. You may have heard him perform at the recent “Bethel Live” open mic night. He also takes Judo classes with Sensei Warren Polk and he teaches a yoga class every Sunday from 10:30am to 11:30am at the YK Fitness Center.
“It is my first time doing martial arts which I’ve always wanted to do and never had the opportunity before coming to Bethel. I like to stay physically active, you know, practicing what I preach,” he said. He is also an avid swimmer and walks every day. “Bethel provides me the opportunity to spend the extracurricular times doing things not only that I enjoy but are both entertaining and fulfilling for me.”
On a final note, he leaves us with this: keep moving, stay mobile and stay active. Prevention is the best medicine so the more that you can maintain healthy habits and healthy lifestyle, with your diet and with your physical activity, the less need you’ll have for any sort of therapy.
“That is our goal – to have healthy citizens in Bethel,” he said. “That is my goal as a therapist overall – to help people who need it but also to promote a healthy lifestyle in general.”