As health care providers, Las Vegan Drs. Carlos Sandoval and Elena Sanchez Sandoval want to take their patients’ health to the next level. They believe you can unleash your body’s innate ability to heal, and are trained to help you get there. Their chiropractic office, Infinite Health Care in Santa Fe, NM, provides a range of services with that in mind. The couple earned their doctorates in chiropractic medicine at Life Chiropractic College West in San Jose, Calif. Below they respond to questions about their health philosophy.
Q: You had different experiences that influenced your decision to become chiropractors. Would each of you talk briefly about those experiences?
A: Carlos: We both discovered chiropractic the same way the majority of people discover chiropractic, a low back injury. I was 21, and at that time had no idea what a chiropractor was or did. I was working out one day. When I went to rack the weight after a set of squats, I missed the rack and dropped 350 pounds on my back. It was the worst injury and pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. The low back pain was excruciating. I went home and took painkillers, and iced it, thinking it would go away in a day or so. I was wrong. I woke up the next morning not able to stand up, and the pain was worse. This continued for the next five days. I finally went to my medical doctor and he did the only thing he knew to do to get me out of pain, which was to prescribe opioids. Little did I know a person is not supposed to take opioids for more than four days. My prescription was good for two months; it got me out of pain, but didn’t fix the problem. I took the pills but was not back to living my normal active life. I was on opioids for a month a half before I ran into a friend who was a nurse. She explained to me the dangers of opioids and suggested I go see her chiropractor. I immediately made an appointment with Dr. Powers, the local chiropractor at the time, to see if he could help me out. After a consultation and a couple of x-rays he sat me down and explained exactly what was wrong with me, and laid out his recommendations to fix it. I followed his recommendations and just after a few visits I was completely out of pain and no longer in need of the opioids. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The longer I stayed under care, the more I noticed how other health issues such as digestive problems and chronic sinusitis, started to improve or diminish. At the time I was going to school at NMHU to become a physical therapist, but after my time in Dr. Powers office, it inspired me to become a chiropractor. I applied to schools and that’s where my journey to become a chiropractor started.
A: Elena: When Dr. Carlos started chiropractic college I was trying to figure out what I wanted. I knew I wanted to be in the health field, I wanted to have opportunities to teach others about health through nutrition and exercise, and was also fascinated by the field of radiography. The college we went to offers something called “Champions Weekend.” They host you at the college for a weekend to learn what chiropractic actually is. I went into the weekend thinking it was all about pain relief. My world was completely turned upside down. Not only did I learn that chiropractic is about health and how our bodies heal and function, but I also realized how my own body had changed while under chiropractic care myself. When Dr. Carlos was under care with Dr. Powers in Las Vegas, I got under care as well, not really knowing what it was for or about, I did it because Carlos said it would be good for me and that it would help with my workouts. After about three months I noticed that I no longer needed my inhaler to be active; I could breathe and recover completely on my own. My menstrual cycle was for the first time since it started completely normal and regular; it used to come and go and last for weeks to a month at a time and the cramps were unbearable. Seasonal allergies I had every spring no longer existed. Chiropractic has given me my life and potential back.
Q. After practicing in California following graduation, what brought you back to New Mexico and why Santa Fe?
A. After California, we initially moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., thinking that was going to be the place we called home. However, after living there for three months we realized that it wasn’t the place for us. New Mexico is our home and we felt called to come back to our home state to serve the people here. There are not that many chiropractors in the area and we felt that our friends and family were not getting the care they deserve. So we packed up, left Colorado and settled down in Santa Fe. The moment we got back to New Mexico, we knew we made the right decision. It’s been amazing to help our friends and families who have come into the office, as well as all the other amazing people we have come across.
Q: In life, we look at obstacles as challenges or opportunities. What are the opportunities you face in building your patient base in the City Different?
A: Two things come to mind and both have to do with educating our community. First, there is a major misconception about chiropractic. People think it is only about neck pain and back pain. There is so much more to chiropractic than that. Chiropractic has the ability to influence a person’s overall health because of the intimate relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Your nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and individual nerves. This system is what controls every function in the body. The main point of the spine is to support and keep us upright, but also – and more important – to protect the spinal cord. A healthy spinal cord is essential to our overall health. If the spine is not in its normal position, this could affect the function of your overall health.
Second, people don’t value their health enough to be proactive about it. Health is our greatest asset and if we lose our health, we lose everything. The majority of people wait until they get a symptom or get sick, then want to cover it with a pill, lotion or potion. They think that if they look good or feel good then that must mean they are healthy. The unfortunate problem with that is, by the time someone is experiencing a symptom it can be a lot harder to get back to health, or too late for successful treatment.
Q: Talk about some of the ways you are getting your name before the public?
A: One is utilizing social media such was Facebook and Instagram. We do our best to put out tons of valuable information to the public on chiropractic and health. Another way, and one of our favorites, is doing corporate health talks and lunch and learns. We partner with local businesses to arrange a day we can take them to lunch and do a health talk for them. They are always fun and a great way to get our name out and educate the community as well.
Q: What services do you provide that address your patients’ overall health?
A: What sets us apart is that our office is a “health center” not just a chiropractic center. Chiropractic is the foundation to getting our patients back to 100 percent health. We know there is a normal position for the spine, which is perfectly straight from the front, and from the side there should be 3 perfect 45-degree curves. When our spine is in that position, there is no stress on the nervous system, the brain is communicating with the body the way it should at 100 percent, and the body is functioning and healing the way it is intended to do.
Most people we see don’t have spines in that position. This is where we implement our spinal corrective technique to get the spine back to its normal position, which allows for better overall health, functioning and healing. We also work with our patients on nutrition, exercise, developing a positive mindset and becoming more aware of the toxins around them. We do one-on-one consultations, but the big thing we do is our monthly educational workshops on specific health topics. This is to help our patients become more health conscious and to make better-informed decisions about their health.
Q: What do you most want potential patients to know about you as providers of health care?
A: Health is a journey, and we are with our patients the entire journey. We truly care about people, want to see them well. Our goal is that people are THRIVING and not simply surviving, we want our patients to enjoy their lives with their loved ones doing what they love doing. We offer our help and guidance to everyone.
Q: What can a patient expect when he or she comes to your office?
A: Our office is unique compared to most other chiropractic offices. It takes a little more to become a patient because of the specific spinal corrective process we implement. It is a 3-day/step process. Day 1 is data-gathering day. This is the visit during which we gather all the information we need to determine if we can help that patient. This includes a comprehensive consultation, examination and necessary x-rays. The second visit, we bring the patient back the next day to let them know if they are a good candidate for our office, spinal correction and chiropractic. If they are, they will receive their first chiropractic adjustment and a follow-up stress x-ray to see how they responded to the chiropractic adjustment. At this time, we have all the information we need to determine how many visits and how long it will take to correct the patient’s spine back to its normal position. That brings us to the third visit, our required new patient workshop. In the workshop we teach them what normal x-rays should look like, how it affects their health and why it is important to get adjusted. We teach them and give them all the information they need to be the doctor so that it is a doctor-doctor relationship not a doctor-patient relationship. This helps our patients understand their problem in more depth and detail, which helps them get better, quicker results. After the workshop, which is about 20-30 minutes, we go into private rooms, go over the patient’s x-rays, the care plan on what it’s going to take to correct the problem, and the financial investment.
Once the patient signs up, every time they come in for a visit they follow a three-step process. Step 1 is to warm up the spine. We teach our patients specific spinal corrective exercises to help warm up their spines for the adjustment, build strength and mobility in the spine and help hydrate the discs. Step 2 is the adjustment. We meet with the patient at the table to deliver the specific chiropractic adjustment. At the table we have the x-rays pulled up along with the listings of subluxations (misalignments in the spine) that we found, and we use a variety of techniques and tools to adjust. After the patient gets adjusted, they go to our spine and posture rehab area. This is step 3. We use complete body weighting systems and high frequency vibration platforms to reconstruct the spine and posture back to the normal position that it is supposed to be in. This 3-step process is repeated every time they come into our office for the number of recommended visits. We also give our patients a homecare kit and teach them specific exercises to do at home. This a way they can support what we are doing in the office.
Q: Do you treat children and teens as well as adults? How are treatments methods different based on age, or are they?
A: As chiropractors we do not treat anything. We practice a salutogenic model, which gives birth to health, not the treatment of a specific condition. What we know and do is improve the function of the nervous system, which allows the body to heal and improves overall health. We do have specific CARE for infants, children and teens. We are a family-based office and aim to help our patients from womb to tomb. Dr. Elena is the pregnancy and pediatric specialist and one of the very few in the state. Adjusting and caring for children is different from adults. Infants, children and teens have different spines. Adjustments for children are very gentle, safe and effective. The amount of pressure used to correct the spine of a child is about the same amount of pressure you would use to test a tomato. Since children have not lived and accumulated the stressors that adults have, their care and frequency is much less than that of an adult, and they respond quickly to care, in some cases instantly. Parents have reported that through chiropractic care their children have improved immune systems (get sick less often and recover from colds quickly), improved sleep (especially with infants, they sleep through the night) and improved disposition.
Q: What do you most enjoy about the work you do?
A: The thing we enjoy most is seeing the health transformations people go through, which allows them to get their lives back. We have truly seen some amazing things happen while people are under chiropractic care.
Infinite Health Center is located at 2860 Cerrillos Rd., Suite C-2, Santa Fe, NM. For appointments contact their office at 505-772-0114. For more information e-mail email@example.com and check out their website at infinitehealthnm.com,