About John Zimmerman, DC

How I Became a Chiropractor

John Zimmerman Fort Collins ChiropractorMy interest in health started in 1971 when I read some books about health food and diet.  I became an evangelical vegetarian managing to irritate everyone who did not agree with me.  For a few years I followed a raw food vegan diet and fasted frequently.  I was playing soccer at the University of Delaware at the time.  After college I worked in and later managed health clubs in Delaware and Pennsylvania continuing to study health and exercise.

While living in a yoga center at that time I was learning massage therapy.  In 1977 my best friend moved to Fort Collins and kept telling me to come and visit.  He said it was a fantastic place.  I finally made it here in 1978 and completely agreed with him.  I found a cabin in Rist Canyon for $75.00 a month, a job cooking at the Rainbow, and settled right in.  Just over one year later I was waiting tables at the Armadillo when my wife and I saw one another and fell immediately in love. She was a senior at CSU and it was time for me to think seriously about my future.  I read all the time and health was an abiding interest and I liked working on bodies and knew that I had a lot more to learn.

So having never been to a chiropractor I decided to go to chiropractic school.  I thought that I would graduate and then become a rolfer.  This was in the spring of 1980 and by August I had started school in Kansas City.  For an English major taking all science courses was very challenging along with fulltime work at a restaurant.  I graduated in 1983, got married and we had our first child, a daughter Sylvan in December, at home.

In 1984 I passed the Colorado boards and in August opened my first practice in Greeley.  I practiced with Gary Liscum, an acupuncturist, and Cheryl Eanes, a massage therapist.  My wife and I taught cooking classes and we followed a Macrobiotic diet.  We studied with various teachers and also gave dietary consultations.  In 1986 our second daughter, Avalon was born.  During this time we studied with various teachers from around the world about the birth process.  Our children were born with midwives using the techniques we were learning.  Our first was a Leboyer birth and the last two were in water.  In 1989 our son Arthur was born.

I was naive when I went to chiropractic school about the relationship between medicine and chiropractic and did not realize it was so contentious.  I wanted to bridge this gap which I found to be both unnecessary and foolish and started to look for opportunities in medical clinics.

In 1986 I started to work part time at the newly formed Rocky Mountain Pain Management Center in Fort Collins.  We were a multidisciplinary pain center with acupuncture, physical therapy, biofeedback, chiropractic, psychology, and medicine.  We had a gym and 2 pools and treated mostly people who had spinal surgery or had been in terrible accidents.  It was interesting and very challenging work and I was there for 13 years, full time, after leaving Greeley in 1991.

In the early 90’s I also worked part time in a multidisciplinary head injury treatment center for 3 years.  The patients in these clinics had complex problems and normal approaches to treatment did not work.  I learned a great deal there about what I could and could not do and about how other forms of treatment worked with chiropractic.  Presently I see only a few patients a year with as serious problems as my patients at the pain center.

In 1999 I joined InnerHealth, an integrated family practice clinic, and was there until 2007.    Ultimate Health and Wellness was the same type of clinic–alternative or complementary therapies integrated with family medical practice.  I enjoyed working with different providers in a medical setting.  I feel I am able to provide a much needed and neglected service and I am able to assure my patients of better quality care.  The medical side of Ultimate Health has just moved to Miramont Family Medicine.

Since then I have moved to 2629 Redwing Road #200. The office is off of Drake Road across from the Vet School/Hospital.  I am sharing the office with Richard Hill, counselor.

I believe in taking time with people to answer questions and educate them about their bodies and health.  There is a great deal of confusing information in the world and I try to make it understandable so you can make the best decision for you.

Every year there is more scientific information about chiropractic, about manipulation, about massage, and how the body works.  It is not that these things have been proven wrong, they just have not been studied scientifically.  Manipulation has been around for 3-4,000 years.  It has been used in most healing systems from the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks.  Hippocrates, the Greek “father of medicine,” used it and wrote about it describing what he did.  Currently there are a number of chiropractors with PhDs doing basic science research.

I work to understand the science of everything I do.  Fortunately, it is not rocket science and our bodies have a common sense to them.  I am happy to explain what I know and answer any question, either with information or the fact that it remains a mystery.  It is important to know both what we know and what we do not.  When I am not sure and you are not improving or there are complications, I will refer you to someone who can help you and explain why.  I have a number of excellent people that I refer to in many disciplines.  They will all take the time to understand your concerns and problems just as I do.

Your first appointment with me begins with many questions including your history so that I can come to know you better and help you.  In all healthcare fields 80% of the diagnoses come from the history, so this is very important.  This is followed by the examination to further determine the cause of your complaint.  I will then discuss it with you, answering your questions and explaining it to you with pictures and models.  I usually then treat you on the first visit.  Subsequent visits will always include asking how you have been in a detailed way, examining you, giving my findings as to how you are progressing and treating you, followed by a recheck to insure you leave better than when you came in.  My goal is to treat you in as few visits as possible, educate you about your body, and resolve your problems.  There are no contracts, long term treatment recommendations, or pressure.  It is obvious to both of us when you are better and I will tell you what I think you need and you are free to do as you please.

Life can be difficult as many people have pointed out and I try to be part of the solution rather than the problem.  Being kind and getting along are significant parts of our individual health and I am always doing the best I can with both of them.  If there are questions that you have please feel free to call me.