Much like former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Deborah Leible feels your pain.
The difference is, she can do something about it.
Leible, a chiropractor for almost 20 years, has opened her new office in Kapa’a, about a month ago after relocating from O’ahu.
She’s so new, she hasn’t hung up her sign yet.
Before she moved to Kaua’i, she was rear-ended in a car accident, was in pain, and saw a chiropractor.
The experience of being injured reiterated to her how important it is that a chiropractor be in touch with his or her patients’ pain and fear thresholds.
“I’ve learned never to take pain for granted. My shining moment is when a fearful patient overcomes that fear,” she said. “You have to put yourself in your patient’s shoes,” she said.
Leible is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College and the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. She is licensed in both New York and Hawai’i.
“I feel I am unique in the health-care field. I realized early that I wanted both a family and to practice my profession, but I didn’t want to compromise either by doing so,” she said.
“What I did was to develop a home office, building my practice around the schedule of my three daughters,” she said.
Leible realizes she is a new-comer to Kaua’i’s ever-growing holistic health community.
“I want to weave myself into community, and not just announce I’m here. It seems like everybody works together here,” she said. As for other chiropractors in Kapa’a, she commented, “I think there’s room for one more. There’s obviously a need for it.
“A lot of people like alternative medicine and would rather be treated holistically,” she said. “Hopefully, nobody will feel slighted if I’m down the street.”
Chiropractic is a popular form of alternative medicine whose physical mode of action is spinal manipulations that allegedly un-block nerve signals sent by the brain, so that the body can heal itself, according to a chiropractic Web site.
It is primarily used to treat back problems, headaches, nerve inflammation, muscle spasms, and other injuries and traumas.
Leible said she also views the practice as a proactive way of maintaining spinal health, likening visits to a chiropractor as preventive medicine in the same way one might go to a dentist more than once a year.
Leible said chiropractic has become more mainstream. In fact, she receives referrals from medical doctors.
“In my practice of chiropractic, my primary concern is the overall heath and fitness of the patient. My years of experience have given me a holistic philosophy to health,” she explained.
“All health care is patient-centric, and begins with patient health education about life choices and fitness habits,” she said.
“I was very fortunate in that my practice became everything I wanted it to be, and even became a bit of a radio personal-ity in New York,” she said.
“In my New York family practice I began to address the special needs of women, families and personal fitness,” she said.
“I found a wonderful place in the health-care industry specializing in the needs of the modern woman. However, in the back of my mind, there was Hawai’i,” she said.
“After raising my girls, and a few other life changes, I finally had the opportunity to pursue my dream of living here. I had visited Kaua’i early in life, and had vowed to return one day.”
Leible said that, in her opinion, there has always been a friction between chiropractic and medicine.
“It is inconceivable to me to diminish the importance of medical doctors or the practice of medicine. One of my best friends in life is a medical doctor,” Leible said.
“Patients should have a primary-care medical doctor who acts as the overall coordinator of the patient’s health needs,” she advised.
“However, there is so much that patients can do for themselves to keep themselves healthy, and that is where I, the family-care chiropractor, can help,” she said.
“The more advanced we get, the more we find the age-old treatments such as acupuncture and herbal medicines have a great deal of validity, and can work hand-in-hand next to the scientific advances in chiropractic and medicine,” Leible said.
“That is one of the aspects of practicing here in Hawai’i I look forward to. My patients have a core belief in traditional healing methods, as well as alternative-health treatment.”
Leible may be reached at 822-7955.
- Andy Gross, business editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or email@example.com.