The owners of ICT Chiropractic & Acupuncture fell in love with their field – and each other – while studying in Kansas City.
Now they’ve combined their practices in northwest Wichita, after initially working separately.
“We’d heard the horror stories about working together,” Chris Bollenbach said. “Honestly, I think it’s been good. It’s good to have someone you can bounce things off.”
Bollenbach and Sara Leavitt – who are engaged – had another reason for combining forces: the birth of their son, Nash, nine months ago. Working together means one of them can usually keep an eye on him.
“Our patients don’t mind having him around,” Leavitt said.
Bollenbach and Leavitt met at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Overland Park. Bollenbach, a Wichita native, had previously been in the restaurant business, while Leavitt, who’s from Little River, thought about becoming a pharmacist.
But working with patients in the college’s clinic convinced them they could help a lot of people as chiropractors. The pair sees a wide range of patients, but also specializes in a couple of areas.
Bollenbach, who’s a fan of Crossfit training, sees a lot of fellow athletes. In addition to treating spines, he uses an acupuncture-like technique called trigger point dry needling to work on “soft tissue” – muscles, joints and ligaments – that can become sore and tight through exercise.
Leavitt specializes in pre-natal and pediatric care, saying it helped her through problems such as sciatica during her own pregnancy. She said she’s the only Wichita affiliate of a proprietary needling and acupuncture program called Birthfit.
“I found it online, and I just had to bring it here,” Leavitt said.
Leavitt and Bollenbach say they tend to spend more time with clients than the industry average, often using a combination of chiropractic and acupuncture techniques.
“It’s not snap-crackle-pop, you’re in and out in five minutes,” Bollenbach said.
“Unless they want a quick (spinal) adjustment, which we can do,” Leavitt interjected.
The pair say people in all kinds of occupations come to them for help, from over-the-road truckers to landscapers to people with desk jobs.
“Anything where you’re doing the same thing day in and day out,” Leavitt said.
The couple say word-of-mouth referrals are their best source of business and many people don’t realize chiropractic care is often covered by insurance plans.
They recently acquired a motion capture camera that they plan to use to record patients’ movements, giving them visual data they can use to help determine whether a particular treatment is working over time.
Bollenbach and Leavitt also try to educate patients about their bodies because “people get better outcomes by knowing what we’re doing and why,” Bollenbach said.
One of Leavitt’s favorite pieces of advice: “Movement is medicine.”
Bollenbach agrees, saying the goal is to “get (patients) moving better, so they feel better, so they live better.”
“We tend to say a lot of things,” he added with a grin. “I never shut up.”