My name is Alex Ruth and I live and practice in downtown Raleigh. Before moving to Raleigh in November 2020, I was practicing in Washington, DC. I love the Triangle region and spend my weekends riding my bike on Raleigh's beautiful greenways.
2. How/why did you become a chiropractor?
I used to compete internationally in acrobatics gymnastics, the one discipline of gymnastics that is not featured in the Olympics. During my time as an acrobat, I became fascinated with biomechanics and saw it as the magic behind how acrobats are able to achieve seemingly impossible feats. I knew I wanted to go into a biomechanics related profession and originally planned to become a Physical Therapist when I chose to major in Kinesiology at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health in College Park, MD. It was not until I got an internship with a chiropractor during my junior year of college that I realized chiropractic was my true calling. During my internship with a chiropractor, I frequently saw drastic and immediate differences in patients' mobility, function, and wellbeing from the time they entered the office to the time they left. I had never seen any other health care profession yield such significant results during an appointment. I enrolled in the Doctorate of Chiropractic program at Life University in Marietta, GA and graduated Cum Laude while also attending as many elective technique seminars as possible and organizing student led technique training workshops several times per week.
3. Do you have any specialties or any area of expertise?
Other chiropractors would likely say that my most obvious specialty is extremity adjusting. When another chiropractor refers one of their patients to me, it is generally because they need help with an issue in an extremity. I have extensive training in extremity adjusting which is an often overlooked aspect of chiropractic care. From the feet, ankles, knees and hips to the shoulders, elbows, hands, wrists and even the sutures of the cranium, there is incredible potential to improve patients' relationship with gravity and biomechanical ease with extremity adjusting. I teach extremity adjusting technique seminars several times per year with a group called Extremity Evolution. Within Oak City Chiropractic, I provide care for a significant number of pregnant women and children. While I was in the student and outpatient clinic at Life University, I specialized in the upper cervical region (where the head and neck meet) and had a reputation as the intern who excelled at upper cervical adjusting technique. While I currently do full spine adjusting, I draw heavily on my experience from practicing upper cervical techniques when analyzing and adjusting the neuro-spinal system.
4. Why did you join Oak City Chiropractic?
I joined Oak City Chiropractic in 2021 after working in a high volume office in Cary that allowed for roughly 5 minutes per patient visit. While I appreciated the experience practicing at a high volume office where I got to adjust 50-60 people each day, I wanted to get back to a practice style that allowed for more personal connection and more time to give a more complete and thorough service. The length of an appointment for new patients at Oak City Chiropractic is between 30 and 45 minutes. Subsequent visits are 15 minutes. Patients are able to get the attention and care they deserve here and I get to better know them and their families while cultivating a deeper understanding of their lives and the bigger picture behind their journey to wellness.
5. What are the best & most challenging parts of being a holistic practitioner?
The best part of being a holistic practitioner is helping people see improvements in their wellbeing that they did not even think were possible for themselves. Every day I get to see people achieve relief from acute and chronic debilitating pain, improved athletic performance, a greater sense of ease within their bodies and more optimal adaptation to the physical and emotional stresses of life. I frequently tell people that although I am their health professional, they are the ones doing the healing. The body is always striving towards organizing and healing itself. As a chiropractor, my analysis is grounded in listening to what the body is trying to do for itself and then providing a gentle assist so that the body can go through these processes with as little interference as possible. The chiropractic profession builds its success on giving people the support they need to most effectively and optimally heal themselves from the inside out.
6. Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope to be the Raleigh area's number one resource for improved health, healing, wellness and wellbeing. While allopathic medicine is crucial for emergency situations, I feel that too many people rely on drugs and surgeries too often without realizing that other more empowering options exist for them. My model for practice is built on getting people the results they want to see as quickly as possible and then doing infrequent wellness visits anywhere between every other week to every quarter to ensure continued optimal functioning. When people are leading a healthy lifestyle focused on being proactive rather than reactive to their health, wellness and wellbeing come much more easily and the community as a whole is healthier.
7. Who do you look up to or admire in the holistic health community?
In the holistic health community, I have the utmost admiration and respect for Jim Deegan, DC. When I was in my final semester of chiropractic school, I came down with a bad case of Hand Foot Mouth disease. I had sores all over both hands and feet and felt constant burning pain as a result. The first night after the skin lesions developed, I was unable to sleep at all due to the feeling of my hands and feet being on fire. I told my chiropractic mentor Dr. Deegan about what I was experiencing and he volunteered to make a house call to come and help me out. After he finished an evening of practicing in his own office, he came and adjusted me on my own table in the living room of my apartment as I was unable to put enough weight through my feet to drive to his office. Shortly after he left, I slept for 10 full hours - a stark contrast to the sleepless night before. He did nothing to address skin lesions or viral infection. All he did was adjust my spine and my body was better able to respond to the virus that afflicted me. The next morning, the sores were visibly different and less painful than before. It was an important reminder that the nerve system is the master control system of the body and all other systems, including the immune system, depend on optimal functioning of the nerve system to work at full capacity. It also served to remind me that caring for people is at the heart of what we do. Dr. Deegan did not accept any payment for that house call and was solely motivated by an interest in my healing.
8. Tell me about your most recent business win.
My most recent business win has been helping an uninsured patient with a cervical disc herniation. Prior to his first visit, pain in his neck radiated into his shoulder and arm and the stabbing and burning sensations rendered him unable to lie down at all in any bed or position. He spent 2 weeks trying to sleep sitting up at night hoping to eventually get well enough on his own to start sleeping again, but his pain remained constant and unchanging. After being turned away by another chiropractor who was scared to touch him, he came to Oak City Chiropractic. Despite his lack of health insurance, we were able to find an affordable way to give him the care he needed without breaking his finances. He told me on his second visit that he was able to lie down and sleep for 6-7 hours the night after his first adjustment. By the end of that week, he told us that "the dark circles under my eyes are going away!" Members of his family told him that he would have to learn to live with the pain he was experiencing for a long time before it would improve, but after starting care 2 weeks ago he is now able to lift weights and run again.