Health on the Harbor: Treatments to improve both body and mind

The winners of the Health Champion Improvement Award are Dr. Kyna Wilson, a pediatric chiropractor at Hands-On-Health in Montesano, and HarborCrest Behavioral Health, a chemical dependence clinic in Aberdeen associated with Grays Harbor Community Hospital. Both winners say they aim to treat the whole person while resolving the underlying symptoms.

Treating tiny spines

To Dr. Kyna Wilson, chiropractic care is all about the love. She loves freeing the body to heal itself. Her practice specializes in pediatrics and pregnancy care and often treats several generations of the same family.

Hand-On-Health, the practice she owns at 209 E. Broadway in Montesano, is inviting — with white rockers on the porch. Dr. Wilson, who is pregnant with her third child, offers coffee and apologizes for her nose, which is dripping.

“I am not contagious, it’s a pregnancy thing,” she said.

Wilson grew up in the Wishkah Valley and first learned of chiropractic care as a third grader when her back hurt and her mom took her to see Dr. Brian McGregor. After the adjustment, she felt “invisible,” meaning she was pain free for the first time, she said. Later in high school when she shadowed McGregor on career day “it sealed the deal.”

Wilson went away to college in Louisiana for pre-med and returned to attend University of Western State chiropractic school in Portland. She is completing a four-year specialty in pediatric care.

She married her sweetheart from Montesano High School, Jon Wilson, and calls him “my better half.” They have two other children: a son, Wesson who is 5, and a daughter, Tully who is almost 4.

Wilson enthusiastically shows off her adjustment tables of all sizes. “Here’s where we put the love on our patients,” she said.

Hanging on a rack is a tiny head piece to put around her or the mother’s neck. An infant may be adjusted even on the first day of life, she said.

There is a pregnancy pillow to fit growing contours of expectant mothers. A large stuffed dog has a spine that pops and is called a “poppy dog.” Homemade stuffed smaller “poppy” pals are often given to children to help them understand chiropractic care.

The practice also offers a “subtle hands” approach involving craniosacral and myofascial care, she said. The Hands-On-Health Facebook page actively engages its fans and has 1,244 likes. “After just three visits, my son’s life limiting digestive issues were resolved!” wrote Kristyn Blocher.

Another success is Johnathon Watkins, who suffered from asthma at 2 weeks old. At 3 years of age, Dr. Wilson started to treat him.

Today, Johnathon has been free of asthma for two years and is off medication.

“He will be 6 (next month) and is still asthma free,” emails his mother, Rabecka Watkins, who nominated Wilson for the award. Wilson is down to earth about her pregnancy, writing: “The first patient to feel a kick from my baby belly while I’m adjusting them should get a new pair of athletic shoes.”

It is a cash practice. Office administrator Randee Harper will fill out paperwork for reimbursement by insurance companies. A series of pro bono treatment is donated to one patient in need per quarter. An application is available on Facebook and through the practice.

Her advice?

“Don’t wait until your body is a disaster,” said Dr. Wilson.

From there she will treat the acute need, education and transition patients into preventative and maintenance care, and aims to have further treatment very rare.

Treating the whole person

“We believe in treating the whole person in our approach to addiction services … (and) embrace, encourage and support the family’s role in the recovery process.”

That is the treatment philosophy followed at HarborCrest Behavioral Health at Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, hospital officials said.

Doctors and the director were busy getting ready for a new software program to be installed, so questions for this story were answered by David Quigg, who is Director of Public Relations for the hospital, in an email.

The center “believes that dependency on alcohol and other drugs is a primary, progressive, chronic and treatable disease (that) affects the physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual health of the individuals who are afflicted. The goal…is abstinence from alcohol/drugs and other addictive medications.”

HarborCrest treats around 550 patients per year for addiction to substances such as opiates, alcohol, Benzodiazepines and amphetamines. The center is located 1006 N. H St.

Cost varies on type and length of treatment.

“Many insurance plans and employers have programs that help pay for substance abuse treatment,” Quigg noted.

The center also treats pregnant women who are using marijuana.

The clinic recently started prescribing buprenorphine in the office to help those who are addicted to opiates, such as heroin. Buprenorphine is a combination of a Schedule II narcotic and an opiate blocker, the email said.

“It has a ceiling effect, in that there are minimal mood-altering aspects to this medication” which also helps with cravings and give the patient the “opportunity to participate in work, relationships and daily life again.”

Patients may return for help and prior patients often return to lead meetings and “talk about their chemical dependency journey to help others.”

The clinic opened in February of 1983 as the CareUnit at St. Joseph’s. Dr. R. Bruce Worth has been the medical director since then and the unit was named after him: The R. Bruce Worth, M.D. Chemical Dependency Treatment Center at HarborCrest.

Drs. Worth, Marcus E. Dubrow and Grant Jackson are the physicians. Jack Gronewald is Director, Angela Brumfield-Leaks is clinical supervisor and Tracie Moen, RN, is nursing supervisor.


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