SYCAMORE – After taking over a chiropractic business his great-uncle established in 1957, Zac Sheedy is continuing a longtime family tradition of treating the spine.
He’s the 33rd person in his family to become a chiropractor, and he and his wife, Morgan Sheedy, are gearing up to celebrate the 55th year Sheedy Family Chiropractic has been in business.
That’s not the only milestone they have to celebrate. The two chiropractors recently moved into 4,000 square feet of space at 920 W. Prairie Drive in Sycamore from about 400 square feet of space in their former State Street location.
Zac, who grew up in Iowa, started working in the family business in 2009 after graduating from school. He took over the Sycamore business when his great-uncle, Michael Sheedy, otherwise known as “Doc,” retired at age 88. Zac said his great-uncle, who died at age 89 only a few months after he adjusted his last patient, was very passionate about his work.
“He always said he ‘got’ to go to work. He never ‘had’ to go to work,” he said. “That’s something I heard a lot.”
Aside from his great-uncle, Zac’s mother and brother also are chiropractors. Shortly after the business moved to its new location in April, Morgan came on board to work as a chiropractor. She and Zac met while attending Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
Morgan, originally from Alaska, said she always wanted to be in the health field and was interested in holistic medicine.
The new space gives them room to expand what they call “structural rehab,” which is one of about 200 chiropractic methods taught today. Zac said the method they use not only treats the spine, but treats the health of the entire body. It involves adjustments, corrective posture and nutrition components, and also addresses soft tissue and ligaments.
Every new patient gets a visual posture exam and an X-ray when they start. The Sheedys then measure the degrees of the spine to find posture instabilities and places where there’s a lot of stress on the spine. The Sheedys then record how those numbers and degrees change as patients are treated.
“We know it works because we can see the patient’s spine changing,” Zac said. “You’re not only changing how the patient feels, but you’re putting numbers to how you’re progressing and changing years of posture.”
“It gives people their life back,” Morgan added.
They ask new patients how their back or neck problems affect their lives. When a patient is able to go golfing again, they count that as progress.
One of their patients was getting headaches every day because her neck rested at a 10-degree angle instead of a 45-degree angle. One woman they treated used to walk with a limp because of a spinal imbalance and is now living a healthier lifestyle because she’s able to take walks again.
Another one of the Sheedys’ goals is to empower patients to take charge of their own health through ongoing education.
New patients take an in-office class to help them understand the importance of maintaining their spinal health. The Sheedys said many longtime patients are able to walk in during business hours and start using the equipment themselves while the Sheedys track their progress.
“We’re not doing the healing, the patient is doing the healing,” said Zac. “We’re just putting them in the proper position to heal.”