South Central WI Archive
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • August 2014
Written by  Grace Olson

Health at every age — Dr. Wade Anunson provides the foundation for whole-body healing and wellness

For most people, a career choice is created over time in the midst of a lot of vacillation and a few, if not several, theories about what their life will hold. For Dr. Wade Anunson, the road to a fulfilling and illustrious career began when he was a young child and has allowed his life to come full circle.

“I don’t feel like I chose chiropractic,” he says. “I feel like it chose me.”

As with the beginning of most discoveries, his call to the field stemmed from the basic need to solve a problem. In Dr. Anunson’s case, it was ear infections and a bout with pneumonia discovered by a chiropractor. Thanks to his mother’s tendency to think outside the box when it came to health care, a foundation for a lifelong pull toward the science of chiropractic began when he was just eight years old.

“I thought it was cool that the chiropractor didn’t have to give me medication… a couple gentle adjustments on my body and I always felt better,” he relays. “I was always intuitively fascinated by that and thought, ‘That’s what I’m going to do.’”

An enduring desire to provide holistic care

For just over 20 years, Anunson has been the chiropractor sparking interest and buzz in the Madison community. He began Anunson Chiropractic almost immediately after graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic, where he now teaches students and other chiropractors, sometimes on more than the typical physical methods.

“It’s fun and rewarding, but at the same time… societal views want to put us in just musculoskeletal — back pain, neck pain and that’s it,” Dr. Anunson says of expanding his students’ and colleagues’ view of doctor-patient interaction and the importance of relaying chiropractic’s holistic benefit. “It is so much more than that.”

There’s no denying his experience and deep understanding of his craft. Beginning the practice early and having his wife, Dr. Heather Anunson, who focuses on nutritional significance, by his side, along with his own childhood involvement being on the other side of treatment has helped him to quickly realize just how much one impacts the other.

In fact, sometimes the message is just as important as the bodily care. The knowledge that chiropractic truly encompasses whole-body wellness has always been a goal of Dr. Anunson’s, and communicating is a large part of his success in knowing this key to good health.

“If doctors aren’t communicating... it’s hard for patients to really get the full benefit of chiropractic rather than just treating the problem at hand,” he says. “That really stems from knowing that we need to know people’s behavioral styles and communicate in a language that people can understand so they can make an informed decision.”

While Dr. Anunson always treats a patient’s immediate concerns, chiropractic is much more than that; it’s about seeing the body as a whole. Symptoms are symptoms, but a healthy nervous system gives the body a chance to heal and mend from a variety of different things, and when the body’s systems work together, it produces ultimate health — at every age.

Providing the foundation to heal

“I absolutely love working with infants and children,” Dr. Anunson says. “The technique I use is very gentle and very specific, so we can see infants who are days old. I check them right after birth because of the birth process and the challenges that can come up.”

Some of the obstacles Dr. Anunson sees with his youngest patients can include gastric reflux issues, constipation and torticollis, which causes the neck to deform and start to develop scoliosis with a lack of range of motion. The muscles can actually tighten to the point of surgery being necessary, but chiropractic care helps prevent that from happening.

“I have a handful of infants that I’m seeing right now for torticollis. They’re amazing kids and the parents who trust me to work with them, I’m grateful for. I’m grateful that they’re open to see this process through.”

The process is a large part of being able to reach so many people, ranging from babies and young children to adult athletes and the elderly. He has mastered the Activator Methods technique, a patient-friendly system used to isolate problem areas and correct them. It’s gentle and specific and works for the wide variety of patients he sees every day.

The technique behind the treatment

As an advanced proficient practitioner of Activator Methods, Dr. Anunson recognizes the value in the activator instrument, but also that it is just that: a tool. The technique in using the series of isolation or stress tests is the important part, producing objective findings. The device simply helps the doctor to determine how to adjust, when to adjust and when not to adjust.

“It’s not just about cracking and moving a joint; it’s about fine tuning the neurological response and giving the body a chance and being able to measure that change,” he explains. “Activator Methods is very scientific, and that was the whole point. It’s a technique that leaves no question medically as to its effectiveness because it’s literally one of the most researched techniques in chiropractic.”

Activator Methods is a protocol of tests that confirm the misalignment and the effect on the nervous system. Dr. Anunson is then able to post-check and see that after treatment, it is functionally different within minutes or seconds. This objective information is vital to him in the midst of all of the opinions in health care. At Anunson Chiropractic, there is a start of care and an end of care, and if there’s a choice to maintain it, it’s the patient’s prerogative to do so.

“We want to give you choices and set you free if that’s what you want to do,” Dr. Anunson says. “It’s not a cure or fix as much as it’s the foundation for the body to function and heal well.”

A distinctive difference at Anunson Chiropractic

The job isn’t always easy, and in fact, that’s Dr. Anunson’s favorite part.

“I like that every day is challenging… I believe in the development in the human potential. I believe that everybody has the ability to express health and has incredible, incredible capacity,” he says. “How I see the body is how I see the world. It’s an inside-out job, not an outside-in job.”

It’s an ideal made clear from the first time you come in contact with the team at Anunson Chiropractic. Patients can expect to be heard and receive individualized care through a personal connection with the staff. Feedback always focuses on the high quality of care, which sets the group apart.

“There’s a whole-body focus and a solution protocol, not a Band-Aid protocol. Expect that nothing will be left unturned… we will help address any problem without an agenda,” Dr. Anunson promises.

Don’t anticipate that changing any time soon. The primary goal of the clinic is to continually adapt to the natural growth and, as always, to focus on delivering patient-centered care.

It’s typically the patients thanking care providers for delivering thoughtful service and knowledge of their craft, but like most of Dr. Anunson’s career and life, he’s naturally the one finding his own way and appreciating the art of chiropractic and those who trust in his care.

“Sometimes I take for granted what I get to do every day,” he says. “And when I realize the impact that it’s having on someone’s life, I’m in awe with gratitude.” 

A master of his art

Dr. Anunson is not only passionate about using the Activator Methods technique, Anunson Chiropractic is the only exclusive activator office in Madison. “From a patient’s perspective, there’s knowingness that if I can help someone, my indicators tell me, and if I can more efficiently get them to someone else they need to see instead of wasting time doing something that may or may not work, I do that. It comes down to what the patient needs and what’s most important to them,” he explains.

Anunson Chiropractic

8215 Plaza Drive, Madison


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