Michael Warren, owner of Crater Chiropractic Clinic, performs a neck adjustment on first-time patient Tom O'Brien Friday. Mail Tribune Photo / Jamie Lusch - Jamie Lusch

Home Grown: Crater Chiropractic

Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

What do you do and how long have you been doing it?

I run a chiropractic clinic, maintaining overall health, teaching people how to take care of themselves and then dealing with traumatic injuries. We also work with elderly people and sports injuries. I've been doing this 14 years.

How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley?

I was born here and attended Crater High School

What inspired you to go into this line of work?

I knew I always wanted to be in the medical field somewhere. I herniated a disk in my back playing football my junior year at Crater. I was in traction for six months, went to surgeons and physical therapy and it just didn't work for me. I play men's fastpitch softball and played with Neil Towne, a chiropractor in Medford. He got me to come in and within a couple of weeks, something that had bothered me for a year went away. That's when I started researching the chiropractic field and decided that's what I wanted to do.

What decision or action would you change if you could do it again?

When I came out of school I just started from scratch on my own. I would have built my clinic sooner. Up to building the clinic we're in now, I leased an office in Central Point. The investment of owning the building and land would've been good. It allowed me to bring in another doctor and the office we were in before wasn't big enough.

What's the toughest business decision you've made?

Between my college and chiropractic school I spent a year in New Zealand playing softball. It was fun to play ball and sit on the beach all the time and it was difficult to go back to school. Getting accustomed to the ebbs and flows of business was difficult at first. After spending eight years perfecting the health aspect it was difficult combining running a business with the medical part of it. A lot of it, you learn on the fly. It was great some days and other days there was no one on the books and I wondered what I was doing.

Who are your competitors?

There are a lot of chiropractors in the area. When it comes to competition, I would say physical therapists out there are competitors, but they don't adjust and manipulate the spine and that's what a chiropractor by definition does. As far as chiropractors, I have a lot of admiration for Neil Towne in Medford and Dennis Tall in Central Point is a good one.

What are your goals?

One of the things we did when we moved to this location in March was add another doctor, Jeff Taylor. I had been looking around for a while, wanting to stay in Central Point, but there is only so much dirt there. I was talking to a dentist friend of mine, Bruce Mitchell, and he kept saying why don't we do this together. We bought the property out here in Navigators Landing and built a 6,000-square-foot building. His side is dental and my side is chiropractic. The only thing we share, however, is a see-through fireplace. I love my job, but I'm not a workaholic. If I wanted to do that I would have gone into orthopedics, but that would require having a beeper on my belt 24 hours a day and I don't want that. My goal is to treat people for the problem they have — not their symptoms — and getting to the root cause. The idea is to fix the problem, so you don't have to come back.

What training or education did you need?

I studied biology and chemistry and Southern Oregon University and got my degree in chemistry. After that I spent four years at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland. I go to conferences each year, to learn about the latest research on spinal manipulation and neurology.

What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

My training was 100 percent in my field and the business end was what I learned as I went. You have to have 100 percent faith in what you do and just work hard.

To suggest an idea for this column, contact reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail

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