Getting married to a Cebuana, an American Chiropractic doctor or chiropractor found himself serving another set of people in a different country with a totally different culture in 1998.
Dr. James Pardis has been treating patients in the state of Montana in the United States of America specializing in treatments of neck and back problems for 20 years.
?Well I was trained there and worked there for about 20 years until I got married to a Filipina who wanted to go home and stay for good in Cebu, so here I am,? he said.
Dr. Pardis chose carefully the location where he would set up his clinic considering Chiropractic is not a very well known treatment in Cebu or perhaps in the country before.
Chiropractic is a health care discipline that emphasizes diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the muscuskeletal system, especially the spine, under the premise that these disorders affect general health through the nervous system.
Eventually, the couple found a good place in Ayala Center Cebu, which teems with shoppers and mallgoers alike.
The clinic location being in a mall gives his patients ample spaces for parking and access to food, shopping and other lifestyle activities that his patients may want to do before or after their appointment with him.
Dr. Pardis invested over a million pesos to set up the clinic and the clinic apparatus needed to treat his patients.
He admits that he was surprised at how open the Filipinos were in embracing the alternative treatment that he was offering considering that it was not widely practiced and was not even included in any courses in the formal education system of the country.
?I had many patients coming here for consultation then for treatments even during my early months of operation so investment-wise I was able to achieve ROI (return of investment) within the year,? Dr. Pardis said.
Over the years, Dr. Pardis has gathered and treated over 6,000 patients already with a remarkable increase in the number of patients coming to his clinics including Americans and other foreigners like Koreans.
?In a day, they would average about 15 clients for consultation and treatments now,? he said.
Consultation is free at the clinic and Dr. Pardis would give them his recommendations for treatment after. Treatment duration would vary depending on the patients' case.
?In most chronic cases that I treat here and I think would still be treated by me instead of an operation I usually recommend about 10 sessions which could run more than 6 weeks and per session I charge them P1,000,? he said.
Cases like abnormal growth and alignment of the spinal chord or the backbone can be treated in the clinic. His clinic assistant Jhen claimed that some cases of scoliosis are due to wrong handling of the baby during delivery and which are not often noticed at an early age because they just develop while the child is also growing. Scoliosis is a medical condition where the spine is curved from side to side.
Dr. Pardis said that he has had some challenges in his profession as the only Chiropractic doctor practitioner here in Cebu.
?I had many difficult cases but I find them also rewarding especially on cases that I would be able to help my patients,? he said.
The clinic has not invested so much on advertising. Dr. Pardis said they have their patients do the advertising for them, when they refer their friends to him for treatments.
Just recently Dr. Pardis opened his second clinic in the country in Cagayan de Oro with another American Chiropractic doctor attending to the patients.
?His name is Dr. John Daley, and just like me he was trained in the US and has been practising Chiropractic for a long time,? he said.
Dr. Pardis said that he has also plans of expanding and opening clinics in other areas of Cebu.
?That will be the next step for me,? he said
He also informed that there has been talks of forming up a board of examiners for the Philippine Regulation Commission for those who want to be trained and get licensed as a professional Chiropractic practitioner.
He was also told of a plan to put up a college in the country offering Chiropractic medicine which he is very optimistic about.
?I've always wanted to teach so that would be an open idea for me,? he said when asked if he would teach if that school would be established.
The clinic at Basement 2, Ayala Center Cebu, is open Mondays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 7p.m.