Today we’d like to introduce you to Hillary Smith D.C., CCT.
Hillary, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I became interested in natural healthcare and healthy eating in my early 20’s. At that time, it wasn’t as popular as it is now. After a decade working in the music business, I decided that natural medicine was my true calling. Never having been a science person, I went back to college to study biology and chemistry. In 1981, when I was accepted into Chiropractic College there were few options for practicing natural medicine as a licensed professional. I was fortunate that one of the premiere colleges was here in Southern California and I was one of ten women in a class of one hundred and ten the year I began. I am so grateful for the wonderful education I received. Chiropractic College is like medical school with the basic courses, but we focus on nutrition and manipulation rather than drugs and surgery. I began my practice in 1985 and created one of the first healing centers in the Valley. We offered chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, homeopathy and nutritional counseling. Along the way, I was trained in Cranial Sacral Therapy, Zero Balancing earned a Doctorate in Homeopathy and was certified in the first Health Coach program.
Around the time, I graduated Chiropractic College, my mother was diagnosed with dementia and breast cancer. It was a traumatic experience and that stayed with me. The fear that is instilled in daughters of women with breast cancer was not in alignment with the way I felt about being proactive in health. I did not want to rely on a test that couldn’t tell me anything about my health and that could only diagnose disease. In chiropractic philosophy, I learned, ” It’s easier to stay well than to get well”. This idea translates to every field of healthcare. Looking for a solution to my own health concerns, I discovered Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging or Thermography. I knew that if I wanted a tool to help me monitor my breast health, I was not alone.
In 2006, I incorporated the technology into my practice. I was fortunate to be trained by a world leader in thermography and have him as my mentor. He was performing a study using thermography at Duke University and I had my training on this beautiful campus. Since that time, I have achieved the highest level of training as a Certified Clinical Thermographer. As the years went by, working with Thermography and empowering women to take charge of their health inspired me to devote my practice to wellness with the thermal camera as my tool. In 2013 I retired from the hands on practice of chiropractic, with gratitude for the almost 30 years I enjoyed, to concentrate on my new passion in natural medicine.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Looking back, I would say it was not an easy road, but it has been fulfilling and challenging. Being a pioneer in something isn’t always the easiest thing, it is the road less traveled. Being a female chiropractor in the 1980’s to studying Classical Homeopathy in the 1990’s, talking about vitamins when the status quo said they were only expensive urine, to introducing Thermography to our area in 2005. Thermography??? What’s that?? Especially with doing proactive breast screenings which was not a well known concept and insurance mostly doesn’t pay for it. Funny how people will buy car insurance but they don’t expect State Farm to maintain their vehicle, but they aren’t willing to make the same investment in themselves and their precious bodies. Along with introducing new ideas, a successful health care professional outside of mainstream medicine, does not just get a job. So, I had to learn about networking and public speaking, hiring employees and everything else that comes with running an office. Being good at what you do isn’t really enough, you have to have business savvy as well.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Advanced Medical Thermography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
At Advanced Medical Thermography, we pride ourselves on offering an affordable and safe screening for health and wellness. Thermography is a tool that helps us stay on track with our health, like a GPS for potential wrong turns. Our service is affordable and presented in a personalized boutique setting.
As the first stand alone permanent Thermography center in the area, we are experts in our field. We use the highest quality equipment and partner with the world’s finest Thermology Interpretation Doctors (Thermologists).
As a licensed healthcare practitioner, I am able to review all the information with the patient and refer them for further testing. Also, I was personally trained by one of the international leaders in Medical Thermography and hand selected by him for advanced training. All our certified Thermography Technicians have advanced training and are female, making the screening very comfortable for the patients.
We have had the opportunity to use thermography in several interesting studies regarding healing and to test the efficacy of different products. Our studies have been featured in a Ted X talk, at various conventions, in two upcoming movies and on 20/20.
Having been in practice for over three decades, our patients know that we are not going anywhere and they have continuity of care.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We continue to learn and refine our work. Our plans include new satellite locations for the convenience of Southern California residents. We are also planning on incorporating some additional services like hormone saliva testing and blood panels for our patients who are not working with like minded professionals and need to take a deeper look at their wellness.
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