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Meet Johanna Martinez of JM Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Carson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Johanna Martinez.

Johanna, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?

As a child I set my eyes on becoming a firefighter, I never imagined I would set that career path aside to pursue a career in Chiropractic and Acupuncture work. At 15 years of age I was injured by a moving vehicle, an event in my life that proved to be the catalyst to my present career. The accident left me with unbearable abdominal and back pain; these episodes of pain continued for two years. Western medicine offered no relief; instead it prescribed an unlimited supply of Vicodin with no answers to my questions of what was the root cause of my pain. The chronic pain I faced affected me physically and emotionally, I battled depression and suffered academically. At age 17, in one last attempt to find a cure for my pain I went to see a chiropractor, not entirely sure how my visit would go as I knew very little about chiropractors and Eastern medicine. The initial visit offered me the relief that Western medicine had failed to provide me time and time again, and so I continued with visiting the Chiropractor. After a month of treatment I felt like my 15 year old self before being hit by the car. I realized then that this was my calling and destiny and continued to research alternative healthcare options. I discovered acupuncture and fell in love.

After high school I enrolled in a Massage Therapy Certification program as well as prerequisite courses at a local community college. After completing my Massage Therapy Certification I started working in my chiropractor’s office, this allowed to attend school and still work within the field I was aiming for.

In the Fall of 2010 I enrolled in a dual program in grad school, pursuing a doctorate of chiropractic and a masters of acupuncture and oriental medicine. I completed my doctorate by the end of 2013 and my masters at the end of the 2014 spring semester. I began hunting for the perfect office to integrate into, through a series of interviews I soon learned that my level of ethics and my idea of what a mission should entail did not match with most of the existing practices I was pursuing. Although, it was significantly early in my career, I decided to open my own practice.

I grew up in a business driven home and knew firsthand the hard work and dedication needed to build your own business and to keep it running smoothly. I decided to take on this endeavor in hopes that my actions and field of work would not only spread the love of alternative health with proper chiropractic and acupuncture services but to also hopefully encourage the youth in my community to follow their dreams. As a first generation Latina, I wanted to become someone they could identify with. Someone who faced many obstacles such as language barriers, stigmas associated with being female, and associations with growing up in Carson.

Life is not always easy but it does give you the tools to accomplish the goals that you set for yourself, and the satisfaction that comes with accomplishing these goals, that is one of the best feelings you can have.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

I would love to say that it was an easy path, but in reality it was not. I split my time during my undergraduate studies in between working 7 days a week as a massage therapist and focusing on my classes. Some classes such as chemistry challenged my motivation in pursuing this career. I often found myself questioning my decision to leave behind a firefighter career after having already completed the academy. It would have been much easier to just go back to a firefighter career. My body thought otherwise, residual back pain episodes treated by a chiropractor served as reminders as to why I had decided to take this path.

Because I took a non-traditional path to pursue my undergraduate degree, attending a community college then transferring to a four year university, it took 6 years from the time I made the decision to pursue a career in integrative health until when I enrolled into Graduate School. I was in school from 8am to 9pm, four to five days a week, and after that I still went home and studied well into the night and worked on weekends. I started the dual program as part of cohort of more than 20 students, at the end I could count the students from my cohort on one hand.

Once I started looking for going to interviews and finding a place to start working it became a bit more challenging. Some offices’ work ethics did not coincide with my own and others seemed intent on making my search a difficult one in fear that I would take business away. It was nearly impossible to ask for help as they would not offer it because “it’s a secret”. I decided to go out on my own in the end and start a practice with my own vision.

Finding a place in the area that I wanted was an arduous process. The location I am currently at did not care to speak or negotiate with me at first. The other locations I looked at did not meet my requirements, it had to be on the first floor, I wanted a decent space size, and parking. A year later after searching for the perfect location and saving money, I received a call back from the original location I had my eye on. After negotiating, I jumped in with my sister and mother’s support and encouragement Many voiced their concerns about me taking on such a large commitment, they feared I was making a mistake and that I was not prepared for what this would require of me. It was definitely a lot of work and stress. I had many issues with the contractor I had hired to work on my tenant improvements, he failed to deliver what he assured me he was capable of doing and did not finish the work in a timely manner. Unsatisfied with his work when he was done, it took an additional month to correct the mistakes he did. My opening day was pushed back 4 months, and in that time I had to pay rent, bills for the location and my own bills with the meager income I was earning while working part time.

I still have many struggles, mostly dealing with Insurance companies. I am still struggling financially and I am fully aware that I jumped into the deep end of the pool but despite all of this, I am in a happy place. I am happy with where I am and the results so far, and I know it will only continue to get better.

Please tell us about JM Chiropractic & Acupuncture.

In chiropractic care, I offer multiple techniques to customize treatments for patients. I offer cold laser therapy, electric stimulation, ultrasound, cold/hot therapy, and Kinesio taping. I use different adjusting techniques so my patients are at their most comfortable while being adjusted; such as activator, flexion traction, drop and diversified adjustments. I take a holistic approach when treating, so I make sure to check the entire spine and all extremities (shoulders, knees, ankles, etc.). I’ve had a few patients tell me they didn’t know chiropractors adjusted other joints besides the back.

In acupuncture, I do acupuncture that not only focuses on the patient’s complaint area but the entire body. I offer acupuncture with just needles, acupuncture with electrical stimulation, moxibustion treatment to treat cold, infrared therapy, fire cupping and guasha. I can also incorporate cold laser therapy in my acupuncture treatments. Many patients come in with the misconception that the more needles used is always better. Personally, I like to treat the body with the least amount of needles, allowing the body to focus on the primary complaint.

Massage therapists are available appointment; I work only with certified, licensed massage therapists. The difference between receiving a massage from a therapist at a doctor’s office and receiving a massage at a spa is that a massage therapist at a doctor’s office focus on the patient’s complaint and needs. Each massage at JM Chiropractor and Acupuncture is tailored to the patient’s needs. In a spa, massage therapists have to follow a protocol depending on the type of massage you pay for. If the patient doesn’t have time to schedule a massage with the Therapist, I also have a Zero Gravity Massage Chair available, the patient has an option of choosing between 5mins, 15mins, 30mins or 45mins sessions.

My practice is not your typical chiropractic office, my vision was to have a space that was both welcoming and clean, exudes a sense of calm, and have treatment rooms that were larger than the norm.  This I believe sets it apart from other chiropractic/acupuncture offices. The waiting room is equipped with comfortable seating and a complimentary tea and coffee station.. We also offer supplements for sale to help patients achieve their health goals, such as Nordic Naturals, Standard Process and Evergreen Chinese Herbal formulas.

I am humbled and filled with pride when I walk into the office every day as I am reminded how my visual dream became a reality.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?

When I was 7-years-old my dad came home with his truck bed filled with dirt and called my siblings and I out to meet him. He then informed us that dirt was for us to play with.  My siblings and I came to the unanimous decision to mix it with water, resulting into a glorious muddy mess. We were unaware, of course, as most children are that my mom did not approve of this mess. When we attempted to go inside and clean up, she served as a fortress, protecting her clean home from her muddy children. Instead she made us clean-up outside with the hose acting as our showerhead. I don’t think any of us ever played in mud after that.

These are the types of memories I aim to protect, chronic pain should not deter someone from playing in mud with their children or siblings. As an acupuncturist and chiropractor I aim to provide a piece of the solution to pain and encourage everyone to try it out.


  • Cash Price for Initial Visit (chiropractic or Acupuncture) : $120.00
  • Cash Price for Follow-Up Visits (chiropractic or acupuncture): $80.00
  • Massage Therapy 50Mins : $80.00
  • Massage Therapy 20Mins: $40.00
  • Fire Cupping 10Mins: $25.00
  • Cold Laser Therapy: $30.00 per session
  • Massage Chair: $1/minute

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Johanna Martinez

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