Collan Koeppen was an 8-year-old boy growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, when something happened that would change the trajectory of his life forever. Koeppen was playing football when he suffered a neck injury.
“My head was stuck to the side with my ear nearly touching my shoulder,” he told La Jolla Light. “The doctor said I should be OK. The following school year, my principal commented on how much nicer I had been the year before and asked me, ‘What happened?’ ”
Koeppen said he had no idea what to say, and his doctors didn’t have any more answers. For years, he suffered from headaches, muscle spasms, low back and knee pain — all related to misaligned vertebrae and body imbalance.
“Every time I sat down, my whole body would hurt and I felt a knotting tension that would create a pressure in my head, depending on the amount of stress I was under,” he remembers. “It affected my learning ability, my behavior, my sleep — pretty much every facet of my life.”
It wasn’t until 20 years later that Koeppen found out the truth. “I met a specialist who showed me how my head was not on straight, and gave me my first upper-cervical adjustment. From there, the healing process began,” he explains. “My chronic pain diminished, and my mood, energy and performance improved. Regular checkups made sure the process of healing progressed.”
That path of pain is what lead Koeppen — now Dr. Koeppen — to pursue a career in chiropractic medicine, focusing on a relatively rare type of treatment that he said he believes is the most effective way to not only relieve pain, but to prevent it.
Dr. Koeppen is the owner of Active Rest Chiropractic. He opened the business 10 years ago in the Gaines Building on Fay Avenue in La Jolla. Along with two massage therapists and an administrative staff, he sees a wide range of patients — from a 10-day-old infant to a 92-year-old senior.
His treatment is not out there on the cutting edge, it’s actually one of the most orthodox treatments available — going back to the roots of chiropractic medicine. As he explains: “I use a style that for the most part is ‘crackless.’ My treatments don’t crack — that’s the biggest difference that people can identify. We use a specialized system for muscles and nerve entrapments called ART, or Active Release Technique. ART unties spastic knots of muscle.”
He compares the treatment to untying the laces on a shoe: “If you pull on the loops of the shoelaces, it doesn’t untie. But if you pull on the right lace with the right pressure, direction and tension, the entire knot unties. That’s what we do. We untie spastic knots of muscle.”
That particular type of chiropractic care is often sought out by professional and Olympic athletes to balance out the body. La Jolla resident Carolyn Boline, a yoga instructor and owner of Silver Sage Wellness, has been coming to Dr. Koeppen for five years.
“I’ve had a yoga practice for more than 25 years, and I’ve been hiking with the same group of women for more than 20 years,” she told the Light. “I encountered some hip issues where it hurt to walk uphill. Dr. Koeppen got me squared away and ready for my next hike. And with my yoga practice, I depend very much on the adjustments that he gives me.”
To highlight the best practices in wellness, Active Rest Chiropractic is sponsoring a Fitness & Beauty Expo in the courtyard of the Gaines Building, 7580 Fay Ave., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Some of the best fitness and beauty practitioners in town will be there to offer chair massages, physical therapy sessions, Pilates, organic produce and food samples, natural skin products, essential oils, and naturopathic remedies. And, of course, Dr. Koeppen will be on hand. The event is free and open to the public.
• Active Rest Chiropractic is at 7580 Fay Ave., Suite 302, La Jolla. It was voted “Best Chiropractic Clinic” in La Jolla by readers of La Jolla Light. (858) 736-4056. activerestchiropractic.com
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