Over 32 years at the treatment table will come to a close as local chiropractor, Dr. Mark Whitemyer, 64, will retire next month after 32 years of spinal diagnosis and treatment, his last 20 years in the City of Oakdale.
Whitemyer’s journey to the profession began in 1979 when, as a veteran police officer for the Fremont Police Department, he was laid up with back problems and went to see a chiropractor in the Bay Area.
“We had to carry him to the car,” said his wife Kim, 62, of 41 years. “I couldn’t believe it when he came home walking.”
Whitemyer was so impressed with chiropractic science and treatment that he left the department that year and enrolled in Palmer College of Chiropractic in Sunnyvale.
He graduated in 1982 and opened his first office in Fremont, practicing there until 1994 when he came to Oakdale.
“We chose Oakdale because of the area and it was great place to continue to raise our family,” said Whitemyer, the father of seven, including Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer.
Whitemyer said that over the years one of the biggest changes he’s seen in the profession is a greater acceptance of chiropractors within the medical community.
“It’s not just about popping bones,” Whitemyer said, referring to the spinal manipulations they perform. “Doctors are making referrals and pro sports teams now have team chiropractors on their medical staffs.”
Because of its benefit to sports, Whitemyer studied an additional two years for certification for chiropractic sports medicine.
Other changes in the profession, according to Whitemyer, have included the utilization of modalities, such as ultrasound, laser therapy, and micro-current stimulation to help restore function in addition to hands-on care.
Whitemyer credits much of the success of his 32-year practice to wife Kim, who has assisted in the office, taking a larger full-time role five years ago.
“She does everything around here for us to make it,” Whitemyer said. “She’s the brains of the operation.”
The Whitemyers want to stress that even though Dr. Whitemyer is retiring, the business will continue under Dr. James Sanford, a chiropractor with 22 years’ experience.
Sanford practiced in Ceres for some time until relocating to Texas but then came back to the California area.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me,” said Sanford, referring to it as a “God thing” that got him in contact with Whitemyer at the time of the retirement. “Dr. Whitemyer has a great reputation in the community that I plan to continue.”
Whitemyer Chiropractic will be holding an open house to honor Whitemyer’s retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at his office at 806 E. F St.