Open Heart, Open Mind

Servey’s health crisis guided his life, career.
Nathan Servey, D.C., encourages people to be active participants in their own preventative healthcare initiatives.

Nathan Servey’s, D.C., path to holistic health started long before he became a chiropractor.

Five years after being diagnosed at age 9 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart condition, Servey underwent open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. What followed prompted Servey’s health care career.

“I didn’t realize how much of our heart health is under our control,” Servey says. “We’re mostly products of our environment and control.” While Servey believes modern medicine saved his life, he noticed how little aid was given to recovering patients after they left the hospital. “They didn’t give me any advice and sent me on my way,” he says. “Some of those things slipped through the cracks.”

Servey shadowed an assortment of doctors before deciding to follow the chiropractic route. While he always knew he wanted to be involved in preventative care, he also saw that many chiropractors loved their practice. “For whatever reason, it just felt right,” he says.

Now as a chiropractor at Power of Life: Alternative and Holistic Health in Victoria, Servey’s work encompasses his health ideals.

“My goal, and the goal with medicine, is the same and should be the same—keep people healthy,” he says.

Helping others understand what defines holistic and alternative medicine is part of the job. “My job, first and foremost, is teacher, and I think that the alternative and holistic health community has embraced that teacher philosophy,” Servey says. “Chiropractic practices have been around for over a hundred years.” That philosophy also extends to practitioners outside of alternative and holistic health. “When we work together, we get the best outcome for patients,” Servey says. It’s about opening a dialogue and providing an understanding toward healing.

Alternative and holistic health is as much about preventative care as it is about healing, maybe even more so. Servey sees people daily for everyday issues from asthma to back pain. His ultimate goal—saving people time, money and pain. He cites lower back pain as an example.
Instead of enduring the high cost of lower back surgery—half of which are considered failures, according to Servey— individuals could utilize those funds for injury and pain prevention. “Going on a walk is free but can prevent lower back pain, depression, cardiovascular disease,” Servey says, “People need to realize they’re worth investing in themselves.”

The proof that holistic health is on the uptick may be in the numbers. Workplace spending on employee health has increased. Employers investing in standing desks, encouraging time off and offering stress management are just some measures on trend. “If you look at the state of health care, in terms of cost, insurers and government support, it’s all up in the air,” Servey says. “People are starting to wake up and realize that, for certain conditions, there has to be more tracking and prevention going on.”
Experiencing a life-threatening health crisis shouldn’t be the only impetus for  people to take control of their health. “What I tell patients is that the vast majority of issues, even if congenital, can be triggered by stress, diet or fitness. It all plays a huge role,” he says.