Kelsy Johnson
Dr. Mandy Dietz adjusting a young patient. (Megan Milbradt)

Life Expressions Family Chiropractic in Bismarck offers patients a family-friendly practice with a focus preventative and wellness care. Dr. Mandy Dietz, the owner, believes in using her practice for more than just pain relief. Her patients get adjusted for wellness.

"You don't always feel pain when you are having a spinal problem," Dietz said.

Many patients first come in to Dietz's practice when they have pain, such as after a car accident or a fall. As she treats their injuries, she encourages them to consider maintaining their health through regular adjustments.

Dietz says she has seen some of her patients shift their focus from the pain that they are experiencing to finding the root cause of their problems. Medication often covers up the symptoms but doesn't fix this issue.

"People are looking for the cause of the problem, not just managing the symptoms," Dietz said.

Chiropractic care can help people with a variety of health issues, such as frequent headaches. When those health problems are under control, it leaves a positive impact.

"It changes their lives in ways we don't even realize," she said.

Dietz graduated from chiropractic school at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minneapolis. She worked in a variety of clinics, though most of them focused on health and wellness. At her last clinic, she experienced working with pediatric patients. These settings helped Dietz incorporate pediatric and wellness-specific adjustments into her own practice.

Dietz and her significant other, John Bank, have twin daughters who will be three years old in May. Motherhood has impacted Dietz's practice in more than one way. Less than a year ago, they found out that one of their daughters has a significant spinal deformity. Over the last 10 months, she and Bank have traveled the country to learn about techniques that can be used to treat scoliosis.

"We're shifting our clinic to a very specific specialization on scoliosis in kids," Dietz said.

Dietz has been involved in mom's groups around town. When she first arrived in Bismarck in 2011, she participated in the Bismarck Natural Moms group to promote adjustments during pregnancy. She has also worked with infants as young as a just few hours old.

Children make up an important part of Life Expressions. Half of the waiting room is a playroom. Dietz describes the environment as "very family friendly."

"We always have kids running around," she said.

In the summer, Life Expressions sponsors a bouncy house for kids to play in at BisMarket, the local farmer's market held at Sertoma Park. This year, Dietz plans to include something for the kids at Urban Harvest, as well.

Dietz keeps her practice connected to other health-oriented causes in the area since education is an important part of her mission. Dietz holds movie nights at the library, where she shows health-related documentaries . The family maintains a recipe blog where Dietz and Bank share some of their favorites with their patients. A lending library is available to patients at Life Expressions. Dietz tries to help people connect to other health-related businesses in the area, too.

With a health-oriented focus and connections to community resources, Life Expressions promotes a lifestyle of wellness for both adults and children.

Kelsy Johnson, a native of Bismarck, works as a freelance reporter and nonprofit writer in Fargo. She divides her time between her two passions: storytelling and martial arts.