When Jeffrey Willes returned to McGill to visit the place where his father grew up, he had no idea the trip would end up changing his life.
In a chance encounter with the local chiropractor, Willes discovered the physician was looking to sell his practice. Being a professional chiropractor himself and actively looking to open a practice closer to his home state of Utah, Willes was struck by the opportunity.More than 20 years later, Willes smiles when he thinks about the trip that “changed everything.”
“It felt like it was meant to be,” Willes said. “Everything kind of all happened right and perfect.”
Having practiced in Ely now since 1994, Willes says he can’t imagine calling any other place home. The small town nature of Ely and McGill was something he claimed held a much greater appeal to him when thinking about where to make a home and raise children.
“I felt some immediate connection,” Willes said.
He had spent some time in McGill as a kid. When he returned, he said it felt like almost nothing had changed. Nothing except for him that is.
Willes had found his calling as a chiropractic physician. Though the field was often at odds with the general medical establishment while he still in school, it was the only option that provided him relief from injuries sustained in a car accident.
“I had injured my neck in the accident and I started having chronic headaches. Traditional medicines didn’t help,” Willes said. He found reprieve from his symptoms once he started receiving help from a chiropractor. The relief was enough to inspire Willes to change his career path and begin studying at the Texas Chiropractic School, of which he graduated in 1991.
Years later, Willes said he still enjoys going into work everyday to try and bring the same level of care and pain relief to his patients. And having been in town for as long as he has now, he has formed a bond with those people that he helps.
“I’ve met a lot of great people up here. When I walk into that room with a patient, I try to give them 100 percent of my time and attention to do my best to help them,” he said.
Three quarters of his time is spent trying to help those patients with back and neck problems, but it’s a common misconception that those two areas are all a chiropractor can help with.
“When people think of chiropractors, they tend to only think about neck and back problems. In reality, the techniques can actually be applied to many different areas,” the doctor said.
One of the areas Willes has made an impact in locally is taking care of the student athletes at the high school. Being a certified chiropractic sports physician, Willes said he often helps perform physicals and help injured athletes get back to competitive shape.
Willes chiropractic office is located on 664 14th St. E. To make an appointment, call the office at 775-289-6800.