About Dr. Bill Harrell

Why I Became A Chiropractor

While in a High School physics class, my teacher brought in a chiropractor and introduced her to our class. At the time I was contemplating my future at the ripe old age of 17. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved with health care. I wanted to help people, to serve.

I was a bit of a rebel growing up. I never got myself into trouble but "going with the flow" was never part of my routine. I found the status quo boring and unrewarding. So when I was sitting in my physics class with this chiropractor explaining how the nervous system is the master system and controls all functions of life, and through adjusting the spine you can affect that system, I was interested. It also helped that chiropractors were looked at as the black sheep of the major health professions. The rebel in me was awakened and I knew that from that point on all of my studies were going to revolve around biology and the pre-med sciences.

Fast forward 2 years and now I’m working for UPS while going to college. While moving a hose at work my lower back went out. The pain started off manageable but on the second day I couldn’t get out of bed. I crawled on my hands and knees and somehow walked to a chiropractic office that was 2 blocks from where I was living. I was again reminded how the nervous system reacts to an injury. All of this pain I was feeling was actually my nervous system trying to protect me. The pain was my bodies’ way of saying slow down, rest, take it easy. It didn't help that the day after I hurt myself at work I played in a tennis tournament and then sat in a hot tub. Both big mistakes when you are trying to heal. So here I am getting my first adjustment and I was a little scared. I got up and I immediately felt an ease of movement. I was still feeling a little bit of pain, but I realized that the pain wasn't the problem. Pain was a symptom, the problem was my vertebra moving away from its normal position, my body reacted to that and until the vertebra was returned to the normal position the pain was there to remind me that I wasn't all the way well.

So the next day I find out that my employer wants me to see one of "their" doctors. So during my exam the MD asked me if I had any other treatment. I told him that I had been to see a chiropractor and I could tell that he was less than impressed. He also was offended when I told him that fixing the problem (subluxated vertebra) made way more sense to me than dealing with the symptom (pain). I said to no to pain pills and anti-inflammatories the M.D. tried to give me, and after a few more visits to the chiropractor I was back to work, playing tennis and life returned to normal. I was now wiser as I got to see firsthand the proper management of a low back injury.

So now I had everything I needed to make my decision. I began researching chiropractic colleges, getting catalogs, speaking to admissions counselors to make sure I was taking all of the right classes.

Fast forward six years. I am now finishing up my Biology studies at San Diego State University. By this time I had talked to several different chiropractors and the verdict was unanimous. I applied to Life West Chiropractic College and was accepted in the summer of 1994.

Chiropractic College and Beyond

In Chiropractic College I was fully immersed into the science, art, and philosophy of Chiropractic. I became inspired to tell everyone I knew about how the body heals itself and how Chiropractic is in alignment with our body’s innate wisdom to heal itself. Chiropractic College was hard work. The schedule was grueling, the people in my class were great, and I loved every minute of it.

I will never forget giving my first adjustment. I remember thinking all of this training I have had, all of the classes, studying. I looked at my hands and realized all I need are these, my hands. I can go anywhere in the world and help people. I didn’t need any drugs, fancy equipment, just my knowledge and my hands.

After graduating Chiropractic College in the summer of 1997, I returned to the Northwest and passed my Washington state boards in September 1997. While in Chiropractic College I had met some Australians. I remember thinking when I’m done with my studies I want to go to Australia to practice. I needed some adventure. So after making a few phone calls and emails I flew to Sydney on Halloween 1997.

I was blown away at the friendliness of the Aussies. Here I was fresh out of Chiropractic school. I didn’t know anyone and within 2 days I had a place to stay with another chiropractor who practiced in Sydney. I must have met 10 different chiropractors from Sydney to Melbourne then up to Brisbane. I received my license to practice in the state of Victoria and Queensland in November 1997.

I fell in love with the people, lifestyle, and climate of Southern Queensland. I began practicing in a small town just outside of Brisbane. I will never forget my first day of practicing as a licensed chiropractor. I was driving down the freeway sitting on the right side of the car driving down the wrong side of the freeway.

I met a lot of great people while living In Australia and I learned a lot about myself and I began to witness more healing miracles. It was a great time for me professionally. I began to miss the northwest however. So after 9 months of living in Queensland I returned home to the Tacoma and the Puget Sound area.

So began my next adventure. Do I open up my own office or should I work with someone else. I sent out letters to every chiropractor from Bellingham to Vancouver Washington. I met quite a few Chiropractors but I could tell within about 5 minutes whether it was a good match or not.

I finally settled down in the South Puget Sound area and practiced with another Chiropractor in Rainier WA in January 1999. I knew right away that this was the type of practice I wanted to be a part of. After a period of adjusting to the fast paced nature of the new office, I began to settle in. It was here that I really sank my teeth into everything that I had learned. I was given a great opportunity and after practicing in Rainier for nearly 11 years decided to open my own office.

So with my wife at my side as my office manager, Deschutes Chiropractic was born in November 2009. I am excited for this next phase of my life. I look forward to sharing it with as many of you as possible. We are focused primarily on educating patients on how to create a healthier body using sound evidenced based principles. Through education and awareness we are all able to make better choices for ourselves that ultimately impact everyone who is in our lives.

“We never know how far reaching something we think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow” --BJ Palmer