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Tjepkes opens Blackduck Chiropractic

Tjepkes opened her chiropractic clinic in January. (Audrey Zimmerman )

BLACKDUCK—For Dr. Heather Tjepkes, the chiropractic care field has always been an area of interest.

She recently graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington and has relocated back to her hometown of Blackduck to open her own practice, Blackduck Chiropractic.

"I always wanted to help people feel better and it worked out right," she said. "When I was in my mid-teens, I was getting a lot of headaches, so my mom brought me to the chiropractor. It worked better than taking ibuprofen or whatever other treatments there might be.

"In school, I was taught a lot of orthopedic testing. It depends a lot on the mechanism of the injury; if someone was in a car accident, I might send them to get X-rays to see what's really going on. If somebody just has a twinge in their back, you can feel and palpate around to get a diagnosis from there."

Tjepkes had worked as a massage therapist for 12 years before transitioning to chiropractic work.

"The reason I decided to switch from massage therapy to chiropractic was not only to chase my original dream, but also because I felt like I was unable to help people as much as I am able to now," she continued.

Recently, another chiropractic clinic, JM Chiropractic of Bemidji opened a satellite office in Blackduck, and for Tjepkes it's a "the more the merrier" mentality instead of a competition.

"I think more options are a good thing," she said. "I can't say I'm the right doctor for everyone, so having more providers around is a good thing."

Tjepkes said she's very happy to be back in Blackduck.

"I grew up here in Blackduck," she said. "It's good to be home. It's good to have (the kids) here and all their grandparents live around here."

Audrey Zimmerman

Audrey Zimmerman is a reporter for the Blackduck American, covering everything from high school sports to City Council meetings. She graduated from the College of St. Scholastica in May 2015 and joined the Pioneer staff the following February. She also contributes to the Pioneer, reporting on local goings-on and events. 

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