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Dr. Karen Slota

Published November 5, 2014 by

Chiropractor, Fitness Enthusiast and Nutrition Advocate

Dr. Karen Slota’s patients like to call her the “voodoo” doctor because she’s great with needles and fixes ailments the other doctors can’t seem to remedy.

But the well-toned, athletic 49-year-old chiropractor, who radiates good health and good humor, has a lot more than the spinal manipulation and x-rays of the traditional practitioner in her arsenal of treatments. And she practices what she preaches.

“I see lots of athletes,” she says. “But it’s amazing to me how even the youngest athletes have the worst diets. Nutrition is so critical to good health and gives you the base for all your athletic activities. You can’t live on fast food and compete over the long haul.”

Dr. Slota’s modern approach to medicine incorporates the latest in nutritional advice with full body assessment. After she assesses the issues involved, she delivers advice and treatments as appropriate, depending on what is required by an individual’s physical issues.

Professionally speaking: You’d be amazed at how many young athletes grab fast food after a big game or subsist on it as a lifestyle, and their parents don’t know any better either. They have no idea how critical good nutrition is. These kids may be competing well, but they aren’t getting the protein and nutrients they need to perform at their peak.

I have a lot of testimonials on my website from all kinds of people, but because I am athletic, a lot of athletes find their way to me. It’s a lot of word-of-mouth referral, although I do get some walk-ins.

My patients range from the average person arriving after multiple treatments from other practitioners for a specific problem to teenage athletes to ‘weekend warriors,’ as well as committed athletic enthusiasts like marathoners, bicyclists and bodybuilders.

My practice, Soft Tissue Solutions, has locations in Royal Oak and Farmington Hills. We will soon be adding physical therapy to my Farmington Hills location and expanding the office by 1,000 square feet.

Industry changes: I grew up on a farm in Iowa with six brothers. Our family all went to chiropractors and, in fact, I was actually a baby when I first went to one. My dad had to drive hours to get helpful treatment when he hurt his back and after he was helped, we all went there.

When I realized in my late twenties that I wanted to be in a profession that helped people, I decided to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa (one of the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded chiropractic schools).

Around seven or eight years ago, chiropractic lobbyists created a more level playing field for us with other medical practitioners. Prior to that, it was illegal for us to even take a blood pressure.

Now, not only do I advise people on nutrition, I may provide treatment using active release techniques or functional dry needling (which is where the voodoo moniker comes in) or shockwave therapy or laser therapy or sound-assisted soft tissue therapy, depending on what is needed.

Passion for: I love to work out at the gym. I belong to seven gyms, which I visit routinely. I also spend a lot of time having great food in a range of restaurants.

Favorite place to hang out: I love the Birmingham area. Almost every weekend I can be found there. My favorite breakfast is at Toast. I like Blue Yoga. I work out at the Art of Strength and shop at Lululemon for my workout gear.

What most people don’t know about me: When I was 22, I was the Oregon Coast powerlifting champion. After that, I joined the Coast Guard. I had a college science degree, so they assigned me to supervise the clean up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I spent five years flying around and keeping track of all the clean-up sites. NS

— Interviewed by Julie Baumkel

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