Get to know the town: Dr. Jesse Riggin

Name: Jesse Riggin

Age: 35-years- old

Hometown: Middletown

Occupation: Chiropractor

Educational background: Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in biochemistry from the University of Delaware in 2010. Then attended the National College of Natural Medicine and transferred to Western States Chiropractic School.

DSC_0940Tell us about your family?

“I grew up in Middletown, Delaware. I have a younger brother and sister and an older brother and sister. My younger sister is a veterinarian. She’s really a wonderful, wonderful human being. She’s pregnant and her husband is also a vet. My younger brother is an ocean engineer. He travels all across the country, mostly in coastal areas. My older brother is a chief of police in New Jersey. So he was always somebody I looked up to and admired. He was in the military when I was growing up, served in Bosnia. I always looked up to my brother and I think he’s one of the reasons I joined the military after high school. My older sister is a kindergarten teacher just outside of Washington, D.C.

“My mom and step-father live in Delaware. My father and step-mother live in New Jersey. Dad is an arborist; so he’s a tree hugger. My mom’s into real- estate. We’re a water family. We just spent -weekend out on the Sassafras. My wife Barbara is a math teacher at MOT Charter. The goal for her is to be able retire and come down here as the wellness coordinator. She’s very passionate about wellness. She keeps me fit.”

What are your hobbies?

“Surfing. That has really become my escape. I raced dirt bikes before I went to chiropractor school. I had always been a big dirt bike rider. But I shattered my wrist. If it wasn’t fora good orthopedic surgeon at Fort Campbell, I would not be able to participate in the profession that I am.

“I realized I had to step away from dirt bikes and I fell in love with the Oregon coast and surfing. It’s been a lot of fun coming back home. I only surfed a few times growing up but I never surfed in Delaware. Last year was probably one of the best surf seasons I’ve ever experienced since I was on my home turf. I’ll also be out this season doing some hunting, hiking and walking my dog Bo at least a 15-20 minutes each day.”

Why did you choose the chiropractic field?

“Medicine has helped save me -few times. I have complete faith in the medical profession, and I do not view it as them versus us. We just operate in a different realm than medicine.”

Tell us about chiropractic care?

“The effect of a chiropractic adjustment can have much broader affects than just relieving pain. It really can allow the body to function optimally, not only physical conditions but also organ conditions and more systemic health conditions. And also realizing once if you combine the traditional medicine with herbals and the organic, you can really have a tremendous effect on your health.”

Can you explain the science behind chiropractics?

“I am the musculoskeletal expert. When it comes down to it, my expertise is the musculoskeletal system and how it impacts the rest of the body. Everything fits inside a triangle made up of mental, chemical and structural health. Most people understand that my mental situation can affect my posture for example. There’s a very well understood mechanism for that and it’s a neurological response. When we are frightened, there’s a something that happens in the brain that affects our posture.  That’s the level that people don’t really realize. They don’t really realize that’s an ingrained posture for someone who is stressed, tired or scared. The other part of it is in the chemical aspect. When we are chronically fatigued, there are markers in our body. Simply by being scared we experience increased cortisol levels and might have physical pain. The nervous system is then putting additional posture stress on the body and then exasperating additional symptoms that we have.

“Then we take the anecdotal and say there’s evidence to say every condition/pathology/syndrome has a structural, chemical and mental aspect to it.”

Tell us about college?

“It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. I don’t know that I’ve ever been surrounded by that caliber of people and that diverse an eclectic of a group of individuals. It was a very intelligent group of people with a tremendous amount of worldly experience at the natural medicine college. Very few people there didn’t have some sort of travel outside of the country, mostly humanitarian based. For example, I did a trip to Nepal for care at people. And that wasn’t uncommon, that didn’t set me apart from any of my classmates there.”

You were in the service?

“I joined the army when I was 18 right out of high school. I was signed up as a public affairs person. I did that for a couple of years. After 9/11, I volunteered to go through some other training and ended up getting some medical training out of that.

“After that, I went through jump and air assault school. I became certified for military paramedic and found a passion and love for the medical profession. I knew when I got out of the military I would go through the medical field. I kind of split those duties of public affairs and medic when I deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006. We were there for a year and then I got out when I got back, I wanted to pursue higher education and the military helped me do that.”

Why did you choose Harrington?

“We wanted to be down in this area is what it came down to. We wanted to be closer to the water. We appreciate the pace down here. We’ve always liked southern Delaware. My wife grew up on the eastern shore Maryland. And there was no chiropractor in Harrington. So some of it was where do we want to be and some of it was a business decision as well. We’ve really been embraced by the community. We feel like we couldn’t have made a better decision.”

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