Jacobson Chiropractic, Inc. celebrates decades of practice | TheUnion.com

Jacobson Chiropractic, Inc. celebrates decades of practice

Sam Corey
Staff Writer


What: Jacobson Chiropractic, Inc.

Where: 194 Gold Flat Road, Nevada City

Call: 530-265-2220

Website: https://www.jacobsonchiropracticinc.com/

They’re calling it “The Golden 50.”

Dr. Dale Jacobson has spent 40 years practicing as a chiropractor in Nevada County. Dr. Heather Hunt, his daughter, has spent 10 years in the business with him.

Together, Jacobson, Hunt and Jacobson’s wife and the practice’s manager, Diane Jacobson, have been running Jacobson Chiropractic, Inc. in Nevada City. The office sits like a small sanctuary, cocooned by trees just off Highway 49.

“I had a degree in college in philosophy (but) I didn’t want to spend all my time in used bookstores,” said Jacobson. “It was actually very opportune that I came to discover chiropractic.”

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The practice is hosting an office party open to the public from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 5 outside to celebrate their decades of work in the county.


While in chiropractic school in Iowa, Jacobson listened to Dr. Henri Gillet, the father of motion palpation, give a public speech.

He felt inspired.

Jacobson wrote to Gillet, he said, and later flew to Belgium to study under his tutelage.

“I knew he had a system I could use,” said Jacobson. The idea, he said, was about correcting a function rather than merely putting a bone back into place.

This was upending an older model, where chiropractors would look to things in the body that were considered abnormal or out-of-place and adjust them accordingly. Gillet had a slightly different idea, said Hunt, as he would ask: “‘Who (determines) what is normal?’”

“You can have a completely normal curvature in your spine, you can have a short leg, you can have a straight spine — and if the function between each joint is good, then you’re fine,” said Hunt.

The traditional model also highlighted the importance of symmetry. The Nevada City practice, however, operates differently. Symmetry, said Jacobson, is not the highest aim for the human body.

“Nothing in the body is symmetrical,” said Jacobson. “Each vertebrae is not symmetrical. One pelvic bone is bigger than the other just as your hands are different sizes, your face is different on one side — so the spine itself is not symmetrical.”

While Jacobson studied philosophy, his approach remains mechanical. Chiropractors, said Jacobson, must consider real world, objective problems.

“You can’t kill a tiger from the waking state with a gun from the dream state,” said Jacobson, outlining the significance of addressing problems with practical solutions, not abstract concepts.


Jacobson has been a chiropractor for 42 years. Hunt said she’s followed in her father’s footsteps, becoming inspired at a young age by his work.

“My dad always had his tools wherever he went,” she said. “Chiropractic is using your hands to help people.”

She went to school in Portland, and for the last decade has worked to modernize her family’s practice. Hunt has included her own specialization of pregnancy, postpartum, kids and women’s health, she said, noting that women’s medical health often goes ignored.

“If you can help a woman during pregnancy, not only can you help her birth but you can help the life, hypothetically, of her unborn child,” said Hunt, “and help usher that child in as healthy of an environment as possible.”

Jacobson agreed about the importance of such work.

“It’s much easier to raise a child to be healthy than it is to fix a broken (person),” he said.

Hunt also does craniosacral therapy, which includes a light-touch technique, she said. The therapy analyzes restrictions and flow in the body. Whether it’s related to muscles, joints or ligaments, Hunt uses the therapy to consider how vitality can more easily operate.

Coming full circle, she said she is now raising her children in the same home where her father grew up.


Dr. Chris Montanaro, an osteopath, joined the team full time last year, running his own practice within Jacobson Chiropractic, Inc. Hunt called Montanaro because she wanted to fully include him in their practice, he said. Before collaborating with Jacobson and Hunt, Montanaro worked at the nearby Yubadocs Urgent Care.

When the two chiropractors are not able to help a potential patient, said Hunt, they send them to Montanaro. For Montanaro, the fit seems to be good as he appreciates the model of regenerative medicine promoted by the practice.

Montanaro has specifically gravitated toward using ultrasound technology, which has recently made advancements, he said. He’s been studying and using the updated technology in his own practice.

“You can do certain things that you couldn’t do before,” said Montanaro, specifically allowing for more accurate injections around ligaments and joints.

While they have different specialties, generally, doctors in the practice work to understand the totality of a person, and to think creatively and holistically in order to reach particular conclusions.

“The box is no place to live,” said Montanaro, slightly joking.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.

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