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With fewer than six months to go until its 10th anniversary this July, Achieve Balance Chiropractic has grown into a bustling practice. It’s hard to find anyone as passionate and enthusiastic about their work as Dr. Arminta Phelps, who runs a team of six at Achieve Balance with the help of her mother, Gwendolyn Carl, her husband, Chris Scrivner, and their 3-year-old Maltipoo, Olaf, who regularly delights patients at the clinic.
Phelps says her practice sets itself apart by focusing on education about holistic health: talking to clients about nutrition, mindfulness, and avoiding unnecessary procedures and prescription drugs.
“I look at what you’re doing in your life that creates stress — whether it be physical, chemical or emotional — that’s causing you to be ill,” Phelps says. “So we teach people how to have balanced nutrition, movement, and mindset to help them have tools outside of our office to take better care of themselves.”
While finishing her last semester at MU in 2004, Phelps, a native of Rosebud, Missouri, sought treatment from a chiropractor for a neck injury. The experience opened her eyes to the whole-body approach of chiropractic treatment. She was hooked. Three months after graduation, she began studying at the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
Three months later, Phelps learned that her mother, then 52 years old, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Carl didn’t want to take the conventional medical route with prescription drugs. Phelps suggested a chiropractic approach.
“She was my litmus test — if I’m going to do something for the rest of my life, it has to help my mom,” Phelps says. “She started getting adjusted and she stopped falling. She started eating better and getting more energy. The woman is at the gym doing HIIT [high-intensity interval training] and lifting workouts four times a week at 65 years old with no symptoms, and it’s because of chiropractic. She’s never done anything for her MS other than specific chiropractic care.”
After completing her chiropractic education in 2008, Phelps returned to Columbia. Four months later, as a single mom with a newborn, Jackson, she opened Achieve Balance. Carl, now in good health, became office manager at the original South Providence Road location.
In 2013, Achieve Balance relocated to its current location in the Woodrail Center on West Nifong Boulevard. After work one night, Phelps and Carl decided to go to dinner at Babbo’s Spaghetteria, not too far from the new office, where Phelps caught the eye of Chris Scrivner, a St. Louis native who had moved to Columbia three months before to become general manager of the restaurant.
“Arminta and her mom came into the restaurant, I checked on their table, and the rest was history,” Scrivner says. He joined the practice full time in December of 2015, taking over as office manager. He and Phelps married the following April.
Scrivner now handles the day-to-day operations of the practice while Phelps manages patients with Dr. Alex Gohring, who joined the practice in 2016. Acheive Balance offers a wide array of services, with Phelps focusing on science, technology, and nutrition, in line with their “whole patient” approach.
The practice features a new tool now, in addition to traditional chiropractic equipment — three vibrating platforms. “The vibration helps provide a nice reset button to the nervous system, getting the brain to remember where the body needs to be,” Scrivner explains.
The practice was also the first in town to implement X-ray motion studies. Using digital imagery, Phelps can take highly detailed pictures of a patient in motion, allowing her to pinpoint problems within the skeletal system. They also offer monthly health classes that are open to the public.
In January, Phelps became just the second chiropractor in Missouri to become a Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner, completing 96 hours of study over three years to receive the certification from the International Chiropractic Association. The training focused on proper nutrition, mindfulness, and movement.
“You cannot medicate your way out of a disease that you behaved your way into,” she says. “You have to behave your way out of it.”
Phelps and Scrivner are beginning to consider what the future might hold for their growing practice after 10 years. In the meantime, Achieve Balance will continue to help patients do, well, exactly what their name suggests.
“My mission is to change the statistical health of Mid-Missouri,” Phelps says. “I want it to be like, ‘What’s going on in this town that’s different from the surrounding areas that they have so much less illness?’ And I don’t know if I’m going to be able to accomplish that in my lifetime, but I’m going to die trying. I want to leave the world a better place than it was when we entered it. And this is my way of doing that.”
Three months after completing her undergrad, Arminta Phelps begins studying at Palmer College of Chiropractic.
Phelps returns to Columbia and opens Achieve Balance Chiropractic on South Providence four months after finishing chiropractic school.
Achieve Balance moves to its current location at the Woodrail Center on West Nifong. Phelps begins dating Chris Scrivner.
Scrivner joins the practice full time, taking over as operations manager.
Scrivner and Phelps marry; Dr. Alex Gohring joins the team to accommodate the growing patient load.
Phelps becomes the second Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner in Missouri.