Female Feature Friday: Liz Paunicka
It is no secret that I am passionate about women's empowerment and women in leadership positions. As women's history month ended in March, a new series emerged here at The Honest Mama blog. Each week throughout April and May, Female Feature Fridays will spotlight local female entrepreneurs in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities.
Meet Dr. Liz Paunicka, a chiropractic doctor who co-owns a private practice alongside her father.
Name: Dr. Liz Paunicka
Business Name: Paunicka Chiropractic Clinic
Tell us about yourself!
I am a Champaign-Urbana native. After graduating from Champaign Centennial, I decided to pursue my dream of playing college volleyball at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. As a student athlete, I majored in Athletic Training and minored in Chemistry. After graduating, I went on to earn my Doctorate of Chiropractic and Masters in Sports Science and Rehabilitation from Logan College of Chiropractic. I’ve been in private practice as a Chiropractic Physician for nine years, the past five of which being back home here in CU. I’m also an active member of the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana currently serving as the Vice President of Community Impact. I’ve been happily married to my husband Nick for just over six months.
What made you decide to pursue a chiropractic career?
My love for chiropractic started at a very young age. Growing up I was always amazed with how my father was able to help people as a Chiropractor while also being able to be active with his own family life. I saw that a career in chiropractic could provide me with an ability to create my own work-life balance. My goal to become a Chiropractor was only solidified as I personally benefited from chiropractic care. I started saying that I wanted to be a Chiropractor when I was in grade school. In sixth grade a member of my class was featured each week on the “About Me” bulletin board. When my week came, I can remember cutting the Paunicka Chiropractic Clinic advertisement out of the News-Gazette, putting my school picture over the picture of my dad, writing my name underneath, and gluing this in the box on the poster labeled “when I grow up I want to be…” From taking my first steps in our office to now being the Chiropractor, you can definitely say things have come full circle.
When did you open your business?
I became a co-owner at Paunicka Chiropractic Clinic in February of 2016 when I returned to Champaign-Urbana and joined my father in private practice.
What is it like working alongside your father?
I absolutely love practicing alongside my father. His knowledge and experience have been so valuable to my profession growth. I may be his daughter, but he respects me as his colleague. Being in a family business is not without its challenges, but it is also full of its rewards. My father and I are firm believers that better outcomes for our patients can be achieved by working together.
What do you love most about your work?
For me the best part about being a Chiropractor is helping people feel better and achieve their personal health goals.
What are the biggest challenges you face within your line of work?
Prioritizing my own health. As health care professions, we spend quite a bit of time caring for others that we often neglect to take care of ourselves. There is a physical aspect of my job when it comes to taking care of patients, but there is also a mental aspect as well. Listening to those in pain for several hours a day can take its toll. Making time to decompress at the end of the day can be a challenge. However, it is vital so that I can provide the best possiblecare I can for my patients. Another challenging aspect of my line of work is that fact that chiropractic is a male dominated profession. There are days where people doubt my abilities because I am a young female practitioner. Hard work and perseverance are what helped me reach where I am today, and only continues to fuel my drive to serve people of my community the best way I know how.
What is a major misconception about your line of work?
A common misconception about chiropractic that I hear is, “If I start going to the chiropractor I will have to go forever”. There are many ways that people utilize chiropractic care. For some it’s to find relief from an acute injury. For others chiropractic is a part of their overall wellness. Each patient is different in terms of the care they need. There are patients that receive care, recover from their injury, and may not need treatment for several years. Sometimes this relief care turns into supportive care when people experience the benefits of chiropractic care. I believe the supportive care aspect of chiropractic can create the above misconception. This is why I feel it is so important to talk with my patients about their personal health goals and how I fit as part of their health care team.
What are some surprising benefits people may not be aware of that can come from chiropractic adjustments?
Chiropractic is not only for adults with musculoskeletal ailments. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective means of treatment for patients of all ages including infants and pregnant women. Chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of colic in infants, bedwetting and asthma in children, and sciatica in pregnant women. Patients have reported decreased vertigo, frequency of migraines, stomach pains and constipation from chiropractic adjustments. Patients also report improved sleep habits.
People can be intimidated by chiropractic adjustments. What would you say to ease a patient’s nerves about the process?
Patient education is crucial. When talking with patients I make sure that I report my findings about their condition as best I can so that they are aware of what is going on. I then go over what they may hear or feel with regards to the adjustment. Providing this insight as well as answering questions are helpful in easing patients’ nerves with regards to getting adjusted. Having an open dialog with patients with regards to their care also helps to create trust.
You can find Paunicka Chiropractic online at https://paunickachiropractic.com/.