How Lifestyle Chiropractic is Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

7 mins read
Lifestyle Chiropractic Team.
Meet The Lifestyle Family!

Dr. Sandee Funk’s Path to Wellness Entrepreneurship

Dr. Sandee Funk, DC is the founder and owner of Lifestyle Chiropractic, a wellness chiropractic care center in Bismarck. While her journey has led her to proudly operate two physical locations and make a positive impact on many people that have worked with her, it didn’t happen overnight. In this article, we’ll learn Dr. Funk’s story behind Lifestyle Chiropractic and explore her journey from operating out of her apartment, to traveling to clients, to owning the same storefront that inspired her to venture into the world of chiropractic care.

In 2011, against the backdrop of an oil boom out west, Dr. Sandee Funk set out on a journey that would eventually shape her life and career today. Launching her own business, originally named Hometown Wellness, in the heart of her hometown Hebron, ND, marked the beginning of a new path for her. 

After relocating from South Carolina back to Hebron, she faced unexpected housing scarcity due to the booming oil industry. Yet, undeterred by this obstacle, she managed to secure a modest two-bedroom apartment that would serve as the starting point for her practice. With a portable table and chair as her tools and a growing family by her side, she began welcoming clients seeking wellness and healing.

It wasn’t long before word spread within the community, and even before formally establishing her practice, people who knew Dr. Funk started approaching her for assistance. Operating the growing business from her home posed its own set of challenges, as she soon became notified that she could no longer operate Hometown Wellness out of her apartment. This prompted her to temporarily offer services at clients’ homes so that she could get her business off the ground and into a storefront. This determination is what led her to be able to provide a dedicated, professional space for her practice to grow in Hebron.

Funk’s childhood memories and career goals merged when a particular house on Main Street in Hebron, a place that she had admired since she was a child, became available. With an attached area for business, it was a dream come true for Funk.

As her practice in Hebron continued to flourish, another chapter of growth unfolded for her. Funk’s son’s involvement in Bismarck sports led to frequent travel between the two cities. Reflecting on her own history of constantly traveling back and forth between Hebron and Bismarck years before, she made the decision to relocate to Bismarck while maintaining the Hebron office.

This move allowed her to split her time between the two locations, as she dedicated two days to Hebron and three days to Bismarck each week. This balance propelled her further, and gradually, her presence expanded in both locations. 

Today, the Hebron office continues to operate, welcoming clients one day a week, while the Bismarck office thrives with a five-day-a-week schedule. The growth didn’t stop there; she collaborated with a licensed master esthetician, other chiropractors, a licensed massage therapist, and others in the Bismarck office, to create a holistic and well-rounded wellness experience for her clients.

Equipped with a new team and new location, Dr. Funk rebranded to Lifestyle Chiropractic. Rather than taking a jack-of-all-trades approach, Dr. Sandee has grown her team to include some of the most insightful and trained people in their respective fields in the area. Lifestyle Chiropractic team also rents out space to others in specialized fields, such as homeopathic medicine.

“While some of those practices are separate from our office, I consider everyone a part of our Lifestyle family. Whether they’re here one day a week or every day, we’re a tight-knit group and family,” Dr. Funk said.

What is Homeopathic Medicine, or Homeopathy?

“Homeopathy is a medical system based on the belief that the body can cure itself. Those who practice it use tiny amounts of natural substances, like plants and minerals. They believe these stimulate the healing process. It was developed in the late 1700s in Germany. It’s common in many European countries, but it’s not quite as popular in the United States.” – WebMD

Funk’s Inspiring Origins into Chiropractic Care

During her undergraduate years at the University of Mary in Bismarck, her aspirations initially revolved around a future of becoming a medical doctor. Her trajectory was on course for the MCAT, the gateway to medical school, but things changed. Expecting her first child and grappling with back pain and other pregnancy-induced discomforts, she decided to visit a chiropractor local to the Bismarck area, Dr. Amanda Messer, for relief.

“Dr. Messer did an exceptional job of educating me about chiropractic care, its impact on the nervous system, and how it essentially governs and influences the body. This was the first time someone had explained it so clearly to me. I was captivated, considering my inherent inclination towards natural approaches, I thought, ‘This is it.’ I returned home and researched the prerequisites for chiropractic school. Surprisingly, they were identical to those for medical school. I made an abrupt 180-degree turn and shifted my focus to applying for chiropractic school.”

Meet The Lifestyle Chiropractic Team

Dr. Sandee Funk, DC
Dr. Timothy Nagel, DC
Joani, Licensed Master Esthetician
Theresa, Coaching, Energy Work, and Homeopathy
Lisa, Licensed Massage Therapist
Alyssa, Bismarck Office Manager
Indra, Hebron Office Manager

Dr. Sandee looks forward to growing her team if the opportunity is right. “I don’t always have the perfect plan, but when I hear, know, and feel the right direction, I recognize it,” she said. “We’re in the process of determining what to do with our available space, whether we introduce a different healthcare branch to add to the ‘lifestyle,’ or if we add another chiropractor. We’re constantly growing as we try to make a great impact on the people here.” 

A Q&A with Dr. Sandee Funk, DC

Dr. Sandee and her boys.

Q: You mentioned having three boys. How do you manage a work-life balance between them and your work in both Hebron and Bismarck? 

A: I don’t know how much time I truly get to relax, but I’m super thankful that I have this job where I can take care of my children and also make a difference in other people’s lives. Not many jobs have the flexibility that I have, which I’m grateful for. I have a 20-year-old, a 12-year-old, and an 11-year-old who are all very active in sports and activities and so on. I’m there if I need to make it to their activities or be out of the office for a bit to help them. It’s really important for me to be there for them, whether it’s practices, summer camps, or anything else. My 20-year-old helped me out with the younger boys over the summer before he went to college in Grand Forks, so I couldn’t do what I do without the people that I have around me.

Q: There are numerous chiropractors in North Dakota, particularly in the Bismarck-Mandan area. How do you and Lifestyle Chiropractic distinguish yourselves and establish a more significant presence as a trusted partner of the community?

A: We all approach things a little differently, and none of us are exactly the same. I believe we each have our place. Instead, I see the potential for collaboration. By coming together, we can provide better care to the many individuals who could benefit from our services. In general, my focus is on overall health. People often come to me in pain or with specific symptoms, but I strive to educate them about chiropractic care, the nervous system, and the holistic principles I learned when I first received care. Our name, Lifestyle Chiropractic, shows the interconnectedness of different lifestyle factors and health. Chiropractic care is a vital part of overall wellness, alongside good nutrition, restful sleep, regular exercise, and more. To get true wellness, we have to address all of these different components rather than concentrating on one.

Also, we take a highly relationship-oriented approach. We’re happy to assist anyone in any way we can. That’s a significant part of what we do—being there for patients at every level where we can provide assistance.

Lifestyle Chiropractic Office Shot

Q: What has been the hardest challenge in your journey as a business owner to date?

A: I believe that the hardest piece is just to never give up. As a business professional, we all have bad days sometimes and you question if it’s worth it to put in all this work. But I can’t think of another job that would allow me to do what I do, be there for my kids, and make a difference in other people’s lives, so it’s worth it even when the work becomes a lot. I’ve always had the mindset that if something needs to be done, I’m going to get it done right away. I feel like that’s a bit of a North Dakota mindset in general. My dad was a farmer and rancher and has probably always been the hardest-working person that I know, and he gave me that mindset. We get stuff done, and we go on with life. 

Q: What brings you the greatest satisfaction?

A: Listening to other people’s stories. When they share how well they’re doing, and the testimonials about the care they’ve received, it’s truly amazing to hear. Sometimes, it’s even difficult to believe that these experiences are real. Knowing that I’ve made a positive impact on someone’s life in these ways is incredibly rewarding; that’s the sweet stuff right there.

Q: Do any of those success stories with a positive impact come to mind?

A: People obviously don’t share everything with me right away, but I’ve been working with one lady specifically who’s shared her story with me on how she’s been impacted. She had COVID, and then long-haul post-COVID symptoms that were horrible. She felt like she was going to die, and she started planning her funeral with her children because she didn’t think that she would make it through. She couldn’t function, and she was having really horrible back pain, headaches, and just not being able to live her life. Eventually, she told me that, at first, she felt hopeless and that nothing could ever get her back to normal again. But within the first week, she was so surprised at how much better she felt and that her back didn’t hurt nearly as much. We’ve just really helped her function and now she’s able to do tasks like paint the ceiling and mow the lawn. That’s one of the more recent examples of significantly impacting someone, and there aren’t many better feelings than that.

Q: What advice would you offer not only to fellow chiropractors, but other business owners, particularly in the Bismarck-Mandan area?

A: Creating a support system goes a long way for anyone. Having people around you that support you and give you professional advice has been crucial for me. Personally, I’ve grown and loved my time spent with the BNI group in the area, and I can’t emphasize enough how much a support network can push you forward in the business community

Lifestyle Chiropractic & Wellness – Bismarck

[email protected]
Facebook | /LifestyleChiro.Bis
535 S 7th St (Located in the Southridge Center)
Bismarck, ND 58504

Lifestyle Chiropractic & Wellness – Hebron

[email protected]
Facebook | /LifestyleChiro.Bis
725 Main St
Hebron, ND 58638