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Dr. Natalie Pritchett
 early April, 2007

Dr. Natalie Pritchett
Dr. Natalie PritchettDr. Natalie PritchettDr. Natalie PritchettDr. Natalie Pritchett

FRB: Name?

Natalie: Dr. Natalie Pritchett.

FRB: Age?

Natalie: 27, but I am forever 23.

FRB: Height / Weight?

Natalie: 5'5'' I haven't weighed myself in like 2 years. 137-140?

FRB: Political affiliation?

Natalie: What kind of question is this? Not affiliated. If I vote, it's for the green party or the guy no one has heard of. They always make it out to be like you can only vote for 2 people-when there are always actually like 5-7. Only 2 get all the attention, and you're like, "Well I lose either way, so I'll vote for the lesser evil." Vote for Nader or something! We need serious CHANGE!

FRB: Where are you from, Natalie?

Natalie: Dyersburg, TN. Well, actually Finley -but no one knows were that is. It's in agriculture/boring land about 10-15 miles from the Mississippi River.

FRB: Natalie, how did you get into climbing?

Natalie: In under grad. There was a decent wall in our sweet Rec Center. And I took a climbing class. (We climbed in the gymnastics gym on 2x4 blocks bolted into the cinder block wall) I took some super classes (yoga, bowling, drawing....) I say I really started though Jan. 2005 in St. Louis @ Upper Limits. Just decided I was going to go twice a week-and, well, never stopped.

FRB: First place you climbed outside?

Natalie: Well, once with our Wilderness Class. Somewhere in middle TN. One like 5.8 and a rap. But really-I wouldn't count that one. Canoe country Missouri is where I started.

FRB: How did you get into Chiropractic?

Natalie: I was familiar with it from my dad going when I was little. I wrestled in high school and it totally screwed my back up. Then one day I was in my first home match and the guy bent me in half backwards. Which is illegal. I finished the match, f-ing lost by 2 points on a reversal last second. Then the guy had the nerve to hit on me. Oh yea, back to chiropractic. That's when I started going. I had volunteered PT., but it was boring. Chiropractic was the only thing that helped me, so I decided to help others with it, and it has led me into helping like I never imagined.

FRB: Did you say that you used to wrestle in High School?

Natalie: Yes. 3 years on the guys team. And I was a cheerleader my first 2 years of high school. I would wear my cheer leading letter jacket to my matches just to intimidate the guys more. I loved it.

FRB: Why did you wrestle?

Natalie: I had always wanted to do something rough, like play football. I went to my boyfriends match when I was a freshman and thought it would be cool, but never thought I would actually do it. Then when I was a sophomore, a girlfriend of mine asked me if I wanted to try out with her. I did. There were 3 of us girls that first year. No one thought we would make it through the first week of practice. (Oh, and we didn't have a girls soccer team - so I played on the guys team that year too).

FRB: And you were a cheerleader, as well?

Natalie: Yes.

FRB: How long did you cheer?

Natalie: 5th grade -10th grade.

FRB: Why did you quit?

Natalie: It was turning into a bitch fest. Complaining and crying and not wanting to work hard..... I was sick of all the bitching. By my senior year, I missed the fun of it and wanted to return-but they made it so we had to cheer for football and basketball. I didn't like cheering for basketball and it was during wrestling season. So I stuck with wrestling and played soccer on our first girls team.

FRB: So would it be safe to say you used to be a Tomboy?

Natalie: Uh, yea. Since day 1 in kindergarten, I was beating up on the boys in PE (got a funny story about that day), riding 4-wheelers and playing tee ball. But I was girly, too. (More of a balance now, less aggression-and more comfortable with being girly) I modeled a bit, did beauty revues (that's what we call pageants in the south), started putting on makeup in 4th grade, and started wearing my granny's heels when I was 3. Total contradiction, I know.

FRB: Let's talk controversy. You don't mind showing some skin. There was an Turban Climber cover of a girl in a bikini that stirred a lot of emotion. What do you think about that?

Natalie: Well, I have always been an advocate of working out without my shirt. The boys get to-why shouldn't I?! I had a vice principal in high school that told me I was going to have to start wearing my shirt during soccer practice-bull shit. And yes I have hot bikini tops that I climb in. Personally, the more I work out-the less clothes I want to wear. I get pretty skimpy mid-summer. But as for the hate mail that was sent in to Urban Climber about that-there are many different points to cover here. I guess a lot of women don't want men oogling their bodies, or people using women's bodies to sell their product. And I guess they assume that the rest of us don't either. Maybe they don't really like their bodies. I don't mind-I oogle the guys. And there are tons of photos in the mags of guys with their shirts off. Women in bikinis…seems about the same to me. Face it, more guys look at the mags than women. We get all the eye candy. I guess they should get some too.
A huge point here though, is that if the pic is of a 'model'- it's not cool. We don't need or want models 'posing' on rocks. That's not why we buy the magazine. If the pic is of a hot climber chick climbing-then it's cool.
I would like to see more diversity in the body types shown. I advocate more showing of curvy women (and not all covered up). Of course, because I am one-but to promote having a 'healthy body' and healthy 'body image.' Not that being skinny is unhealthy-per say. But if all us girls get to see is super fit/skinny girls in mags-it leads us to believe we are not good enough the way we are-even if we are healthy and fit. And I know in the real world-guys like a girl with a butt. Whether they put us in the mags or not. I just read this to my roommate. She said she is just now learning this. She grew up thinking that guys only liked tiny girls. So in reality, that's the kind of image that is getting put across, like it or not.
Basically, I love my body so I don't mind showing it off or people looking at it. A bunch of us (guys and girls) are going to do some thong shots this year. I think it will be pretty funny.

FRB: What other sports do you like to do?

Natalie: Snowboarding, rugby, golf, mountain. biking, racquet ball, frisbee golf, ultimate frisbee, soccer (goalie).

FRB: Natalie, what brings you to Boulder, Colorado?

Natalie: I knew I had to move to CO for years, but didn't know where. I got a job with an awesome Dr. in Longmont (Mike Vidmar) and he taught me this technique I do that has changed the way I look at everything.

FRB: Who do you climb with in town?

Natalie: Mostly Travis Kaman & Sasha Cherry (with the Fink's). But also, Melissa Marshall, Adrian Robert, & Scott Bouldien. And Amy McKellar when her ass gets back from NZ.

FRB: Where do you like to climb?

Natalie: RIFLE! Boulder Canyon, Clear Creek, Eldorado, Shelf. Will be hitting up The Park more this year.

FRB: What have you sent lately?

Natalie: Uh, my injuries and the weather have left me not sending for a while. Finally got The Clipboard 5.11c in Avalon last summer. Working on (all in Avalon) Chairman of the Board 5.11d, Strange Science 5.11c and Free Fall 5.12a. Which may be my first 5.12 red point lead, which is my goal for this year.

FRB: Where have you not climbed that you want to go?

Natalie: Hueco, Joe's, Penitente, Swissco (Waderland).

FRB: What about bouldering?

Natalie: I had only bouldered once (Elephant Rocks in Missouri) before I moved here a year and a half ago. I bouldered in the gym with the "boulderers" in St. Louis the last day before I moved here. They gave me so much shit. I spend a lot of time at The Spot. It's good to me for many reasons. Only got to RMNP twice last year (lame, I know). I want to work on Revenge and The Kind this year. I'm much stronger now -we'll see how it goes.

FRB: Where do you want to go with your climbing, Natalie?

Natalie: Up. And across. Under and over. Bottom to top. In and out.

FRB: You climb a lot and train hard.
          Where does this drive to excel come from?

Natalie: I'm not entirely sure. Well, I like to do everything, so I haven't had the attention span to spend the time to get good at something. I guess I picked climbing. I fell in love. The feeling of hitting a move or toping out a problem/route that is a step up from what you had been doing or thought you could do is so satisfying, and yet just makes you want to keep stepping a little higher.

FRB: Let's talk about Chiropractics.
          What can people/patients expect in an office visit?

Natalie: A good cracking (if that's what they want), an adjustment on the first visit, (most chiro's don't do that), and expect me to start asking you personal questions. People you are having/have had problems with, current/past stressors in your life, past traumatic events, things you are worried about.... Some people are a little taken aback at first when I start asking all these personal questions. Most people take on quick though. Some people will be like "Nobody.", or, "I don't think there is anything." First of all, I know that's bullshit. Second of all-they usually all of a sudden start spewing all sorts of things.

So you ask "Why all the personal questions?" First of all, I am realizing, the more I work on people, that everything-and I mean EVERYTHING, is in your head. Even when you have an 'accident', like breaking/spraining an ankle, car wreck... Twas no accident. And I know that first hand. Second of all, my technique consists of me resetting your sensory nervous system to traumas and stressors. You basically shut yourself off, sensorily, when you don't like the way you feel about something. This is a traumatic result of the infamous Fight or Flight (and Freeze). When a stressor occurs, small or large, your body reacts in one of these ways. A surge of energy comes so that you can fight or fly, and if it is too overwhelming-you freeze. If you don't fight or fly, like in daily work/relationship/traffic stress etc., this energy stays in your nervous system. Animals 'discharge' this energy after the threat is gone, a convulsion of sorts. Humans don't do this, and this causes dis-ease. You dissociate from your body, and thus it quits working for you in various ways-just like you told it to. I am actually working with Marcus Kurek-who was working with Dr. Bob Scaer. a neurologist(recently retired), who wrote a couple of books on this phenomenon-his main example of study was whiplash in which people who get whiplash from lets say, snowboarding, recover in about a week or two. But a car accident, these people end up with a whole array of symptoms and syndromes. Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, digestive problems, and so on. Obviously, when you get hit by a car, it is a more traumatic event (not to mention the victimization you feel-very important in the equation) than when you catch an edge and slam your head back.

So here's my famous example (and very frequent): A woman comes in with low back pain and sore hips. I find out that her partner snores. Even though she's not necessarily hearing this, her brain does, all night (not to mention the affected sleep). The nerve you hear with (CN 8 vestibulocochlear-one of the 12 Cranial Nerves) is like "Ahhhh! I can't take it any more!" and shuts down. This dissociation shuts off your TFL muscle/ITB band (runs from your knee to your hip) and your gluteus minimus and medius(Butt) These are obviously large supporters of the low back. If they are not firing properly, they will be sore and the low back will go 'out' as a result of lack of support. (I have found the TFL to be one of the most sensitive muscles to stress-important for runners, bikers...) SO, instead of adjusting you over and over and over hoping your low back will eventually realign without the proper support, I reset the nerve, the muscles work again, and you need less adjustments.

FRB: How can you help climbers?

Natalie: OK. So what I want to stress, is that if you have muscles that are not firing properly, lets say your latissimus dorsalis (LAT), that's a huge shoulder/core muscle. And you keep climbing on it(at a lower performance without it working properly, by the way), and one day you are doing a gaston and your shoulder pops/goes out/dislocates.. And you're like, "WTF! What did I do different!?" Maybe nothing. The other muscles that were compensating for the lat just couldn't do all the work anymore, or the ligaments/tendons couldn't handle the extra stress anymore. And 'POP', there it goes and you are in a mess and out for a while. And believe me-that probably wasn't the only muscle not working properly. Just your cervicals being 'out of place' can irritate the nerve that supplies the info for the muscle to fire and that can cause it too. Going to the Chiro is like (but way more important in my opinion-and thats by experience) going to the dentist for a check up. But instead of checking up your teeth-you are checking up your nervous, skeletal, and muscular system. And especially important is your nervous system, because it controls EVERYTHING in your body. The way your digestive system works, the way your immune system works, your blood pressure, the way your detox system works... And all this, not to mention increasing your performance. Obviously you will be able to perform at a higher level if ALL your muscles are working properly, especially the big ones.
I have a friend who is a really good climber. One day I checked his lat-just for the hell of it. It was not firing. Can you imagine how much better he'd be if it was? I mean, your lat! That's one of the main climbing muscles!

FRB: How do you decide who needs what?

Natalie: Good question. Everybody is different. And that's how I will treat you. The cause of your problem may be totally different from someone else who has the same problem. The medical community should treat more people that way. I do cranial nerve scans and past history of everything medical and stressful in your life (surgeries, bad experiences, large events like job changes, moving, having a kid, breakups, fights, car accidents...)

Just a side note - I also do Applied Kinesiology (muscle testing), which is a diagnosic technique and a treatment technique.

FRB: There's a lot of chiro.'s in Boulder.
          What makes you different or better than
          some of the others?

Natalie: Dr. Mike Vidmar developed this technique and I worked under him for a while. We are about the only 2 who do this specifically. Also, like I mentioned, it takes less adjusting to fix your problem (If you have had the problem for a long time, it will take longer to fix than if it is acute. Also if you are older and/or have had a lot of stressful/traumatic situations in your past, there will be a lot of layers to get through) so in the long run, it should cost less. And I try and find the CORE REASON for your problem. I'm not just symptom fixing here. Even though chiropractic preaches that we fix the causes-not the symptoms, I am finding that chiro's are still treating a lot of symptoms. Granted on a deeper level than drugs-we work WITH the body's processes-not AGAINST them. This technique has just given me a lot of hope for figuring out the cause, and therefore the solution to people's pains and issues. It makes the whole process SO much easier. I have the hope of being able to help someone when other methods-even other chiropractors couldn't. I even use it on myself often. I broke my right ankle and severely sprained my left and was bouldering again 5 weeks later. (Not just climbing-bouldering) When I get a weird pain in my knee, or elbow, or start to feel a cough coming on, I reset myself immediately and am usually totally better within a week.

FRB: Thanks for the interview, Natalie.

Natalie: You're welcome. Thank you.


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