New chiropractor uses gentle touch to ease pain

HOOD RIVER — Charles McGrath has a mission: Ease the pain of those around him.

And for this chiropractor, it doesn't matter where he is.

McGrath has been practicing chiropractic medicine for 30 years. He has been a practitioner in Hawaii and Florida. He decided to leave the Florida Gulf Coast to enjoy the Pacific Northwest and has opened a practice in Hood River on Oak Street.

His journey into helping others started with a sprained ankle and introduction to a new approach of treating pain. He was curious and reached out to a friend who was pursuing a career. That is all it took get him to the Palmer College of Chiropractic.

McGrath's education didn't stop. As he treated patients for pain, he wanted to learn how to best help those with hand and feet aliments. He became a member of the Chiropractic Hand and Foot Clinics of America.

Through his training, he has learned how to use gentle adjustments to ease pain. He also uses the latest technology like cold laser treatment that can be applied to scars.

McGrath starts treatment after he gets a picture of what is going on with a patient. At his clinic in Hood River, he can do X-rays, allowing him to have a better idea of what is going on with a patient.

There are times, he said, when he sees something on the X-ray that is severe or there are other issues. In those instances, he will refer a patient on to specialty physician because the goal is to make sure the patient gets the right care and treatment.

But McGrath doesn’t stop at treatment. He believes in preventing injury and education. He is certified under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to do training in injury prevention. Currently, he has done workshops with the U.S. Forest Service and other area government agencies. The goal is to help workers be safe and comfortable.

“I teach wellness,” he said.

The dedication to easing and preventing pain never ends for McGrath. He has traveled around the world offering his services to different groups, especially indigenous people. He has been to places like Papua New Guinea and Gabon to help by offering adjustments. On one trip to Papua New Guinea, he saw about 150 people.

“They were super grateful,” McGrath said, explaining that there is joy going someplace, doing work and knowing you are helping someone.

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