Dr. Zach Kucera knows what it’s like to come back after facing adversity. During his junior year at Doane University, his baseball career came to a screeching halt after suffering a herniated disc that required emergency surgery. Told he would be limited to only daily living tasks and would never be able to golf, ski, or do the other activities he loved—including baseball—Kucera refused to accept it as fate. He sought the advice of a chiropractor, and his journey to health not only resulted in him returning to the field opening day of his junior year, but it led him to a career path of helping others achieve their goals.
After completing chiropractic school at Cleveland University in Kansas, Kucera rejoined his wife in Elkhorn (she teaches at Elkhorn South High School). Set to open his own practice in February 2020, the pandemic put those plans on hold, which gave him the opportunity to help in other chiropractic offices. This proved to be invaluable when he was finally able to open his doors last June. He and his office assistant, Michaela, take pride in the family-friendly environment they provide, emphasizing efficiency so that patients are seen quickly and conveniently.
There are many different chiropractic techniques, and Kucera uses one that is “gentle but specific”, utilizing the same techniques that brought him back to health. “We don’t twist and crack,” he said. “People are amazed that you can be gentle and get even better results.” Providing his families with peace of mind and knowing they can trust that their loved ones will be taken care of is a priority. This is a fact that Kucera understands wholeheartedly given he has a four-year-old son at home. “Parents comfort and trust is essential when treating our chiropractic kids,” he added.
Not only does Kucera employ gentle and relaxing technique, he provides patients with a space to relax, take a breath, and relieve some of the tension, stress, and anxiety that they face. “When people are here, they are the only thing that matters, and my goal is to get them back to a place where they can play with their kids or grandkids, go golfing, or whatever it is they enjoy doing. We want the entire process to be as simple as possible so they can focus on healing.”
The zone method is one of the tools Kucera uses to identify areas of the body that are out of balance. There are six zones, and each point along the skull correlates to a zone and an area of the spine to address. For example, zone 4 is the digestive system, and when this zone is in balance, people may experience improved digestion, elimination of waste, and a more normal appetite. Kucera said it’s a good way to address issues beyond just headaches and back pain that patients may not even realize they have. It’s also a good way to help children with common problems such as bed wetting or constipation.
Another tool Kucera uses in his practice is needleless acupuncture, which is a way to accelerate healing in conjunction with the gentle adjustments. There are points in the ear that correlate to common complaints patients have, and the electrotherapy from the handheld acupuncture device is used on those points to help facilitate healing. Kucera has been able to address issues such as poor sleep, infertility, migraines, back pain, as well as other chronic conditions.
For example, one of his patients complained of severe migraines. Using the prone-style gentle neck adjustments, the patient is now headache free. Another patient came into the office dragging their leg when they walked, and after a course of care, the patient now not only walks correctly, but the patient’s boss also noted he could see a change in her energy level at work as well. “In our office we see physical changes, but we see a lot of emotional changes as well,” he said. “People who come in angry and in pain transform back to the happy people they once were.”
Even if someone has tried chiropractic care before and didn’t have a good experience, Kucera encourages them to try it again because every technique is slightly different. He also believes in having a conversation without being committed to care, so consultations are always complimentary. Only after the patient decides to move forward does Kucera perform a full exam, digital x-rays, and relief treatment with a care plan that includes the length of time to get the patient back toward the direction of health.
Believing in his patients so that they can believe in themselves is at the heart of Kucera’s philosophy. “I’m not the doctor who tells people you are limited. I’m the optimist who says if you want to do something, let’s find a way to make that happen. We see things people would call ‘miracles’ every day, but it never surprises me. The body was meant to function a certain way, which is a different approach to looking at health. We love seeing people regain the freedom to live life on their terms. We’re here to give you a second chance, just like I was given a second chance.”