Chiropractor Cory St. Denis treats Chelsea Fournier at her Lewiston home recently. The Maine Chiropractic Association believes St. Denis is the only house-call-only chiropractor in Maine.

LEWISTON — Chelsea Fournier had 30 minutes free between a business meeting and coordinating a big event involving the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council.

Not nearly enough time to go to the chiropractor as she wanted. So Cory St. Denis came to her.

“When I heard he did home calls I was like, ‘Whoa, I don’t even have to leave my house? That’s awesome!'” Fournier said as St. Denis set up his portable table in her living room between her coffee table and TV.

“I can’t imagine Cory not being in my life now,” she said.

For the past year, St. Denis has done house calls for his patients — and only house calls. The Maine Chiropractic Association believes he is the only house-call-only chiropractor in Maine.

St. Denis has no office and he doesn’t take insurance. But he believes he can offer something better: convenience, time and leisurely appointments that can last 30 to 60 minutes rather than the five or 10 minutes he’d have with a packed office schedule.

“It’s been challenging, but at the same time it’s working,” St. Denis said. “Doctors don’t like to be high-volume. Nobody likes that.”

St. Denis, 29, grew up in Michigan and went to chiropractic college in St. Louis. He moved to Maine in 2014, drawn by the ocean and ski mountains, and settled in Jay.

“Maine seemed like just a cool place,” he said. “If you’re not from here and you visit, you know, it’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh, no wonder they call it Vacationland.’ I think that has a lot of allure for a young professional.”

St. Denis worked first for a traditional chiropractic office, but he decided early on that he wanted his own practice. He just didn’t want the office to go with it.

“Everything in Maine seems to be like an hour away from everything else,” he said. “In a conventional practice (I saw) barriers for people who maybe had no other barriers to care other than they just couldn’t get there or their life was too hectic.”

St. Denis, who did his post-doctoral research in neuroscience and specializes in a brain-based therapy, also noticed that children and teenagers with attention-deficit disorder, autism or other issues were often more comfortable being treated at home and their parents were happier not having to pile the family into a car two or three times a week.

“I just found the longer in-home appointments just worked better,” he said.

He also had personal reasons for wanting to travel full time. St. Denis struggled with attention-deficit disorder himself as a child and it’s something he still lives with.

“Because of that, I don’t like to sit in one place for very long,” he said, “so it really made sense for me to get into different environments as well because of the way I’m wired.” 

He travels from the Farmington area down to Lewiston-Auburn and over to Rumford, always carrying the tools of the trade: a padded table that can be set up in seconds, a vibrating hand-held device to help with adjustments, an iPad.

Setup isn’t always easy. Some homes have such limited space that he’s had to do appointments in the kitchen. Others have more than enough room, but there are kids, dogs, ringing phones and other distractions to contend with. 

“I have to ask people — I’m getting pretty good at it now — but like, ‘Hey, do you have a bull mastiff that’s going to tear me apart when I get there?'” he said. “I’ve run into some really interesting things in my year of doing house calls.”

Fournier’s home is one of the easy ones. Quiet, spacious, no distractions. And having grown up with parents who were chiropractor devotees, she knows what she wants to get out of her regular half-hour sessions.

“For me, it’s about fine-tuning,” she said. “For me, he’s part of my health care team. It’s nice to have someone to check in with once a month on how I’m feeling. Things your doctor doesn’t really ask you. How’s your nutrition? How are you sleeping? I like having someone who really knows what’s going on with me, can notice if there’s a pattern going on.”

Fournier lived in Portland for 12 years before moving back to her hometown of Lewiston. For a time, she kept her chiropractor in Portland, but it soon became obvious that she was traveling much more than she wanted to for appointments that sometimes lasted five minutes or fewer.

“Some days when I would try to schedule my chiropractic appointment in Portland around meetings and then they would cancel, I’m spending three hours driving to, being at and coming back from the chiropractor,” she said. “It just became a no-brainer. I wanted someone local. And if I’m going to be local, why not my house?”

After her first appointment with St. Denis, she called him up to ask about a feeling of mental clarity she’d never had before.  

“I feel like a ninja,” Fournier told him. “Should I be feeling like a ninja?”

That was about six months ago. She’s been seeing St. Denis about once a month since and that sense of clarity has stayed.

“I feel more that way the more we work together,” she said.

On one recent afternoon they spent her half hour talking about allergies as he worked on relieving some of her sinus pressure and dealing with a hip issue she’d been having. 

“Hopefully this helps,” he said as they exchanged a quick hug after the appointment

St. Denis’ initial visits last about an hour and cost $120. Follow-up sessions last about 30 minutes and cost $85. He doesn’t take insurance, but he will provide the paperwork some patients need to be reimbursed by their insurance plan. 

So far, his payment policy hasn’t scared a lot of people away.

“I’ve never worked with a chiropractor that took insurance,” Fournier said.

St. Denis estimates that his practice is about a quarter full. It’s a figure that feels to him like an “astounding, great thing.”

“In a year I’ve gotten a quarter of the way to my goal of helping more people,” he said.

[email protected]

Chiropractor Cory St. Denis treats Chelsea Fournier at her Lewiston home recently.

Chiropractor Cory St. Denis treats Chelsea Fournier at her Lewiston home recently. The Maine Chiropractic Association believes St. Denis is the only house-call-only chiropractor in Maine.


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