Dr. Thomas Palic | VailDaily.com

Dr. Thomas Palic

Sarah L. Stewart
Dominique TaylorChiropractor Dr. Tom Palic practices a unique kind of chiropractic at his office in the Synergy Pilates studio, as well as in Frisco.

The path that lead Dr. Thomas Palic to the Vail Valley began when he was a teenager, as a junior Olympian downhill ski racer training in Steamboat Springs.

Though the Chicago native returned to the Midwest to attend college, he wasn’t finished with the mountains. Palic fast-tracked through undergraduate school in Iowa, taking up to 30 credits per semester to graduate at age 19. He then attended chiropractic school in St. Louis and practiced for a short time in Michigan. But two years ago, he decided to he strike west once more, arriving in the Vail Valley with his unique brand of chiropractic medicine: applied kinesiology (or AK).

AK uses muscle testing to determine which muscles are weakened and may be causing a patient pain. Palic learned AK from its founder, Dr. George Goodheart, who at 93 still practices in the Midwest.

Palic spends at least 30 minutes with each of his patients, examining their postures and using a blend of adjustments, acupressure and dietary alterations to try to alleviate pain. He says patients often get better faster with AK than traditional chiropractic treatment, averaging fewer than four office visits per incident.

When he’s not at his offices in Avon and Frisco, 25-year-old Palic volunteers as a lacrosse coach in the valley, donates time to the Rotary Club and the Vail Valley Foundation, and skis in the backcountry.

The son of Czech immigrants, Palic has a history of musical performance dating back to nine years of polka lessons as a child. But now you’re more likely to find him strumming country and folk tunes on his guitar, a hobby that recently led him to the stage at Loaded Joe’s in Avon.

In January, look for his one-man practice, Applied Kinesiology Centers of Colorado, to hit the Web online. Patients will be able to access the appointment schedule and get information about various diseases.

It’s kind of an approach where you read the body instead of just listening to someone’s symptoms. The result is so much faster. It saves people money, and it’s not just cookie-cutter.

I think primarily I can relate more when people get hurt and they want to go back and do the stuff they love doing. … Everyone that’s blown out their ACL at the beginning of the season, and then they see all the snow, knows what I’m talking about.

I love Vail. I just smile every time I drive over the pass to work. The people seem to be very supportive.

I like getting involved in the community. I like lacrosse, but it’s also about just walking around town and people going, ‘Hey, coach.’ … People get to know you when you get involved. I’m kind of like sharing talents that I have with the community.

I think people don’t realize how much time they have if they stop watching TV. … I think they sell themselves short.

I think the work ethic … (My family came from) a communist country, so my parents are pretty hard on the dollar. And they also push you to do something because you have to do better.

No. (laughs) I wised up at about 13 and told them I didn’t want to do that anymore.

I can cut a rug up, I just haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do that.

>> Want to see someone profiled as our High Country Character? E-mail editor@vailtrail.com, or call (970) 748-0049.

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