Two types of people end up in Smith County. Those lucky enough to be born there and those smart enough to move there. Dr. Melanie Cripps is the latter and she is here to stay having put down deep roots in just a few short years.
Raised in Hermitage and a graduate of McGavock High School and TSU, Melanie fell into chiropractic medicine by accident. While in college she began experiencing daily headaches and was prescribed three medications to try to solve the problem. Even at her young age, she knew this was not the right answer. After much research, she decided to try chiropractic and within a few short visits, was pain-free.
It was clear to her, that medicine needs to try address the cause and not treat the symptoms. Her path was set.
After college, she headed to Atlanta to pursue her doctorate in Chiropractic at Life University. Following graduation, she moved home with a vision of something a little different. In a male-dominated profession, she wanted to build a practice with a feminine approach and Carthage was the perfect place to do that.
While in school, Melanie’s own mother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins’s Lymphoma and she remembers that time as terrifying for herself and family, that includes her one sister Leticia. Her mother refused traditional therapies and instead chose a natural approach to diet and lifestyle changes. She beat cancer. “I was in awe at what the human body can do, under the right conditions.”
Today Melanie’s parents, Miguel and Magda Cruz, continue to reside in Hermitage while Melanie has not only established her business but her own family in Carthage. In 2017, Melanie married Assistant District Attorney Javin Cripps and became a bonus mom to Addie and Anna. Together they are helping Melanie’s vision take shape in the community they both love.
“I was raised by a strong, Puerto Rican family. We were raised to work hard, be kind and have faith. My parents taught us that no one can ever take away your education, so get as much of it as you can.”
In April of 2018, after a few years at another location in Carthage, Melanie put that education to good use in a larger facility. Her husband was a big help, moonlighting as both her architect and contractor. “I told him my dream and he made it a reality.”
Carthage Family Chiropractic offers a drug-free solution for dis-ease of the human body. They also offer massage therapy. “There is a stigma out there that chiropractic is about popping bones and that people have to keep coming back for life. That’s not true. Simply put, we are trained to find and correct spinal misalignment so that the brain and body can send messages through the spinal cord and nerves without interference. If you think of your brain and nerves as the electrical system in your house, we reset the breakers in the fuse box.”
Melanie believes that chiropractic is necessary now more than ever. “We help people without the use of drugs or surgery.” The opioid epidemic is at crisis levels in this country and Melanie knows, first hand, that many people often ease their symptoms with pills which can unknowingly create an addiction. “It’s happening all around us because we have become dependent upon just treating our symptoms, primarily the symptom of pain. Chiropractic starts at the root and addresses the cause. We help fix the problem causing the pain.”
While Carthage Family Chiropractic is Melanie’s vision, she prides herself on having a wonderful team that helps take care of her patients. “Our office is managed by Karen Williams and Tyra Mise. It’s rare to find a sisterhood with an office, where everyone gels together. I’m hanging on to that as long as I can!” As an added bonus, patients often meet Gus, a giant German Shepherd that graces the office with his presence.
Melanie truly believes that health in the future is going to depend on our food source. “We, as Americans, need to invest in the quality of our food and what we’re ingesting on a daily basis. When we improve how we eat, drink and move, our health will too. We are in crisis as a society because we eat poorly, have stress on our nervous systems, develop chronic illnesses and depend on drugs to take care of us. Instead, we need quality nutrients, sunlight, clean water, and fresh air.”