Questions & Answers with community faces
Dr. Britta Cicansky Cech (29) is from Honor originally. Growing up, her mother, Hope Cicansky, was the District Court Magistrate and her father, Mike Cicansky, worked for Nye Plumbing and heating; both hard-working parents showed their children that anything is achievable through dedication, time, and with family support.
Cicansky attended Benzie County Central Schools and Glen Lake Community Schools, where she graduated in 2010. She then attended Grand Valley State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biomedical sciences in 2014. (While at GVSU, she roomed with her brother, Victor Cicansky (28), who was attending Grand Rapids Community College to become a police officer; another example of how her tight-knit family came together to support one another’s academic dreams together.) She then received her doctorate in chiropractic from the National University of Health Sciences in Illinois in 2019.
Later that same year, in September 2019, she married Joseph Cech, who she had been with for seven years prior; they met in 2013 while she was an undergrad at GVSU. The couple now live in Benzie County with their dog, Penelope.
Cicansky’s parents and her husband are incredibly supportive, and they all worked together to make the dream of owning a chiropractic practice a reality: the four of them bought the building together. The practice is a family business in the truest form—Cicansky’s mother is the office manager, her father does the building maintenance, and her husband does the outdoor maintenance. Even her grandmother, Sharon Cicansky, is the chiropractic assistant.
In February 2020, just a few weeks before the pandemic reached Michigan, Crystal Care Chiropractic opened in Benzonia. Only a few months later, construction began on US-31, meaning that traffic was slowed to a standstill right outside the doors, located about a half-mile south of Shop-N-Save. It was quite an eventful first year for the practice.
Continuing with our interview series on impactful Benzie County characters, The Betsie Current caught up with Cicansky when she was in between patients.
The Betsie Current: What made you want to work as a chiropractor? What do you enjoy about this line of work?
Dr. Britta Cicansky Cech: I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field; traditional and alternative medicine resonated the most with me. Chiropractic medicine offers safe and natural treatments. I love holistic wellness and treating the person as a whole. I enjoy looking at the whole picture and seeing how I can support a patient through their wellness journey. I use a variety of methods—such as manual therapies, dietary changes and supplementation, topical recommendations, and lifestyle suggestions—to offer my patients the most relief. I also enjoy learning, so I take as many continuing education courses and certifications as possible. Currently, I’m certified in Cox Technic, Smart tools, and Rocktape. I continue to take seminars and courses based on physical medicine, as well as functional medicine. I use Standard Process and Mediherb products to support a variety of health concerns.
Current: How did you come up with the name of your practice?
Cicansky: We all worked together to come up with a name for the practice, and we spent a great deal of time mulling over many options, since it’s not just me, but also my husband, and my parents who are all invested in this. We decided on Crystal Care Chiropractic, as it has a special meaning. My aunt—my father’s sister—who passed while I was attending NUHS, her name was Crystal. Crystal was a caring special person who took care of me when my parents worked as a child. It seemed right.
Current: What does a typical day of work look like for you?
Cicansky: My typical workday usually starts at the gym; we all do our best when we feel our best. Chiropractic care often includes at-home recommendations, such as working out and stretching. Once I am feeling energized by the endorphins at the gym, I go to work and treat patients. Daily, I have a mix of new and returning patients. New patient visits are much longer and more extensive than follow-up visits. During a new patient visit, I do a thorough exam, including medical history, current complaint, a physical exam, and so on; then we transition into treatment. I generally use a variety of treatments, depending on the patient’s needs. There are a variety of chiropractic techniques I use and love, such as HVLAs [high-velocity low-amplitude adjustments], drop table adjustments, arthrostim adjustments, Cox Flexion/Distraction Adjustments, IASTM [instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization], Kinesiology taping, heat therapy, nutrition, and supplements. I find patients respond the best when using a holistic approach, including active and passive care.
Current: How has that changed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Northern Michigan last March?
Cicansky: As the practice opened around the same time as the pandemic occurred, it is hard to say how it affected us. We were lucky to stay safe and healthy. It was a reminder of the importance of health.
Current: How have you seen your work grow and change? How do you hope that it will continue to grow? What is next? Have you had any collaborations?
Cicansky: I have added a great deal more treatment options since I started the practice. I had many patients asking about an arthrostim machine, so we invested in one in May. It has been a great, gentle option for many patients. I also started using more and more supplements and nutrition in the office. I started using Standard process and Mediherb in February and have seen tremendous results; they are a whole foods-based company that allows us to bridge the nutritional gaps we have in our diet. I have since started adding nutrition appointments, separate from the chiropractic appointments, as patients have had such great success working together to support their nutrition needs. I have also added more natural living products in the office. I found there are not any places to buy natural products in Benzie County; I wanted to have some options for people trying to decrease their toxic load. We now have a larger selection of natural products than we initially carried: we offer analgesic creams, deodorant, laundry detergent, salves, bug prevention, sun prevention, etc. It has been really exciting to see how many people in the region want natural options and thrive using them. In the future, I hope to offer wellness education; I would like to eventually add monthly classes on different wellness topics to the community. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many other natural practitioners in Michigan; it has been really fun visiting their practices. I spend a lot of my free time continuing my education; I don’t believe we can ever be done learning. I enjoy reading up on the newest physical and functional medicine research, as well as taking seminars. I try to always make time to learn and grow as a doctor, whether it be through talking to other practitioners, reading, webinars, or attending conventions.
Current: What kinds of things do you do for fun, when you are not working? What other things are you involved with? How did you get involved with them, and why are you passionate about these causes?
Cicansky: When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my niece. I grew up in such a tight-knit family and really enjoy that I still get to spend so much time with them. We pretty much plan our weekends around my three-year-old niece. My parents have a UTV [utility terrain vehicle], so we often take the UTV to the park and for ice cream.
Current: How have you seen Northern Michigan change since you grew up here? What are your hopes for the area in the future?
Cicansky: There is much more availability of fresh items from farmers’ markets in Northern Michigan now, and I immensely enjoy seeing what is new from week to week. We are going in the right direction for the health of our community. I hope to see us continue to grow our markets and enjoy all the bounty that Northern Michigan has to offer.
Current: What are the biggest challenges and rewards of living/working in Benzie County and in Northern Michigan, in general? What is the best or most rewarding part of your job?
Cicansky: It is very rewarding to work in Benzie County, as I get to help the community that raised me. The most rewarding part of my job is getting people out of pain and helping them to live their fullest life. I find it so rewarding that I can support our community to pursue their healthiest lives. One of the biggest challenges we face in Northern Michigan is that our economy is based on tourism, so the population fluctuates greatly from season to season.
Current: What could Northern Michigan do to attract more talented young people to this area? What else does Northern Michigan/Benzie County need?
Cicansky: I think we have everything we need to draw talented young people to the area. There is fresh air, farmers’ markets, and trails; everything we need for happy, healthy living. I would love to see more gyms in Benzie County, and workout options. One thing I enjoyed most while living in Lombard, [Illinois,] during chiropractic school was the access to community workout classes.
Current: What are your favorite local events and activities? Any favorite dining, recreation, hiking spots?
Cicansky: My favorite thing to do is going out on the UTV trails with my family or taking my niece to the park. I also enjoy the farmers’ markets frequently.
Current: What does your perfect fall day look like in Benzie County? How would you spend it?
Cicansky: A perfect fall day in Benzie County is enjoyed with my family. My cousin and I are both back in town after years away, so we meet up for weekly drinks at local coffee shops. We are really looking forward to drinking pumpkin spice outside in the fall weather.
Visit “Crystal Care Chiropractic” on Facebook or CrystalCareChiropractic.com to learn more. Email CrystalCareChiropractic@gmail.com or call 231-383-4252 for more information. The office is open Monday through Friday.
Featured Photo Caption: Dr. Britta Cicansky Cech graduated in April 2019 from chiropractor school. Photo courtesy of the Cicansky family archives.