“I love Cleveland,” Dr. Joy Long said. “It has always been like a home away from home for me,” she added.
Long graduated from DSU with a bachelor's of science education in health and physical education and a master's in education in the same field.
After graduating, Long spent some time working as an assistant coach for the Lady Statesmen softball team and then later worked for Dr. Patterson at Patterson Chiropractic Clinic.
She then decided to move on and complete her doctorate of chiropractic at Parker University in Dallas, Texas.
"Sports has been a big part of my past but I wouldn’t say I specialize in that,” Long said. “Working in the city you can narrow your field but here you don’t just see sports related patients or pediatrics or geriatrics.
“Here you can work with people from all aspects of life and it’s really fun because it keeps you challenged,” Long added.
“Working with athletes has been my background and they have a strong competitive nature that really drives them to get better but being able to correct someone’s shoulder pain or back pain so they can lift up their grandchildren or children is huge.
“It is really rewarding to be able to see these people get better and feel better,” Long said.
“Delta State and Cleveland have really given me so much and Cleveland is such a hospitable place,” Long said.
“It’s such a great community atmosphere that I love being a part of,” Long said. “I’m able to work with and help coach a little softball team, The Delta Rockers, and be involved in the community.
“I spent eight years of my life here before I went to chiropractic school,” Long said. “That was really most of my adult life and I want to give back to this community all that they have given to me."
However despite her love for Cleveland, starting her own practice has been a challenge. Long said. “It’s stressful and exciting at the same time.
“I know that it’s generally slow at first but anytime you build something from the ground up it’s really something to truly be proud of.
“You can establish things the way you like them done and take all the knowledge you’ve learned from other doctors and implement them and create your own system,” Long said.
“Being an athlete I’ve always loved challenges, sometimes too much,” Long said. “This is certainly a big one (challenge) but it’s something I’m proud of.
“My dad always preached to work hard for yourself and be an entrepreneur,” Dr. Long said. “It’s that competitive drive to be successful that really motivates me."
Being a chiropractor is about drugless and non-surgical preventative care and according to Long there is a need for this and other types of medical practices.
“I absolutely believe that there is a need for chiropractors, sports medicine, athletic trainers and physical trainers,” she said.
According to Long, chiropractic care is not just about dealing with the bones or the muscles and nerves, it’s about getting to the root of the problem patients have.
“We all have our specialty that we take care of but we need each other working together to get patients to fully-restored health,” Long said. “I truly believe there is a need for all of us.”
Long said she isn’t just focused on typical chiropractic care. She’s also implemented a weight loss program to her practice.
“Chiropractic care is about more than just the skeletal and neuromuscular systems,” Long said. “It’s really about preventative care and weight loss is all about preventing other health problems.
“It’s a supplemental weight loss program that is herbalized,” Long said. “I’ve lost tons of weight and my friends have lost a lot of weight on this program as well.
“It’s certainly not a fly-by-night thing, but I lost 47 pounds in three months,” Long said. “It definitely works,” she concluded.
Long Chiropractic is located in the Cleveland Medical Mall across the highway from Bolivar Medical Center.