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Advocacy through Healing: LGBT Chiropractic

When Dr. Angel Ochoa-Rea enrolled in chiropractic school, he set out to change his life. Instead, through his chiropractic practice and advocacy for the LGBT community, Dr. Angel is changing lives in San Diego and beyond.

At age 28, Dr. Angel realized that he wasn’t happy with his job in sales. After reflecting on how chiropractic helped him as a Division I tennis player in college, he made a choice: to quit his job and enroll in chiropractic school.

“I was miserable,” Dr. Angel explains. “I wanted to feel happy and look forward to going to work every day.”

 After graduation, Dr. Angel began working as an associate chiropractor at a clinic in the Bay Area. Shortly afterward, Nathalie Huerta of The Perfect Sidekick, an LGBT gym in Oakland, California, approached Dr. Angel, encouraging him to start his own practice serving the LGBT community within her gym.

“It wasn’t my original plan,” Dr. Angel recalls. “I don’t know if I would have opened my own practice if it wasn’t for her, which I’m thankful for.” 

While Dr. Angel has moved his practice, LGBT Chiropractic, from Oakland to San Diego since then, he still specializes in care for the LGBT community and is a passionate advocate for encouraging more businesses to show they are inclusive and welcoming to people who identify as LGBT.

“It’s important that people find LGBT-friendly businesses, so people know they can be themselves without worrying about being judged,” Dr. Angel explains. “In a health care office, it’s important that you feel comfortable with a provider. If you go to a provider that’s not open-minded, it can be embarrassing and defeating.”

Dr. Angel shared his advice on how businesses can demonstrate that they welcome for members of the LGBT community:

  • On your website, let people know that you are LGBT-friendly by listing the preferred pronouns of staff members alongside their bios.
  • Share your support on social media and in your marketing.
  • Put something on your door like the pride flag or the equality sticker from the Human Rights Campaign.
  • Be involved in your local Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and if your city doesn’t have one, participate in PRIDE events.

For Dr. Angel, the most important thing is supporting his community, both through his practice and advocacy. “It’s important that people can find LGBT-friendly businesses, so that they know they can be themselves and not worry about being judged.”

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