Likens moved his practice to Navarre 10 years ago from Pensacola. He has been practicing chiropractic care for 21 years and he loves it.
“When you help somebody and they’re so thankful for that, that’s my favorite part,” Likens said. “They’re so appreciative because they feel different from when they walked in the door. That one moment, every time that happens, it makes me glad I do what I do.”
Likens is not only a chiropractor, but also practices acupuncture, clinical nutrition, applied kinesiology, auto accident injury and sports injury. He works with his patients and comes up with an individualized treatment plan.
“When folks come to see me, I’m usually pulling from all that knowledge and not only chiropractic,” he said.
He said a patient might come in because of a neck problem, but they end up talking about other health concerns.
Likens graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. But he didn’t always plan to become a chiropractor. He was headed toward a medical degree and working in the renal floor of a hospital and decided he wanted something different.
“At that time, I was having neck pain from being in class all day. I went in and saw a chiropractor and had that moment where I realized that this is what I wanted to do. And within a short period of time, I had changed my direction to go to chiropractic school instead of med school back in the mid-90s.”
The chiropractor that Likens went to in college – Dr. Kenneth Kaiser – ignited the spark of passion for Likens to pursue this career.
“He was a very intelligent and educated man that had a very full practice. Everyone in the community knew him and loved him.”
Kaiser encouraged Likens to switch tracks and even got chiropractic schools to send him information. He reviewed and researched the information and eventually applied.
Likens’s scenic route toward chiropractic care drove him to learning more about the human body as a whole and how different systems work together and affect one another. Over the course of 20 years, he has gained more than 800 hours of post-grad continued education and multiple certifications in various facets of health care.
This knowledge allows Likens to assess the body as a whole and not just look at the spine. Now he’s versed in acupuncture, nutrition, applied kinesiology, whiplash and trauma injuries.
“I’ve taken all of that and put it together, so when someone comes in and we’re taking a whiplash X-ray, but then I’m seeing calcium uptake in the thyroid, and I can have that conversation with a patient,” he said. “Or we can discuss, well chiropractic is not going to work for you, but acupuncture will, these other options will. So it’s given me this versatility with my patients that honestly I think is my biggest asset.”
The ability to pull from different resources with every patient sets Likens apart in Northwest Florida because it’s not common to find doctors who have done that additional education.
Just chiropractic was never enough for Likens. He wanted to learn more. He has always been curious to know more about the body.
Likens looks at the whole body as a unit, as an ecosystem where each body part serves a specific purpose. It helps to give his patients the most information he can so they can better understand what is going on in their body. It also helps him to refer his patients to the correct specialist or advanced imaging if need be.
Likens loves his job and considers the challenging problems fun to fix. Typically, people come to the chiropractor’s office when nothing else has worked, so they try us, Likens said.
“If you get that group of patients that are a little bit tougher to fix, and to see them really come around and do well… it’s very rewarding and I like that part. It makes me happy to help people,” Likens said.
Likens especially loves helping the military population in Navarre that live a life of service.
“I’m so glad I came to Navarre for that because that’s just super cool to take care of a guy before he leaves on deployment, take care of him when he gets back,” he said.
Likens loves taking care of the veterans who have been through so much.
“The VA folks are coming to me with different types of trauma, and we can use all of our tools, including acupuncture, to get them to a place where they have less pain and distress, they are resting better, and they are better able to engage and enjoy their relationships with the people around them. That’s very rewarding,” he said.
Likens is thankful to Navarre for allowing him to practice and serve others, and he plans to stay here until he retires. He loves to see results in his patients and can often see the results in their eyes.
“When you can see the pain in someone’s eyes and then, all of a sudden, the pain is gone, and their eyes are bright. That’s a huge deal that your eyes aren’t demonstrating pain,” Likens said.
“If you think about it, when you’re in pain it affects the way you think, your mood, how you sleep,” he added. “People worry that nothing is going to make their pain better. I say to them, ‘It’s going to take us a little while, but we’ll get you there.’ All of a sudden, you give that hope back to them when they had lost it.”