Providing alternative medicine in a rural Minnesota community

Published 9:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

Growing up, John Peterson always had an interest in chiropractic care.

Being friends with his local chiropractor and his father always seeking chiropractic care peaked Peterson’s interest at a young age.

Although he was intrigued by the thought of becoming a chiropractor during college, what he wanted to do was to be a college professor. However, after learning that many colleges weren’t hiring, Peterson decided to go a different route.

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“I wound up working in a rehabilitation hospital in North Dakota,” Peterson said. “I was really able to see what physical therapists were doing and became interested in physical therapy. A good friend of mine, who had grown up to be a chiropractor, told me that I could do something similar and be my own boss as a chiropractor.”

Peterson said he enjoys the challenge of working with different people and finding out what their issues are. His current location is 1454 West Main St. in Albert Lea. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

He said he was about 25 before he officially decided to become a chiropractor. He then went on to get his degree from what was then Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minneapolis. He compared the education required to become a chiropractor as somewhat comparable to dental school and optometry.

After graduation in 1981, Peterson started his own care facility in Marshall, which he operated until 1988. That same year he moved to Albert Lea to be closer to family. He spent many years in a building on Clark Street, until 12 years  ago when he moved to his current location on West Main Street.

“I really like the community here in Albert Lea,” Peterson said. “The more years that I spend here, the more impressed I become by the people and variety of alternative care and health options that are available here in a small rural community.”

Peterson has lived in Albert Lea for 30 years and has seven children and nine grandchildren. He said he is happy with his choice to pursue a career as a chiropractor.

Peterson said the business has changed in many ways over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the hands-on nature of chiropractic care. He said much of the health care industry has become very technological and relies on use of high-tech equipment. However, chiropractic care remains hands-on and direct, something Peterson said is one of the many wonderful things about the profession.

Most care sessions last about 10 to 15 minutes or about 30 minutes if you’re a first-time patient, according to Peterson, and many joint and muscle pains can be resolved with the right treatments.

“Most people think of us primarily for neck and back,” Peterson said. “But it’s really any muscle or joint problem, I see a lot of shoulder and knee problems.

“I think when people are tuned in with their bodies, they know when something isn’t quite right and they know that just taking a few ibuprofen isn’t going to address the underlying issue. For people that are looking for more of a long-term solution, the chiropractor is often a good place to start.”


Peterson enjoys the challenge of working with different people and trying to figure out where their problems are. He said it’s like a puzzle in some ways.

By the numbers

36 – Years Peterson has practiced chiropractic care

7 – Children of Peterson

25 – Age Peterson was when he decided to become a chiropractor


About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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