Bruce McElwain: New chiropractor in town

Posted:  Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 7:00am

Bruce McElwain has opened a chiropractic practice, Boothbay Chiropractic, at his home in Boothbay.

From Little Silver, New Jersey, McElwain and his wife, Joanne Smith, bought the house in Trevett four years ago. They and their rescue dog Bean, a chocolate Lab-Great Pyrenees, spend summers and parts of winters here.

When McElwain was in chiropractic school, Maine allowed students to test during their last semester. “I came up here in 1978, took the test, and after laying my eyes on Maine I promised myself I'd be back at some point,” he said.

He came back around 14 years ago, when he and his wife were dating, and she, too, fell in love with Maine. They rented a place on Sawyer’s Island and toured the coast, and decided they wanted to buy a home here. After looking on and off for eight years, they settled on a house overlooking the Back River in Trevett.

A chiropractor focuses on treating neuromuscular disorders through manual adjustment of the spine. McElwain described chiropractic as a science, an art and a philosophy. “The science is pretty clear: Your brain controls everything. The philosophy is how we approach health and sickness and disease, and the art is delivering the chiropractic adjustment, which is what a chiropractor does.

“He examines your spine to identify the subluxations, (defined as slight misalignments of the vertebrae, regarded in chiropractic theory as the cause of many health problems) and then he delivers an adjustment to remove those.”

McElwain became interested in chiropractic after working at Monmouth Medical Center performing autopsies for the county coroner. Around that time he was getting “two or three bouts a year of the worst strep throat going.” He would take antibiotics for a couple weeks each time. Then he went to a chiropractor, and after his first adjustment he has not had a sore throat. That doesn’t mean chiropractors cure sore throats, he said. But the adjustment helped his body recuperate.

“We all have strep bacteria in our throats,” he said. “We can't live without bacteria. The balance is what is significant. It's how the level of bacteria in your throat is being moderated. It's the information that comes from your brain that keeps your body functioning properly.” McElwain believes chiropractic adjustment can help get the tissues functioning the way they're meant to, but cautions that it may not be a cure-all. “Are there any guarantees in healthcare? Absolutely not.”

McElwain describes chiropractic as a preventative approach to wellness. “People should be preemptive. It would be wise to see a chiropractor on a regular basis. There's no reason why people shouldn't be healthy, and there's no person who shouldn't be adjusted.”

He said people see a chiropractor, or any doctor, because of issues, or symptoms. But an issue has a cause. “The cause develops into a condition, and then when the condition matures enough you express the symptomotology, some kind of pain, and then you go to a doctor.

“I like to get rid of the cause before it becomes an issue.”

McElwain’s website,, states: “A passion for helping others led me down the path of chiropractic care and into a career that allows me to provide my patients with high quality. As a professional chiropractor since 1979, I bring a holistic approach to chiropractic care in order to find comfortable and effective solutions for everyone.”

“There is no person who shouldn't be adjusted, unless there's a reason why he shouldn't be adjusted,” McElwain said. “It's my job to decide whether it's prudent to adjust you. It's so simple, it's hard to understand. Can you hear me now? If the information flows, if the connection's good, yes you can hear me fine. But if there's interference, you can't hear well.”

To set up a consultation or an appointment, email or call 207-633-0363.