Alumnus Dr. Joel Fugleberg Builds Successful St. Paul Practice

| October 16, 2017

Award-winning chiropractor and NWHSU alumnus Dr. Joel Fugleberg develops a successful practice in St. Paul with a focus on helping people make healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices.

When Dr. Joel Fugleberg was deciding on a name for his practice, he chose Lifestyle Chiropractic for a reason.

“I’m a believer that individuals need to make health more of a priority in their lives,” he says. “I’m here to help them do that. I try to teach—even preach—healthy lifestyle choices that will impact overall health. That includes proper ergonomics if you’re sitting in a work station all day long. Or proper eating. Even drinking more water.”

He adds: “These are choices we make every day that have an impact on our health. When we don’t make healthy lifestyle a priority, that’s when we start to have the need for more crisis health care—treatments for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These are real burdensome health conditions. So I try to flip the switch early by having everyone take more individual responsibility for their health.”

It’s a practical, effective approach that he was raised respecting, growing up in Roseau, a small town in northern Minnesota. It led him to his career choice when a chiropractor in his hometown helped him recover from injuries as a high school wrestler.

It’s now an approach that has helped Fugleberg develop a successful St. Paul-based practice that has resulted in the Northwestern Health Sciences University graduate receiving professional accolades, including twice being named to Minnesota Monthly magazine’s list of top chiropractors in the state. He is also the recipient of the 2017 Award for Excellence in Chiropractic, presented at the Autumn Reception on the Northwestern Health Sciences University campus on Friday, October 13.

“I enjoy working with people. I enjoy being able to customize my care to them and their needs,” Fugleberg says.

A good day, he says, is when he sees he’s having a positive impact on his patients’ health.

“I helped get them out of pain. Or I helped them be able to pick up their grandkids again,” he says. “Sometimes the progress is not immediately evident to them. But then they realize that when they first came in they weren’t able to stand up straight. And now they can. Or they can bend over to put their shoes on without pain. It may be something small. But it’s something that has a tremendous life impact for them.”

Northwestern, he says, prepared him with a foundation of academic rigor and patient-focused care. Eleven years after graduating, he still refers to that base, on which he has built his practice.

“I’ve kept my books and notes,” he says. “I actually refer to them frequently. This morning I pulled out a textbook to refresh my memory on an anatomy issue. That is the bread and butter of Northwestern, its academic strength. And that should be the foundation.”

Fugleberg says the professional recognition is flattering. Along with the two awards from Minnesota Monthly, being named as a business of excellence by his local chamber of commerce stands out.

“That was meaningful because I was nominated by my peers based on my involvement in the chamber,” he says. “It was because I was involved in my community.”

When he’s not helping his patients, Fugleberg is busy with his family—he is married with three young children—integrating a heathy lifestyle into their lives.

“Lately, we have been big into camping,” he says. “We love to pick a state park and just go. Preferably one with good hiking trails.”

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